Trademark Theater Announces Second Season

Trademark Theater Announces Second Season

Trademark Theater's sophomore year features the staging of a world premiere production, an intimate one-night-only concert, and a workshop reading that invites the public to engage first-hand in the making of theater. According to Artistic Director Tyler Michaels, "We are doubling down on our commitment to new works by pursuing non-traditional methods of creating and presenting live theater. We were incredibly proud to premier The Boy and Robin Hood in our inaugural year, and I am thrilled that we are continuing to play, challenge, and explore."

The season will begin with a workshop and staged reading of Understood, a new play written by Tyler Mills and directed by Tyler Michaels. The reading will be held at the Playwrights' Center on April 24th and April 26th of 2018. The play asks the question, "In a world fractured by party lines, rigid beliefs, and divided communities, how can we communicate and, more importantly, understand one another?"

The play's surreal story follows a husband and wife who find themselves lost in their young marriage. The inexplicable disappearance of their beloved dog drives them from their relationship and into chance encounters with strangers who hold vastly different worldviews. Through sharp dialogue and fast-paced transitions, the play explores these uneasy relationships using only two performers, emphasizing the play's message that despite the intense disagreements we may have, human beings are ultimately more similar than they are different. "The play takes the position that striving to understand each other is vitally essential in the divided climate we are currently living in," says playwright Tyler Mills.

The season will continue with a live concert featuring new music from The Hollow, an original musical event being developed by Tyler Michaels, Emily Michaels King, Jenna Wyse and Joey Ford. The concert will be held on September 13th at Hook and Ladder in Minneapolis's Longfellow neighborhood.

The Hollow is Trademark's newest project, loosely inspired by Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Jenna Wyse and Joey Ford, members of local bands The Poor Nobodys and Tree Party will perform songs from a "concept album" inspired by themes, events, and images from the Sleepy Hollow novella. "For this iteration of our project, we're excited to move The Hollow outside of a traditional theater setting and give our audience the experience of seeing a live band," collaborator Emily Michaels King shares. "It's going to be a really unique musical journey filled with magic and mystery."

Says Tyler Michaels, "our goal in developing The Hollow is not to create a traditional stage musical, but rather an abstracted musical experience paired with live dance and movement that will invite the audience into a world of chilling moments, and haunting imagery. We are excited by the new forms of theater this exploration will lead us to." The Hollow is Trademark's next adventure in bringing classic stories to life for modern audiences in new and challenging ways.

Trademark will capstone its 2018 season with the world premiere of Understood. The production will begin performances on October 17th and run through November 11th at Soma Studios, a new flexible arts space in the Grain Belt Building in NE Minneapolis. "The space is extremely versatile and has an industrial, stripped down feel that is perfect for our production," Says Tyler Michaels. "It will really help us to bring the audience into the intimacy of the play and allow them to be fully present with the characters and their fellow audience members.

Trademark has intentionally chosen to produce Understood in the weeks leading up to the 2018 mid-term elections because of how important the show's message will be in that politically charged time. The production will host talkbacks and invite community leaders to lead discussions about the topics explored in the piece. Says Playwright Tyler Mills, "it is our hope that the play prompts our audiences to reflect back on their own lives to see how they might better communicate with people they don't agree with. We want these talkbacks and discussions to help anyone take that first step into difficult but necessary conversations."

Ticket packages for Trademark's second season will go on sale April 2nd. Purchasing tickets and more information is available at www.trademarktheater.org.

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