The current debate about including women and people of color in the conversation at local theaters fits in perfectly with Ten Thousand Things' latest work, Kira Obolensky's Vasa Lisa. Obolensky, who has previously adapted Crime and Punishment for the theater, has brought a Russian folk tale about a young woman's journey into danger — and a confrontation with the witch, Baba Yaga. As director Michelle Hensley describes it, Vasa Lisa's heroic journey is one that exists far more on the inside than your typical, action-driven male storyline. Bringing a show that resonates with women is important for the theater, as Hensley and Obolensky wanted a piece that would speak directly to the often all-female audiences they get on the show's tour of prisons, treatment facilities, homeless shelters, and other places often underserved by theater. So far, audiences have responded warmly to the story and the company, which includes Elise Langer, Jim Lichtscheidl, Tracey Maloney, Luverne Seifert, and Sally Wingert. The show also features music by Peter Vitale, with the talents of Annie Enneking and Heather Barringer. Hensley says that the goal is to create a world that is bigger than the spaces where Ten Thousand Things performs. $15-$25. Visit www.tenthousandthings.org for showtimes. The production is at Open Book May 4 through 13 and at the Minnesota Opera Center (620 N. First St., Minneapolis) May 18 through 27. For tickets call 1.800.838.3006.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m. Starts: May 4. Continues through May 13, 2012