Announcing Our 32nd Season!

By Philip Muehe

Yesterday afternoon we held our Season Announcement Gala! It was a great success, and was a wonderful time to reconnect with our patrons, and get the hype going for our 2020 Season. As I said in my remarks yesterday, there’s no way we could have have made it this far without the support of patrons just like you. Thank you SO much! I know you’ve clicked on this post for one reason, so without any further ado, I’m excited to let you all know our line up for next season!

Our 2020 Season Announcement Gala was full of friends, food, and the reveal of a fantastic line up!

I Ought to Be In Pictures

By Neil Simon
Directed By Adrienne Sweeney

Our season opens with a heartwarming comedy by one of America’s greatest playwrights. Take a road trip with Libby as she heads to LA to become a movie star — and meet the father she never knew in this poignant story about family and second chances.

Born Yesterday

By Garson Kanin
Directed By Craig Johnson

Next we will bring you a flashy send up of of politics, corruption, and preconceptions. When mobster Eddie Brock schemes to bribe a senator, showgirl Billie Dawn proves she’s not as dumb as she looks. Sparkling wit and plenty of heart will delight you in this classic — yet timely — American comedy. 

One Man, Two Guvnors

By Richard Bean

Things will really heat up in the summer months as we bring you this Tony-Award winning hit. All Francis wants is a good meal. So he gets a job. Then he gets another job. Then things really spin out of control! Fighting a mounting sense of confusion, Francis goes out of his way to serve both bosses. But how long can he keep them apart? Belly laughs abound in this side-splitting farce.

Doubt

By John Patrick Shanley
Directed By Michael Bigelow Dixon

With the changing of the seasons, we are proud to present a play that won both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for Best Play. When a priest’s conduct is called into question, one woman launches an unrelenting search for the truth in this searing drama ripped from the headlines.

A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens
Adapted By Commonweal Theatre Company
Directed By Philip Muehe

A holiday classic returns — in a brand new light! Associate Artistic Director Adrienne Sweeney brings a fresh perspective to the iconic role of Scrooge. Can she change her ways before it’s too late? Told with plenty of wit, charm, and clever theatricality, it’s a stocking stuffer that will delight the entire family!  

Our 2020 Season has something for everyone!

Exciting, huh?! We are thrilled to bring these 5 fantastic productions to life next year. Now that the season is announced, that means it’s time for Season Passes! They’re now on sale, and there’s an Early Bird Discount that lasts until November. So right now, you can get your Season Pass and see all 5 of these shows for only $99! Give our Box Office a call at 800-657-7025 for more details. We’ll see you at the Commonweal!

Yearning for Home: Betti Battocleti Returns to Lanesboro

By Betti Battocleti

Commonweal Theatre Companiy Guest Actress Betti Battoclettii
Betti Battocleti graces our stage once again this season!

I am a big city girl… well, woman. I grew up in a city. I moved to another city for college. I have lived and worked in cities my entire life. But the first time I drove down that big hill and saw the unexpected town of Lanesboro spread out before me like Brigadoon, I knew that I was in for something new.

I was cast to play Clariee in Steel Magnolias. I didn’t know anyone but was immediately accepted as one of the Commonweal family. I am back again, drawn by the magic of Lanesboro, the people, the amazing bike trails, and the close community of artists that are the Commonweal Theatre.

On the Verge, the next play in Commonweal’s 31st season reminds me of my first season here in Lanesboro. I play Mary Baltimore, one of three Victorian female explorers who set off on a timeless trip. Like me, discovering a new place where one can easily forget what day of the week it is. And, along with the amazing artists that make up the Commonweal, we forge ahead to create future monumental moments for an audience of fellow explorers. A trichotomy of living in the moment, reminiscing about the past and discovering the future. Time travel! “What can one say?”

On the Verge officially opens on September 14th!

The ladies of On the Verge, in their discovery and exploration of the last “uncharted reaches of the world” find themselves in truly uncharted territory. As hearts and minds are opened, a yearning for their perfect place in the world grows.

It is a yearning that we all feel.  Are we living in the right place at the right time doing the right thing?  We are all searching for that place we can call home. Often, we leave it to explore other worlds only to come back like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Sometimes we stay where we are out of comfort or fear. Then there are those that search and search and search. All of us, on the verge at some point or another. At many points, many “clusters of light”. Do we explore them all or find a star to settle on? “Metaphysical speculation”.

So, this is my third season at the Commonweal. I keep coming back. Something about this beautiful town. Something about those bike rides through golden tunnels where the wind blows around you, not for you, not against you. And something about the hardest working artists I know who continue to care so much about providing the best theater, the best experience and a place we all can call home, even if for a couple of hours.  

Betti’s work onstage is not to be missed! See her the rest of the season in both On the Verge and Sanders Family Christmas! For Tickets —> Performance Calendar

An Epic Homecoming

By Megan K. Pence

Megan K. Pence
Director & former company member Megan K. Pence

After my first year of grad school in the hot swampy weather of Florida, I was thrilled for a chance to return to the Commonweal and direct An Iliad. Wealhouse has been a twinkle in our eye for many years, and I was honored to play a small part of its inaugural season. Getting to come home to my Commonweal family for three whole weeks during a glorious Lanesboro summer was a wonderful gift, and one of the best working “vacations” I’ve ever had. An Iliad opened this past Sunday to a sold-out crowd, and is an incredible performance which I am so excited to share!

Though less popular than its companion The Odyssey, you may recall The Iliad as one of those long, complicated tales with a million pages and about as many characters that you were forced to read in high school or Western Civilization 101. In this adaptation by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, these Greek battles no longer feel ancient, irrelevant or overly long as the audience is transported to the shores of Troy in a mere 105 minutes. Through both poetry and contemporary language, we are fighting alongside Achilles and Hector, and the human price of war becomes very real. 

An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare
Resident Ensemble member Ben Gorman stars as The Poet

While this show tackles huge themes – war, fate, pride, honor, love – what excites me about this piece is the exploration of storytelling. One man (Ben Gorman) embodies not only The Poet, but also a dozen other characters. The Poet is doomed to tell this tale, each time hoping it may be his last. As an audience, we are left to wonder how our own stories help us make sense of the world and of ourselves. 

And oh, how Ben Gorman tells this story! While I love directing shows with many actors, there is something truly special about the collaboration and partnership of a one-person show. We learned how to trust one another, developed our own shared language, and ultimately became each other’s Muse. This truly is a tour de force performance that you will not want to miss.

Don’t miss out on this unique and compelling evening of theatre! See both Megan and Ben’s work in the epic one-man play, An Iliad. For Tickets —> Performance Calendar