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The Quilting of America


Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, May 28, 2001
The story told in Quilters, currently playing at the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, is the story of America. Its the story of America as told by the women who left civilization behind and moved to the frontier West, where endless work, hardship and loneliness were their constant companions. And through it all, these women quilted. And while they quilted they told stories to each other, as they tried to gain understanding and insight into their lives. Among the stories are tales of their girlhood pasts, of the men in the lives and of their numerous pregnancies and children.

The cast of Quilters consists of seven women actors who do a fine job in bringing these stories to life, often times through song. Their stories range from the sentimental and tragic, to the upbeat and humorous. John Black, a Lanesboro-based musician, provides musical accompaniment on guitar, mandolin and other instruments. His performance weaves a subtle and moody background, which conjures up images of the haunting loneliness of the prairie West.

Early on in the play during their cross-country trek across a bleak and hostile landscape, one of the women suddenly jumps from the covered wagon. She peers out towards the endless and treeless horizon as if searching for signs of life. And then she exclaims: "Way far off, I thought I could make out some smoke. People! I thought." Its a poignant moment and one that makes you marvel at the courage and resolve of our pioneer ancestors.

Quilters is a look back at a time that we in 21st century America often feel little connection with. It is through a play such as this that our collective past becomes less abstract and more alive. As a bridge to help the audience make the transition back through time, the walls of the Commonweal theater have been adorned with quilts created by area quilters.

The play is directed by Luther College professor Robert Larson, who has directed six previous plays at the Commonweal. Commonweal company member Christine Winkler, of Lanesboro, provides the musical direction.

Currently in its 13th season, the Commonweal Theatre, in bringing Quilters to the stage, continues the tradition of offering thought-provoking and entertaining plays to their southern Minnesota audience. Quilters, along with the hilarious and off-beat comedy, Art, which is currently playing in repertory at the theater are two more reasons to wish the folks at the Commonweal ano .....
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The "Art" of friendship

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, April 23, 2001

Commonweal Theater Company offers an outstanding execution of French playwright Ms. Yasmina Rezas "Art." But dont let the title fool you. The subject of modern art is a guise for a candid exploration into the meaning of fri ..... 
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Book Review: Recently released Minnesota books

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Last month I attended the annual convention of the Upper Midwest Bookseller Association in downtown St. Paul, a gathering of authors, publishers and independent booksellers.

I was impressed, as I was last year, by the number of fine books of ..... 
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Rushford Library looking at expansion

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, November 20

To build or to remodel? That is the question a Library Taskforce has been considering for the past couple months in the city of Rushford.

The existing public library in the Tew Building, located near Rushfords cent ..... 
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Gateway Towns

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Austin


Greetings from Austin, Minnesota! Located on I-90, visitors from the west will come through this major city located on the Cedar River.

Austin is the home of the Fortune 500 company -- Geo. A. Hormel & ..... 
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Northeastern Iowa

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Northeast Iowa shares much of the same topography of Historic Bluff Country. Limestone bluffs, meandering rivers, springs, and rolling hills in the east and softly rolling hills with rich prairie soil in the west. Minnesota and Iowa also share the sa ..... 
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Anytown, MN

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Nestled in a deep valley of the Root River is the unique city of Anytown. This quaint townsite of less than one thousand residents, located in the state hardwood forest reminds one of the many hillside villages in Norway.

Strolling down the ..... 
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Not in my backyard

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, June 26, 2000

In the usually quiet burg of Spring Valley, the hot topic of conversation has switched as of late. While recent flooding has left the community with much to contemplate, another issue is sizzling to the forefront. Whats ..... 
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Wykoff, MN

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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When you visit the heart of Bluff Country, take the drive on MN Hwy. 80 and you will find Wykoff, "The Gateway to Forestville."

Our limestone karst region is dotted with "sink holes" which indicate caverns below ground. You can visit one of t ..... 
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