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DreamAcres Farm launches play! in the barn series

Fri, Jun 11th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

The Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative of Wykoff, MN, launches a three-part series of summer performances and music on DreamAcres Farm on Saturday, June 26. Performances in the play! in the barn series take place during the fourth weekend of each summer month. Dates for performance events are June 26, July 25, and August 28; performance times vary slightly. This series is supported by an Arts and Cultural Heritage grant through the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council with funds from the Minnesota State legislature.

The play! in the barn series begins with a local and personal contemporary story, moves to a fictional family history, and winds up with mythology and music from distant lands.

Lessons from Cancer College, a one-woman show written by Luther College literature professor Nancy Barry and performed by Kristin Underwood, one-time Commonweal Theatre ensemble member and current director of ArtHaus (Decorah), opens the series and will be performed June 26 at 8pm. The show explores Barry's year of "teaching through cancer," from the perspective of a survivor (who received treatment at the Mayo clinic), and demonstrates how even the most experienced teacher becomes a student when the subject is her own body. Lessons is a surprisingly light-hearted account of one woman's surprisingly difficult year.

The second show in the series, on Sunday, July 25, at 8pm, is entitled Some Kind of Sign: Voices of the Rural Landscape. It is written and performed by Marnie and Nath Dresser of southwestern Wisconsin. The song and poem cycle tells the story of a Wisconsin farm family that is struggling against the economic and physical realities of farm life. Land use policy, the influence of development on farm life, and market fluctuations are touchstones in the narrative, but above all Some Kind of Sign is the story of a multigenerational family. The Dressers were commissioned to write this piece for the 2003 Midwest Rural Arts Forum, and have been performing it since that time. Audience is invited to remain for discussion after the one-hour show.

The final performance events of the play! in the barn series are part of DreamAcres Farm's Onion Fest on August 28. Onion Fest celebrates our multi-layered society through the harvest and enjoyment of a multi-layered vegetable. At 3pm, Children's Stories from India will be performed by Zaraawar Mistry and Greg Herriges. Mr. Mistry tells stories of the type he was told as a child in India. Mr. Herriges provides musical accompaniment. This program is provided to the public free of charge. At 5pm, onion dishes will be available to eat while listening to a local opening band. And, lastly, at 8pm, the Brass Messengers of Minneapolis will play eclectic world music into the evening. Tickets for this Onion Fest evening concert may be purchased at the farm.

The Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and expanding arts experiences in rural Fillmore County. For more information about events or to make reservations, visit websites at or

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