In the Spring of 2017, the FOTMD, asked the Guthrie Theater education department to partner on a project, the Mill City Youth Players. Our proposal was to create a theater group of young people (ages 12-23) who lived in our neighborhood. We brought together a group of from the Cedar Riverside community and from YouthLink, a drop-in for youth ages 16-24 who are experiencing homelessness. The idea was for the actors to create a theater experience that culminated in a performance in the Dowling Theater. That occurred on August 24 to a standing room only audience after only 8 rehearsals. We began the second iteration of the project in November, expanded to 20 rehearsals, and hired Guthrie professionals who specialized in writing and another in voice and movement. There were 2 performances on January 25 and 26, 2018, of The M.A.S.K. Project, written by the actors. It was another success.
Our plan for the third round of this project is an expansion. Hiring our own Artistic Director to oversee the project is a giant leap forward. Our plans include a writing class, taught by a teaching professional at The Loft on ‘Jumpstarting Creativity’. The Artistic Director will offer instruction in acting, voice, and movement. We hope to host productions outside, as well as at the Dowling and at Mixed Blood. Please stay tuned for more news about this exciting and dynamic group.