AUGUST 3, 2016 - 216/366 THE “AMBER BOX” AT THE GUTHRIE
There are so many things to love about the Guthrie Theater, but perhaps my favorite thing is the Dowling Studio Lobby, aka the Amber Box. It’s a beautiful space, unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. When you’re in this 9-floor glassy space you have an amazing view of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls—the birthplace of Minneapolis—but because the glass is such a strong amber color, your view is distorted and otherworldly. It’s one of the first places I’ll bring an out-of-town guest because it’s uniquely Minneapolis.
Watch as Carla Steen discusses dramaturgy and her process for the Guthrie Theater’s production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
In the course of one sultry evening, a prominent Southern dynasty is pushed to the brink when tender memories are relived and life altering secrets are revealed. It’s the 65th birthday of wealthy Southern plantation owner Big Daddy and his family has gathered to celebrate, while sparing him the news that he’s dying of cancer. As one son Brick, a hunky former football hero, mysteriously retreats from his desirable but sexually frustrated wife Maggie, his money hungry brother and sister-in-law plot to secure more than their share of the family fortune. Don’t miss this Pulitzer Prize-winning gem, an emotionally intense drama that sizzles with passion and greed like you’ve never experienced before.
There is a river. People look at it wistfully and say its so beautiful. They dive into the dirty water and never return.You gaze into the churning, writhing, aching depths and cringe. There is something watching you.
The streets are grids. You drive and drive and cross the same streets over and over again. 1st Ave, 4th Ave, 20th Ave, 1st St, 4th St, 20th St, repeat. You don’t know where you’re going anymore. It’s hard to remember where you came from.
You get on a bus. You sit. A man gets on after you with his bike. The driver ignores him. The beep of a card being swiped. A man gets on with his bike. A beep. A man gets off with his bike. A beep. A man gets on with his bike.
The bikes are everywhere. Green and obvious, you never notice them until someone nearly runs you down. They stop, apologize. You ask about the bike. They gaze into the distance wistfully. Usage fees, they murmur, usage fees. You do not ask again.
Where are you? Your friend asks over the phone. You look at the house numbers. They are all four numerals that do not match the streets. I don’t know, You reply, and your friend laughs.
The Guthrie Theater is showing A Christmas Carol. The Guthrie Theater is always showing A Christmas Carol. You have seen it five times and can never remember any details but the rattling of chains. You never mean to end up at The Guthrie Theater but you find yourself there anyway.
You get on a bus. A woman gets on with a cane and three people offer their seat. She accepts none. She pays in nickles and grins a toothless grin. She sits next to you, tucks her cane between her legs. She has no eyes and you avert yours.
What can I get you to drink? Your waitress intones, a emotionless smile on her face. Could I get a pop? Your friend asks. The waitress doesn’t ask what kind. You order the catfish and fear embeds itself into your gut. It arrives with the eyes intact, staring at you. You choke it down anyway.
The light rail is brightly lit. You sit on uncomfortable seats and wait. Please do not put your feet on the seats, An announcer pleads. Be considerate to other passengers. There is a screaming child. Be considerate. A man leans against the doors, falling through them as they open into the sky. Be considerate.
You stroll downtown at night and feel someone watching you. You turn around, the people hurry past you with their heads down. The shadows are full of things you do not want to think about. You turn around.
The Green Line is under construction. When you called and asked when it would be open, the man on the line laughed nervously and replied Soon. It is still not open. Sometimes you wonder if it ever will be. Soon.
Nice weather today. A stranger comments at the bus stop, rubbing his blue hands together and shivering. It’s always nice here. He nods to himself. You’re not sure if hes trying to convince you or himself. Nice weather today.