Best Drama (Theater) - 2011
Life's a Dream (Ten Thousand Things)
Anyone who values the art of acting should find Ten Thousand Things' approach thrilling. The stripped-down, in-the-round productions focus nearly all of our attention on the performers, who carry the day, often in front of audiences completely new to the theater (be it at a community center or a prison). Life's a Dream features a thick stew of ideas, from predestination to the healing power of forgiveness to the often futile nature of fighting and war. As expected, the production turns on the actors: Namir Smallwood as the young, imprisoned prince, Stephen D'Ambrose as his longtime jailer, and Maggie Chestovich as a woman searching for love, or revenge. The show's finale produced 10 of the most spellbinding minutes of theater in recent years in the Twin Cities, but it was built on the hard work done in the previous two hours.