Festival of original works begins in March

Red Eye celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Isolated Acts festival during March and April. The six-week festival of new theater, dance and multimedia works runs through April 6. Featured on this year's roster: a double bill by choreographers Pam Plagge and Colin Rusch. Plagge's "Winter Emergency Kit" takes a humorous look at life's predicaments, complete with salsa, snow shovels and jumper cables. Rusch collaborates with trombonist Patrick Crossland on an exploration of familiar daily rituals in "Consume. Shadow Lives." On March 7-9, dancers "trapped in '80s prom gowns and searching for a way out of the gender box" will entertain audiences in an intimate soiree. On March 14-16, the dynamic Southwest duo of Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder (aka "Hijack") join forces with performance artist Flavia Maller Medeiros for a piece about social mores and cultural traits of power. Director Jennifer J. Holt and composer Mark Sutton present their jazz opera "Marriage at the Panopticon" on March 21-24, promising audiences an eccentric line-up of characters "eager to reveal their perfect recipe for love and marriage." Details about other performances featured in Red Eye's Isolated Acts are available at or by calling 612/870-0309.

Local dancers perform at the Southern

Another Southwest dance duo, Shapiro & Smith, return to the Southern Theater February 28-March 3. The New York Times commented that their recent show exhibited "strong, sharp-edged dancing and a daring theatricality unusual in these days of pared-down dance presentation." Performances are Thursday through Sunday at 8 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. For tickets, call 340-1725.

Interact director outlines plans for the year

"2002 seems to be shaping up as the year to reach out, inspire, collaborate and bring our mission to a much wider audience," said Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts executive director Jeanne Calvit. The center provides a place for artists with disabilities to pursue and develop their art. In December, actor/playwright Kevin Kling chose the troupe to perform at his fundraiser at the Guthrie Theater, which Calvit called "a high point for all of us." This month, Interact artists provided advice and guidance for Mixed Blood Theatre's "The History of Bowling," a romantic comedy set in the world of disabilities. Calvit said Interact plans to partner with Mixed Blood again later this year, with Interact actors creating a show for the Mixed Blood stage. This March, Interact is taking its "Misfits Traveling Minstrel Show" to Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and Calvit is traveling to Adelaide, Australia, to begin sowing seeds for an Interact appearance at the Highbeam Festival in 2004. "Fear and uncertainty seem to be such a part of the nation's zeitgeist. The work and mission of Interact is serving as a much-needed antidote," said Calvit.

Art Condition

David O'Fallon named new president of MacPhail Center for the Arts

MacPhail Center for the Arts has appointed David O'Fallon as the organization's new president. O'Fallon comes to MacPhail from the Perpich Center for Arts Education, the agency that houses the state Arts High School. MacPhail board chair Teresa Bonner said, "O'Fallon is an experienced arts educator who has worked at both the national and local levels to develop innovative programs to improve education through the involvement of the arts." Bonner noted in particular that O'Fallon played a key role in building a recent $6.9 million addition to the Perpich Center, a skill that MacPhail will need as it moves forward with plans to build a new facility in downtown Minneapolis. O'Fallon begins his new position at MacPhail in March.

Try "Weird Romance" for Valentine's Day Just in time for Valentine's Day, Minneapolis Musical Theatre presents "Weird Romance," written by Alan Menken, composer of "Little Shop of Horrors" and the Disney hits "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin." "Weird Romance," in two one-act musicals, ponders the meaning of love in the 21st century, a time when fantastical future technologies intertwine with human relationships. "These pieces speak volumes about love and the human condition," said artistic director Steven J. Meerdink. "I think one of the reasons this show works so well is the masterful blending of speculative fiction with the often poignant, often funny music and lyrics of Alan Menken and David Spencer. Their music helps bridge the gap between reality and the make-believe world of 'Weird Romance.'" The musical plays through February 23 at Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater. For tickets, call 612/825-8949.

What makes you feel safe? That's the question at the center of a new project at Intermedia Arts. Five local artists are inviting south Minneapolis community members to contribute

to a safety map in "On the Map II: Discovering Safe Places." The project is part of the "People Places Connections" program, which over the next year will pair five artists (Ta-coumba Aiken, Douglas Ewart, Marilyn Lindstrom, Wendy Morris and Victor Yepez) with people of all ages in Lyndale, Powderhorn, Corcoran, Central, Phillips and Whittier neighborhoods. The purpose of the project is to "create art, make connections, and instigate change in communities," according to Intermedia. "On the Map II" runs through March 17. For more information, call 612/871-4444.

Southwest faces at the Weisman Two Southwest residents are featured in the new "Time Take" installation at the Weisman Art Museum. Composer Libby Larsen and photographer Laura Crosby have joined writer Marisha Chamberlain in creating a collage of black-and-white photos, sound and poetic text about the impact of time on women's lives. The age of those

photographed ranges from newborn to 100, "ordinary" faces combined with everyday expressions and a collage of jazz, lullabies and poetry reading. The exhibit is on display through April 7. For more information, call 612/625-9494.