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Workhaus Collective’s ‘Planting Shelly Anne’ takes root

Though playwright Jeannine Coulombe has been involved with the Workhaus Collective since its beginning, she has patiently bided her time to see one of her works on stage.

Though playwright Jeannine Coulombe has been involved with the Workhaus Collective since its beginning, she has patiently bided her time to see one of her works on stage. Now, Coulombe’s latest work, “Planting Shelly Anne,” opens the third season of performances by the group at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

And yes, Coulombe is excited to see the work on stage — and can’t wait to see what audiences make of the show.

“Planting Shelly Anne” promises to be a hyperactive look at modern life, centered on a woman who, “instead of addressing the issues in her life — the choices she’s made — she’s fretting about global warming,” says actor Carolyn Pool, who plays the title character.

That cast also includes John Riedlinger, Katherine Kupiecki, and Renee Roden. The work is directed by Kristin Horton.

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While the show looks at the mundane trappings of everyday modern life, it also has an epic feel, Coulombe says. “It also moves in a fluid way, with scenes blending into each other. “As a writer, I don’t ever want to include a blackout,” she says.

Coulombe has written a number of full-length plays in the past few years and had work produced at numerous locations, including the History Theatre, Theatre Unbound and the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Workhaus’s efforts are driven by the member playwrights, who share the varied tasks needed to produce a show. The writer whose play is in production serves as the company’s artistic director, which helps to drive the shape of their show. “I got to choose the director and the design team,” Coulombe says. “And I had input on the casting.”

“Planting Shelly Anne” runs Saturday through Feb. 14 at the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. ($8 to $15). For information and tickets, call 612-332-7481, ext. 20.