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What Is It?

Join the Playwrights' Center for a barnburner of a night to benefit playwrights.

At Uppercut Boxing Gym in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, you'll be treated to cocktails, light food, Playwright Fights,and a live auction of acclaimed playwrights and exciting prize packages. The night will end with an uproarious instant new play festival!



Choose your favorite playwright-actor team then watch the throw-down as the Playwright Fight heats up the main ring. If your team has the most swagger, you could win a prize. Who will get the theatrical knockout and who will kiss the canvas?


When the auction goes live, contend to have one of our heavy-hitting playwrights write a play on the spot just for you. Bidding fights welcome. Playwright auction winners will meet with their champion playwrights, give them characters or topics to work from, and see their commissions come to life at the end of the night as part of the theater in the ring! You can also contend for one-of-a-kind experiences like theater in New York, fine dining with a favorite actor, and more!


Acting heavyweights will get into the ring and perform plays commissioned by the champion bidders of the second round. You can't get fresher theater than this.


Step into the ring and pull on the gloves for a hard-hitting photo op. Southpaws and glass jaws welcome.

Grab a drink at the open bar and fill your “breadbasket” with some tasty bites.

Buy a $20 raffle ticket (or more) and become a contender for a getaway to any corner of the world! Details at

Visit the auction tables and get early bids in on our knock-out playwrights and packages... because when the live auction heats up, you'll want to be sure you've got a bid in the fight.

Live Auction


Commission a play based on characters or topics you choose and see it performed – in the Boxing ring – at the end of the night by some of the Twin Cities' finest actors!

Carson "Final Draft" Kreitzer
Carson writes lyrical stories about outsiders and is known for fierce female protagonists (but will write a fierce male protagonist for the right bidder!)

John "Smash Cut" Olive
John has a reputation for character-driven imaginative stories for all ages. If you're the winning bidder of John's commission, your play will have the feeling of an instant classic!

Trista "The Twista" Baldwin
Trista's plays feature evocative ideas and sexy fractured narratives. If you want your script to be fun and adventurous, Trista's your girl.

Carlyle "Knockdown" Brown
Carlyle is known for insightful portrayals of history and masterful language riffs. His commissioned play is sure to have emotional depth and smart dialogue.

More about the playwrights


You can also bid on prize packages for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Dinner for Six at Icehouse's Exclusive Chef's Table
Enjoy an incredible dining experience at the Chef's table of the award-winning Icehouse Restaurant, where Chef Matthew Bickford and team will create an unforgettable meal with up to seven courses paired with wine and other libations for you and your group based on a theme of your choice.

Donors: Chef Matthew Bickford & Brian Liebeck of Icehouse Restaurant and Noah & Aaron Day of Blue Construction, Inc.

Exclusive Chicago Insider Theater Package for Two
Join Playwrights' Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy Cohen for a special weekend in Chicago. Go see the world premiere production of Chapatti featuring Frasier's John Mahoney at Northlight Theatre. Spend time with Playwrights' Center Core Writer Mona Mansour and attend the opening night of the world premiere of her play The Way West at Steppenwolf, with private party to follow. Take a break from theater during your trip to enjoy an incredible seafood dinner at The Savoy, a private tour of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive Outsider Arts, and even a unique coffee roasting experience at Dark Matter Coffee.

-- Pair of opening night tickets and exclusive party passes for The Way West at Steppenwolf Theatre
-- Pair of tickets to Chapatti at Northlight Theatre
-- Coffee, drinks or meal with Playwrights' Center Core Writer Mona Mansour
-- Private tour of Intuit's galleries and permanent Henry Darger exhibition
-- Dinner for two at The Savoy in Wicker Park
-- Crash course in coffee roasting at Dark Matter Coffee

Restrictions: Opening night of The Way West is Monday, April 7, 2014 so your trip will need to be planned around this date.

Donors: Dark Matter Coffee, Fountainhead, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive Outsider Arts, Mona Mansour, Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Savoy Restaurant

New Work, New Theater Spaces, New York
Playwrights' Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy Cohen will curate your trip to New York, where you will enjoy new theater in new spaces at Signature Theatre, the Public, and LCT3 (Lincoln Center's newest theater) during the 2013-14 theater season.

-- Pair of tickets to plays at Signature Theatre, Public Theater, and LCT3 during their 2013-14 season
-- Two-night stay at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel
-- Lunch or dinner at Felice Wine Bar
-- Pre-trip meeting with Jeremy Cohen to curate your New York experience

Donors: Felice Wine Bar, LCT3, Molly Lehman, Public Theater and Signature Theatre

Las Vegas Getaway for Two
Stay at a private condo and enjoy a weekend in Las Vegas seeing the new turbo-charged Blue Man Group show at the Monte Carlo one night, then head over to Caesars Palace the next night for the critically acclaimed acro-cabaret variety show Absinthe, hailed by Las Vegas Sun as "the most inventive and daring show to open on the strip in years!"

-- Two tickets to Blue Man Group at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
-- Two tickets to Absinthe at Caesars Palace
-- Weekend stay at a private condo a short distance from the main strip

Restrictions: Tickets to Blue Man Group and Absinthe must be redeemed by November 17, 2013. Condo available any weekend except during major holidays.

Donors: Absinthe, Blue Man Group Scott Mayer

Chef-prepared Italian Dinner Party for Eight with Special Guest Randy Reyes
Invite guests over to your home to enjoy the company of favorite Twin Cities actor and incoming artistic director of Mu Performing Arts Randy Reyes while savoring a two-course Italian meal prepared by Chef Sarah Burt, followed by desserts prepared by renowned pastry chef Zoë François! You also have the opportunity to turn your dinner party into a group cooking lesson with Chef Burt!

-- The chance for you and your guests to dine with Randy Reyes
-- Chef-prepared two-course Italian meal in your home for up to eight people
-- Desserts prepared by renowned pastry chef Zoë François
-- A case of Chianti wine

Restrictions: Must be a mutually agreeable date and time. Gratuity excluded.

Donors: Sarah Burt, Zoë François, Janet Jones, and Randy Reyes


Minneapolis Theater Insider Package for Two
Nationally acclaimed artistic leaders Bain Boehlke (Jungle Theater) and Jeremy Cohen (Playwrights' Center) will accompany you for a night of the Twin Cities' hottest theater. First, dine at It's Greek to Me. Then head to the renowned Jungle Theater for a show in their 2013-14 season. The fun continues with post-show drinks and conversation at Eat Street Social with Boehlke, Cohen, and members of the cast.

-- Dinner for four at It's Greek to Me that includes Bain Boehlke and Jeremy Cohen
-- Pair of tickets to a performance in Jungle Theater's 2013-14 season
-- Post-show drinks at Eat Street Social with Boehlke, Cohen and members of the cast

Private Blow Dry Boot Camp at Jon Charles Salon for up to 25!
Looking for the perfect way to kick off ladies night? Gather your girls and head over to Jon Charles Salon for a private Blow Dry Boot Camp class! Jon Charles' amazing team of professionals will teach you tricks to achieve a red carpet-worthy EuroShine blow dry. Then you and your girls will have the chance to practice the perfect blow dry on yourselves, so you all leave looking fabulous. The rest of the night is up to you!

-- A large EuroShine brush for you and each of your ladies (valued at $60 a brush and half the magic of the blow dry!)

Restrictions: Offered Mondays-Fridays

Donor: Jon Charles Salon

Landscape Design Package from biota | Landscape + Build
Does your home or office exterior need some imagination or a full makeover? Know someone who just bought a house and looking for the perfect housewarming gift? Bid now for the chance to win up to $1,000 in landscape design from this award-winning firm! biota's design team is adept at translating client ideas into landscapes that inspire season after season.

Design services include:
-- Initial consultation
-- Concept plans and master plans
-- Perspectives, sketches and visualizations
-- Construction details and specifications
-- Planting plans
-- Project management
-- Aftercare instructions and consultations

Donor: biota | Landscape + Build

An Exclusive Evening with Twin Cities' Hottest Playwrights and Actors at the Historic Alfred F. Pillsbury House
Uri and Melissa Camarena will host a private evening reception with over a dozen playwrights and actors in their beautiful historic home on Monday, July 29, 2013. Up to 36 guests can attend this special night for a donation of $100 a person. Never-before seen excerpts from plays by our Core Writers and Fellows will be performed that night. Sign up to reserve spots for you and your friends, and enjoy an exclusive evening mingling with some of the greatest theater artists of the Twin Cities!


Randy Reyes


Randy Reyes is the incoming Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts. He is an award-winning multi-disciplinary theater artist who has called the Twin Cities home since 2005. He trained as an actor at The Juilliard School, The University of Utah, and with Anne Bogart's renowned SITI Company. As a performer, Reyes has worked at theaters across the nation. In the Twin Cities, he makes regular appearances at Mu Performing Arts, Guthrie Theater, Ten Thousand Things Theater, and Workhaus Collective among many others. As a director and teaching artist, Reyes has directed Mu's productions of Cowboy vs. Samurai and Circle Around the Island (both in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio), and at many other theaters around the Twin Cities. In 2006 Mu was awarded a TCG New Generations grant.

Jeremy B. Cohen


Prior to his role as Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights’ Center, Jeremy B. Cohen served as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage from 2003 to 2010. As Founding Artistic Director of Naked Eye Theatre Company, Cohen developed/directed 20 plays. Cohen remounted Naomi’s The Retreating World Off-Broadway, after directing its world premiere (McCarter). He is the recipient of numerous awards and nominations for his directing and productions, including Joseph Jefferson, Helen Hayes and After Dark. Cohen has been a Director and part of the Directing Faculty at the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference/National Theatre Institute, and recipient of both an NEA/TCG Directors Fellowship and a Northwestern University award for his play 12 Volt Heart.

T. Mychael Rambo


An affiliate professor and recruitment coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts, Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota, T. Mychael is best know as a member of Penumbra Theatre Company and for his role as the Minister in Penumbra's BLACK NATIVITY. A cast member of the highly praised Guthrie Theater production CROWNS, T. Mychael has performed in several Guthrie main stage productions. Rambo has made an indelible name in Twin Cites theater, performing at: Illusion Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Children's Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Park Square Theater and Hey City Theatre in their celebrated production of SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE. T. Mychael has also performed at a number of regional theatre companies in addition to several national and regional tours.

Auction Playwrights

Trista Baldwin

"The Twista"

Trista Baldwin's recent productions include American Sexy (The Flea), Sand (Women's Project), DOE (Santiago a Mil Festival, Chile), Patty Red Pants (Live Girls!) and Chicks With Dicks (Bricolage). A recipient of two Jerome Fellowships and a McKnight Advancement Grant, Trista Baldwin's work has been developed and produced by companies including The Guthrie, Women's Project, The Lark, New Georges, Bay Area Playwrights' Foundation, The New Theatre Group, The Production Company, Perishable Theater, Hypothetical Theatre Company, La Mama, HERE, Urban Stages, Synchronicity, Eternal Spiral Project, The Red Eye, Bloomington Playwrights' Project, Circle X, The Empty Space Theatre and National New Play Network. A native of the woods of Washington State, and sometime-New Yorker, she currently makes her home in Minneapolis, where she teaches playwriting and screenwriting at St. Cloud State University, is a co-founder of the Workhaus Collective, and a Core Writer of the Playwrights' Center. Her work is published by Heinemann and Playscripts.

Carlyle Brown

"Knock Down"

Carlyle Brown is a writer/performer and artistic director of Carlyle Brown & Company based in Minneapolis, which has produced The Masks of Othello: A Theatrical Essay, The Fula From America: An African Journey, Talking Masks, Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been… and Therapy and Resistance. His plays include The African Company Presents Richard III, The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show, Buffalo Hair, The Beggars' Strike, The Negro of Peter the Great, Pure Confidence, A Big Blue Nail, Dartmoor Prison and others. He has received commissions from Arena Stage, the Houston Grand Opera, the Children's Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Goodman Theater, Miami University of Ohio and the University of Louisville. He is recipient of playwriting fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Theatre Communications Group and the Pew Charitable Trust.

Carson Kreitzer

"Final Draft"

Carson Kreitzer's plays include The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, SELF DEFENSE or death of some salesmen, 1:23, Flesh and the Desert, The Slow Drag (New York and London), Freakshow, Slither, Dead Wait, and Take My Breath Away, featured in BAM's 1997 Next Wave Festival. Her plays have been produced or developed by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Public Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Portland Center Stage, Perishable Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Mabou Mines, Frank Theatre, the Actors Gang, and Next Theatre, among others. She is currently working with composer Matt Gould on a musical inspired by art deco artist Tamara de Lempicka, commissioned by Yale Rep and New Dramatists through Full Stage USA, and a commission for Marin Theatre Company and the National New Play Network. Grants: NYFA, NYSCA, the NEA, TCG, the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, Loewe Award in Music-Theatre, and the first Playwrights Of New York (PONY) Fellowship at the Lark Play Development Center. B.A.: Yale University. M.F.A.: Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin.

John Olive

"Smash Cut"

John Olive is a widely produced and award winning playwright, a novelist, a screenwriter and a popular teacher of creative writing. His plays include: Standing on my Knees, Minnesota Moon, The Voice of the Prarie, Evelyn and the Polka King, Killers, The Summer Moon, The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, Careless Love, and many others. Producing theaters include: the Manhattan Theatre Club, Old Globe, Steppenwolf, Wisdom Bridge, South Coast Rep, Alley Theater, the Guthrie, Actors Theatre Of Louisville, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ACT/Seattle, and many others. Awards include: Jerome Fellowship, McKnight Fellowships, National Endowment For The Arts Fellowship, Bush Fellowships, Society of Midland Authors Award For Drama (Standing on my Knees), Kennedy Center Award For New Plays (The Summer Moon), Rockefeller Residency (Wisdom Bridge). John has written screen and teleplays for: Disney, Amblin Entertainment, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Yorktown Productions, Lorimar Television, among others.

Playwright Fight Playwrights

Cory Hinkle

Cory Hinkle's plays include A Disappearance in Two Parts, The Killing of Michael X, Little Eyes, SadGrrl13, Phosphorescence, and Cipher. He is the recipient of a McKnight Advancement Grant, two Jerome fellowships, a MAP Fund Grant and a Jerome Travel and Study Grant. Most recently, he was the recipient of a PWC/NET Grant to co-create Brecht's Brain with Theatre Novi Most.

Anna Moench

Anna Moench's plays include Hunger, In Quietness (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Great Eastern, and The Pillow Book (59E59). Other productions of Anna's work have been seen at the Old Vic, The Flea, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, The Kraine, The Looking Glass Theatre, and FringeNYC. Anna has developed plays with the Public Theater, the Lark, [the claque], 3Graces Theater Co., the Great Plains Conference, the Last Frontier Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and The Inkwell.

Dominic Orlando

A former McKnight Fellow, Dominic Orlando was awarded his second Jerome Fellowship in 2009, and was commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Nautilus Music-Theater, Teatro del Pueblo, BVT Children's Theatre, The Red Eye Collaboration, and Actor's Theatre of Louisville. He is a co-creator of Fissures(lost & found) which premiered at the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Joe Waechter

Joe Waechter's plays include Lake Untersee, PROFILES, Good Ole Boys, The Strangler, and Memory Library. His work has been developed or produced at Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, American Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Red Eye, The Inkwell, Clubbed Thumb, Perishable Theatre, and The 25¢ Opera of San Francisco.



$600/table of 4

Seats reserved for you all night with the best view of the ring

All tickets include cocktails and light food.

To purchase tickets, contact Sarah Blain Chaplin at 612-332-7481 x138 or


Noah Bremer

Aimee Bryant

Pierce Bunting

Sun Mee Chomet

Nathan Christopher

Barbara Kingsley

Sara Richardson

Eric Sharp

Eric Pogi Sumangil

Anna Sundberg


Brian Balcom

Lisa Channer

Jess Finney

Dominic Taylor

The Venue

Uppercut Boxing Gym »
1324 Quincy Street NE, in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis.

Uppercut is near the intersection of Broadway St. NE and Central Ave. NE. Get map and directions »

In front of the gym all the way down to the end of the blue fence
In front of the Kurt building located across the street
Johnson Paper parking lot
Access to the large parking lot on the corner of Quincy St. NE and Broadway (1/2 block away)

Writers and Actors

Trista “The Twista” Baldwin
Carlyle “Knock Down” Brown
Carson “Final Draft” Kreitzer
John “Smash Cut” Olive

Cory Hinkle
Anna Moench
Dominic Orlando
Joe Waechter

Noah Bremer
Aimee Bryant
Pierce Bunting
Sun Mee Chomet
Nathan Christopher
Barbara Kingsley
Sara Richardson
Eric Sharp
Anna Sundberg

Brian Balcom
Lisa Channer
Jess Finney
Dominic Taylor

Details on all artists


The winner of our Choose Your Own Adventure Raffle will be announced during Round Three of TKO. Buy your tickets early! You could win a weeklong getaway for two to your choice of hundreds of locations and each ticket is only $20! For full details, see

Thank You!

Barb Davis
Erika Eklund
Luke Finsaas
Tessa Gunther
Janet Jones
Toni Knorr
Jonna Kosalko

Toni Bjorklund
Colleen Engelmann
Barbara Field
Brion Finlay
John Geelan
Greg Giles
Betty Grant
Aditi Brennan Kapil
Miriam & Erwin Kelen
Molly Lehman
Leni & David Moore, Jr.
Dominic Orlando
Lisa Pugh
Charlie Quimby
Marcia & John Stout
Steve Strand
Harry Waters, Jr.
Ruth Weiner


2 Gingers Irish Whiskey

Best Western Plus Normandy Inn & Suites

biota | Landscape Design and Build

CaDan Computers

Eklund Consulting


Seward Co-op Grocery & Deli

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