This past weekend I thought it would be fun to take in a play. But rather than go to one (of the many) great theaters in the Cities, I found myself in a historic home in Taylors Falls.
I attended a performance of The Cherry Orchard, originally by Anton Chekhov, in this case adapted by Sarah Myers. This production was a segment of the Cherry Orchard Project, which involves professional actors from the Twin Cities (from theaters like the Jungle Theater, the Guthrie, and the former Theater de la Jeune Lune) taking the play on the road to various small towns around the southern half of the state.
This project was funded by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The mission behind the project is to bring quality theater to communities outside of the Twin Cities.
It’s an interesting choice of a play in that The Cherry Orchard is about a Russian estate that has fallen on financial hard times and is facing auction and the likelihood of the property being divided and sold into small residential lots—sound familiar?
Taking the play into historic buildings gives both the play and the buildings added importance. In Taylors Falls, the production was at the Folsom House, at the edge of the Angel Hill District and former home of lumber baron and six-term state senator W.H.C. Folsom.
I would highly recommend taking this in if you have the chance. The performers gave heartfelt, and often very funny, performances, and seeing this in a historic home, up close and personal (during the final party scene, the audience doubled as party guests and were offered olives as an appetizer, and several times I was within inches of the actors) really heightens the experience. Besides, it’s the perfect excuse to visit these beautiful pieces of Minnesota’s history.
What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.