Playwright Lynn Nottage introduced her "Sweat" at the 2017 Tony Awards. Michael Zorn/Invision/AP
We can quibble about the definition of "rural" but this is cool news, nonetheless: New York's Public Theater is bringing its production of "Sweat," which won playwright Lynn Nottage her second Pulitzer Prize, to three cities in Minnesota.
It's part of an 18-city tour to places where the 2016 presidential election was closely contested. Oskar Eustis, who is the Public's artistic director and who grew up in Minnesota, said the tour fulfills the theater's mission to "speak to those who the nonprofit theater has largely ignored: the rural communities of the upper Midwest." In Minnesota, those "rural communities" are Rochester (Oct. 11), Mankato (Oct. 12) and St. Cloud (Oct. 13).
"Sweat" takes place in a Pennsylvania bar, whose denizens bicker and bond over the recent closing of a factory. One of its characters will also appear in Nottage's "Floyd's," which will have its world premiere next summer at the Guthrie Theater.
The production of "Sweat" is part of the Public's Mobile Unit, which was inspired by the performance model developed by Michelle Hensley at Ten Thousand Things, with shows taking place in non-traditional venues such as libraries and community centers. Details are apparently being worked out still but tickets to the shows, presented in collaboration with the Guthrie, will be free, with more information at publictheater.org/en/Programs--Events/Mobile-National.