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Red Rock arts center readies for ‘Matriarchy’

June 16, 2012
Kylie Saari , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Blue Earth Readers Workshop is bringing a dramatic production to Fairmont unlike what many have seen before.

Called living room theatre, the production eschews traditional use of a set in its production to incorporate the play into smaller venues.

"Living room theatre is all the rage on the East Coast right now," said the drama's writer Tom Barna, who goes by the pen name T.d. Barna. "It is a very unique theatre experience. It is very intense; not something you see every day at the theatre."

The production style typically is staged in someone's home, but since the concept is new, the show will be held at Red Rock Center for the Arts. Barna said they chose that location because there the audience will not have to look up or down onto a stage.

It is the drama troupe's first foray into the living room style.

According to director Leslie Dupree-Cady: "Living room theater integrates the existing furniture, room layout, and even the house plants into the production set. Sometimes the audience size is limited to a dozen people. It's extremely intimate. Since this is our first 'living room' experience in Fairmont, we chose a small venue versus someone's home. But next go round, who knows."

"Removing the 'fourth wall' between the audience and the actors will create a stirring experience," said actor, Launa Helder. "I promise you that!"

The story the actors will present is called "The Matriarchy."

Barna recommends the show be limited to adults or high school students, as the themes are heavy at times.

The play opens just after the patriarch of a family has died suddenly, leaving the survivors to grapple with a lifetime of lies, abuse and "shadow living," said Dupree-Cady.

Barna said he know dramas are challenging to get on stage these days, and comedies are much more likely to be produced because of wider appeal.

"It is a little risky because of the subject matter," he said.

Still, Barna said the show also opened in Mankato during the month of June. Blue Earth Readers Workshop is based in Mankato.

Tickets are available at Red Rock for $7. The show begins 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23.

 
 

 

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