Three ways to challenge yourself this weekend


Jan Elftmann’s “White Horse” is made from objects most people would throw in the trash can without thinking twice.

Sometimes seeing great art requires getting out of your comfort zone. That’s where surprises can happen, where you can see the world in a new light, and maybe even learn a little something about yourself in the process.

So, for your consideration, I present you with three opportunities to challenge yourself and try something new.

Challenge yourself to find beauty in your trash can:

Material Memory: The Art of Recycling

Jan Elftmann and Alan Wadzinski breathe new life into sculptural objects by working with the detritus of a consumer culture instead of adding to the global scrap heap. Check out their show at the Gordon Parks Gallery on the Metro State campus, and maybe you’ll look at your own waste with new eyes.

Challenge yourself to see theater in an unusual location:

The Picnic

Written by a poet and performed by some great dancer-actors, “The Picnic” tells the story of a dog and a bird who meet in a city park and fall in love. It’s a family friendly production… and it takes place in a garage.

Now the idea of hanging out in a garage in late October to see a play is likely to make many a Minnesota shake their head, but take your kids to see “The Picnic” and they may just start putting on their own plays in your garage, and how cool is that?

Challenge yourself to see beyond sexual stereotypes:

The Birth of Venus

Betty is a transgender woman who has only two wishes in life: to become physically and emotionally female, and to fly a rocket into space. She befriends Ron, a goofy single father who breaks faces professionally, and Trish, a surgeon struggling to conquer her loneliness. Together they build doghouses, bake cakes, make Play Dough creatures and spaceships, and explore the depths of love and friendship in a play that mixes poetic realism with a touch of the fantastical.

The 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities aims to produce new and progressive work by female, transgender, and gender-queer theatre artists, while also supporting the same gender minorities artistically behind-the-scenes.

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