Raw Stages: New Works Festival

WEDS-SUN. 1/18-1/22. $15-$30.
It’s seldom that any “new works” run doesn’t include any skippable offerings, but the History Theatre has done it with this year’s RAW STAGES. The festival provides audience members an opportunity to get an early look at the script development process and provide feedback for the participating playwrights from four staged readings of scripts-in-progress, directed and performed by professional artists. Musical The Kim Loo Sisters, co-commissioned and in collaboration with Theater Mu, presents the real-life story of the Kim Loo Sisters, a hapa (mixed-race Asian) girl group from Minneapolis who sang four-part harmony on Broadway during the deeply xenophobic 1930s. Boy Wonder tells the story of Minnesota politician Harold Stassen, who defied Republican party leaders in 1938 to launch his grassroots campaign to become the youngest governor in Minnesota history. More than just a tribute to the once white, blue-eyed, middle-aged homemaker, The Betty Crocker Musical breaks down how Betty has encapsulated women’s roles in America. Last, The James Meredith project recounts the tumultuous times surrounding the 15-hour riot triggered by the admission of 29-year-old James Meredith’s admission to the racially segregated University of Mississippi, and includes details from the memoir of Henry Gallagher, an officer from Minnesota who served as the head of Meredith’s security detail. As with many other festivals, attendees will enjoy any one of the productions, but taking in every night of the new works with the all-access pass will be even more rewarding.