The participating performance artists are: (L to R from top: Michael Pelley, Leilani Raashida Henry, Jerome Yorke, Catherine Glynn, Hilary Williams, Ben Marolf, Carla Noack, and Tod Petersen.
‘ReCreation in scenic Lanesboro the weekend of Art in the Park’
Professional performers from Southeast Minnesota, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver and beyond will come together for seven days to create seven devised works for two stagings of innovative, inspiring and thought provoking performances at the St. Mane Theatre in Lanesboro on Friday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 18, at 1:30 p.m. Lanesboro artist Catherine Glynn has invited fellow performance artists Carla Noack, Tod Petersen, Jerome Yorke, Hilary Williams, Leilani Raashida Henry, Ben Marolf and Michael Pelley to take some time away from their busy schedules for a week of ReCreation 101.
Inspired by the collaborative and experimental work done by theater companies such as the Rude Mechs, the Neo-Futurists, and the Saratoga International Theater Institute, A.R.T. has been conceived as a multi-year initiative to foster the creation and development of new works, while serving as a performance art companion to the annual Art in the Park fine art festival. The inaugural year’s theme is ReCreation, playing off the Judeo-Christian tradition that it took seven days to create the world, the Buddhist and Islamic notions that there are seven heavens, and the Islamic notion of the seven doors to paradise — with the implication being Lanesboro is an artist’s paradise.
Audiences will be surprised and delighted by seven new devised works of Audacious Raw Theater, each 7-15 minutes in length, while gaining insight into the creation process and embracing the spontaneous. The two performances, which will bookend Lanesboro Arts 37th annual Art in the Park fine art festival, will each be unqiue, as the artists will be revising and recreating throughout their time in Lanesboro. Musician Ben Marolf will also be performing pieces from his show at Art in the Park at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.
Hilary Williams is a Chicago-based actress, writer and educator that has performed with such companies as The Hypocrites, LifeLine Theatre, New Leaf, Rivendell Ensemble, and Shattered Globe. She is currently teaching theater and auto-biographical performance in Chicago with Still Point Theatre Collective to incarcerated women at a federal prison, and previously incarcerated women at Grace House.
Tod Petersen is a Minneapolis-based actor and former company member at the Commonweal Theatre, where he directed “The Nutcracker” and the “Mouse King” and “Arsenic and Old Lace” and Woody Guthrie’s “American Song.” He has worked at many Twin Cities theaters including Theatre Latte Da, The Children’s Theatre, Chanhassen, Illusion, Interact, Minnesota Jewish, History, Minnetonka, Bryant Lake Bowl, Minnesota Fringe, Jon Hassler and Guthrie.
Carla Noack happily lived in Lanesboro for 17 years, where she was a core artist of the Commonweal Theatre Company, a company member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, a spokesperson for Drury’s Furniture, and an ardent advocate of potlucks and sing-alongs. She now lives in Kansas City, where she performs with local theater companies and teaches in the Master of Fine Arts Theater program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Leilani Raashida Henry is delighted to return to her Minnesota roots to produce and perform original theater. Her professional acting and directing experience is in Playback Theatre, an international form of improv. She’s performed in, and choreographed musicals, such as Sweet Charity. As a semi-professional dancer, Leilani worked with various Minneapolis choreographers. In 2015, she played Calpurnia from “To Kill A Mockingbird” in Colorado.
Ben Marolf found his musical passion through four years in the St. Olaf campus band scene. He’s best known musically for stylings influenced by soul and blues. Layering and looping vocal melodies set the tone of his performance. Marolf seeks to create a large space for creative expression through song. He currently hosts the Open Mic Night at the High Court Pub.
Jerome Yorke is excited to be able to come back to Lanesboro, a place he called home as part of the Commonweal family from 2007-2011. Now, he is a devised theater maker and educator specializing in storytelling through movement, mask and theatrical clowning. He is a full-time faculty member for the University of Dayton Theatre, Dance & Performance Technology Program and a core member of UpLift Physical Theatre.
Michael Pelley believes power is found in the people. He is a slam poet and hip-hop artist that seeks to infuse hip-hop sound with various other genres and create music that speaks to the relationships, struggles, and triumphs of the human condition.
Catherine Glynn has been living in Lanesboro since 2011. She shared the stage in six Commonweal productions — some of her favorites include Tracy Lord in “Philadelphia Story” and Elvira in “Blithe Spirit.” She has also performed the solo shows “The Belle Of Amherst” and “Miss Myrna Davenport’s Poetry in Motion” with Lanesboro Arts at the St. Mane Theatre. She currently divides her time between creating on stage and coaching presence and storytelling in the corporate sector with the Ariel Group and Voce Veritas.
Tickets are $20 or $15 for LA members and are sold online at lanesboroarts.org, at Lanesboro Arts Gallery by calling 507-467-2446, and at the St. Mane Theatre box office as available beginning one hour prior to the event. The St. Mane Theatre is located at 206 Parkway Avenue North in Lanesboro.