There may be more comfortable theater seats, but none are more novel than those offered by PlaceBase Productions.

On May 18, voyageur canoes provided by Wilderness Inquiry will float audience members along the Minnesota River through an original production, “With the Future on the Line: Paddling Theater From Granite Falls to Yellow Medicine.”

Yes, you’ll be paddling.

Theatergoers, paddles in hand, will engage with actors on land and from their canoes for about 8 miles. Historical characters such as Joseph Nicollet or Henry David Thoreau will emerge on river banks, islands and on other watercraft in an interactive journey into the past and future of the Minnesota River Valley.

Yes, there will be ruffians.

The event celebrates the 50th anniversary of Minnesota’s State Water Trails system being established, the first and largest in the United States.

For $10, you can sign up for a spot in guided 10-person voyageur canoes, or bring your own canoe or kayak. You’ll have the option of paddling rapids that have not been seen in 107 years, due to recent removal of a dam. Safety training will be provided.

The daylong event is part of a weekend-long Clean Up the River Environment festival ( with a film festival, historic exhibits, food and live music in Granite Falls. Place­Base Productions works with local communities to create original works of theater performed in specific, local sites around Minnesota.

To reserve a canoe seat, register to bring your own watercraft, or to see a full schedule of events, visit