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Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts Present WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS BE

This fall, Interact Theater's incomparable ensemble ignites the stage with their newest creation What Fools These Mortals Be. Master playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling heads up the cast for an unforgettable evening of theater, humor, music, and over-the-top foolishness accompanied by original music and stage direction by Ivey Award-winning composer Aaron Gabriel.

Interact Theater takes on Shakespeare as they celebrate Interact's 20th Anniversary - and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death - with Kevin Kling playing the Bard himself. What Fools These Mortals Be is a mash-up of Shakespeare's most iconic scenes, with Shakespeare's fool characters front and center of the action.

Interact has been exploring the role of "the fool" in history, literature, and theater for the past three years. Court jesters, pranksters, royalty's favored whisperers - throughout history these fools have spoken the truth through humor and innuendo. Today we know that many of these fools had disabilities and their differences marginalized them, but they never allowed their differences to hinder them. Instead, their perspectives gave them a clear vantage point from which they could illuminate human behavior and even change the course of history.

It's 1589 and Queen Elizabeth I has been given bad intelligence by her courtly advisor who overheard "strange sisters" in a dark wood, the advisor reports that a plot has been hatched to perpetrate royal murder most foul and conveniences the Queen that the crime will be committed by her courtly troupe of fools.

As a preemptive measure, Queen Elizabeth I decrees all fools be rounded up and executed. The fools see no other choice other than to exile themselves to the New World. The troupe decides their only way to return home and regain the Queen's favor is to create the greatest play ever written. The future of England, the Monarchy, and foolishness itself rests in their command performance and in the pen of a new playwright named William Shakespeare.

What Fools These Mortals Be is a critical case of Fellini-meets-the-Bard performed with Interact's take-no-prisoners style of humor and heart - shedding light on another layer of Shakespeare's creative genius.

What: What Fools These Mortals Be


Saturday, November 19, 2016 through Saturday, December 17, 2016

7:00 PM and matinee options (Approximately one hour, ten minutes in length)

Saturday, December 3, 2016 - ASL/AD

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - ASL

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - ASL


The Lab Theater

700 N 1st Street

Minneapolis, MN 55401



About Interact

For over 20 years, Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts has been recognized as a leader in the creative community. Its mission "to create art that challenges perceptions of disability" spotlights innovative and engaging performances and exhibits through radical inclusion. Interacts groundbreaking original work has toured nationally and internationally, including England, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Africa, Australia and Thailand.

About the Artists

Count on Kevin Kling to share real-life stories that by all rights shouldn't be true. Kling is best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, for dozens of plays produced by theaters throughout the U.S., and for eating things before knowing what they are. He was born with a congenital birth defect, and a motorcycle accident added considerably to the list of things he cannot do. Like his beloved wiener dogs - his example of a "can do" attitude in a "can't do" body - Kling takes life as it comes, and sees every experience as a blessing and material for a darn good story. He has worked with Interact for two decades as playwright, storyteller, humorist, guest performer and inspiration through the healing power of his stories.

Composer and theater artist Aaron Gabriel has created original songs and scores for some of the Twin Cities' most celebrated companies including Stages, Theater Latte Da, Nautilus Music Theater and Wonderlust. Aaron has been Interact's music director and resident composer for over eight years and in that time has composed scores for over 20 productions. He has collaborated on productions both nationally and internationally including England, Thailand, Africa and India and is a recipient of multiple grants, fellowships and awards including a 2010 Ivey Award for Original Score. Gabriel's music has been called "masterful" and "infectious" with "a caustic edge".

Interact Founder and Artistic/Executive Director Jeanne Calvit is our resident Mistress of Magic. With 40+ years of experience writing, directing, acting, and building the amazing Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Jeanne has a really hard time sitting still. She has studied and traveled through Europe, created theater with Bantu and Pygmy villagers in the Congo Rainforest, and taken Interact Theater on tours throughout the U.S., and to England, Canada, Scandinavia, and Australia. Today, arts organizations throughout the U.S., Asia, Africa, and Europe seek her help in recreating Interact's model of professional theater for artists with disabilities. She has seeded professional Interact-model programs in Australia and New Orleans, and a program for young children with disabilities in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Interact's Artists with Disabilities simply bring it. Serious drama, politically incorrect cabaret, clowning chaos, nothing-sacred humor, dance, music and story - you'll get a taste of their best during What Fools These Mortals Be. Recognized by peers and critics with two Ivey Awards, this company of actors, singers, musicians, dancers and all-around amazing performers is what Interact is all about.

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