Frank Theatre's 30th Season to Open with 'The Visit'; Vintage Night Market at Modist Brewing

By Espeland, Pamela | MinnPost.com, August 10, 2018 | Go to article overview

Frank Theatre's 30th Season to Open with 'The Visit'; Vintage Night Market at Modist Brewing


Espeland, Pamela, MinnPost.com


Frank Theatre’s 30th season isn’t long – just two plays – and it’s not frothy. In true Frank fashion, both plays have something to say and neither pulls any punches.

Founding artistic director Wendy Knox takes pride in shaking cages and making audiences think. She often stages plays in nontraditional venues. In 2016, she presented “The Good Person of Setzuan” in a vacant Lake Street Rainbow Foods store. To quote Cherry and Spoon, “It was definitely the strangest place I have ever seen theater, but not the strangest place Frank Theatre has ever done theater.”

Frank’s 2018-19 season opens in the Minnesota Transportation Museum, where vintage locomotives and a roundhouse will set the scene. The play: Friedrich Durrenmatt’s “The Visit.” The setting: a small town in a deep economic depression. The story: Claire Zachanassian was driven out of town years ago because she was pregnant. Now she’s the richest person in the world. She can save the town, but she wants something in exchange. Katherine Ferrand will star in a dark comedy that explores the line between justice and revenge. Sept. 28-Oct. 21.

Next up, at the Gremlin Theatre in the Vandalia Tower complex: Marc Blitzstein’s “The Cradle Will Rock.” Just before this play-in-music opened on Broadway during the Depression as part of the Federal Theater Project, both Congress and Actors Equity tried to shut it down. Unabashedly pro-union, it’s set in Steeltown, U.S.A., where Mr. Mister, a corporate magnate, has bought up (or paid off) every sector of the community – except one man, Larry Foreman, who is trying to get the whole town to organize. Frank first staged “Cradle” in 2003 at the Sears Building, before it was the Midtown Global Market.

“The Visit” will open Sept. 28 and close Oct. 21. “The Cradle Will Rock” will run March 1 to April 7, 2019. Knox will direct both productions. FMI and tickets.

In your 20s or 30s, up for arts experiences and new friends?

Named for the arts ambassadors of ancient Greece, Theoroi is the Schubert Club’s program for young adults. Unlike similar programs, it’s only slightly about the Schubert Club. Instead, it’s about sampling the performing arts across the Twin Cities, meeting like-minded people, getting VIP status and insider access, and spreading the word.

It’s also a bargain. For 11 events from September through June, you pay $100, or $150 if you’re a returning member. The Schubert Club covers the rest.

This year’s events include Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti’s performance at Aria (part of the Schubert Club Mix season), Collide Theatrical Dance Company’s “The Great Gatsby” at the Ritz, “Star Wars in Concert” with the Minnesota Orchestra (a hot ticket), the Jungle’s production of Lucy Kirkwood’s play “The Children,” L.A.-based urban Latin Contra-Tiempo Dance at the Ordway, an evening of jazz at Crooners and opening night for Ten Thousand Things’ production of Karen Zacarias’ “The Sins of Sor Juana.” Plus a kick-off event at Landmark Center, a social event at the Walker, a happy hour at Vieux Carré and a season closing party.

Theoroi members attend each event as a group, enjoy premium seating and share their experiences on social media. (That’s the “arts ambassador” part and Theoroi’s only expectation. You would probably do that anyway. …

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