Have you heard of The Schubert Club’s arts ambassador program, Theoroi? Now in it’s fifth year, the goal of the program is to cultivate the next generation of Twin Cities arts audiences. The 30 members of this group (all in their 20s and 30s) attend a “sampler package” of ten performing arts events across the Twin Cities to get a wide variety of cultural experiences. The group then uses social media to share their experiences with their own social network.
Much like the Theoroi of Ancient Greece whose job it was to journey to festivals as ambassadors and announce and invite others to these celebrations, the members of Theoroi act as ambassadors of the arts by spreading the word about their cultural experiences through interactive social media outlets of their choice, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.
The 2015-2016 season started in September 2015 and will conclude in June 2016. The group attends one performance per month.
In September, the group attended Dark and Stormy’s Productions presentation of Extremities. Here’s a recap from Theoroi member, Kylie Schultz.
Theoroi’s first event of its fifth, marvelous season started off on September 16 with an intimate and emotional performance by Dark and Stormy Productions. “Extremities”, a 1982 Broadway play later turned movie, explores the ideas of power and vulnerability, as well as gender roles, through an extremely poignant and powerful story surrounding an attempt sexual assault and the subsequent aftermath. Directed by Mel Day, this raw story was brought to life with expert performances by Sara Marsh and James Rodriguez as Marjorie and her would-be rapist, and Tracey Maloney and Emily Bridges as Marjorie’s roommates and moral adversaries.
After the performance, members of Theoroi and the rest of the audience got the chance to discuss the play and its deeply intense and provocative issues with the cast and crew. There was a consensus that the despite the play’s age, the issues and emotions it evoked are as real and relevant as ever.
Members of Theoroi described the play afterwards as “unsettling”, “powerful”, and “evocative”. Despite the very emotional nature of the show, Theoroi members enjoyed pre-show food and drinks at Dusty’s Bar in Northeast, and also enjoyed watching the performance alongside Emily Bridges’ father, Beau Bridges and Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson, who were gracious and unassuming as they enjoyed Emily’s stunning performance. It was an exhilarating, albeit, intense night full of wonderful local theater.
In October, the group attended Murder for Two at Park Square Theater. Theoroi member Stacy Minutolo shared this summary:
The arts ambassadors of Theoroi embarked an amazing adventure on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 when we all came together at Park Square Theatre to enjoy the musical stylings of “Murder for Two.” Our performance was on a 2 Sugar Tuesday event night. So our $20 tickets came with not only a free beverage, but also a pre- and post- show discussion with the comedic duo Shanan Custer and Carolyn Pool.
With libations in hand, we all found our seats and were greeted by Custer and Pool as they introduced the show and with their wits got us anxious about meeting the two actors that were soon to have us spell bound in laughter. Nic Delcambre portrays a local police officer Marcus Moscowicz who desires to become a detective. Lucky for him, an infamous novelist is killed at his surprise birthday party, and the nearest investigator is an hour away leaving Marcus the chance to solve the crime himself. He quickly begins to interrogate each of the party goer suspects, all magically played by Andrea Wallenberg. “Who says one person can’t play 10 characters at once?”
After the performance that required Delcambre and Wallenberg to not only play multiple characters at one time, but to also sing, dance, and play the piano to accompany the show themselves, we were once again joined by the 2 Sugar Ladies. Together Pool, Custer, Delcambre and Wallenberg discussed the techniques and hardships of the show and the theatre business as a whole, and did a quick raffle for a few free drinks, bagels, and theatre tickets.
Learn more about Theoroi, check out the remainder of the 15-16 season and meet this year’s ambassadors at schubert.org/theoroi.