Illusion Theater's 9th Annual LIGHTS UP! Series to Kick Off 1/31

Illusion Theater's 9th Annual LIGHTS UP! Series to Kick Off 1/31
For Illusion Theater's Ninth Annual Lights Up! series, Transatlantic Love Affair, the creators of Minnesota Fringe Festival hit Red Resurrected (2011 Encore Slot Winner) and Ivey Award-winning Ballad of the Pale Fisherman (2010), offers ASH LAND, a tale inspired by economic hardships past and present and scored by old American spirituals and new slide guitar compositions. Opening on January 31, the dynamic and spirited Ash Land runs through February 22 at the downtown Minneapolis theater, located on the eighth floor of The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave.

A story of love and self, lost and found, Ash Land is an innovative re-imagining of the Cinderella story. Using their signature style of physical storytelling, this gifted ensemble breathes life into the arid landscape of the Dust Bowl. The play premiered at the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival and was the best-selling production in that year's line-up. The Star Tribune applauded the ensemble's standout performances noting that "Ash Land showed how inventive and intelligent theater artists can be when they put their muscle behind the work."

Diogo Lopes directs the talented Transatlantic Love Affair troupe in Ash Land, including Heather Bunch (Abigail Stone/Ensemble), Peytie McCandless (Ensemble), Derek Lee Miller (John Stone/Ensemble), Eric Nelson (William Crane/Ensemble), Isabel Nelson (Mary Stone/Ensemble), Adelin Phelps (Ellie Stone/Ensemble), Allison Witham (Ensemble) and Nick Wolf (James Crane/Ensemble). Critically-acclaimed composer/musician Harper Zwicky returns to play slide guitar.

Tickets for Ash Land are $17-$22. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people. Tickets are available at the Illusion Theater Box Office at 612-339-4944 or online at

Performance ScheduleThursday January 30 @ 8 pm - Preview ($10) Friday January 31 @ 8 pm - Opening Saturday February 1 @ 8 pmNo show on Super Bowl Sunday Thursday February 6 @ 8 pm Friday February 7 @ 8 pmSaturday February 8 @ 8 pm Sunday, February 9 @ 7 pm Wednesday February 12 @ 10 amThursday February 13 @ 8 pm Friday February 14 @ 8 pm Saturday February 15 @ 8 pmSunday February 16 @ 7 pm - Audio Described performance Monday, February 17 @ 7 pm - Share the Love Fundraiser for TLA ($20) Thursday February 20 @ 8 pmFriday February 21 @ 8 pm Saturday February 22 @ 8 pm - ASL-interpreted performance | Closing

About the Lights Up! Series Illusion's Co-Producing Directors Bonnie Morris and Michael Robins began the Lights Up! Series with the intention to offer opportunities to younger artists who were interested in not only producing work, but developing work. Some of the artists who have been involved in the series include Nathan Christopher, Ellen Fenster, Katie Guentzel, Lindsay Marcy, Steve Moulds, John Catron, Noah Bremer, Kristopher Lencowski and Eric Powell Holm.

About Transatlantic Love Affair theater ensemble Transatlantic Love Affair specializes in imaginative, movement-based and collaboratively created theatrical storytelling. Headed by co-artistic directors Isabel Nelson and Diogo Lopes, they are the creators of original works Ballad of the Pale Fisherman (MN Fringe 2010; Illusion Theater 2012; Jon Hassler Theater 2012), Red Resurrected (MN Fringe 2011; Illusion Theater 2013), Ash Land (MN Fringe 2012) and These Old Shoes (MN Fringe Festival 2013). Transatlantic Love Affair artists hail from backgrounds and trainings as varied as Live Action Set, Sandbox Theater, the Minnesota Shakespeare Company, the University of Minnesota B.F.A./Guthrie program, and the Lecoq-based London International School for Performing Arts (LISPA).

About Illusion TheaterSince the Illusion Theater's beginning in 1974, Producing Directors Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris have used the power of theater to catalyze personal and social change, illuminating the illusions, myths, and realities of our times. In 40 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, schools and board rooms, and has led to transformations in policy, in organizations and in individuals.

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