While Ten Thousand Things Theater prepares its latest production, the innovative company is looking to the future. Earlier this week, the 2009-2010 season was announced. And today, Ten Thousand Things will take its new production, “Raskol,” on a tour of prisons, shelters and other non-traditional spaces before presenting the piece — a musical version of “Crime and Punishment” — at the Minnesota Opera Center in May.
Kira Obolensky, who won the company’s first “Playwriting Challenge,” crafted this unique take on the great Russian work about a poor student consumed with his guilt. Peter Vitale offers a jazz-influenced score and the cast includes Kris Nelson in the title role.
The company won’t rest on its laurels, with another intriguing season on the way in the coming year. It opens with “Othello,” co-directed by Michelle Hensley (Ten Thousand Things artistic director) and Sonja Parks and stars Ansa Akyea in the title role. Other cast members include Tracey Maloney, Luverne Seifert and Christiana Clark. The show opens its non-traditional run Oct. 8 and moves to Open Book Oct. 23.
In February, Jim Lichtscheidl and Steven Epp will take on more than a dozen roles in “Stones in His Pocket.” The Marie Jones work will be directed by Hensley and looks at life in a tiny Irish village as a Hollywood film crew invades their peace. The show will run in January and February.
For the season finale, Ten Thousand Things looks at another cultural clash as they bring an intimate version of “My Fair Lady” to the stage. The five-actor company is led by Kate Eifrig as Eliza and Steve Hendrickson — last seen performing in a garbage bin in the company’s production of “Endgame” — as Prof. Higgins. Bradley Greenwald, Kimberly Richardson and Seifert will round out the cast. The show runs in April and May 2010.
“Raskol” starts its tour today, followed by three weekends of performances for the general public, May 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24 at the Minnesota Opera Center, 620 N. First St., Minneapolis. Tickets are $25. For information, call 800-838-3006 or go online.