Theater department to present Jane Martin’s ‘Talking With ...’

Academics Fine Arts

March 12, 2021

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University theater department is presenting a timely play during Women’s History Month.

Jane Martin’s “Talking With …” will be presented March 18-21 and March 25-27 at the Gorecki Family Theater, Benedicta Arts Center, CSB. The Sunday, March 21 performance is at 2 p.m.; all other performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Friday, March 19 performance is part of Community Engagement Day at CSB/SJU.

“Talking With …” is a series of 10 short stories in the form of monologues by women, with each monologue running about 10 minutes. Each is unique, looking at life from different perspectives.

“The play provides excellent acting opportunities for CSB students who love to act,” said Kaarin Johnston, professor of theater at CSB/SJU who is directing the play. “Each actor has her own play and focus, and the stories are stunning.”

The characters range from Handler (played by Raven Dames, a senior psychology major from Nassau, Bahamas) a fundamental Christian who handles snakes; Dragons (Paige Daniels, a senior psychology major from Eau Claire, Wisconsin), an angry woman in labor; and Scraps (Cate Luna, a junior peace studies and French double-major from Rosemount, Minnesota), a housewife who dresses up as a character from Oz while she cleans house.

“With attending class 3 hours a day (during the block schedule), it was feasible for actors to have the time to learn a 10-minute speech,” Johnston said. “We avoided long, complicated rehearsals and still end up with a beautiful piece of live theater.”

Because each character is so different from the others, the play “provides exciting opportunities for our costume designer, shop supervisor and all the students who work in the costume shop,” Johnston added.

There will be a limited number of audience members allowed from on-campus communities. Seating is available for single seats only, with six feet of separation between audience members.

A live stream will be available for off-campus audiences for all performances except the March 18 performance.

Tickets are $5 (which includes a $2 fee), and are available online or by calling the Fine Arts Programming Office at 320-363-5777.

“We are working to keep actors and audiences safe from the spread of COVID-19. Only one woman at a time is onstage telling her story, and there’s lots of distance from each other and the live audience,” Johnston said.

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Raven Dames

CSB senior Raven Dames performs in the Handler monologue in the play, “Talking With …”.

Steffi Tapsoba

CSB senior Steffi Tapsoba  performs in the 15 Minutes monologue in the play, “Talking With …”.

Elizabeth Martinez

CSB senior Lizbet Martinez performs in the Lamps monologue in the play, “Talking With …”.