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A zany and hilarious evening

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arts and entertainment Red Wing, 55066

Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

Soapbox Players presents 30 Neo-futurist plays from "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes."

Julie Martin directs this production, created by Greg Allen and written by an experimental theatre troupe from Chicago called the Neo-Futurists.

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As the long name implies, there are 30 short plays performed in 60 minutes, but this is not a typical production of short plays. The order is determined by the audience.

The program includes a menu of plays identified by number and title.

Between shows, the audience is invited to shout out the number of the play they most want to see next.

This is followed by a mad scramble as the cast sets up for the next randomly selected play.

Martin developed an interest in this show after seeing it performed by the Neo-futurists, "I saw this play in Chicago and it was zany and hilarious. The plays are about random thoughts, fears, and other real situations that all of us think about or go through. It just goes to show - a play can be written about absolutely any human experience, the audience yelling out was the best part," she says.

The minute you walk in the door, you will get a taste of the unusual theatrical experience you are about to encounter.

Some of the performers will be selling tickets, and they will ask you to determine the price. You can pay the standard admission of $10, or you can choose to gamble on your ticket price by rolling the dice to select a price between $7 and 12.

You will also be given an alias for the evening.

According to one critic, the plays are silly, irreverent, sometimes thought provoking, and always short.

They are also recommended for mature audiences only. Once a play is selected, it begins when one of the actors calls out "Go!" and ends when one or more of the actors calls "Curtain."

A large timer on the stage ticks off the minutes until the end of the show and if there are any plays remaining when the timer goes off, a randomly selected audience member who is designated the "Official Audience Member" gets to decide whether the show continues.

The ensemble cast includes Jake Chalmers, Jeff Chalmers, Justin Lewis, Jessica Lindstrom, David Oakes, Helene Olson Reed, Jesse Stewart, Melanie Velasco and Marcy Watzl.

Traditionally, if the show is a sell-out, the cast must order pizza. Don't be surprised if a cast member talks to you during a play; you may even be asked to settle an argument between cast members.

Soapbox Players is a local theatre group that has been performing at the Hobgoblin Music Loft since 2006. The mission statement is: "To offer sometimes juicy, always thought provoking, financially accommodating old and new works of live theater that will keep you on the edge of your seat and in the front of your mind."

If you go...

When: Friday Oct. 7-8, 13-15, at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Hobgoblin Music Loft, 920 Highway 19

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