Frank Theatre is committed to producing work that stretches the artists' skills while challenging the everyday perceptions of the audience.
As you may know, Frank's work is challenging, which is the heart of our mission. This past spring, we participated in an international series of staged readings of Caridad Svich's new play, THE WAY OF WATER. We were also doing a residency with some high school students in an alternative high school in Minneapolis at the time. The students attended the reading and several Frank teaching artists spent 5-6 sessions in the classroom, leading writing and performing exercises that helped link the subject matter of the play with their current academic unit on environmental studies. The students' output was awesome and the highlight was when one of them was asked to read a piece he had written in one of the workshops at the school's gradutation ceremony! This fall, nearly six months after our classroom visits, I got an email from the teacher, saying that in their current chemistry unit, they were studying water and oceans and, at one point, the term "Corexit" (the dispersant used in the BP oil spill) came up. The conversation shifted to the issues of the Gulf that were portrayed in THE WAY OF WATER and the students who were involved in our project became highly animated. The teacher wrote to tell us how amazed she was the the students still remembered the conversations from last spring--a testament to the power of theatre.
We consider one of the highest compliments to be when an audience member tells us "I couldn't stop thinking about that play!" That tells us we did something right. If the work that we've presented on the stage is still sticking with you days after you attended the performance, well, we consider that money well-spent.
This fall, we presented the premiere of THE WAY OF WATER here in Minneapolis. In true Frank fashion, this was a difficult story dealing with painful issues, all present in the world we live in today, performed by a fabulously talented cast and design team. That was the kick-off of our 2012-13 season. Coming up soon, we'll be remounting our alternative holiday classic, the delightfully twisted David Sedaris piece, THE SANTALAND DIARIES (featuring the equally delightful Joe Leary as "Crumpet," the disenchanted elf) at the Southern Theatre. And then, in the spring, we'll be bringing you the area premiere of MISTERMAN, a haunting piece by Enda Walsh, who scored a Tony for penning the book to the new musical ONCE, still playing in NYC. And with that, we launch into our 25th year!
Frank is working hard to increase our programming, to expand our educational efforts and to raise our artists fees. We all know what this economic climate has been like and fundraising for the arts is as challenging as ever. A recent study reflected Frank's own economic base: the arts are funding most significantly by individual contributions. So, in this season of giving, we ask that you keep Frank on your list. We promise that we'll stretch your dollars to their maximum good, and we promise that we'll continue to bring you the ambitious and challenging work that has helped us ride out nearly a quarter of a century--something that we could not have done without your help!
Thanks for remembering Frank on Give to the Max Day.