Though cultural transformations tend to possess a diaphanous quality, making it difficult to perceive evolving shifts in our social mindset, every so often a specific time period will be retrospectively recognized as an era of profound change. One year commonly singled out as a drastic turning point in American life is 1968, a 12-month span in which underlying societal fractures broke through to the surface, unifying and polarizing with a severity still being felt today. Intending to capture the chaotic contradictions and earnest aspirations of that tumultuous year, the History Theater is launching 1968: The Year That Rocked the World. A dramatic supplement of sorts to the 1968 exhibit currently being hosted by the Minnesota History Center, this evocative new production conjures seven distinct voices in a multifaceted narration that mirrors the diversity of our population. Designed in collaboration with the Playwrights' Center, 1968 not only reflects upon national tragedies (Vietnam, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy) and groundbreaking triumphs (the launching of Apollo 8), but also recounts the everyday realities of those living through extraordinary times. Imbuing the atmosphere with pop-culture artifacts and an era-defining musical soundtrack, 1968 looks to be a stirring rumination on the combustible moment when the lid finally blew off America's alleged melting pot.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 19. Continues through Feb. 19, 2012