A recent Star Tribune commentary critical of various aspects of the local theater scene has stirred a spirited response on Facebook and local websites.
One outcome is a pancake breakfast this Saturday at which theater artists hope to continue talking about some of the issues raised by director Bryan Bevell in this newspaper on Aug. 12. The breakfast idea, proposed by theater artist Samantha Johns on Facebook, has attracted 65 participants so far, including directors, actors, dancers and more. It's taking place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Ivey Building, 2714 E. 27th St., in Minneapolis. Classic, vegan and gluten-free cakes will be provided, but bring your own plate, mug, silverware and ideas.
Bevell bemoaned a scene that he described as "self-satisfied and uninspired, with little driving passion or evident purpose." Too much local theater, he said, avoids unpleasant subject matter. And there is too little honest and direct dialog about good and bad theater.
Some commenters have agreed, while others have said Bevell overlooked any number of edgier theater artists and groups in the Twin Cities. The back-and-forth chat about the commentary has been summarized by Jay Gabler at the website Twin Cities Daily Planet. There also has been discussion at the local theater sites Callboard and Minnesota Playlist.