Live Action Set and The Southern Theater Co-Present BASIC NORTH, 6/28-7/8


The Ivey Award winning Live Action Set co-presents the premier of Basic North, an evening in three directions, its newest and bravest original production, June 28–July 8, at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.

With Basic North, the genre-bending troupe returns to its roots in dance and European clown. The company explores new territory by taking inspiration from mask technique, bottled messages, and 8-bit Nintendo soundtracks. Basic North includes three independently directed "chapters." Linking these three chapters is a collaborative rehearsal process guided by one principle: no bullshit.

Executive Director Joanna Harmon asserts, "We dive into this project asking the question, 'What is honesty on stage? To discover an answer, we challenge ourselves to avoid theatrical devices that we've learned in the past and come to rely on."

During the 5-month long rehearsal process, the artists also engaged in technique workshops to expand their artistic vocabulary. Poignant, poetic, and amusingly astounding, Live Action Set carves out new artistic avenues in what promises to be the most intriguing show of the season.

Basic North unleashes the imaginations of more than a dozen collaborators. As director of Chapter 1- Without Wax, Argentinean-born Dario Tangelson showcases work based on his technique originating from neutral mask. As director of Chapter 2- Quiet Heart, Noah Bremer makes his Live Action Set directing debut since performing with Cirque du Soleil. As co-directors of Chapter 3- Start Select, Emily King and Ryan Underbakke continue their collaborative partnership since performing at the Walker's Choreographers' Evening in 2009. The three chapters intertwine as they are propelled forward by their guiding "basic north" of inspiration.

Contributing to the creation as performers are Crane Adams, Noah Bremer, Joanna Harmon, Emily King, Christopher LaPlante, Dustin Maxwell, Skyler Nowinski, Tyler Olsen, Anna Reichert, Stephanie Shirek, and Katelyn Skelley.

Committed to sharing discoveries of their robust rehearsal process with the community, on Saturday, June 16, at the Southern Theater, the directors of Basic North will lead a workshop exploring the theatrical techniques and inspiration supporting the production. Live Action Set will also present a free public showing on Sunday, June 17, at 5pm at the Southern Theater.

The co-presentation with Live Action Set marks the Southern Theater's first collaborative effort after financial challenges in April of 2011 forced a major operational overhaul. When asked about the change General Manager of the Southern Damon Runnals says "the strong success of our subsidized access program has made this exciting collaboration with Live Action Set possible".

Live Action Set's relationship with the Southern Theater began in 2005 when the company created a site responsive piece in the theater's lobby based on the history of the building as a gathering place for Swedish immigrants. But, their love affair began much earlier as solo performers who graced the Southern's stage. Since then, in 2006 and 2008, the company premiered at the Southern The Percussionist (part of Momentum: New Dance Works, co-commissioned by the Southern and the Walker Art Center) and The Piano Tuner.

Preview performances run Thursday June 28 @ 8pm, Friday June 29 @ 8pm. Opening Night Gala performance is  Saturday June 30 @ 8pm. Additional performances play Sunday July 1 @ 7pm, Thursday July 5 @ 8pm, Friday July 6 @ 8pm, Saturday July 7 @ 8pm and Sunday July 8 @ 7pm.

For tickets, visit or call 612.340.0155 x 310. Previews - $18; General Admission - $25; Opening Gala Performance - $28; Student / Child - $15

The Southern Theater is located at 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55454

Live Action Set is a non-profit, Minneapolis-based performance company whose artistic mission is to create visually poetic, wildly imaginative and intellectually accessible performance experiences that harness the indefinable power of the human spirit. Since its inception in 2003, LAS's performance style has centered on devised, ensemble-driven work that dissolves boundaries between artistic genres and draws on forms of "physical theater," "classical theater" trainings, and dance. LAS prides itself on artistic excellence. Its productions have been widely hailed as "courageous", "beautiful," "daring," and have received numerous accolades, the most recent of which was a 2011 Ivey Awards for "Best Overall Production" in recognition of the creative ingenuity of The 7-Shot Symphony. Live Action Set is led by Noah Bremer, artistic director, and Joanna Harmon, executive director. The creative team includes Ryan Underbakke as artistic associate, and an ensemble of 24 Live Action Artists.

The Southern Theater, a 210-seat theater in Minneapolis, cultivates artistic exploration by providing a vibrant home for performance, fostering a multiplicity of voices, and catalyzing connections among artists and audiences. Located in the Seven Corners district of Minneapolis, near the University of Minnesota's West Bank campus, our intimate, 210-seat house has served as a leading and valued venue for eclectic, experimental, and engaging works that appeal to diverse audiences. We are a vital incubator, assisting Minnesota artists in their research and development in the fields of dance, theater, and music. We provide a stage for new works and facilitate the presentation of artistic expressions that often are not found in competing venues.

Photo credit: Eric Melzer

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