This fall the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is featuring the works of playwright Christopher Hampton, including two plays with historical themes that are currently in the middle of their runs.
First, Tales from Hollywood is a comedy about German writers like Bertold Brecht and Thomas and Heinrich Mann who fled Nazi Germany and found work writing screenplays in Hollywood. It runs through October 27 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage.
Second, Appomattox runs through November 11th on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. It links two events in order to explore race and civil rights in American history: the 1865 surrender of Robert E. Lee’s army at the end of the Civil War, and (100 years later) the shooting of a Baptist deacon by an Alabama policeman during a peaceful civil rights protest.
Then there are also some special events upcoming that relate to these plays:
- This Saturday, October 13, Guthrie dramaturg Jo Holcomb will lead a discussion of the history behind Tales from Hollywood. It’s a free public event on the Proscenium Stage, starting at 10am.
- On Monday, Oct. 15th, Guthrie artistic director Joe Dowling will interview Hampton as part of the theater’s “In Conversation” series (7:30pm).
- Then Saturday, Oct. 20th, Stephen Osman (formerly senior historian for the Minnesota Historical Society) will give a lecture on “Minnesota and the Civil War” on the Proscenium Stage at 10am (also free and open to the public).
- Finally, the “In Conversation” series will continue on Sunday, November 4th at 1pm, with Julian Bond, the scholar, activist, politician, and former chair of the NAACP.