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PREVIEW: Electric Telescope Theatre’s …And Now This Happens (Phoenix Theater)

The cast of …and Now This Happens, which opens Friday at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Dan Reiva.

What should American theatre look like after George Floyd’s death? In a neighborhood where African Americans have continued to die in encounters with law enforcement? In the middle of a pandemic? 

Answers to some of these questions are proposed in …and Now This Happens, a multi-disciplinary theatrical experience presented at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis this Friday and Saturday. This show – a co-production by The Electric Telescope Theatre and the Arts Nest BIPOC Artists’ Fund – was sparked by April 11, 2021, death of Daunte Wright. Wright was fatally shot by law enforcement during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, while the world was riveted by the murder trial for the death of another African American man, George Floyd, in Downtown Minneapolis. As residents and observers alike waited tensely for the Floyd verdict, Wright’s killing 10 miles away caused the community to erupt in protests and property destruction. 

The creation of …and Now This Happens began when Dan Reiva – a staff writer for the Arts Reader and a resident of the same community where Daunte Wright died began capturing neighborss’ reactions to the shooting through their postings on neighborhood blogs. Soon, he recruited a racially diverse cast including Amarkirat Singh, Alex Kouhi, Kennedy Pounds, Luke Zenker, and Mage Adams. Then songwriter Robin Rayfield joined the ensemble to work on music. Through the theatre workshop process, Reiva and the ensemble developed the play from its source material into scenes, music, and poetry, mixing video with live performances.

…and Now This Happens opens at 7 PM on Friday, August 27, at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis, with an additional performance at 7 PM on Saturday, August 28. Tickets are $5.00 are available online and at the door.

Twin Cities Arts Reader