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NEWS: Minnesota Theater Awards Out, Twin Cities Theater Celebration In

Photo by Karen Arnold.

Wanted: Photos and videos of theatre people being awesome for end-of-season party. That is, if not the exact words, the tagline essence of the 2019 Twin Cities Theater Celebration.

What celebration, now? If you haven’t heard of the Twin Cities Theater Celebration, don’t be surprised. The September 23 party at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis is the latest incarnation – and moniker – of an evolving idea hatched by Four Humors Theater. After the end of the long-running Ivey Awards was announced in February 2018, Four Humors decided to create and curate a Minnesota Theater Awards ceremony under its own banner. Like a group of native Minnesotans leaving the last piece of cake, however, the MTA organizers collected award nominations but declined to select actual awardees. Thus, the first annual Minnesota Theater Awards were transformed overnight into the first annual Minnesota Theater Celebration. This year, the celebratory mood continues with a more local scale.

Four Humors Theater explained the decision in a statement advertising the September 23 party:

Our driving goal in approaching this year’s event was to center even more on equity and inclusion, particularly voices that have been underrepresented (or not represented at all) in the past. Earlier this spring we brought together a volunteer committee of local theater practitioners representing a multitude of voices from the community. Since forming, this group has met regularly to discuss what an equitable recognition program could and should look like.

What the committee has focused on in that time is what we’ve referred to in the room as “a nesting doll of systemic inequities” in formalized recognition programs. Every time we unpacked an issue to address, we found another foundational issue built right underneath it. What we’ve discovered from these conversations is that in order to get this right, we are going to need more time, more minds, and more resources to help shape a recognition program that we can all be truly proud of.

While you might not want to place any bets on the organization granting awards, one thing’s for sure: it’ll be a party.

Four Humors Theater’s complete call for submission is reproduced below:

In the spirit of our event’s mission to celebrate, elevate, and bring together the Twin Cities theater community, we will once again be presenting a year-in-review slideshow during our party on Monday, September 23 at the Lab Theater.

We’re asking all theater organizations to submit 3-5 hi-res photos and a short 30 second video clip (if available) covering the highlights of their work from the past year. In addition, we’re also collecting mission statements for the slideshow which we hope will bring more awareness to the theater community about the overall scope of the performing arts landscape in the Twin Cities. Finally, we’re asking groups to provide a best estimate for the total number of patrons who attended their work in the past year. These numbers will not be used or released individually, but instead aggregated to help form a general snapshot of the community as a whole.

You can help us immensely by ensuring this email and the submission link below find their way to the people in your organization (or an affiliated organization) who handle such digital media requests.

Materials are due by Friday, September 6.

Thanks, and we hope to see you (and your wonderful photos) at next month’s celebration!

Sincerely,
Four Humors
Submit your digital media here.

Hanne Appelbaum

Hanne Appelbaum is the Editor of the Twin Cities Arts Reader. She was born in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and moved to the Twin Cities to take up a career as a classroom paraprofessional. She is the mother of three children, an enthusiastic educator, and a passionate fan of dance in all of its forms. She enjoys ice skating, Game of Thrones (books over HBO, but who's counting), and restaurant dives.
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