Slow World: Experimental Film Screening by Sarah Abdel-Jelil

September 2022

Sarah Abdel-Jelil is a Mauritanian-American filmmaker, dancer, and choreographer based in Minneapolis, MN. Having grown up in eight different countries in a multicultural, interfaith home, her artwork explores notions of home, movement, and liminal spaces. Her current practice of dance time-lapse combines slow movement with time-lapse photography as a way of inviting people to move in tandem with the cycles of the natural world.

A Picnic Operetta by Mixed Precipitation

Based on The Magic Flute

August 2022

Mixed Precipitation is a performance company exploring text, space and form with festive theatrical events that inspire social engagement. The Picnic Operetta is a lively theater experience touring to community gardens and other green spaces. A five-course tasting menu of locally grown, performance-inspired delicacies is served during each show bringing together classical music, horticulture, food, and storytelling into a celebration of ecosystems.

Haven’t I Hidden Your Name?

August 2022

Rooted in the writings of the Sephardic Jewish poets of southern Spain’s Golden Age (10-12c CE), Haven’t I Hidden Your Name? illuminates the universal journey of a human soul longing for transcendence. Created for dancer Tamara Nadel by choreographer Ranee Ramaswamy, Haven’t I Hidden Your Name? explores the synergies between Jewish and Hindu mystical traditions, brought to life through the living language of Bharatanatyam, the classical dance of South India. The poetry comes from an era known for innovations in art and thought that emerged from theintermingling of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. An original score—commissioned from Cantor Basya Schechter, Lalit Subramanian, and Vinod Krishnan—uses poetry sung in the original Hebrew, and weaves together Jewish and Carnatic (South Indian classical) genres and instrumentation.

Banjo Tunes with Jesse Stacken

July 2022

Jesse Stacken only became interested in old-time music after moving from MN to New York City. Classic country and Appalachian folk songs helped to bring balance to the chaos of life in the big city. Eventually he picked up a banjo and started learning the clawhammer style of playing. He loves being able to play outside, which he rarely gets to do on his main instrument, the piano. Tonight he’ll be playing solo banjo renditions of some favorite old-time Appalachian folk tunes.

Old Time Barn Dance For All with Bob Bovee & Co.

June 2022

A family-friendly barn dance with Bob Bovee, Fred Campeau, fiddle; Paul Tyler, caller.

Music by Vidar Skrede

June 2022

The Nordic folk musician Vidar Skrede with Swedish friend Patrick Ahlberg will kick off this summer’s Dreamery arts events at DreamAcres Farm playing on Friday, June 17 from 5:30 to 7PM. Skrede is a freelance Nordic folk musician and teacher on guitar, Hardanger-fiddle, fiddle, mandolin, and Greek bouzouki. He has a background in traditional music from Rogaland, Norway and has a master’s degree in Nordic folk music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.

Goodnight Absalom!

September 2021

In the fictional town of Absalom, a surreal chess match is played between two demonic railroad barons for very high stakes. Their strange game moves through a series of poignant and unique vignettes-- the Dance of the Pawns, the Dance of the Knights, the Dance of the Bishops, etc. — in which the unfortunate chess pieces find themselves being made to do battle inside a prison they do not fully understand. As the game progresses, the chess pieces begin to become cognizant of their bleak situation…and attempt to lead a rebellion against the game itself.

"Goodnight, Absalom!" is a black comedy about a plutocracy that has gamified and polarized our world, obsessed with winning more and more wealth until the world’s resources are gone. The show fuses the Spaghetti Western genre with a barrage of Faulkner references, taking a hard look at a critically divided nation and questioning who might gain from keeping it divided, distracted, and disenfranchised.

A workshop production of Absalom was created as a two-week residency-in-quarantine last August at the Lookout Arts Quarry in Bellingham, WA.

What Trees Know

A father & son duet by Emilio and Dante DeGrazia (piano, poetry & creative prose)

July 2021

Award-winning author Emilio and his musician-composer son Dante share a family story about a certain immigrant tree, and other trees written about in What Trees Know, a new collection of poetry entirely about trees.

“What Trees Know” is a duet in words and music. The topic is given a mythic framework based on DeGrazia’s essay “Burying the Tree,” a narrative about the fig tree in his Winona back yard that represents, among other things, his immigrant origins. Individual poems about the science, mythology, and personal experience of trees are interwoven into this narrative. The music, which includes an overture to the narrative and solo flights, is original work composed and played on the piano by his son Dante DeGrazia.

Music by Ina-Yukka

August 2020

Ina-Yukka is a mother and son duet which performs traditional folk music from South America and the Nueva Canción movement. Ina means mother in Dakota and other languages and Yukka means son in Aymara language. Vladimir and Nia have been singing together for the last 10 years in the USA bringing together the sound of folkloric harmonies, traditional flutes, indigenous percussion, and activist lyrics.

The Best of All Possible Worlds

September 2019

The Best of All Possible Worlds is a one-man comedy created by David Mann about

life in the suburbs, parenting, and being a corporate speaker.

Buy a house. Have some kids. Make a living. Lose your mind. This is the hilariously tragic story of David's venture into the exotic land of business speaking, where he failed to achieve work-life balance.

In David Mann's first original one-man show in 14 years, he exposes the truth about chasing the American Dream. Or at least...he shows what happened to him while pursing it. It's a crazy, funny, weird trip into the jungle of the suburbs, the bizarre world of corporate speaking, and the first years of parenting.

Mann says, "At age 38 - when we had kids - I immediately started aiming for what so many people of my generation were brought up to want: a stable middle-class life. So I started speaking and consulting in the business world as a way to make a living. But what ended up happening was an exhausting chase for something I could barely even define."

David shares his personal story of trying to live inside the materialistic illusion that dominates American culture. With familiar wry humor and colorful characters, Mann takes us on the ride of his life.

The Adventures of Juan Bobo by Open Eye Figure Theatre

August 2019

The world is upside down in The Adventures of Juan Bobo and he is going to do something to turn it right side up! Inspired by Puerto Rican folk stories, the show combines puppetry, music, Spanish and English in a delightful tale of riddles, silly devils, a missing pig and a village in need of a hero.

Taiko Japanese Drumming Performance by Ensō Daiko / TaikoArts Midwest

August 2019

Ensō Daiko regularly premieres new work adding their unique voice to the expanding canon and innovation of North American taiko. Through performances, studio classes and school residencies, Ensō Daiko has taught thousands of students of all ages and abilities.

Ensō Daiko was founded as Mu Daiko in 1997 by Rick Shiomi. New Artistic Director, Jennifer Weir, renamed it Ensō Daiko in 2017, when TaikoArts Midwest took over the taiko program formerly supported by Theater Mu.

Juracan: The Jíbaro and his Three Sons

Solo performance by Ricardo Vázquez

July 2019

The Jíbaro and his Three Sons traces the history of Puerto Rico, its people, and the many visitors that have claimed the island as their own. This action-packed 60min solo show is a bilingual, family-friendly adventure with music, mask, and audience participation. The history of the island from the Taíno kingdoms to the vulture capitalist aiming to turn Old San Juan into a future crypto-utopia for bitcoin billionaires is presented using pieces of debris left over from Hurricane María as the costumes, props, and locations.


May 2019

A.R.T. (Audacious Raw Theater) is Lanesboro-based performing artist Catherine Glynn's lovechild. Born out of creative chaos Catherine wondered what it would be like to give 7 Performing Artists 7 days to create 7 new devised works of theater. Now in it's third year Catherine will be accompanied by performing artists from Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, California, New York and Minnesota. The theme is Inside, Outside, Upside Down. Jerome Yorke who has been a part of ART since it's inception chose the theme "because of it's seemingly inexhaustible potential, and the ability to flip norms on their heads. As Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who worked on the physical nature of unified field theory, has said, 'The task is...not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.'" This work on May 31, 2019 will be really raw--in fact, so raw we are calling it A.R.T...UnPaSTeUrized! for this performance! The newly devised performances will roll into one grand, fun night of theater never to be repeated again.

SenZalma by Contempo Physical Dance

August 2018

SenZalma is “transcendent” with bounding leaps, sounds of water, drums and capoeira rhythms and painterly images of the starry sea. This full-length work explores the universal human struggle toward freedom from an Afro-Brazilian perspective. Inspired by the poem,

O Navio Negreiro (The Slave Ship) by renowned Brazilian author Castro Alves, SenZalma is a combination of the words “senzala” (slave quarters) and “alma” (soul). The work is both a lamentation and a celebration of the human spirit.

Conceptually, SenZalma is inspired by the poem O Navio Negreiro (The Slave Ship) by 19th Century Brazilian abolitionist and poet Antonio de Castro Alves. The title SenZalma is a powerful play on words: Senzalas were large living quarters built for African slaves in Brazil, whom Portuguese rulers believed had no souls. Alma is the word for soul. It juxtaposess enz, meaning certainly, and senza, without.

Artistically, SenZalma is built on Silva dos Santos’ dynamic movement fusion of Afro/Brazilian dance, capoeira, and contemporary dance, blending forms and cultures to create a distinctive new aesthetic.

Dr. Deep: Life Sucks, But I'm Cool With It

An all new lecture on happiness and Ultimate Liberation Philosophy

August 2018

Dr. Deep is the founder of Ultimate Liberation Philosophy, a metaphysical study focusing on the relationship of the individual to their existence. This new lecture on happiness is the second in a series that examines the intersection of science, spirituality and nonsense.

Dr. Deep’s first lecture, titled “Shake Your Noggin Like a Bobblehead,” premiered at Dreamland Arts in 2015 and was presented during Illusion Theater’s Fresh Ink series and at the Minnesota Fringe Festival (Star Tribune’s 10 Best Shows of the Fringe). Additional performances were help at Mixed Blood Theater, 2001 A Space, DreamAcres Farm and IHT Yoga.

Best of the Fringe (2015) – Star Tribune

“Rarely has such absolute drivel been delivered with such sly panache.” Read the full review in the Star Tribune by Lisa Brock

“If laughter truly is the best medicine, Dr. Deep might just prove a therapeutic treatment for humor-deprived psyches.” Read the full City Pages A List article by Brad Richason

*Dr. Deep is a fictional character. “Life Sucks, But I’m Cool With It” is a satirical one man play written and performed by theater artist Zaraawar Mistry, with recorded music by Greg Herriges.

Music on the Farm: Brass Messengers (Minneapolis / St. Paul)

A sprawling fun factory of ten musicians

August 2017

"The Brass Messengers are a Minneapolis street band playing mostly original music inspired by global sources. The BMs formed from the annual rubble of of the Heart of the Beast Mayday Parade and Ceremony in Minneapolis. The musical origins were found in the music of Africa, the Carribean and Balkans, but now the BMs play whatever works, throwing in a country song to the crying drinkers, a high speed polka or two for the midwest dancers, running in circles with the little ones, activating gatherings of our activist kin or a bit of Black Sabbath for the metal crowd. But mostly, it is an original music that rises from the heart of the band that can only be described as a homegrown Minneapolis street music sound.

The Messengers play stages large and small, events from parties to bars, large theaters to street parades and funerals. The Mess have been a part of the HONK community for nine years running, attending more than ten HONK festivals in Sommerville, Seattle and Austin, TX." — The Brass Messengers website

Play! in the Barn: Leaves of Grass — Illuminated (Open Rehearsal)

A One-man performance by Patrick Scully

July 2017

Combining theater, dance and solo performance, this show is about history, art, and literature — presenting aspects of Walt Whitman’s life and work that are fascinating for our time, in which discussions of male/male relations have moved into every section of the newspaper. “Kevin Kortan makes an appearance as Whitman’s lover Peter Doyle and in one of the work’s more poignant moments they discuss the poet’s refusal to use the pronoun “he” (instead using “she”) in his writing to describe their passionate relationship.” — StarTribune

It’s about dance. In Scully’s words: Whitman’s language is so body-based, so physical, it begs you to press your body up against his words. “Scully, 60, said [this] show is about paying it forward, sharing what he’s learned from dancing with such legends as Remy Charlip. Scully performed in Charlip’s “10 Men” at the Brooklyn Music Academy. “So I get to pass that dream — of what positive relationships between men might be like — forward in this show, by passing on what I got from Remy,” (MN Public Radio) “The movement itself is based in contact improvisation, which emphasizes the intuitive give and take of dancing with another person. Scully’s company members take great care to support and inspire one another.” — StarTribune

Workshop on the Farm: Ragamala Dance Company

June 2017