FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2011
Contact: Rachel Flynn, 651.292.4323 x106, firstname.lastname@example.org
A deadly and divisive war on foreign soil,
contentious presidential campaigns,
the civil rights movement…
Seven Playwrights, Eleven Actors, and Five Musicians take on
1968: The Year That Rocked the World
SAINT PAUL, MN – History Theatre has commissioned seven members of the Minneapolis Playwrights’ Center to create seven short plays which offer unique perspectives on some of the culture-shifting, game-changing, generation-defining events the year 1968. The short plays will be strung together in chronological order through a timeline of pop culture references, live music, news headlines, and quotes to create an animated snapshot of life in America throughout the year of 1968. The music in the show will be provided by a band made up of students from McNally Smith College of Music, which will also perform a 15-minute pre-show concert of songs from 1968 in the auditorium as patrons are getting seated. The play follows a similar structure to The 1968 Exhibit which is on display at the Minnesota History Center through February 20, 2012. History Theatre and the Minnesota History Center are teaming up to present "1968: The Year That Rocked the World" at the History Center’s auditorium alongside The 1968 Exhibit, so patrons of both institutions can experience an extraordinary year in an extraordinary way.
"1968: The Year That Rocked the World"
Opens: Saturday, January 21, 2012
Through: Sunday, February 19, 2012
Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays @ 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays @ 2:00 p.m.
ASL/AD performance on 1/29/12 at 2:00 p.m.
Performing at Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd. West, St. Paul, MN
For directions and parking information visit: http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/directions
TICKETS: Tier 1 $38; Tier 2 $34
Seniors (60+ years old) get $2 off regular ticket prices
Students (5 to 18 years old): $15
Discount rates are available for groups of 15 or more.
History Theatre Box Office at 651.292.4323 or www.historytheatre.com/tickets/
Photos are available at www.historytheatre.com/about/press (after 1/20/12)
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About the Play
"1968: The Year That Rocked the World" is a timeline of pivotal events and memorable moments from one of the most volatile and unforgettable years in the last century. With so many major events all packed into one year, finding a way fully express and experience it was no small feat. History Theatre and the Minnesota History Center hope to come close through the combination of The 1968 Exhibit and a play featuring stories by seven different playwrights. Starting in January, the play and the exhibit will live side by side at the Minnesota History Center to give visitors and patrons an extraordinary experience of one extraordinary year. “In mission and spirit, History Theatre couldn’t have worked with a better partner for this project than the Minnesota History Center,” says Karen Mueller, History Theatre’s managing director. “Our hope is that the performance enhances patrons’ experience of the exhibition and vice versa.”
“We picked 1968 as a subject for an exhibit because we guessed that the climactic series of generation-shaping events of that year would resonate for anyone who came of age in that time and would fascinate those for whom the Sixties are legendary,” says Daniel Spock, director of the History Center Museum. “The 1968 Exhibit arrived in October with a heavy metal crescendo worthy of Led Zeppelin as tens of thousands of museum-goers began packing our galleries to revisit the tumultuous year. We are pleased to turn up the volume another notch with the History Theatre’s '1968: The Year that Rocked the World,' a spectacular production that serves as the perfect complement to the exhibit.”
Both the play and the exhibit are laid out in chronological order. The exhibit leads visitors through the year month by month. The play also leads viewers through the year with short plays strung together by a timeline of pop culture references, music, news headlines, and famous quotes, beginning in January of 1968 when the bloodiest assault of the Vietnam War, the Tet Offensive, took over television sets and radios across the world. This moment is examined in the short play "Welcome Home" by Reginald Edmunds, based on the experience of Vietnam veteran and St. Paul resident Jerry Miron. Next the play goes to Memphis, TN shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Christina Ham’s short play "Go Up Together" examines the generation gap that existed within the Civil Rights movement as two striking sanitation workers discuss their situation now that King is dead. Not long after King’s assassination, presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy was assassinated while campaigning in California. The short play "Rosemary" by Kevin Kautzman visits a mental hospital where singer Rosemary Clooney (who was very active in Kennedy’s campaign and was at his side during a campaign event just before he was killed) is trying to regain her voice after the shock of her friend’s death. In "John Mitchell’s Private Moment" by Dominic Orlando, audiences are treated to a satirical look at presidential candidate Richard Nixon through the eyes of his friend, confidant, and law partner John Mitchell (the only United States attorney general to serve a prison sentence due to his involvement with the Watergate scandal). The lasting power of Tommie Carlos and John Smith’s iconic “black power” gesture during the awards ceremony at the Mexico Olympics is explored in Kim Hines’ short play "Smith & Carlos" (which also features a special guest appearance by Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello from the studios of WCCO-TV). The Native American battle for civil rights is explored in "The Corral" by Rhiana Yazzie. Two Native men, victims of police brutality, discuss the state of the world for their friends, their family, their people and the founding of the American Indian Movement. And finally, as the year 1968 ended with a shared moment of beauty when the Apollo 8 crew broadcast images of the Earth as it rose over the horizon of the Moon on Christmas Eve, the play ends with a note of awe and hope with the experience of astronaut Garrett Riesman in the short play by Mat Smart: "Apollo 8."
“'1968: The Year That Rocked the World' hopes to take a look at our country’s struggle to ‘hold it all together’ and examine the American psyche from a diverse and human perspective,” says Ron Peluso, History Theatre’s artistic director. “Certainly, we can’t capture the entire picture in 100 minutes and we can’t cover every story, but we are certain that this new work will ignite many conversations about where we were and what we’ve become.”
"1968: The Year That Rocked the World" was written by Reginald Edmund, Christina Ham, Kim Hines, Kevin Kautzman, Dominic Orlando, Mat Smart, and Rhiana Yazzie, with music arranged and directed by Ivey Award-winner Gary Rue. It is directed by Ron Peluso, scenic design by Justin Hooper, costume design by Kathy Kohl, sound and video design by C. Andrew Mayer, lighting design by Michael Wangen, properties design by Abbee Warmboe, and stage managed by Janet L. Hall. Featuring a cast of 11 performers playing dozens of characters: M. Cochise Anderson, Paul de Cordova, Lynnea Monique Doublette, Eric Knutson, Lindsay Marcy, Kahlil Queen, Randy Schmeling, E.J. Subkoviak, Joe Nathan Thomas, Rob Thomas, and Karen Weber.
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About the Playwrights
Reginald Edmund – "Welcome Home"
Reginald Edmund originally from Houston, Texas is currently a resident playwright for Chicago Dramatists. A two time Many Voices Fellow with the Playwrights' Center, he received his MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University.
Christina Ham – "Go Up Together"
Christina Ham's plays have been produced and developed both nationally and internationally with the Center Theater Group, RedEye Theater, SteppingStone Theatre, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival among others. She is the recipient of a McKnight Advancement Grant and Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights' Center where she is currently a Core Member.
Kim Hines – "Smith & Carlos"
Kim Hines, well known to Twin Cities’ audiences as an actor, playwright and director has her plays produced in theaters across the nation, include the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She has received many grants and awards including a Bush Fellowship for Playwrighting.
Kevin Kautzman – "Rosemary"
Kevin Kautzman is a playwright originally from North Dakota. He attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied history and philosophy, and was a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in 2009-10. He is currently pursuing his MFA in playwriting and screenwriting as a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dominic Orlando – "John Mitchell’s Private Moment"
Dominic Orlando is a two-Jerome Fellow, a McKnight Fellow and a co-founding producer with The Workhaus Playwrights' Collective, company-in-residence at The Playwrights' Center, which produced his Short Play About 9/11 last fall. He is currently working on the book & lyrics for The Barbary Coast a new musical commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the opera Beautiful Creatures in New York City.
Mat Smart – "Apollo 8"
Mat Smart is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, where he was a McKnight Advancement Grant and two-time Jerome Fellowship recipient. His plays have been produced at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf for Young Adults, Passage Theatre, Magic Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, City Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Public Theatre of Maine, Warehouse Theatre, and LiveWire among others. Mat is currently working as a janitor at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
Rhiana Yazzie – "The Corral"
Rhiana Yazzie’s work has been seen on stages from Alaska to Mexico and has been a Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow (2010/2011 and 2006/2007) and is the Artistic Director of New Native Theatre here in the Twin Cities. Recently, Rhiana was jointly commissioned by the Ashland Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the NY Public Theater to write a play for American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle.
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The 1968 Exhibit
Through February 20, 2012
*** Open until 8 p.m. before performances of 1968: The Year That Rocked the World ***
The Minnesota Historical Society, in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, the Chicago History Museum and the Oakland Museum of California, brings you a major exhibit documenting this pivotal year. The 1968 Exhibit is an ambitious, state-of-the-art, multi-media exhibit that looks at how the experiences of the year fueled a persistent, if often contradictory, sense of identity for the people who were there. It is the unsettled nature of the debate about damage done or victories won that makes an exhibit on this subject so compelling and urgent.
$11 adults • $9 seniors (65+) • $9 college students (valid ID) • $6 children ages 6-17
FREE to the public Tuesdays from 5 – 8 p.m. • FREE for MHS members and children up to age 5
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Opening Night Dinner
Saturday, January 21 at 5:30 p.m.
Before the opening performance of 1968: The Year That Rocked the World, patrons are invited to enjoy dinner in the Minnesota History Center Café catered by Bon Appetit. Guests will have their choice of either Beef Pot Roast with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole and Dinner Roll or Four-Cheese Lasagna with Cafe Minnesota Marinara Sauce, Classic Caesar Salad and Herbed Breadstick. Both choices include a pineapple upside down cake for dessert and a free fountain drink. A cash bar will be available. There will also be activities in the rotunda before the show. Reservations are required. 1960s attire is encouraged!
$68 per person (includes dinner and a ticket to see 1968: The Year That Rocked the World)
Afterthoughts Discussion Series
Sundays: 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19 at 4:00 p.m.
Patrons are invited to join a discussion series that will immediately follow Sunday matinees. Afterthoughts will feature guest speakers to talk about topics related to 1968: The Year That Rocked the World as well as the artists who brought the show to life on the stage. Check www.HistoryTheatre.com for a schedule and details about special guests and topics.
FREE to ticketed patrons
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Tuesday Twosome – 2 tickets to any Tuesday evening performance for just $68
Tuesdays: 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/14
Make a night of it for one great price! Get $4 off single ticket prices for "1968: The Year That Rocked the World" PLUS come early and see The 1968 Exhibit for FREE.