Austene Van

Recent Articles

This week’s Entertainment spotlights


Through Sun., Jan. 27,  7:30 pm
Pantages Theatre
710 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.

Aida is a contemporary spin on Giuseppe Verdi’s grand opera about love and hate, slavery and freedom, war and peace. It stars Austene Van and Jared Oxborough as lovers Aida and Radames, along with T. Mychael Rambo, Ben Bakken, Cat Brindisi, and Nathan Barlow. The company also includes several University of Minnesota theater and dance students. Continue Reading →

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Penumbra Theatre Co. flips the script to meet economic challenge

Financial state result of administration’s failure to watch cash flow

By James L. Stroud, Jr.

Contributing Writer


Penumbra Theatre Company (PTC), one of the nation’s largest African American theaters, has suspended its programming for the year. This decision is due to a cash-flow challenge, which prompted PTC to lay off six of its 16 full-time employees. In a surprising twist to it all, PTC’s Lou Bellamy, who is known for being the founder, will be replaced as artistic director. However, according to reports, his successor will not be announced until close to the spring of 2013, when the theater will resume production. PTC was founded by Bellamy in 1976. Continue Reading →

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The Amen Corner: Penumbra breathes life into James Baldwin play



Lou Bellamy brilliantly directs James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner at Guthrie Theater for a Penumbra Theatre Company/Guthrie Theater regional premiere. Bellamy, of course, is best known for taking scripts through their paces in St. Paul on Penumbra’s home ground at the Halle Q. Browne Community Center. An ace with ensemble casts, Bellamy has shown his hand to admirable effect with memorable Penumbra productions of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Seven Guitars and Two Trains Running. Here, Bellamy tackles an unwieldy script to winning effect. Continue Reading →

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