Minnesota Public Radio's Fitzgerald Theater is engaging local famed humorist, author and playwright, Kevin Kling in a three year residency. During that time Kling will create original productions for the Fitzgerald stage, share commentaries on MPR and conduct storytelling workshops in St. Paul and Duluth.
Obviously as an MPR employee I'm slightly biased, but c'mon, how cool is that?!
Folks will have a chance to see the first results of Kling's residency on the Fitzgerald stage in December. It's a holiday show for all ages "Of Mirth and Mischief." The show's musical director, Steve Kramer, is partnering with Haley Bonar and James Diers of Halloween, Alaska to compose and perform original music for the show.
According to a news release, '"Of Mirth and Mischief" is inspired by the experiences, tragedies and mishaps that have shaped Kling's and Kramer's lives and made them who they are today. The show has a rocker's edge with a distinct sweetness that takes theatergoers down a path of irony through tales of inner-city elves, broken fairies and holiday collisions.'
I'm guessing tickets are going to go fast for this show, so here's the pertinent info:
Of Mirth and Mischief
WHEN: Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17, 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 18, 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: The Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul
TICKETS: December 16 and 17, $29/$27 for MPR members/$20 for kids 12 and under. For December 18, all tickets are $20. Tickets can be purchased beginning August 30 at the Fitzgerald Theater, 651-290-1200.
Dates have yet to be set for the storytelling workshops.(2 Comments)
Recently in an essay for the Wall Street Journal, author and book critic Lev Grossman mused on the lower class status that fantasy fiction garners from most adult readers. Fantasy literature, they seem to believe, is just for kids.
Grossman, the author of the popular "Magicians" series - which is written specifically for an adult audience, disagrees.
"All fiction is fantasy," he protested. "Fantasy is the rule, not the exception. If anything, it's realist literature that pretends to be real. Fantasy doesn't pretend."
Fantasy literature has a wonderfully long history - far longer than realist fiction, which, on the cultural clock, showed up around 11pm. There was a long period of time when most fiction was fantasy fiction - Homer wrote fantasy fiction. And the question whether it was for adults or kids didn't really pertain. You sat around the fire or the mead hall or the scriptorium and you read your Homer.
Only recently - and I peg it to about the 18th century - did this idea that realist fiction - serious writing about how live now - is literature, and all this stuff with fairies and magic in it was relegated to fairy tales or children's stories. That split happened relatively recently, and I think what's happening now is we are repairing the rift. Magic is coming back into the world of fiction, where it's always had a place.
You can hear Kerri Miller's entire conversation with Lev Grossman by clicking on the audio link below.
The Minnesota Historical Society is launching an on-line encyclopedia about the state.
The site, www.mnopedia.org, is designed to offer multimedia entries about significant people, places, events and things in Minnesota history.
The site will grow and evolve over time, but MNHS is inviting the public to kick the tires of this new internet resource. Users are encouraged to test the site, give feedback and help make MNopedia an invaluable A-to-Z resource about Minnesota.
Currently, the prototype provides content in more than a dozen categories, including agriculture, women, architecture, sports and the environment.
In a release sent out this afternoon, Erica Hartmann, MNopedia Editor and Project Manager with the Minnesota Historical Society Press, said "MNopedia is a Legacy project, paid for by Minnesotans, so we want to give the public a real role in shaping it. We want users to tell us what's working and what's not, so we can refine and expand MNopedia in the coming year."
The MNopedia is designed to be a resource not just for history buffs, but teachers, students, journalists and the general public.
Most of the entries will be written by experts; Hartmann says historical society is continuing to recruit new parters and contributors to reflect the states diversity.