‘Test Pilot’ at the O’Shaughnessy; ‘Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet’ at the Guthrie

“Test Pilot,” a new chamber dance opera by choreographer Penelope Freeh and composer Jocelyn Hagen, will be performed Friday-Saturday, Sept. 12-13 at the O’Shaughnessy.

Artscape is on break and full coverage will return Wednesday, Sept. 24. Meanwhile, fall seasons are starting and a Supreme Court justice is coming our way.

Friday-Saturday, Sept. 12-13, at the O’Shaughnessy: “Test Pilot.” The new chamber dance opera by choreographer Penelope Freeh and composer Jocelyn Hagen tells the story of the Wright Brothers through the eyes of their sister, Katharine. The narrative also brings in the creators’ personal family aviation narratives. If you go on Friday, stay for the post-show talkback moderated by MPR’s Steve Staruch. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($11–$25).

Saturday, Sept. 13, on the Convention Center Plaza: Maker Day. In case you haven’t noticed, the Convention Center wants to be more than a meeting place for out-of-towners. Executive Director Jeff Johnson sees it as a gateway to Minneapolis for convention center visitors, enticing them outdoors and into the city, and as an activity center for the local community, drawing people in from surrounding neighborhoods and beyond. For the past two years, the plaza across 2nd Ave., a well-kept, inviting park also bordered by Marquette and 12th St., has been the site of the annual Creative City Challenge winner, an interactive work of public art funded by the Convention Center. “It’s a green space downtown, and we don’t have enough of those, and we want people to see it as their space,” Johnson says. Maker Day celebrates the spirit of invention with activities and projects for all ages. Try butterfly yarn bombing, prepare food with friends at the Dumpling House, make a sign, craft a puppet, a hat, or a musical stool, or take part in a fruit orchestra. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. If the weather is uncooperative, things will move to beneath the Convention Center’s front entrance arcade.

Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Museum of Russian Art: Opening reception for “Life on the Edge of the Forest: Russian Traditions in Wood.” The theme of the forest in Russian culture, expressed in elaborate woodcarvings. Includes unique examples of ornamental window surrounds from carpenters in rural communities of central Russia, the Urals and Siberia, on display for the first time in an American museum. 5–7 p.m. Tickets here ($10).

Opens Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio: “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet.” The third play in MacArthur fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Brother/Sister” trilogy (after “In the Red and Brown Water” and “The Brothers Size”) has been generating buzz since it was first announced. Co-produced by Pillsbury House Theatre and the Mount Curve Company, presented by the Guthrie, it follows 18-year-old Marcus Eshu (Nathan Barlow) as he journeys to discover who he is and where he comes from. Directed by Marion McClinton, with James A. Williams as Ogun Size, reprising his role from “The Brothers Size.” Here’s a preview. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($27–$30). Through Oct.. 5.

Saturday, Sept. 13, at Studio Z in Lowertown: John Raymond’s Roots Trio. Since leaving the Midwest for New York City in 2009, the gifted young trumpeter/flugelhorn player has performed with top musicians, recorded two albums (including one, not yet released, with the legendary drummer Billy Hart), and constantly sought to become even better. His last performance here, at Icehouse in July, when he played for the first time with the formidable foursome of Brandon Wozniak, Mike Lewis, Anthony Cox and JT Bates, was fierce and magical. This time he’s bringing his New York-based trio, with guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Colin Stranahan, to give a concert and record their debut album at a local studio. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($15). Read an interview with Raymond here.

Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 13-14, at the Ordway and the Ted Mann: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Opening Night. For its 2014–15 season, the SPCO will perform Beethoven’s complete symphony cycle, starting this weekend with nos. 7 and 8. The program further includes the world premiere of an SPCO commission: Nicola Campogrande’s “Urban Gardens” for Piano and Orchestra, with pianist Emanuele Arciuli. These will be Julie Albers’ first performances as the SPCO’s new principal cello. Artistic partner Roberto Abbado conducts. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Ordway, 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ted Mann. FMI and tickets ($12–$42).

Sunday, Sept. 14, at Lake Harriet Bandshell: Minnesota Orchestra: Free Concert for the Community. Back for its first full season since 2011-12, fresh from its glittering, sold-out gala last Friday, the Minnesota Orchestra feels good and sounds great. William Eddins conducts music by Glinka, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin. 3 p.m.  

Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the U’s Willey Hall: The Stein Lecture: A Conversation Between Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Professor Robert A. Stein. The erudite ones will discuss the work of the Supreme Court of the United States, including cases advancing the constitutional rights of women, the Chief Justice’s role, the diversity (or lack thereof) in the court’s membership and other topics. Audience members may address questions to Justice Ginsburg. 225 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. 4:30 p.m. Free, but registration was required, and as of this writing no tickets are available. A cancellation line will begin at 3 p.m. for turnbacks.

Wednesday, Sept. 17, at Union Depot: “Riders on the Orphan Train.” Between 1854 and 1929, more than 250,000 orphaned and homeless children from crowded East Coast cities were sent on westbound trains to live with foster families, mostly in the rural Midwest. One of the stops was Union Depot in St. Paul. (Not the one we know, but the first, which was completed in 1881 and burned in 1915.) To tell this fascinating story, novelist and scholar Alison Moore (who wrote the book) and musician Phil Lancaster have created an audiovisual experience combining historical fiction with interviews, archival images and ballads. How perfect that it’s coming to Union Depot. In the Red Cap Room. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($12; $10 with promo code ORPHAN14).

Thursday, Sept. 18, at Hennepin Central Library: Writers in the Library featuring Hans Weyandt. The former co-owner of Micawber’s recently completed a month-long Coffee House Press in the Stacks residency in the library’s Special Collections area, digging into the History of Books and Printing collection. Come for a tour and a recap. Tour starts at 6:15 p.m., talk at 7. Free.

Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Third Thursday: Make Your Mark with AIGA Minnesota. See the special exhibition “Marks of Genius” for free and learn illustrating techniques from members of AIGA Minnesota, our state’s branch of the professional association for design. Political cartoonist Kevin Kallaugher will discuss and demonstrate his work. “Marks of Genius,” a collection of 100 rarely-seen drawings from the MIA’s collection, closes Sept. 21. 6–9 p.m. Free.

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