Theatre Novi Most presents Something about a Bear reading today

Charles Campbell and Brant Miller
Charles Campbell and Brant Miller
Photo by Anya Kremenetsky

Today, Theatre Novi Most hosts a world-premiere reading of Something About a Bear, a script by Constance Congdon based on a Russian play called An Ordinary Miracle by Evgeny Shvartz. The reading is part of a collaboration between Theatre Novi Most, the University of Minnesota Department of Dramatic Arts and Dance, and the Playwrights' Center.

Luverne Seifert Jared Zeigler
Luverne Seifert Jared Zeigler
Photo by Anya Kremenetsky

Novi Most co-founder Lisa Channer says the reading will be of the play's first draft, with a cast of 18 (including Charles Campbell, Annie Enneking, Brant Miller, Luverne Seifert, and students from the university). The project is part of the University of Minnesota's Reimagining Community and Arts partnership, a program that allows students to work with professional arts organizations. Past projects have included collaborations with companies such as Theater Latte Da, Joe Chvala's Flying Foot Forum, and Black Label Movement. "The point of the program is to give students more of an apprenticeship experience with a university incubator," Channer says. "It makes bridges a little stronger. It's a great initiative." 

Constance Congdon, meanwhile, is a core member at the Playwrights' Center, and the play is one of the projects the organization has been supporting. The project has included a five-day development workshop, and later on in April there will be fully staged performance at the Rarig Center.

Theatre Novi Most presents Something about a Bear reading today
Photo by Anya Kremenetsky

The play's story is about the power of love. There's a king and a princess and a man that gets turned into a bear. There's magic and humor, and it's for all ages, though the target audience will be young adults and adults. "Not every eight year old will get it," says Channer. 

The company has chosen to set the story in northern Minnesota. There is a wizard who is living in exile off the grid, as he is taking a break from wizardry. 

For the final production later this year, there will be a strong musical element, using the talents of Johanna Gorman-Baer, who composed music for The Oldest Story in the World, Channer says. This week's workshop has also included experimentation with music, such as learning a thousand-year-old song from Sweden.  


The reading today is free, and takes place at 3 p.m. at the Playwrights Center. 

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The Playwrights' Center

2301 Franklin Ave. E.
Minneapolis, MN 55406


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