Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: New theater at Raw Stages

four women sing on stage
Performers in 2023's Raw Stages at History Theatre, which runs through Sunday in St. Paul.
Courtesy of Rick Spaulding

Theatermaker Joe Hendren wants people to know about History Theatre’s Raw Stages new works festival, taking place through Sunday in St. Paul. There’s a reading of a new work-in-progress each day.

These are plays and musicals commissioned by the History Theatre, and this festival is an opportunity for the shows’ playwrights and artistic team to see how an audience reacts, and for the audience to ask questions and offer feedback in a Q&A following each performance. Find the line-up here.

Hendren is especially interested in seeing “Secret Warriors,” a new play written by Rick Shiomi, a founding member of Theater Mu and co-founder of Full-Circle Theater. The play is about the nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) who worked with the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II as translators, codebreakers and interrogators. The show highlights a piece of Minnesota history: the Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling. That reading is Saturday at 2 p.m.

St. Paul artist Stuart Loughridge is looking forward to the opening this Saturday of David Cunningham’s exhibit “City Life” at Gallery 360 in Minneapolis.

Cunningham’s oil paintings focus on urban landscapes and on liminal times of day when the light of dusk or dawn does magical things to a city. Loughridge says Cunningham’s paintwork is “exciting and active,” with elements of abstraction, and he appreciates the mysterious narratives of the people who populate his canvasses.

Visitors can expect to see familiar Twin Cities sights in a new way. The show runs through Feb. 25. 

St. Paul playwright Kyle B. Dekker is a big fan of the Minneapolis band Sycamore Gap, who he always enjoys seeing perform at the Renaissance Festival.

The group sings old world, revival and original folk music about working people, with sea shanties and some yodeling thrown in for good measure. Dekker loves their harmonies and bass rhythms.  

This Saturday, Sycamore Gap will be the closing act in a four-band local concert in South Minneapolis. The event is a fundraiser for the Arbitrarium, an artist coop that is raising money to buy their building and create housing for low-income artists.

The show starts at 7 p.m. and will be livestreamed on YouTube.  

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.