Three questions for Bedlam Theatre

Bedlamdrawing.jpgBedlam Theatre isn’t letting the lack of a stage get in the way of its performance schedule.

This month the company is collaborating on events at Intermedia Arts (offering pre-show socializing for The Whiz: Moneyapolis) and at the Walker (in conjunction with Improbable Theatre’s performance). It’s annual 10 minute play festival will happen, too, at the Capri Theater.

Given all the activity, with as-of-yet no news on a permanent home, I checked in with Executive Artistic Director John Bueche to ask him a few questions.

1. What’s the status of finding a new home?

Back in the fall, we decided that besides the Hiawatha corridor in South Minneapolis, we would also consider locating along University Avenue in St. Paul and that the activity in North Minneapolis was worth getting to know better. We scheduled projects in both neighborhoods for May and July of this year… since shows have always been our favorite way to learn new things and get to know people.

So, geographical decision making we see happening late this summer, and within the various geographies, their are a range of options for space.

The VISION of our future home continues to become clearer; we’ve done a lot of work thinking about what we learned in 10 years at our studio and 4 years at our “Social,” and using the other experiments of this year “On Location” to make better sense of what we want.

Growth from ’07-’10 outpaced both our expectations and our infrastructure… so the winter off ALSO provided a nice chance to play catch up, revamp financial systems, reorganize files… all that really, really fun and creative stuff.

How has your new existence challenged your work? Any pleasant surprises?

Sure. With the 10X10 Fest in particular, without a physical clubhouse the creative collaboration BECAME the community. In the 2 months of Ideathons and Project Development sessions we never had less than 125 people in the room. In the end, there’s around 125 people working together to create the 25 10-minute pieces in the festival.

Do you have a timeline for how things will move forward in terms of relocating, etc?

Geographical decision making in the late summer. The vision of our COMPLEX developing over the next 2-5 years. Strongly considering opening a smaller Social outpost as soon as next spring to tide us over in the meantime. Taking advantage of this winter’s downtime to invest in New Work development of a half dozen promising projects.

Oh, and the Cedar Riverside Art Zone for Youth continues full bore, working with Mixed Blood and the Brian Coyle Community Center. There we see a 5 year plan of evolving the neighborhood work there as its own autonomous program or entity. Big events in July.

Did he say “COMPLEX?” This should be fun…