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Lawmakers burned the midnight oil in May during a special session. As part of “The Capitol Play Project, Wonderlust Productions has collected stories and observations from individuals who intersect with Capitol activity in diverse ways. (File photo: Kevin Featherly)
Lawmakers burned the midnight oil in May during a special session. As part of “The Capitol Play Project, Wonderlust Productions has collected stories and observations from individuals who intersect with Capitol activity in diverse ways. (File photo: Kevin Featherly)

Play builds on stories of Capitol staffers and insiders

What happens in the tunnels and dark corners of the Capitol is the topic of “The Capitol Play Project,” an original work to be produced by Minnesota’s Wonderlust Productions. The production is billed as a site-specific live performance at the Capitol Jan. 18 through Feb. 3, 2018, exploring the world of government through expert stagecraft including story, song, and movement. Many of the Capitol’s new public spaces will be utilized as the story leads audiences through the building.

Wonderlust collected stories and observations from individuals who intersect with Capitol activity in diverse ways: the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage, staffers from as far back as the 1980s, lobbyists, activists, legislators and more.

Still in the writing stage, the play loosely follows the plot structure of “The Inspector General,” a Russian farce by Nikolai Gogol. Gogol’s satire from 1836 is a classic comedy of errors in a political environment, and offers Wonderlust a humorous, and familiar, foundation for exploring deeper themes vocalized by the community of the Capitol itself, and issues specific to Minnesota. Questions examined include: What does it mean to serve the people? Who belongs at the Capitol? And how does the work of many create something greater than the sum of its parts?

A public reading of the play is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, in Senate Hearing Room G15, below the Capitol Rotunda. Admission is free.

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