Those with a hankering for high-quality, relatively inexpensive contemporary American theater in unorthodox settings have a couple of intriguing options in the coming weeks. Opening April 8 is The Presence of Children, the first production by Emigrant Theater (co-founded by Jason Brown, Matt Di Cintio, and Jessica Finney). It's a new play by Di Cintio, a dramaturge and playwright (who has also previously contributed to City Pages), and it's being staged in the Triangle Services of Minnesota Warehouse (behind the C.C. Club). The play is an absurdist comedy about a couple's 30 invisible children and a father's obsession with a handgun. Even invisible children need room to roam, and their needs will be met. I dropped by a rehearsal last week and found, predictably I suppose, a warehouse without the wares--big, empty, cavernous. Seeing it transformed into an up-close-and-personal venue should be part of the fun.
A week later sees the opening of American Sublime, a collaborative undertaking by Building 7 Productions, Gallery Atitlan, and the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Local actor Terry Hempleman is point man and one of the stars of the show, a psychological thriller by Patty Lynch about contemporary American nationalism. It takes place in an art gallery (in reality and within the drama), and the action starts when a rookie guard is alarmed by a couple's intense interest in a landscape painting. Hempleman is joined in the production by actors Casey Grieg and Brian Goranson. The gallery itself is a serenely atmospheric space, and the production promises to tease out some of the interesting interstices between the public and the private, as well as the innocent and the guilty, in America today.
The Presence of Children; at Triangle Services of Minnesota Warehouse; 2609 Aldrich Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.605.8497.
American Sublime; at Gallery Atitlan; 10th Street South between Portland and Park Avenues, Minneapolis; 612.436.5555.