Quote of the Day: We’re a destination theater. Director Jeremy Stanbary. I’m quoting him from our informal chat during intermission of Open Window Theatre’s first production in four years, The World Over. The play is symbolic for many things: life, death, wandering through the wilderness, seeking your purpose. It’s also symbolic of the trials that Jeremy and the Open Window Theatre company have endured. In their old location in Minneapolis, they were starting to thrive. Then, there were problems with the building, a lawsuit, and a four year hiatus from producing theater. I watched from the sidelines, rooting for this small theater company with a big heart and larger mission. So, I made it a point of finding my way to their new space in Inver Grove Heights (which is way out of the way for me, but I had other events in the city, so it worked) to support them. They’re now just south of St. Paul, so that might be a great location for some people, occupying space in an old strip mall which is right off of I-494, so actually pretty easy to find, and lots of free parking!
I enjoyed watching The World Over. It’s an epic journey, following our hero from birth to death and all the trials and tribulations along the way. Adam (Andrew Hey) would be dead if it were up to his corrupt uncle, but is saved through the kindness of a stranger, spends the rest of his life trying to find his way back to place called Gilderay. We meet all sorts of evil characters along the way. They are greedy and cruel. We’re witness to much violence (several deaths are played out on stage), and punishment from one character to another. The harshness of life is strong. And, yet, we’re also witness to great kindness, perseverance, and finally reunion and redemption.
Andrew Hey does a great job of portraying Adam at all the stages of his life, and temperament. The rest of the eight person cast play numerous roles. Transitions happen smoothly, and many times the actors sparked our imaginations with their storytelling and focus. Director Jeremy Stanbary also provided the lighting/projections and sound design which really enhanced the experience. The fight scenes were also well choreographed by Fight Choreographer Michael J. Anderson. Bravo to the entire cast and crew for rising above all your trials and tribulations and coming out on top with this fine production of The World Over!
Because the mission of Open Window Theatre is to provide “multigenerational professional theater with a redemptive vision to the Twin Cities,” and to provide an experience that ultimately is uplifting, it does become a destination theater. This is a great place to bring your youth group and church organizations. All of their shows offer something to ponder and produce great discussion. Two of their previous performances Lilies of the Field and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, are among my favorite performances. Up next at Open Window Theatre is Tolkïen by Ron Reed, a play about the friendship between two great fantasy writers, J.R.R. Tolkïen and C. S. Lewis, which is sure to attract fans our their stories. Performances run from April 17 – May 17, 2020.
You can see The World Over at Open Window Theatre in their new location in Inver Grove Heights through March 17, 2020.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Where are you at on your life’s journey? In a deep valley? Wandering through the wilderness, or celebrating a mountain top experience?