Illusion Theater's FRESH INK Set for Now thru 7/29


Fresh Ink, Illusion's annual summer series focusing on new scripts, gives space for artists to develop their creative pieces and try their works-in-progress in front of audiences.  For three weekends this month, emerging and established playwrights explore new ground, with a different play on stage each weekend.  Now in its 25th year, Fresh Ink has presented more than 120 plays, with many going on to become full-length productions. 

"This year in Fresh Ink, we go halfway around the world-from India to Indiana, and visit Texas in between. Zaraawar Mistry plays an entire family as he illuminates the Indian-Pakistani conflict in THE OTHER MR. GANDHI; Tessie Bundick digs up details about the Lone Star State and the mysteries of the JFK assassination in IT HAPPENED IN TEXAS; and Chan Poling, Jeff Hatcher and Bill Corbett go Glee with A NIGHT IN OLYMPUS, a prom musical set in the crossroads of America. Politics, Mystery and Music! We promise none of it will be dull, and all of it will be Fresh," said Bonnie Morris, co-producing director of Illusion Theater.
All performances take place tonight, July 12 through July 29 at the Illusion Theater in the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. Tickets for Fresh Ink are $15 per show or $36 for a three-play package, and are available at the Illusion Box Office at612-339-4944 or online at
July 12-15, 2012

Written, performed and directed by Zaraawar Mistry  

The Other Mr. Gandhi is a fictional drama about a Parsi family from Bombay (now Mumbai) caught up in the ongoing conflict between Pakistan and India.  The solo performance is the third piece in a trilogy; the previous works Mistry created were Sohrab and Rustum (City Pages' 10 Best of 2002) and Indian Cowboy (Star Tribune's Outstanding Experimental Work 2006). The Other Mr. Gandhi premiered at Dreamland Arts in February 2012.

Zaraawar Mistry, with his wife Lesley Orr, are the people behind Dreamland Arts, a performance space for theater, music, dance and puppetry in St. Paul.  Mistry is an accomplished director; he served as Associate Artistic Director at Theater Mu (1997-1999). As an actor he has performed at the Guthrie, the Children's Theater Company and Mixed Blood Theater. He has collaborated as an actor, writer and director with Ragamala Music and Dance Theater.

July 19-22, 2012

An historical presentation by Tessie Bundick and Beth Gilleland
Directed by Michael Robins and Beth Gilleland
Tessie Bundick is an actor, teacher, children's illustrator and make-up artist, but most of all, she's a Texan…born in San Antonio a stone's throw away from the Alamo and raised on a cattle ranch. Like any good Texan, she likes to tell tales, and in this Fresh Ink offering, she focuses on her favorite Texas topic:  the JFK assassination.  Together with local talent Beth Gilleland, Tessie discusses the earth-shattering 1963 event that happened in the very heart of Dallas.  She'll reveal a few improbable details she's unearthed, including little-known facts about Jack Ruby and his dogs.  With historical film footage and lots of colorful visual documentation, this interactive conversation also sheds light on the differences between the Lone Star State and the North Star State. 
July 26-29, 2012

Music and lyrics by Chan Poling
Directed by Michael Robins
Assistant direction by Ellen Fenster
Musical direction by Michael Pearce Donley
It's Prom Night gone berserk at Olympus High in this madcap mythological mash-up about love, beauty, chipmunks and the end of the world.  The story follows Maggie, an awkward, overlooked girl whose idea of fun is watching zombie movies with her friend, Harry. Through the mystery of some magic, Maggie is transformed into a beauty and suddenly neither she nor high school are the same.
Bill Corbett is a writer, performer, film writer, beloved as one of the writers and performers of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Bill makes his home in the Twin Cities.
Jeffrey Hatcher is an internationally sought after playwright who makes his home here in Minnesota. Illusion has worked with Hatcher since 1992. Hatcher's plays have been seen on Broadway, as well as every regional theater in America. His screenwriting credits include Casanovawith Heath Ledger and The Duchess with Keira Knightley.   
Chan Poling is a renowned musician, known as one of the founding members of the Twin Cities favorite dance-rock bands, The Suburbs.  He now tours with The New Standards, a trend-setting jazz trio.
Tickets for Fresh Ink plays are $15 each or $36 for a three-play package.  Group discounts are available for groups of 12 or more people. Tickets are available at the Illusion Theater Box Office at 612-339-4944 or online at

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