Illusion Theater to Kick Off 2014 'Fresh Ink' Series 6/29 with WALKING ACROSS POLAND

Illusion Theater to Kick Off 2014 'Fresh Ink' Series 6/29 with WALKING ACROSS POLAND

This summer's Fresh Ink series gets a headstart June 29-30 with a special preview of a new musical theater production by Illusion's Producing Director Michael Robins and Composer Roberta Carlson. Then in July, the annual showcase brings together a performance celebrating Walt Whitman by Patrick Scully, the third play in a trilogy by James Still and a reading of some still-wet-on-the-page scripts by local playwrights.

Fresh Ink gives space for artists to develop their creative pieces and try their works-in-progress in front of audiences. For three weekends in July, emerging and established playwrights explore new ground, with a different play on stage each weekend. Now in its 27th year, Fresh Ink has presented more than 120 plays, with many going on to become full-length productions.

In advance of Fresh Ink, audiences can preview WALKING ACROSS POLAND with book and lyrics by Robins and music and additional lyrics by Carlson. The play is set during the week of sitting Shiva for Sophie, Robin's grandmother. With musical styles from tin pan alley and vaudeville to Yiddish lullabies, the piece explores Robin's quest to find out the true story of his grandmother's journey from Russia through Poland to St. Paul. The cast includes Norah Long, Emily Scinto, Sally Ann Wright, Jay Hornbacher, Randy Schmeling, Ryan Patrick and Spencer Levin.

All performances take place at the Illusion Theater in the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. Tickets for Walking Across Poland and the new script readings are Pay What You Will; tickets for Leaves of Grass-Uncut and Miranda are $19, and are available at the Illusion Box Office at 612-339-4944 or online at

June 29-30, 2014
By Michael Robins
Directed by Michael Robins
Music by Roberta Carlson

In this musical theater piece, Illusion's Michael Robins explores his grandmother's journey from Russia through Poland to St. Paul in the early 1900s.

July 10-13, 2014
Created by Patrick Scully

A performance celebrating the radical Walt Whitman by Patrick Scully as Whitman, featuring a company of 18 male dancers. The multi-disciplinary performance considers the complexity and courage of Whitman's art, spirituality and sexuality, his life and times.

July 17-20, 2014

This year, Fresh Ink features scripts so new the ink is still drying. Playwrights, titles and actors to be announced.

July 23-27, 2014
By James Still
Directed by Michael Robins

This Illusion Theater commission is the third play in a trilogy of plays exploring the aftermath of 9-11 and the ripple effects on one family. Miranda, who lost her brother in one of the World Towers, is a CIA Operations Officer working undercover in Yemen as a theater director staging Othello. Playwright James Still captures a moment in Miranda's life as she faces a personal and professional crisis.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


WALKING ACROSS POLAND - Tuesday, June 29 @ 7:30pm; Wednesday, June 30 @ 7:30pm
LEAVES OF GRASS - UNCUT - Thursday, July 10 @ 8pm; Friday, July 11 @ 8pm; Saturday, July 12 @ 8pm; and Sunday, July 13 @ 7pm
New Script Readings - Thursday, July 17 @ 8pm; Friday, July 18 @ 8pm; Saturday, July 19 @ 8pm; and Sunday, July 20 @ 7pm
MIRANDA - Thursday, July 24 @ 8pm; Friday, July 25 @ 8pm; Saturday, July 26 @ 8pm; and Sunday, July 27 @ 7pm

Illusion Theater was founded in 1974 and presents its season on the 8th floor of the Hennepin Center for the Arts in downtown Minneapolis. Since the beginning, Producing Directors Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris have led Illusion Theater in illuminating the illusions, myths, and realities of our times and in using the power of theater to catalyze personal and social change. In 38 years, Illusion has generated over 500 plays, developed thousands of artists, and created ground-breaking educational works. Plays developed at Illusion have been produced in theaters throughout the world. Illusion's work has catalyzed conversations in living rooms, kitchens, coffee houses, and board rooms, and has led to transformations in policy, in organizations, in students, and in individuals.

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