Daily Planet Originals

Theatre Forever's "The Big Show" at the Southern Theater: Devised theater that asks big questions

Theater Forever's mission is to create new work that is “profoundly thought-provoking, delightfully playful and totally accessible. … The Company embraces the impulse to create the unforgettable and bring life to an art that exists beyond ourselves.”

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At Frogtown's Daily Diner, staff work for more than tips

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in late February, it was official—after months of paperwork and stress, Monica Spencer, a trainee in Frogtown Daily Diner’s vocational program, had moved out of the halfway house she had been living in for nearly seven months and into a sober living building on the East Side of St. Paul. That evening, when she got back from work at the Diner, would be the first time in seven months that she would not have to test in a breathalyzer to get a pass of approval from her supervisors. In fact, after her time spent in the prison system, it would be the first time in eight years that Spencer had not reported to authority figures before turning in for the night.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Peter and the Starcatcher" stretches the imagination at the Orpheum Theatre

Photo credit Jenny Anderson.

A long, thick piece of brown rope plays a pivotal role in Peter and the Starcatcher. So pivotal, it should be listed as a cast member. Throughout the performance, the set and stage direction encourage the audience to extend their imaginations as the rope transforms from scene to scene. At first, it's just rope on the deck of a ship, but as the audience becomes more invested in the show's fantastical world, the rope changes into the outline of a staircase, a prison cell, the frame of a mirror, waves on a stormy night, and the perimeter of a boxing ring. With minimal props, directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers demonstrate how creative thinking goes a long way in theatrical storytelling.

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Minneapolis teachers raise questions about new contract

Provisions for a Community Partnership Schools and an expedited termination process raise questions for some teachers preparing to vote on a new Minneapolis Public School contract.

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Teen spoken word artists compete to represent Minnesota in Brave New Voices

Snap. Snap. Audible "Wows" and moments of finger snapping greeted the ten young poets who competed March 8 in the first of two semi-final rounds of the Be Heard Minnesota Youth Poetry Slam Series. Competition is tough this year as the poets, aged 13-19, vie for a chance to represent the state of Minnesota at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Festival, which will be held this summer in Philadelphia, PA.

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NEWS DAY | SeeClickFix those potholes

A pothole on 394 was originally blamed for a motorcyclist's accident and death March 11.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Imagine Dragons still rising at the Xcel Energy Center

Photos by Patrick Dunn

It’s been quite a ride for Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons who returned to the Twin Cities March 12th as headliners at the Xcel Energy Center. Just one short year ago they were playing the Varsity Theater as their breakthrough debut album was just starting to blowup across the nation. Although it’s been non-stop for them ever since, they still performed with the same great intensity that has been the backbone of their dramatic assent to the top. The one album wonder brought along worthy supporting acts The Naked and Famous and Nico Vega to help round out a solid night of entertainment.

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ST. PAUL NOTES | Dorothy Day Center — still building, but downtown, not on East Side

The Dorothy Day Center plans to build on the East Side have been changed, after both the Payne Phalen and Dayton's Bluff community councils voted unanimously to oppose the plans. (The St.

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Black churches help navigate MNsure

“I am anti-insurance! Insurance was built on gambling and all that crap…I do not [use a] computer. I’ve been screwed up by them,” said one of the people attending a March 9 information meeting. Vivien (who didn't want her last name used) is not the only member of the Minnesota African-American community who feels wary about signing up for MNsure online.

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How does E-Democracy work in Frogtown?

Frogtown "is a complete news desert. There’s a complete absence of access to local information,” said E-Democracy founder Steven Clift. With no local papers and limited coverage by regional publications, Frogtown residents struggle to find a way to connect. According to Clift, E-Democracy offers residents an opportunity for connection, providing an online forum for community conversation. “For no cost, someone can reach hundreds of people in Frogtown, who care about Frogtown, in minutes.”

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