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Carson Kreitzer, a playwright of ferocious intellect and arresting language who takes on challenging themes, will get some quiet time to work in Ireland next year. She has won the 2014 Joe Dowling Annaghmakerrig Fellowship, an award that entitles her to two weeks of creative time at the estate of theater founder Tyrone Guthrie in Annaghmakerrig. She will join artists from around the world at the retreat, where she plans to start work on a new play.
“I'm pretty giddy about this,” Kreitzer said from New York, where she is working on a new work. “It's just such an amazing opportunity, and a place I've always wanted to go.”
The award by the region’s leading theater may also help loft Kreitzer into another realm of theater in the Twin Cities, where she lives but where her plays are only now beginning to get the kind of big productions they have enjoyed elsewhere.
“Behind the Eye,” her play about World War II combat photographer Lee Miller, who also inspired many surrealists, will open at Park Square in May.
“The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” Kreitzer’s 2004 play about the father of the atomic bomb, won a string of awards and has been lauded wherever it has been produced. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote this of the Windy City staging: "So much brilliance, ambivalence, ego, history, myth, science, moral argument, emotional heat, poetry and sheer dazzling theatricality are compressed into the mere two hours it takes for Carson Kreitzer's ‘The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer to detonate on the stage…that by the time it is all over, you might easily feel you've been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation."
In Cincinnati, the production was simply “superb,” according to the Enquirer.
Kreitzer also has written for work that has been produced in the Guthrie’s summer and actor training programs, including “Be Here Now…,” a take-off on Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.” Her play, “Lasso of Truth,” about the man who created Wonder Woman, recently was announced as the National New Play Network’s 40th rolling world premiere. It will get productions at Marin Theatre Company, Synchronicity in Atlanta, and Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City.
A member of the playwright-led Workhaus Collective and a board member of the Playwrights’ Center, Kreitzer earned degrees from Yale and the University of Texas at Austin.
The Guthrie has commissioned her to write a new play.
“Carson is a playwright whose work combines great imagination with meticulous craft,” Dowling said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the results of her fellowship.”
Actor Danielle Wade, who plays Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" at the Ordway Center, traded her ruby slippers for a ruby-colored hard hat Tuesday as she joined other members of the cast and crew on a Habitat for Humanity build. Actually, the cast split up into two crews, one working on a home in St. Paul, the other in Crystal.
Wade (pictured above, right) was with ensemble members Anthony MacPherson and Kelly Grainger worked on the house in Crystal, a three bedroom home that will be sold to a family with five children. The home-building is part of a national campaign called "There's No Place Like Home" that Habitat has launched in conjunction with Warner Bros. The campaign coincides with the 75th anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz," which was released in 1939.
The "Oz" cast and crew did similar volunteer work with Habitat in Los Angeles, where the tour started, and hopes to do similar work in other U.S. cities as the tour works its way across the country.
"The home in Crystal will probably be finished in the spring," said Habitat communications manager Matt Haugen. "The families are always excited to move into their homes, especially since they put sweat equity in this home. A partnership like this with the cast brings attention and more volunteers. The message of 'The Wizard of Oz' resonates with ours. It takes brain, courage and heart to make all of this happen."
"Oz" plays at the Ordway thru Dec. 29.
Photo by Michal Daniel.
Twin Cities audiences will get a chance to see the final work in Tarell Alvin McCraney's Brother/Sister trilogy in 2014, Pillsbury House Theatre has announced.
The company, which has produced indelible stagings of McCraney's "In the Red and Brown Water" and "The Brothers Size" at the Guthrie Theater over the last two years, will co-produce "Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet" at the same venue.
Pillsbury House has co-produced the McCraney plays with the Mount Curve Company. All have been directed by Marion McClinton, who returns. No casting has been announced.
"The Brothers Size" starred Namir Smallwood (above left), Gavin Lawrence (right) and James A. Williams. Although “Marcus” will be staged in fall 2014, no exact dates have been announced.
The theater, whose season follows the calendar year, also will be the site of the regional premiere of Johnna Adams’ "Gidion’s Knot." The play, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, is set at a parent-teacher conference and centers on a grieving mother and a distraught fifth-grade teacher. Noel Raymond directs (Feb. 21-March 23, 2014).
Pillsbury House also will present “Mercy Killers,” a solo show written and performed by Broadway actor Michael Milligan. It is about an auto mechanic’s care for his wife and was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Tom Oppenheim directs (April 23-May 4, 2014).
Louie Anderson and Scott Hansen
A few weeks ago, Scott Hansen did something he’s never done in his 36-year comedy career: He walked out of his own show. Hansen has been diagnosed with arthritis in the spine, making it difficult for him to be on stage for very long.
“It’s hard to sit or stand,” said Hansen who is credited for helping make Minneapolis a major comedy player. “I don’t want to put myself in a position where I could fall or get hurt. It’s not worth it anymore.”
Hansen, 59, will do his last New Year’s Eve show at the Maple Tavern, do a few corporate gigs and then officially retire his stand-up act around April. But don’t think the ever resilient Hansen is going to stop going for laughs. He plans to concentrate on writing and developing sitcom ideas. “I’m not going to roll over and play dead,” he said.