Critically Acclaimed Outdoor Walking Play Set to Tour the Midwest

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TigerLion Arts presents "Nature", an outdoor walking play that combines art, nature, education and history through the mythic telling of Emerson and Thoreau's friendship and mutual love of the natural world. The critically acclaimed production is set to perform in outdoor spaces at colleges and arboretums across the Midwest.

Outdoor theater has been a primary focus of ours for the last 15 years ...We have learned, through past experiences how to work with nature’s elements to create an extraordinary experience for our audiences

TigerLion Arts launches the national tour of "Nature", a critically acclaimed immersive theatrical experience, honored as one of 2014’s most striking performances by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The outdoor performance, co-presented by Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Hennepin History Museum, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and City of Lakes Waldorf School, is set in Washburn Fair Oaks Park and will run July 8-12, 2015.

TigerLion Arts is a recipient of a major Minnesota State Arts Board Touring Grant and together with these partners will present this rich and dynamic outdoor family friendly experience that combines performance, nature, education, and history while set against the natural beauty of Minneapolis and beyond.

“Nature” is a playful outdoor walking production filled with music, song, and story about Emerson and Thoreau’s mutual love of the natural world. Audience members are welcomed into the rolling hills, and amongst the native trees by live music and rich choral arrangements. Attendees are transported back in time through a conversation between two of the great innovative minds of western civilization, along with the professional ensemble of actors, to four different locations throughout the park - all the while enjoying the fresh air and natural scenery as the scenes unfold around them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s direct descendant, Tyson Forbes (Guthrie Theater, Ordway, Jungle Theater, Theatre Forever, and multiple TigerLion Arts productions), collaboratively created “Nature” and is joined by partner/director/producer Markell Kiefer. “I have always felt honored to be an Emerson descendent. I feel an intimate responsibility to his lineage, and for years I have imagined a play that could bring his spirit and teachings, along with that of his friend and fellow author Henry David Thoreau, to a broader audience. It was always our intention with Nature to create a show that would reconnect its audience with the natural world,” Forbes said.

“'Nature' is just one of several walking plays TigerLion Arts has created and produced over the years, but the first to tour regionally,” said Keifer, co-founder of the non-profit organization. “Outdoor theater has been a primary focus of ours for the last 15 years and the professionalism and artistry of this piece are the very highest. We have learned, through past productions, how to work with nature’s elements to create an extraordinary experience for our audiences.”

TigerLion Arts welcomes a professional ensemble including; John Catron as Thoreau (named Best Actor 2014 by City Pages and seen locally at the Guthrie Theater, Jungle Theater, Frank Theater and many others); Tyson Forbes as Emerson; Kate Guentzel as Lidian Emerson (2010 Ivy Award Winner for Best Actress); Norah Long as Mother Nature (Guthrie Theater, Skylark Opera, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Nautilus Music-Theater) Kimberly Richardson (Ten Thousand Things, Open Eye Figure Theater, Children's Theatre Company). The ensemble also includes Matt Sciple, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Aeysha Kinnunen, Ryan Patrick and Nathan Gebhard, as well as Compositions by Dick Hensold (2006 Bush Artist Fellow) and music direction by Jason Hansen (Theatre Latte Da, Alive and Kickin, Ten Thousand Things).

The performance company will continue the tour across the Midwest over the next two years bringing "Nature" to outdoor spaces at Park Rapids & Itasca State Park, Theatre L'Homme Dieu, Grinnell College in Iowa, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, Gustavus Adolphus College and Carleton College in Minnesota.
In addition to the production, patrons and art and history lovers are encouraged to come early to visit additional offerings at each of the co-presenter locations.

The launch in Minneapolis offers a multitude of opportunities and activities at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Hennepin History Museum and Washburn Fair Oaks Park. “We are thrilled to be a part of offering this phenomenal outdoor experience to the Twin Cities. Making space for art in the parks has always been a priority for us. We encourage the community to bring a picnic meal and enjoy the pre-show music arrangements performed by 'Nature’s' community chorus,” said Diane Moe, Recreation Director at MPRB.

On Thursday, July 9th the Minneapolis Institute of Arts welcomes Tyson Forbes, Thoreau experts, and the cast of Nature for a post show discussion exploring humankind’s relationship to nature and the inspired writings of Emerson and Thoreau. “This is a perfect compliment to a summer celebrating the museum's 100 years,” said Krista Pearson, Community Arts Associate at MIA.

The Hennepin History Museum, located adjacent to the park, welcomes patrons into their space before each performance. “Upon the advice of doctors, Thoreau traveled to and enjoyed our lands and a trip down the Minnesota River. We will have special period artifacts on exhibition for patrons to enjoy alongside our various other historical exhibitions,” said Cedar Phillips, Executive Director.

The show is set outdoors so guests should dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Nature runs approximately 90 minutes without intermission, and during the course of the experience, the audience will walk short distances between four different locations. Portable lawn chairs or blankets to sit on are recommended.

For Booking Information

What:        “Nature” a walking play; presented by TigerLion Arts along with Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Hennepin History Museum, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and City of Lakes Waldorf School
When:        Wednesday, July 8th - Friday, July 10th @ 6:00PM, Saturday, July 11th @ 2:00PM & 6:00PM
Sunday, July 12th @ 2:00PM

Where:        Washburn Fair Oaks Park;
200 East 24th Street, Minneapolis, MN
Tickets:    $20 general admissions for adults, children 12 and under are free
        TICKETS 763.432.9970

Special Event:    Creative Conversations -Talk Back with TigerLion Arts, Thursday, July 9th, 7:30pm at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts - First Floor Target Atrium, free.

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Markell Keifer
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