Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: A family struggles with the death of a patriarch

Also: Middle Eastern dancing and labor unions

a group of actors perform
"They Wear Teal Ribbons Around Their Tongues" at Full Circle Theater.
Courtesy photo

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Confronting shadows

Full Circle Theater Company’s thought-provoking new production “They Wear Teal Ribbons Around Their Tongues” delves deep into the dynamics of a family grappling with the aftermath of their patriarch’s death.

St. Paul actor Chris Collier had a chance to read the script for Full Circle Theater Company’s current show, “They Wear Teal Ribbons Around Their Tongues,” and he’s looking forward to the staged production.

Written by Minnesota playwriter Siddeeqah Shabazz, the play follows a family reconciling with the loss of their patriarch and a burgeoning secret that threatens to shatter their long-held perfect image.  

Trigger warning: the play deals with sexual assault and mental health issues within the family dynamic.

“Especially as it pertains to communities of color and to black families, specifically, I think that there’s such a stigma surrounding mental health and sexual assault that just doesn’t get talked about,” said Collier. “And I think that this show does a great job of addressing a much-needed conversation.” 

“They Wear Teal Ribbons Around Their Tongues” runs through April 28 at the Gremlin Theatre in St Paul. 

Rhythms and threads

Revel in the vibrant energy of the Guild of Middle Eastern Dance’s Spring Spectacular.

MJ Gernes is a St. Paul fiber artist and drummer who has had a chance to drum before with members of the Guild of Middle Eastern Dance.

For more than 40 years, the Guild has drawn dancers from around the Twin Cities and beyond to perform a variety of folk dance styles from across the Middle East as well as other American-fusion styles.

Gernes loves the high energy, the beautiful costumes and welcoming atmosphere of the Guild’s dance performances, and she’s looking forward to their Spring Spectacular, this Sunday, April 21 at 4 p.m. at the Elision Playhouse in Crystal.  

For those interested in learning new dance skills, the Guild is offering six workshops this weekend in St. Paul and Crystal. 

Revisiting rebellion

Experience a timeless tale of struggle and satire with An Opera Theatre’s production of “The Cradle Will Rock.”

Twin Cities illustrator and designer Jerrald Spencer Jr. had a chance to see a preview production of An Opera Theatre’s performance of “The Cradle Will Rock.”

Written in 1937 by Marc Blitzstein and billed as “The Working Man’s Musical,” the opera still feels relevant today; Spencer described it as “Succession meets The Producers.”  

The villainous Mr. Mister (whose wife, naturally, is Mrs. Mister) seeks to control the media and crush rising labor unions.

The opera is laced with some “very, very funny lines,” says Spencer, along with beautiful singing and shadow puppetry, which adds to the emotional depth of the story. 

The Cradle Will Rock runs April 18 – 21 at the Heart of the Beast Theatre in Minneapolis. The show is 90 minutes without intermission.  

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