Swede Hollow Ghost Sonata

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

An outdoor, immersive performance experience using theater, dance, movement, and original music to explore the continuing histories of immigration to St. Paul’s Swede Hollow neighborhood.

Audiences will set off on an outdoor, guided, theatrical promenade through Swede Hollow Park in St. Paul, stopping along the way to experience moving vignettes within a recreated world that evoke the early history of Swedish immigration to the area in the 1850s. Using Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s play The Ghost Sonata as a starting point of inspiration, this stellar cast of local, multidisciplinary performers will bring to life the community that once lived in the park, sharing tales that resonate with the ongoing, current day stories and experiences within St. Paul’s East Side. Working closely with local businesses and organizations, this project also includes additional community events designed to spark conversations about the rich history of this incredible neighborhood.

Performances

(Free to the public)

Saturday, September 14 (6pm)

Sunday, September 15 (6pm)

Saturday, September 21 (6pm)

Sunday, September 22 (6pm)

Saturday, September 28 (6pm)

Sunday, September 29 (6pm)

(Meet outside the Park at the Drewery St. Pedestrian Tunnel at the intersection of Drewery Ln and Beaumont St.)

AUXILIARY COMMUNITY EVENTS

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FREE EVENT - RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED

Monday, August 26th 7:00-9:00pm

Co-presented by and at the East Side Freedom Library 1105 Greenbrier St, St Paul, MN 55106

Join members of the cast, artistic team, and the local community as East Side Freedom Library creates and leads a gathering space for residents, artists, and attendees to share stories about their lives and experiences around early and contemporary communities of immigrants.

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FREE EVENT - RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED

Sunday, September 15th 
4:00-5:00pm (pre-show)

Indigenous Roots Cultural Center 788 E 7th St, St Paul, MN 55106

Panelists will discuss the area now known as Swede Hollow; its histories, the cultural communities connected to the land, and its continuing significance in the life of the city.. After the panel, attendees can explore shops and restaurants in the area before making their way to that evening’s performance only a few blocks away.

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TICKETED EVENT - RESERVATIONS REQUIRE

Saturday, September 21st
3:30-5:00 pm (pre-show)

Begins at East Side Freedom Library 
1105 Greenbrier St, St Paul, MN 55106

Led by the East Side Freedom Library's co-executive director Peter Rachleff, tours start at ESFL and use Payne Avenue as a spine along which to follow the experiences of such 19th century immigrants as Swedes, Irish, Germans, and Italians, to those of our contemporary neighbors, such as Hmong, Somali, Mexican, and Karen. After the tour, attendees can explore the area before making their way to that evening’s performance in the park.

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FREE EVENT - RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED

Sunday, September 22nd
4:00-5:00 pm (pre-show)

Co-presented by and at the East Side Freedom Library
1105 Greenbrier St, St Paul, MN 55106

Panelists will share personal, historical, and contemporary stories of immigration to St. Paul’s East Side. Following the event, attendees can explore shops and restaurants in the area before making their way to that evening’s performance only a few blocks away.

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FREE EVENT - RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED

Saturday, September 28th
8:00-9:00 pm (post-show)

St. Paul Brewing 
688 Minnehaha Ave E, St Paul, MN 55106

After the performance, patrons and guests are invited join us at St. Paul Brewing for our panelist conversation exploring contemporary issues surrounding immigration to the state and the country. How do the histories of immigration to Swede Hollow speak to the challenges that current migrants face as they move across borders and boundaries? Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase, and all are welcome.


COMMUNITY PARTNERS

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This activity is made possible in part by the Knight Foundation, the David and Leni Moore Family Foundation, the City of Saint Paul Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization, and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


BLM and Sod House Theater, under Luverne Seifert & Darcey Engen, received a 2018 Knight Foundation challenge grant to create a site specific set in St. Paul’s Swede Hollow Park - examining the park’s history as a cite for Swedish immigration to Minnesota. This collaboration conducted an initial performance workshop on the grounds of the American Swedish Institute in May 2018 and will culminate with three consecutive weekend performances at Swede Hollow Park in September 2019.