Theater Begins Here 

Short play commissioned by Trista Baldwin to commemorate I-35W bridge collapse


August 1 memorial event will include poems, music and a photography exhibition

The Playwrights' Center is one of several local organizations commissioning original works of art for a public gathering of artists, community leaders and the public to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the collapse of the I-35W Bridge. The August 1 event, called Bridge: A Gathering, will be held at 5:45 p.m. Aug. 1 in the Ruins Courtyard of Mill City Museum.

The Center commissioned Core Writer Trista Baldwin to write a ten-minute play for the event. The play will be read at the event by actors Terry Hempleman, Greta Oglesby, Sun Mee Chomet, and Ricardo Vazquez with Dan Piering performing on cello; Playwrights' Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen will direct the reading.

The play is informed by interviews conducted with survivors, first responders and others closely associated with the bridge collapse over the past two years by photographer Vance Gellert, who received a Minnesota State Arts Board Initiative Grant to pursue the project. Gellert's exhibition will be featured at the public gathering and will be on display at the Mill City Museum through December 2012. 

The event also includes a 10-minute musical piece written by Ralph Johnson and Bill Corbett, commissioned by Nautilus Music Theater, and poems by Steve Healey, Deborah Keenan, Jim Moore, Jude Nutter, Matt Rasmussen, Joyce Sutphen, and Katrina Vanderberg, commissioned by Rain Taxi Review of Books.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations must be made to secure a ticket by sending an email to or by calling 612-673-2032.

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