BEST THEATER FOR NEW WORK - 2003
2301 Franklin Ave. E.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
For a regular dose of new work, keep your eye on the Playwrights' Center (visit www.pwcenter.org for its calendar of upcoming events), which has been giving playwrights a leg up for more than three decades. New plays in various stages of development are routinely read or performed for general audiences at the Center's Waring Jones Theater. The Center for Independent Artists isn't nearly as active, but in supporting creative types who work in various forms (theater, dance, music, visual art, etc.), the organization has become an increasingly important home for new work. This is especially the case with intimate shows by multicultural writers and performers. Housed in El Colegio School, the CIA provides resources and services to freelance artists who might not be able to rent a theater or whose work isn't quite right for other low-cost venues like the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Earlier this year, Carlyle Brown presented The Fula from America, an engrossing memoir about the actor-playwright's early-'80s trip to West Africa. The production was lean, but Brown's artfully delivered script was heavy on vivid detail and perspicacious observations about race, Africa's post-colonial politics, and the possibilities of theater. It seems fitting that among our Top Ten list of shows for 2002 was an offering, Sohrab and Rustum, created by CIA co-founder Zaraawar Mistry--a case of an artist reaping a harvest from seeds he planted as an administrator.