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Commonweal Theatre announces 2014 Student Matinee Series

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Arts & Culture

LANESBORO, Minn. — The Commonweal Theatre Company announces its Student Matinee Series for the 2014 spring and fall semesters. This program reaches more than 2,000 regional students and teachers annually as part of Commonweal Theatre’s goal that every student from the area will have had the opportunity to attend live, professional theatre at least once by the time they graduate high school.

At a cost of only $5 per student, the experience begins with classroom teachers receiving supplemental videos and a comprehensive enhancement guide which includes a plot synopsis, background information about the play and playwright, and sample questions for discussion. Commonweal actors then visit the classroom to lead a presentation about the performance the students will see and discuss the elements that go into putting a play on stage. Every student matinee performance also includes a post-performance discussion with members of the cast, where students can ask questions about the show or the work of the theatre in general.

This year’s season of plays has something for all ages and enhances studies in literature, history, religion, drama, and more. In the spring, the Commonweal will offer Jeffrey Hatcher’s world-premiere adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s epic play Brand. The story follows fundamentalist pastor Brand on his journey toward spiritual perfection. Also available starting in May is the classic American comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. Nothing is quite what it seems in the home of Martha and Abby Brewster and when their nephew Mortimer uncovers a secret hidden in a window seat, the mayhem truly begins!

When the new school year starts in September, students can come to see a global adventure as Phileas Fogg accepts a seemingly impossible wager in Around the World in 80 Days. Also this fall, Commonweal will present Arcadia —an intellectual and romantic comedy spanning present day and 19th century England. The Tony-Award winning play is considered to be playwright Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece.

In November and December, students of all ages will help us celebrate the holidays with laughter during the run of Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some). Rather than perform A Christmas Carol as always, three actors decide to retell every Christmas story imaginable in 90 minutes. The results ensure laughter right through the New Year.

Commonweal’s Student Matinee Series is underwritten by F&M Community Bank of Preston and Tri-County Electric Cooperative. F&M additionally provides free admission to students from Lanesboro, Chatfield, Mabel-Canton, and Fillmore Central. Dates and times are limited, so early bookings are strongly encouraged. For more information, contact David Hennessey at 507-467-2905 x205 or email david@commonwealtheatre.org.

For young theatre artists looking to transition from their academic to professional careers, Commonweal’s Apprenticeship Program is a 10-month immersion in the theatre’s artist/administrator model. In addition to roles onstage and behind-the-scenes, the Apprentice Company rotates through assignments with the Sales and Marketing, Development, and Production Teams to gain practical experience in all aspects of operating a non-profit organization. To learn more about the Apprenticeship Program, call Hal Cropp at 507-467-2905 ext 203 or email hal@commonwealtheatre.org.

The Commonweal Theatre Company is a non-profit professional theatre with year-round mainstage and educational programming located at 208 Parkway Avenue North in historic downtown Lanesboro, Minn. Funding for Commonweal’s programming is provided in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and private funders. For more information, visit www.commonwealtheatre.org or call the box office at 800-657-7025.

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