by Adrienne Sweeney
As you probably know, the Commonweal Theatre is located in the picturesque and historic town of Lanesboro, Minnesota, known around the region as one of the best weekend getaways in MN. I’m biased, sure, but I think this popularity is well deserved. Lanesboro boasts a dizzying array of natural beauty, outdoor summer and winter activities, and world-class art and culture. Even our local daily the Post Bulletin says “…yes, it really is that picturesque.”
Trust me, I am the first one to bask in the awesomeness of it all. Every year I can barely wait to hit the trails for my first run of the season, take the kayaks out of storage and get on the river and (my favorite pastime of all) get my hands dirty in the garden.
I’ll admit it—I’m one of the oddballs that truly love Minnesota winter. I love all the seasons and don’t think I could live in a place without that cyclical seasonal shift. But winter offers something special for us go-go-go, hyperactive, Type-As. I don’t partake in typical winter activities—I’m not a skier, don’t skate or snowshoe. Nope, it’s the imposed “downtime” that makes winter so special to me. I’m one of those weirdos that like the shorter days and the bloody cold temps. I am so grateful for the chance to wear sweats and no makeup and huddle on the sofa with a fire, a blanket, Netflix and a varied assortment of furry friends. (My husband is also welcome as generally in winter he can be pretty furry, as well.) I love soup and bread and red wine and long phone calls with friends I usually can’t connect with during “the busy season.” I love going to bed early because it’s dark outside and my brain doesn’t know the difference between 8 pm and 11 pm. Don’t even get me started on bubble baths. And January and February offer the time for one of my favorite things to do during winter—organize! These past few months alone I’ve organized and re-organized almost every closet in my house, the mountains of paper on my desk, even the files on my computer desktop. I. Love. Organizing.
I’m probably in the minority, I’ll cop to that. Don’t get me wrong, when the production season starts ramping up, I get so jazzed about what’s to come. The art, of course—but also I can’t wait to see our patrons again! I love opening the doors for a new season, and I am beyond excited to share the 30th season of the Commonweal Theatre with you. I am passionately excited about directing Silent Sky and can not wait to get into the rehearsal room. Performing in The Clean House is something I have looked forward to since the day I read the script, almost a decade ago. Soon, tourists and guests will start streaming in. (Lanesboro is consistently lauded as one of the top things to do in Rochester MN, Decorah, Winona, LaCrosse, the Twin Cities—and beyond!) And not a day goes by that I am not supremely thankful to live and work here. But tonight as I write this there’s a gentle snow falling, my dog is snoring beside me, soup is warming on the stove, I am in my sweats…and I am grateful for Minnesota winter. That said, check back with me in a few months. I’m sure I’ll have some great things to say about July!
See you soon.