Theater: Regional Crucible

With the start of its fifth season at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Theater Company represents a kind of crucible for the bubbling promises, heady aspirations and worrisome perils of most U.S. regional theaters. The program consists of a new play (Harpers Ferry), a classic (The Shoemaker's Holiday), and a minor work of a major playwright (Jean Anouilh's Thieves' Carnival). Each in its own way serves to illustrate the hopes, habits and problems that animate and afflict regional theaters.

Regional theaters would like to put on new plays, and the Minneapolis...

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