BEST INDEPENDENT THEATER - 2005
Theatergoers in the Twin Cities are often blissfully unaware of the embarrassment of independent riches in this town. In most other American cities of this size, there are but a handful of theatrical options on any given weekend. Here, a couple of dozen offerings are on the plate at any given time. Earlier this year the tiny CalibanCo served up a quintessential small-theater experience: Neil LaBute on an empty stage in a church basement. Artistic director Jeremy Cottrell assembled a sharp cast for Bash, a series of monologues dealing unflinchingly with death and horrible misdeeds. The small audience (some seated on sofas, for crying out loud!) was treated to an intelligent and emotionally complicated performance that could have translated to almost any stage. Cottrell told the audience beforehand that CalibanCo will be looking for new digs in the future. Let's hope it's a bigger but similarly intimate venue, and that the company can build on its momentum.