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PENUMBRA

THEATRE

20 16 17 40TH SEASON

l stil we rise


LETTER FROM THE CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTORS

Forty years ago a group of artists

In that time we have

We did more than build

dared to dream of a place where

premiered 34 shows by

a theatre, we made a home.

their voices could be heard,

black artists, bringing fresh

And we’re not done—forty years

where their stories could be

voices to the Twin Cities

is just the beginning.

shared, where their culture

and to American theatre.

would be respected, where

We have hired, nurtured, and

We welcome you into a

the truth would be told. They

developed more artists of color

brave, bright future for

imagined a place where the

than any other theatre company

Penumbra. We invite you

African American experience

in the Twin Cities. We have

into our home to stand with

would be recognized, validated,

pressed our audiences to

us to recognize difficult truths,

and valued. A place where their

confront difficult issues and

to celebrate monumental wins,

parents could come, see them

led them with compassion

to boldly face history, to stare

perform, and be proud. A place

toward transformational

down the injustices of the present,

where the caliber of the art

dialogue and actionable

and to stand for equity wherever

would reflect the depth of

outcomes. We have raised

it is needed. Penumbra offers a

their culture. With little more

our voices in shining harmony

unique opportunity to witness the

than their courage to urge

to joyfully lift the human spirit.

power of art unleashed toward

them on, Lou Bellamy and the

We have trained generations

justice: a righteous, focused,

founding company produced

of teenagers in our practice of

and unyielding commitment

Penumbra’s first full season.

art for social change. We have

to lifting us all toward the

We have consistently produced

celebrated the weddings, births,

light of hope and change.

plays every year since

and home-goings of our artistic

for four decades.

family. We have kept the light burning.

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JOIN US IN THE LIGHT. WE ARE GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME. WE ARE THE FRUIT OF MANY GENERATIONS COME AND GONE. WE ARE AS FULL AND AS DEEP AS THE MIDDLE PASSAGE ITSELF. WE ARE THE ANCESTORS AND THE UNBORN. WE ARE THE MARGINS AND THE LIGHT. WE ARE PENUMBRA. AND STILL, WE RISE. EXPERIENCE THE ART YOU

LOVE

PENUMBRATHEATRE.ORG / 612.224.3180 See page 38 for more details

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FOUR DECADES OF STRUGGLE AND TRIUMPH. PRIDE AND PERSEVERANCE. UNFLINCHING HONESTY AND TRANSCENDENT BEAUTY. PENUMBRA RETURNS WITH A MILESTONE CELEBRATION WORTHY OF THE HEROIC PAST AND PROVOCATIVE FUTURE OF BLACK ARTS. JOIN US AS A NEW ERA AWAKENS FOR OUR COMPANY AND OUR COMMUNITY.

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l stil we rise 5


SUMMER INSTITUTE TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACTIVIST ARTISTS

Penumbra’s Summer Institute is a multi-year leadership development program training young artists to critically engage the world around them and to respectfully take action to realize the luminosity of their dreams. Students explore who they are and discover their own power to make change. Join us for two weekends of activist art as we celebrate brave new voices in theatre!

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AWAKE

AUTHENTIC

Visionaries in the making. Directed by Austene Van JULY 30, 2016 AT 7PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– An evening of original ensemble work written and performed by first year students who are standing up and speaking out about their world. Witness their bravery and welcome their leadership. 

Honest. Outspoken. Face to face. Directed by Claribel Gross AUGUST 6, 2016 AT 7PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Featuring original monologues written and performed by second year students who employ the power of their art to address issues that concern them. The evening includes a postshow discussion facilitated by the artists.

“I entered Penumbra’s Summer Institute completely unaware of race relations and social injustice, but left with a strong desire to inspire my community and peers to take action.” —Emma, Summer Institute Graduate


Summer Institute student Saharla Ayan Vetsch

ON STAGE

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JITNEY AUGUST WILSON’S

DIRECTED BY LOU BELLAMY

Sonja Parks and Ahante Young in Jitney (2000).

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“Explosive... Crackles with theatrical energy.” - NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

OCTOBER 13 THROUGH NOVEMBER 6, 2016 JITNEY Produced by Penumbra in 1985 and 2000 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– It is 1977, and in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, city officials threaten to level a makeshift taxi dispatch office where neighbors have gathered for years. At a time when safe and comfortable transit was not guaranteed for black customers, Becker’s car service provided mobility and a modicum of respect for the community. Now his building has been identified as

prime real estate for redevelopment, and he might be forced out of business. Meanwhile, his estranged son has been released from prison and wants to come home. As pressure mounts, Becker is forced to reckon with powers beyond his control. Jitney is an “explosive” and “gripping” portrait of African American life from the pen of one of America’s greatest writers. Join us for a riveting production brought to you by the nationally-known and criticallyacclaimed creative team at Penumbra Theatre.

BOOKEND CLASSES OCTOBER 17 AND NOVEMBER 7 AT 12:30PM

POST-PLAY DISCUSSIONS OCTOBER 20, 27 AND NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Learn more about the play with other curious theatre lovers! At the first Bookend class, explore the script and gain insight into the production. Then, see the play on your own. Finally, return for the second Bookend class to enjoy a lively discussion about the issues the play illuminates.

When faced with the loss of a dream, what can you do to persevere? How can we nourish our communities to ensure they thrive? Join us as we explore the ingenuity and creativity that make underserved communities resource-rich in spite of inequity.

ON STAGE

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BLACK NATIVITY LANGSTON HUGHES’

DIRECTED BY LOU BELLAMY

NO ONE DOES CHRISTMAS LIKE PENUMBRA! BLACK NATIVITY Musical direction by Sanford Moore with the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Choir and choreography by Uri Sands –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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DECEMBER 1 THROUGH 23, 2016

This timeless holiday tradition is treasured by families across the Twin Cities. Today, kids who grew up with Black Nativity are returning with their own families. Under the direction of Lou Bellamy and the musical direction of Sanford Moore, this homegrown Christmas show returns with exceptional lead vocalists, the outstanding Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Choir, and the stirring choreography of Uri Sands of TU Dance. Join us for an experience full of joy, community, and spirit.


“hand-clapping, foot-stomping showstopper” - STAR TRIBUNE

POST-PLAY DISCUSSIONS DECEMBER 8, 15, AND 22, 2016 Dennis Spears in Black Nativity (2013).

How does the Nativity story provide guidance and inspiration for our community? What are your hopes and wishes for the New Year? Join us as we reflect on the season and set intentions for the year ahead.

This production is sponsored by Best Buy. Opening Night is sponsored by RBC Wealth Management.

ON STAGE

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DANIEL ALEXANDER JONES’

BLACKLIGHT A SOULFUL EMBRACE OF LIFE AND LOVE. BLACK LIGHT Part of the Claude Edison Purdy Festival –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Long-time Penumbra company member Daniel Alexander Jones returns to the Twin Cities with Black Light, the newest iteration of performance featuring the original and elegant Jomama Jones. Moving and grooving between song and monologue, the diva and soulful songstress explores love and life with

FEBRUARY 2 THROUGH FEBRUARY 12, 2017

extraordinary style and strength. Featuring original songs from Jones’ forthcoming album Flowering, created with Bobby Halvorson, Black Light includes music by celebrated pianist Samora Pinderhughes and vocalists Laura Jean Anderson and Kelly Erin Sloan. Representing radical love at the heart of black and queer theatre, Jomama Jones’ joyous reflections expand our capacity for love.

UNCOMFORTABLE Identity under pressure. A special workshop production by BriAnna M. Daniels as part of the Claude Edison Purdy Festival FEBRUARY 4 AND 7, AFTER BLACK LIGHT –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

POST-PLAY DISCUSSION FEBRUARY 9, 2017 How do we perform ourselves in every day life? How do we see ourselves reflected on stage? Join us as we explore the vast spectrum of identity in black art today.

Penumbra’s commitment to train and nurture the next generation of activist artists has produced talented emerging performers, and we want you to see them! This onewoman show examining race, gender, and homelessness is a smart, searing portrait by Penumbra Summer Institute graduate BriAnna M. Daniels. Audiences will have two opportunities to witness new work as it is developed in workshop productions after Black Light. Don’t miss your opportunity to support a brave new voice in theatre!

Penumbra Theatre in partnership with BriAnna M. Daniels is a fiscal year 2016 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership grant from the Minnesota States Art Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota States Art Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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ON STAGE


“a fusion of retro-fun, camp, and theatricality” - TIME OUT, NEW YORK

CLAUDE EDISON PURDY

was a founding member of Penumbra who believed that an artist’s greatest responsibility was to tell the truth, no matter how daunting. In his honor, this festival celebrates the insightful, independent voices of contemporary black theatre artists, their courage and vision.

Jomama Jones in Black Light.

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ZAKIYYAH ALEXANDER AND IMANI UZURI’S

GIRL DIRECTED BY MAY ADRALES

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ON STAGE


Why is it so hard to grow up?

SHAKES LOOSE A POWERFUL COMING-OF-AGE MUSICAL GIRL SHAKES LOOSE World Premiere –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Why is it so hard to grow up? GIRL is a good girl: smart, beautiful, and a little rebellious, or, as her family would say, “hard-headed.” For the most part, she has played by the rules, finishing college and then graduate school. She is perfectly poised for success, but something is in her way. Floundering in love, life, and career, GIRL goes on a journey to discover what she’s missing, but wherever she goes, there she

is. Eventually, GIRL learns that what she’s seeking is herself: powerful, grounded, and so much stronger than she thought. A groundbreaking new musical by Zakiyyah Alexander and Imani Uzuri, GIRL Shakes Loose is the soulful story of one woman’s search for herself. Based on the lush poetry of Sonia Sanchez and featuring a stirring original score, you won’t want to miss this world premiere. Brimming with hope, humor, and headstrong passion, you’ll cheer GIRL on, remembering your own journey along the way.

APRIL 20 THROUGH MAY 14, 2017 BOOKEND CLASSES APRIL 24 AND MAY 15, 2017 AT 12:30PM Learn more about the play with other curious theatre lovers! At the first Bookend class, explore the script and gain insight into the production. Then, see the play on your own. Finally, return for the second Bookend class to enjoy a lively discussion about the issues the play illuminates.

POST-PLAY DISCUSSIONS APRIL 27 AND MAY 4 AND 11, 2017 How well do you know yourself? Is identity fixed or always evolving? What forces have shaped you into the person you are today? Join us as we journey through self-discovery and learn to stand in our own power. This production is made possible in part through the generous support of The Joyce Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, and The Map Fund. Opening Night is sponsored by RBC Wealth Management.

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40 YEARS OF U CHALLENGE, COM

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First year Summer Institute students.


SING THEATRE TO MENT, AND MODEL.

SUPPORT THE ART YOU

LOVE

PENUMBRATHEATRE.ORG / 612.224.3180 See page 34 for more details

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LEt’s TALK

Voting Rights Then & Now

HISTORY REPEATING.

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LET’S TALK


JOIN US FOR A DISCUSSION THAT REVISITS THE HARROWING HISTORY OF THIS IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION LET’S TALK: VOTING RIGHTS - THEN AND NOW Penumbra Theatre RECEPTION AT 6:00PM PROGRAM AT 7:00PM ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Penumbra’s Let’s Talk Series creates space for compassionate and challenging conversations around issues of social justice, equity, and the arts. Hosted by Sarah Bellamy, the event begins at 6:00pm with refreshments and light bites, followed by a 90-minute presentation and discussion.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act was a watershed moment in American history, coming after a long struggle to protect the rights of the poor, the disenfranchised, and people of color. After a century of deliberate and violent denial of the vote to blacks, Native Americans, and Latinos, the Voting Rights Act banned racial discrimination in voting practices by federal, state, and local governments. Arguably the most effective civil rights law ever enacted, it enabled the enfranchisement of millions of minority voters. In 2016 we see

MONDAY OCTOBER 24, 2016 major blows to this critical piece of legislation including restrictive voter registration requirements, redistricting plans that dilute minority voting strength, discriminatory annexations, and inaccessible polling places for minority voters. What can we do today to ensure that all Americans have unimpeded access to the polls? How can we encourage advocacy for the poor and disenfranchised? Join us for this timely discussion and hear from activists working to prevent voter suppression today.

Let’s Talk Series sponsored by 3M.

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LEt’s TALK

Celebrating RONDO

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LET’S TALK


THE BEATING HEART OF SAINT PAUL LET’S TALK: CELEBRATING RONDO Penumbra Theatre RECEPTION AT 6:00PM PROGRAM AT 7:00PM ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Penumbra’s Let’s Talk Series creates space for compassionate and challenging conversations around issues of social justice, equity, and the arts. Hosted by Sarah Bellamy, the event begins at 6:00pm with refreshments and light bites, followed by a 90-minute presentation and discussion.

MONDAY DECEMBER 12, 2016 Before Interstate 94 split apart the neighborhood, Rondo was the heart of Saint Paul’s largest African American community. Black businesses thrived, black families owned homes, and black social and cultural life were vibrant. Rondo was the seat of great political power; in 1921 Minnesota was among the first states to pass an anti-lynching law largely due to the advocacy efforts of Rondo residents. In the 1960s, as Civil Rights efforts gained traction, the construction of the freeway displaced thousands of black

Minnesotans, leaving them vulnerable to widespread segregation and a discriminatory housing market. The roots of Rondo are still strong. Penumbra Theatre, along with other black businesses in the neighborhood, anchor the heart of this powerful legacy and serve as beacons where a historic and living community can congregate and celebrate. Join us to learn more about Rondo from the elders who were responsible for its stewardship and hear plans for increased vitalization.

Let’s Talk Series sponsored by 3M.

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divas LEt’s TALK

SHE WILL OVERCOME LET’S TALK: DIVAS Penumbra Theatre RECEPTION AT 6:00PM PROGRAM AT 7:00PM ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Penumbra’s Let’s Talk Series creates space for compassionate and challenging conversations around issues of social justice, equity, and the arts. Hosted by Sarah Bellamy, the event begins at 6:00pm with refreshments and light bites, followed by a 90-minute presentation and discussion.

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LET’S TALK

MONDAY MARCH 13, 2017 Josephine Baker, Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Diana Ross, RuPaul, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Big Freedia, Janelle Monáe. These are just some of the bold, beautiful, and brave performers who have used their incomparable talent to raise awareness about issues of civil rights, social justice,

and equity. Some of their fights were public, others behind closed doors, but these trailblazers have transformed the industry and their audiences. Join us as we delve into the lives of our sister soldiers in entertainment and celebrate their legacies with tribute performances from our own local divas!


LEt’s TALK

Sustaining Theatres of Color

ARTISTS ON THE FRONT LINES

MONDAY MAY 15, 2017

LET’S TALK: SUSTAINING THEATERS OF COLOR Penumbra Theatre RECEPTION AT 6:00PM PROGRAM AT 7:00PM ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Penumbra’s Let’s Talk Series creates space for compassionate and challenging conversations around issues of social justice, equity, and the arts. Hosted by Sarah Bellamy, the event begins at 6:00pm with refreshments and light bites, followed by a 90-minute presentation and discussion.

Minnesota’s diverse theatre ecology includes five vitally important theatres of color: Mu Performing Arts, New Native Theatre, Pangea World Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, and Teatro del Pueblo. Together these theatre companies nurture artists of color, provide authentic depictions of

our peoples and cultures, and serve communities of color with accountability and pride. Join us to learn more about the Twin Cities Theatres of Color Coalition and how we are working together to ensure that theatres of color not only survive, but thrive.

Let’s Talk Series sponsored by 3M.

LET’S TALK

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40 YEARS OF NUR PERFORMING AR

The Ballad of Emmett Till (2014). 24


TURING A BLACK TS COMMUNITY.

EXPERIENCE THE ART YOU

LOVE

PENUMBRATHEATRE.ORG / 612.224.3180 See page 38 for more details

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RISE FEBRUARY 1 THROUGH FEBRUARY 28, 2017

with penumbra

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY WITH PENUMBRA THEATRE! FOR FORTY YEARS PENUMBRA HAS ILLUMINATED THE DEPTH AND BREADTH OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. THIS YEAR WE’RE OFFERING YOU GREAT OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED AND EXPLORE AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE. JOIN US FOR THIS SERIES OF FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENTS!

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SUNDAY SUPPERS Nourishing our souls, bodies, and community. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Sundays offer a day of rest, renewal, and togetherness within the black community. In February, you can join us for a communal meal and animated readings of classic black plays and stories performed by Penumbra Company members. A great event for the whole family to celebrate the creativity, tenacity, and sustenance of African American culture. Let’s nourish ourselves.

TAKE A GIANT STEP By Louis S. Peterson SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2017 FROM 4-6PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

This endearing coming-of-age story premiered on Broadway in 1953 and centers around Spencer Scott, an African American adolescent growing up in an all-white neighborhood. As his white friends begin courting neighborhood girls, Spencer poses a problem. Suddenly childhood friendships become a lot more complicated. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Includes dinner and reading.

FOLKTALES SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2017 FROM 4-6PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Cherished folktales collected by Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Arna Bontemps were passed down generation after generation. They are imbued with love and a desire to protect young people from the real dangers of our grown-up world. Folktales helped prepare youngsters to overcome adversity with subtle lessons about racism, poverty, justice, and freedom. Recommended for children 5 and up. Includes dinner and reading.

RACE WORKSHOP Experience our acclaimed equity work in the heart of Rondo. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017 AT 2:00PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Penumbra has steadfastly worked towards the elimination of racism through our performances and community programs. For the past decade our RACE Workshops have opened transformative dialogue among thousands of participants in government sectors, corporations, media, and universities. This year we bring the work home to Penumbra and offer you an opportunity to participate. Join our skilled facilitators and artists as we use the tools of theatre to get you thinking in new ways about race and identity in America. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

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Minnesota History Center

THE NATION’S PREEMINENT AFRICAN AMERICAN THEATER AT 40.

ON VIEW PENUMBRA THEATRE AT 40 Art, Race and a Nation on Stage FEBRUARY 18-JULY 31, 2017 Minnesota History Center –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– For 40 years Penumbra Theatre has illuminated the power, potency, and pride of black life and culture. Founded in 1976 by Lou Bellamy, Penumbra activates social change through extraordinary art, education, and community programs authentically grounded in the African American experience. Celebrated both locally and nationally, the theater has

launched the careers of many respected playwrights and introduced Minnesota audiences to 34 premier voices, including two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson. Penumbra’s role in shaping the ecology of Twin Cities’ arts is immeasurable: in 1976, black artists were relegated to small or stereotypical roles – today, black talent can be seen on professional stages throughout Minnesota. Opening in February 2017, the Penumbra Theatre at 40 exhibit commemorates Penumbra’s 40th

Penumbra Theatre at 40 is organized by the Minnesota History Center in partnership with Penumbra Theatre Company, the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries, and Umbra: Search African American History. Funding for this exhibit is made possible in part by the Legacy Amendment, thanks to the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008, who provided a gift for future generations.

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40TH ANNIVERSARY

anniversary with a rare, behindthe-scenes look at the tenacity, vision, and talent that made this art come alive. Celebrate the nation’s largest and preeminent African American theater company, right in your backyard. See the original scripts, props, costumes, set pieces, and photographs that document the epic journey of this company and the people who sustain it. Dig deep and join Penumbra Theatre in its unwavering commitment to artistic excellence and social justice. More info at: penumbratheatre.org


PRESENTED BY

ANNIVERSARY GALA Penumbra Theatre’s

ANNIVERSARY GALA

SAVE THE DATE: MAY 20, 2017 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– You only turn 40 once! This birthday is particularly special for Penumbra: this season marks the official leadership transition from Founder Lou Bellamy to

our next Artistic Director Sarah Bellamy. Join us to celebrate 40 years of eye-opening, thought-provoking, critically acclaimed art! Presented by Target, this black tie affair will feature guest appearances by superstar talent, including performances by Penumbra Theatre Company members,

CELEBRATE THE THEATRE YOU LOVE. and a silent auction. This is one dinner party you don’t want to miss. Join us to celebrate, to support the theatre you love, and to raise a glass to another 40 years! Stay tuned for more information. If you are interested in learning more about the gala, please call 651.288.7787.

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REELTALK JOIN US FOR FILM SCREENINGS FOLLOWED BY A PROVOCATIVE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE THEMES. REEL TALKS ARE FREE, BUT RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.

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REEL TALK


EYES ON THE PRIZE: BRIDGE TO FREEDOM (1965)

BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ

56 minutes, 1987 MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 AT 7PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– This seminal Civil Rights series was made for television and aired over a period of three years in the late 80s and early 90s. Regarded as essential viewing for anyone striving to understand American history, Bridge to Freedom is the harrowing account of efforts to restore voting rights in Selma, Alabama, during the Selma to Montgomery marches. Learn about the strategies and planning that went into the 54-mile march and the brutal resistance that awaited protestors as they approached the Edmund Pettus Bridge in a clash known as “Bloody Sunday.” This powerful documentary tells the story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions changed America forever.

91 minutes, 2015 MONDAY APRIL 3, 2017 AT 7PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Maya Angelou called Sonia Sanchez “a lion in literature’s forest” while spoken word artist Bryonn Bain credits her with paving the way for his generation: “she not only opened the door, she blew off the roof.” Sanchez revolutionized poetry by incorporating street language, a unique performance style, and collaborations with jazz musicians. BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez offers unprecedented access to the life, work, and mesmerizing performances of the renowned poet and activist. A leading figure in the Black Arts Movement and an inspiration to today’s hip-hop spoken word artists, Sanchez has helped redefine American culture and politics as an activist for equity and justice.

BLACK IS…BLACK AIN’T

PARIAH

88 minutes, 1994 MONDAY JANUARY 16, 2017 AT 7PM ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Over 20 years after the filmmaker’s death from AIDS, Marlon Riggs still stands as one of the most important and courageous resistors to racism, heterosexism, and patriarchy. His body of films, all completed before his death at age 37, speak to centuries-long stereotypes that imprisoned whole swaths of the American population. In Black Is…Black Ain’t, Riggs explores African American identity, investigating a cross-section of black Americans grappling with sometimes paradoxical or contradictory definitions of blackness. Issues of complexion, class, sexuality, gender, education, geography, and religion render certain African Americans “too black” or “not black enough.” Black Is…Black Ain’t is a complicated, award-winning documentary illuminating a range of expressions of African American identity.

86 minutes, 2011 MONDAY MAY 1, 2017 AT 7PM –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– An inspiring and heart-rending coming-of-age story, Pariah follows a 17-year old girl as she discovers her sexuality and challenges her family’s expectations of who she is to become. Writer/director Dee Rees’ sensitive and empowering depiction of Alike’s journey to selfhood earned wide praise at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Rolling Stone called the film “vibrantly alive,” and the LA Times “a stinging, street-smart story.” Pariah introduces audiences to a tenacious young heroine determined to live her life authentically and out loud. Pariah sponsored by Comcast NBC Universal.

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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL TO LEAD WITH PENUMBRA. For forty years Penumbra Theatre has provided a safe space to have difficult conversations that move our communities forward. With Penumbra you can excavate layers of your identity, rigorously engage with the workings of systemic oppression, and reflect deeply on the unique role that you can play in creating lasting social change. Our skilled, highly respected facilitators and gifted teaching

artists create inclusive atmospheres that honor the voices and experiences of everyone present. We are eager to work with any individual or organization that privileges depth over breadth, quality over quantity, and deep engagement over superficial exploration. Learn more about how Penumbra can enrich your life: info@penumbratheatre.org

FOR THE PUBLIC

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THE EQUITY GARDEN

RACE WORKSHOP

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

A comprehensive approach to diversity and inclusion work that enriches the mind, body, and soul. Over four “seasons” participants build knowledge and skills to confront both interpersonal and structural inequity. Become sensitive and attentive to the needs of particular groups targeted based on race, gender, class, sexuality, age, disability, religion and/or place of origin. Sow seeds of equity in your workplace, neighborhood, school, and community. Year-long engagement.

Penumbra approaches issues of race and racism with the fundamental belief that we see difference. Workshops combine expert facilitation, a powerful exploration of race in America, monologues from artists, and opportunities for participants to use theatre as a way to problem-solve and model. The process celebrates difference, recognizes cultural nuance, and invites everyone to participate in the dialogue. 90 – 180 minutes.

Celebrate African American history, culture, and art! Whether you’re interested in booking a formal presentation or hosting a contentrich conversation that includes live performance, we’ve got you covered. Available upon request.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

CONSULTATION Penumbra’s skilled staff members are regularly called upon to provide consultation and support for equity, diversity, and inclusion planning and implementation. We work with non-profits, schools, corporations, and other arts organizations both locally and nationally.


40 YEARS OF CREATING A MORE JUST, AWARE, AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETY. FOR YOUTH ART FOR SOCIAL CHANGE WORKSHOP

RESIDENCIES

Learn how theatre can change the world! This interactive workshop led by stellar teaching artists gets students on their feet and excited about their potential to be agents for change using theatre. 50 minutes.

Offer your students the opportunity to work with outstanding, culturally astute teaching artists using the arts as a platform for deep exploration. Day-long, weeklong, or year-long engagement.

“Our work with Penumbra has made a substantial impact on the diversity and inclusion initiatives at our school, moving us further along the continuum of understanding and respect among the many different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences of everyone in our community.” —St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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SUPPORT THE ART YOU LOVE

THE KATHERINE B. ANDERSEN FUND OF THE SAINT PAUL FOUNDATION WILL DOUBLE YOUR GIFT, DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR JOIN THE BAOBAB FAMILY Loyal supporters make everything we do possible. Only through generous donations are we able to maintain a dynamic, robust season year after year while providing access to the art. Simply put, we need you! As a donor or member of the Baobab Family, you can share in our sense of joy and accomplishment each season and also enjoy benefits throughout the year—invitations to select events, special offers, and so much more. Support Penumbra Theatre at any level and join our Baobab Family of lifelong friends and dedicated supporters.

DOUBLE THE DONATION, DOUBLE THE LOVE This season when you donate to support the art you love, the Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation will double your gift, dollar for dollar, for up to $50,000 in support of our 40th anniversary campaign. Investing in the nation’s preeminent and largest professional African American theatre today ensures a strong foundation for the future of brave, bold art, and high-quality educational programs.

BAOBAB FAMILY ANNUAL LEVELS •

DREAMER $7,500-$9,999 ($625 MONTHLY*) Invitation to a dinner with the Co-Artistic Directors and Company Members Benefits, including those below; $575 not tax-deductible

• •

NURTURER $500-$999 ($50 MONTHLY*) Program acknowledgment Free concessions Benefits, including those below; $150 not tax-deductible

CREATOR $5,000-$7,499 ($425 MONTHLY*) Invitation to Penumbra exhibition party at the Minnesota History Center Benefits, including those below; $425 not tax-deductible

LEADER $2,500-$4,999 ($225 MONTHLY*) • Invitation to Opening Night cast parties Benefits, including those below; $325 not tax-deductible PROTECTOR $1,000-$2,499 ($100 MONTHLY*) • Invitation to a lunch with Co-Artistic Directors Benefits, including those below; $225 not tax-deductible

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BUILDER $250-$499 ($25 MONTHLY*) • Lobby and website acknowledgment Benefits, including those below; fully tax-deductible GROWER $100-$249 ($10 MONTHLY*) • Advance purchase opportunity Fully tax-deductible * Suggested monthly donation at this level. Monthly donors may change or discontinue their support at any time.


40TH ANNIVERSARY CAMPAIGN SUPPORTERS COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS Doug Baker Mary Brainerd COMMITTEE MEMBERS Lisa & Kevin Armstrong Julie & Doug Baker Doris & Tim Baylor Sharon Sayles Belton & Steven Belton Mary & Dick Brainerd Suzanne & Fred Burks Margaret Clouthier & Paul Acito Page & Jay Cowles Kris Arneson Cutler & Clint Cutler Lois & Joe Duffy Kathleen & David Edmond Kay Fredericks & Dick Cisek Phyllis & Bob Goff Jennifer & Russ Hagen Susan & Tom Handley Ann & Chris Hilger Shirley Hughes Josie Johnson Reatha Clark King Eileen & Kevin Maler Wenda & Cornell Moore Bob Olafson

Molly O’Shaughnessy & Mike Monahan Kim & Ron Price Carleen Rhodes Sharon & Bob Ryan Susan & Bill Sands Karol & Jeff Saunders Robyn & Frank Sims Catherine & Paul Stemper Lois & Bill Stevens Laysha Ward & Bill Kiffmeyer Chris & Stew Widdess DONORS* Melanie & Calvin Allen Suzanne Ammerman Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation Anonymous Carol Barnett Ellis Bullock, Jr. Connie Coleman & The Honorable Chris Coleman Muriel & Billy Collins Christee & Pat Donovan Bill Drake Linda Garrett & Sidney Sasser Joan & Bob Grzywinski Robyn Hansen & John Clarey

Rochelle Avent Hassan & Jeff Hassan The Honorable Betsy Hodges & Gary Cunningham Lucy Jones & Jim Johnson Michael Kaiser Susan & James Lenfestey Kathy & Allen Lenzmeier Perrin & David Lilly Family Gaye Adams Massey & Harold Massey Willard McCloud Carol Meshbesher & Archie Givens Lisa Meyer & Sam Grabarski The McVay Foundation Shirley Pearl Stephanie & James Pierce Patty Ploetz Jackie Prince Nina & Ken Rothchild Kay Savik & Joe Tashjian Lisa Stevens & Jeffrey Hatcher Marcia & John Stout Don Taylor Ruth & David Waterbury The Honorable Mimi Wright & Dan Schmechel Diane Young

SPONSORS*

*As of April 1, 2016

SUPPORT

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40 YEARS IS ONLY 36


THE BEGINNING 37


2016-2017 SEASON PACKAGES // ORDER YOURS TODAY! ADVANCE SALE DISCOUNT ENDS JUNE 30, 2016

:::::::::::::::: 4-PLAY PACKAGE // $109

Discounts based on full price tickets. No further discounts for Senior or Student pricing. Questions? Contact Anita at 651.224.3180 or anita.robinson@penumbratheatre.org

Get a 25% discount on these four great presentations: Jitney, Black Nativity, Claude Edison Purdy Festival – Black Light, and GIRL Shakes Loose. Pick your favorite day of the week and performance time!

:::::::::::::::: THE PENUMBRA EXPERIENCE // $252

:::::::::::::::: 3-PLAY PACKAGE // $84

Get a 30% discount and attend every event! Explore themes and issues of equity with artists and friends. Enjoy opening night performances with pre-show receptions that include complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Opening nights only.

Get a 20% discount on these three great presentations: Jitney, Claude Edison Purdy Festival – Black Light, and GIRL Shakes Loose.

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PENUMBRA THEATRE SEATING MAP

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PENUMBRA THEATRE SEASON // PACKAGE ORDER FORM OFFER GOOD THROUGH JUNE 30, 2016 First Name:_____________________________________________________________________ Last Name: _____________________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: __________________________________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________________________________ Email: _________________________________________________________________________

I WANT TO ORDER MY SUBSCRIPTION (choose from one of the three options listed below). SUBSCRIPTION

QUANTITY

A. :::::::: THE PENUMBRA EXPERIENCE :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Get a 30% discount and attend every event! Includes the 4-Play Opening Night package plus all the add-on events listed on reverse. B. :::::::: 4-PLAY PACKAGE :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Includes: Jitney, Black Nativity, Claude Edison Purdy Festival – Black Light, and GIRL Shakes Loose. Select package date & time: Opening Night Thursday (October 13, December 1, February 2, April 20 at 7:30pm) 1st Friday (October 14, December 2, February 3, April 21 at 7:30pm) 1st Saturday Matinee (October 15, December 3, February 4, April 22 at 2pm) 1st Saturday Evening (October 15, December 3, February 4, April 22 at 7:30pm) 1st Sunday Matinee (October 16, December 4, February 5, April 23 at 2pm) 2nd Thursday (October 20, December 8, February 9, April 27 at 7:30pm) 2nd Friday (October 21, December 9, February 10, April 28 at 7:30pm) 2nd Saturday Matinee (October 22, December 10, February 11, April 29 at 2pm) 2nd Saturday Evening (October 22, December 10, February 11, April 29 at 7:30pm) 2nd Sunday Matinee (October 23, December 11, February 12, April 30 at 2pm) C. :::::::: 3-PLAY PACKAGE :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Includes: Jitney, Claude Edison Purdy Festival – Black Light, and GIRL Shakes Loose. Select package date & time: Opening Night Thursday (October 13, February 2, April 20 at 7:30pm) 1st Friday (October 14, February 3, April 21 at 7:30pm) 1st Saturday Matinee (October 15, February 4, April 22 at 2pm) 1st Saturday Evening (October 15, February 4, April 22 at 7:30pm) 1st Sunday Matinee (October 16, February 5, April 23 at 2pm) 2nd Thursday (October 20, February 9, April 27 at 7:30pm) 2nd Friday (October 21, February 10, April 28 at 7:30pm) 2nd Saturday Matinee (October 22, February 11, April 29 at 2pm) 2nd Saturday Evening (October 22, February 11, April 29 at 7:30pm) 2nd Sunday Matinee (October 23, February 12, April 30 at 2pm) Amount reflects advance price subscription savings. Continue on reverse.

AMOUNT

TOTAL

252

$

109

$

84

$

SUBTOTAL

$

If you have any questions or need help filling out this form, please call us at 651.224.3180.

SEASON PACKAGES

39


I’D LIKE TO ADD ON EVENTS. 3 or 4-play package buyers save 20% on single tickets to any additional event (discount included in prices below). Now through June 30. Only available with purchase of a season ticket package. EVENT

DATE

YOUR PRICE

Summer Institute: Awake

July 30, 2016 at 7pm

$

Summer Institute: Authentic

August 6, 2016 at 7pm

$

Reel Talk: Eyes on the Prize

September 19, 2016 at 7pm

Bookend Package: Jitney

October 17 and November 7 at 12:30pm*

$

Let’s Talk: Voting Rights - Then and Now

Monday October 24, 2016 at 6pm

$

Let’s Talk: Celebrating Rondo

Monday December 12, 2016 at 6pm

$

Reel Talk: Black Is…Black Ain’t

January 16, 2017 at 7pm

Sunday Supper: Take a Giant Step

Sunday, February 5, 2017 from 4-6pm

$

Sunday Supper: Folktales

Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 4-6pm

$

Race Workshop

Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 2pm

$

Let’s Talk: Divas

Monday March 13, 2017 at 6pm

$

Reel Talk: BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

Monday April 3, 2017 at 7pm

Bookend Package: GIRL Shakes Loose

April 24 and May 15 at 12:30pm*

Reel Talk: Pariah

Monday May 1, 2017 at 7pm

Let’s Talk: Sustaining Theatres of Color

Monday May 15, 2017 at 6pm

QUANTITY

TOTAL

8 8

FREE 12 16 16

FREE 12 12 20 16

FREE 12

$

FREE 16

$

* Price includes tickets to both Bookend classes; does not include tickets to the performance.

SUBTOTAL

I’D LIKE TO REQUEST THE FOLLOWING SEATING:

$

We will do our best to honor your seating preference.

Helpful Information

Seating Request (check one). I require wheelchair accessible seats.

Return this invoice with your payment before the subscription deadline to receive priority status.

Notes:

I prefer to sit closer to the center.

Important

I prefer to sit closer to the aisle.

Your order will not be processed without payment. Checks and credit card charges will be deposited within six weeks. Tickets will be mailed to address on front of form.

I prefer to sit further back.

Penumbra Theatre reserves the right to adjust seat locations based on Production or Box Office needs. Programs, artists, prices, & dates subject to change.

I’M READY TO CHECK OUT. Calculate your total: Subscription Total $ Add-On Event Total $ Donation* $ Grand Total $ Subscribe By Mail. Return this form with credit card info or with a check made payable to Penumbra Theatre and send to the address below:

Penumbra Theatre 270 North Kent Street Saint Paul, MN 55102

Please Charge My Card American Express

Mastercard

Visa

Credit Card Number / Expiration Date

CV Code

Name on Card

Subscribe By Phone. Call 651.224.3180, Mon - Fri 10am - 4:30pm.

Signature

* WHEN YOU DONATE TO PENUMBRA, THE KATHERINE B. ANDERSEN FUND OF THE SAINT PAUL FOUNDATION WILL DOUBLE YOUR GIFT, DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR.

40

Discover


SUBSCRIBE AND GET THE BEST VALUE!

Explore themes and issues of equity with artists and friends and save up to 30% with a subscription. SEASON PACKAGES

41


2016-2017 SEASON AT-A-GLANCE ON STAGE

LET’S TALK

REEL TALK

MORE!

SUMMER INSTITUTE: AWAKE JUL 30, 2016

SUMMER INSTITUTE: AUTHENTIC AUG 6, 2016

EYES ON THE PRIZE SEP 19, 2016

JITNEY

VOTING RIGHTS - THEN AND NOW

BLACK NATIVITY

CELEBRATING RONDO

OCT 13 THRU NOV 6, 2016 DEC 1 THRU 23, 2016

OCT 24, 2016

DEC 12, 2016

BLACK IS…BLACK AIN’T JAN 16, 2017

BLACK LIGHT

PENUMBRA THEATRE AT 40

FEB 2 THRU FEB 12, 2017

FEB 18 THRU JUL 31, 2017

SUNDAY SUPPER: TAKE A GIANT STEP FEB 5, 2017

SUNDAY SUPPER: FOLKTALES FEB 19, 2017

RACE WORKSHOP FEB 25, 2017

DIVAS

MAR 13, 2017

GIRL SHAKES LOOSE

BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ

APR 20 THRU MAY 14, 2017

APR 3, 2017

SUSTAINING THEATRES OF COLOR MAY 15, 2017

42

PARIAH

40TH ANNIVERSARY GALA MAY 20, 2017

MAY 1, 2017

ON STAGE

LET’S TALK

REEL TALK

Penumbra Theatre produces artistically excellent, thought-provoking, relevant art that illuminates the human condition through the prism of the African American experience.

Penumbra’s Let’s Talk Series creates space for compassionate and challenging conversations around issues of social justice, equity, and the arts. Hosted by Sarah Bellamy, the event begins at 6:00pm with refreshments and light bites, followed by a 90-minute presentation and discussion.

Join us for film screenings followed by provocative discussion about the themes. REEL Talk is free, but reservations are required. Each event begins at 7:00pm.


OUR FAMILY PENUMBRA STAFF

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lou Bellamy, Founder and Co-Artistic Director Sarah Bellamy, Co-Artistic Director Shannon Brunette, General Manager Dana Beasley, Interim Director of Advocacy Jeff Freeman, Grants Manager H. Adam Harris, Associate Director of Programming and Lead Teaching Artist Carra Martinez, Ph.D., Director of Praxis Anita Baccus Robinson, Director of Audience Services Amy Thomas, Director of Marketing Stephanie Lein Walseth, Ph.D., Director of Inquiry Allen Weeks, Production Manager

Lou Bellamy Sarah Bellamy Paul Acito Katrice Albert Kris Arneson Cutler Kathleen Edmond Carson Funderburk Duane Johnson Kevin Maler

Mark A. McLellan Robert Olafson Jeffrey N. Saunders Catherine Stemper Bill Stevens Brooke Story Tim Sullivan Sarah Walker Caroline Wanga

INFORMATION

43


NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

TWIN CITIES, MN PERMIT #8341

270 NORTH KENT STREET | SAINT PAUL, MN 55102

Advance Offer Good through June 30, 2016

PENUMBRA THEATRE 2016/17

l stil we rise Join us @PenumbraTheatre

Penumbra Theatre: Still We Rise  

2016-17 season brochure

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