MINNEAPOLIS—The world premiere of Safe As Houses, a new piece by Minneapolis composer and avant-garde mainstay Chris Strouth with music by Paris1919, debuts at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s New Century Theatre (615 Hennepin Ave., Street Level-City Center, Minneapolis) Sept. 4- 6 for three performances. At its core, Safe As Houses is about safety–both real and metaphorical asking, “What does safety look like when everything is in a rapid state of flux?” This multisensory experience uses song, music, movement, installation and video to create something larger than the sum of its parts. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased in person (no service fees) at the New Century Theatre Box Office, online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org or by calling 612.455.9501.
Safe As Houses is the follow-up to Strouth’s very successful production Antarctica earlier this year at the Public Functionary Gallery and is in many ways is a post-modern opera starring Christian Erickson (BlueskyBlackout), Janey Winterbauer (Wits), Mayda and Alan Subola (the Vibro Champs, the Bad Companions). Musicians from Strouth’s group Paris1919 include Erick Anderson (organ), Randall Davidson (cello), Mike Croswell (lapsteel), Drew Miller (bass), Tim Ritter (bass), Mykl Westbrooks (guitar), Eric White (drums) and Dave Russ (engineering).
This is also Strouth’s third collaboration with the world-renowned choreographer Deborah Jinza Thayer, and her company Deborah Jinza Thayer: Movement Architecture. The show is a combination of immersive environment, performance and projection, in this case turning the theater into a giant house. Think Guillermo Del Toro meets Grey Gardens.
Safe As Houses is about life in the post-bubble age after the internet and housing bubbles burst. Houses represent safety, the geographic locale of where we live and our spiritual center. Combining music, installation, modern dance and projections into an immersive, thought-provoking experience, the piece places its audience inside a life-sized dollhouse where masked dancers are the dolls. It explores universal themes of place and home in an installation that is the theater itself, constructed from cardboard and brought to life through the talents and energy of over 40 musicians, dancers, artists and crafts people. In a piece that asks, “What does safety mean? And can we ever really find it?,” Safe As Houses raises a lot of questions and gives back some abstract truths.
TICKET INFORMATION: Chris Strouth’s Safe as Houses runs Thursday, Sept. 4 – Saturday, Sept. 6 at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s New Century Theatre (615 Hennepin Ave., Street Level-City Center, Minneapolis). Performances are at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are on sale now. All seats $20, general admission. All prices include facility fees. Additional charges may apply. Buy in person (no service fees) at the New Century Theatre Box Office, online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org, by calling 612.455.9501.