Theater: Ten Thousand Things

We went to see the Ten Thousand Things Theater Company perform Antigone recently. The script was a new version written for the group by Emily Mann. I found it a bit strained in relating the ancient Greek times to our current President and his war but overall, the acting was excellent. It always is.

Ten Thousand Things (TTT) staged the play for the general public over two weekends (six performances) at two different venues and charged $20 for each ticket. Value-wise, the money is well-spent if you like excellent drama. No one else can out-perform this group overall.

But these few public performances are for fundraising. The company’s mission is to bring theater to those who rarely see it. From their mission statement:

We perform at homeless shelters, prisons and other low-income centers, using the region’s finest actors, to bring to life plays by Brecht, Shakespeare, Beckett and Fornes.

Their latest tour included six correctional facilities, a couple of homeless shelters, and work centers for disabled. Because their tours rarely include a real performing stage, sets are minimal, often consisting of common objects like a step ladder where they hang things to create the scene.

The actors and actresses that work with TTT are top-notch. Rumor has it that some have chosen parts in TTT over Guthrie work (and more money).

I’d give you some links to recent cast listings but their Web site doesn’t list them. In fact, the site is seriously out of date. Best I can do is a production history page that hasn’t been updated since 2002. It does go back to the very beginning though; Michelle Hensley started the troupe in Los Angeles in 1991. (We are so lucky that she migrated to our city.)

M. and I give some money to the group. I realized at this last performance that TTT is a very low overhead operation so our money likely goes a lot farther than it would if we made contributions to the Guthrie or some of the other MSTs (main-stream theaters) in our area. Plus they are bringing their art to prisoners and the poor.

Go to a show. Next up is Gertrude Stein’s In a Garden. It’s scheduled for March of next year.

Then consider a donation.

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