James T. Alfred in “A Brown Tale” at Penumbra Theatre.

Provided by Penumbra Theatre,

Stage spotlight: 'A Brown Tale' at Penumbra

  • Article by: ROHAN PRESTON
  • Star Tribune
  • September 6, 2013 - 2:37 PM

‘A Brown Tale’

Opens Thursday: Penumbra Theatre kicks off its Claude Edison Purdy festival of solo shows with the premiere of James T. Alfred’s “A Brown Tale.” It is a coming-of-age story about a young man from the projects of Chicago who finds theater to be a lifesaver. Alfred, an electric performer who earned a master of fine arts in theater at Harvard, has starred in such Penumbra shows as “Fences,” “Two Trains Running,” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which was staged at the Guthrie and in Arizona. “A Brown Tale” is his first solo work. Actor/director Purdy, who died in 2009, was a founding member of Penumbra. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. next Sun. $15-$61. Ends Sept. 22. Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. 651-224-3180 or


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