Arts Blog

Building STEINBECK'S BOAT

October 1, 2013

Over the summer, Minneapolis-based company Theatre Forever, under the direction of Jon Ferguson, worked for two weeks at the Weitz Center to begin the creation of a new theatre project: STEINBECK'S BOAT. Ferguson, one of the Twin Cities' most exciting theatre directors, teamed up with playwright Dominic Orlando, composer Tim Cameron, and a company of theatre artists in his uniquely collaborative style.

"Ferguson creates spaces where things can happen that don't happen anywhere else. He and his collaborators so clearly trust and inspire one another that you walk out of the theater into a world that feels richer than you'd realized it was before you went in." - TC Daily Planet

STEINBECK'S BOAT springs from a curious anecdote about the writing of EAST OF EDEN:  

John Steinbeck lived with his wife in a New York brownstone. He had a writing room there. His wife was not allowed into the writing room. She noticed he kept bringing tools and wood up into the room. When the novel was finished, he finally let her in.

He had built a boat in his writing room.

From this idea, they investigate: When (and how) does the creative source that may at first be a tiny underground stream, become a river and then a wild ocean?

Creating simultaneously with words, images, and music, Ferguson and Co. created a first-draft production and will share the work-to-date on September 30 at the Weitz Center Theater.

Steve Richardson, Carleton's Director of the Arts, commented that "this project is a model of what we want to accomplish with the Weitz Center: bringing great artists together with students and the college community to launch new work, explore new ideas, and create together in surprising ways." He pointed to the residency earlier this year of dance/theater/media company Troika Ranch and last year's ALICE IN WONDERLAND creation by the Flying Foot Forum as other examples of this idea. "The Weitz is a phenomenal laboratory, and our great task is to fill it with experiments like this."