Saint Paul Theater Project

This program brought together teen actors with Saint Paul area residents to mine their stories and create a short play, presented at the Minnesota History Center.

Saint Paul Theater Project
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See what people had to say about this project!

"The concept of an intergenerational project was wonderful. It is important for young people to learn from the elders’ experiences and fun for the elders to experience the young. Thank you!”

“I would like to do this again. It was great to know the people.  I enjoyed the acting.”

“Terrific! Each one a moving experience in its own way. When I retire I’ll do this kind of thing—I hope still there will be groups to join!”

“It was very well done. The actors integrated with each other, were articulate, and loud. Their expressions were beautiful to observe. [It was a] pure joy in the theatre.”

Click on image to browse all photos. Photos by Sean Smuda.


Photo by Sean Smuda Photo by Sean Smuda Photo by Sean Smuda Photo by Sean Smuda Photo by Sean Smuda Photo by Sean Smuda

See the completed script here:  PDF document

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During weekly meetings over three months, adults with stories to tell worked with theater students, artists and playwrights to create a short intergenerational play. The storytelling process used theater and trust games to build participants’ relationships with each other. Through observation and conversation, our playwrights captured adult participants’ stories to create a piece that features reflections on such timeless themes as growing up and family ties. Set against the background of familiar institutions like the Como Park Conservatory and the campus of St. Olaf College, the stories were unique to the players, but the emotions and lessons conveyed in the storytelling evoke universal milestones.

Youth Participants: Dominic, Kaitlyn, Megan, Nick, Rebecca

Adult Participants: Mar Alojado, Kristin Anderson, Joan Calof, Terry Ford, Sy Vang

For more information: Contact Project Manager Aleah Vinick at or 651-259-3417.

Background on Saint Paul
Founded near historic American Indian settlements as a trading and transportation center, Saint Paul was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849. The area was the last accessible point to unload boats headed upriver due to the Mississippi River valley's stone bluffs. When Minnesota was admitted to the union as a state in 1858, Saint Paul had already become a steamboat port and gateway for settlers to the Minnesota frontier and Dakota Territory. During this period, Saint Paul was known by many as "The Last City of the East." Today, Saint Paul is a bustling city; home to a strong arts/theater scene and a diverse population of nearly 300,000, including sizeable Hmong, Mexican and Somali immigrant communities.


Theater Resources

Theatrical Personalities of Old Saint Paul

Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists

The Playwrights' Center


Minnesota Immigration Resources

Center for Hmong Arts and Talent


Landmarks Referenced in the Play

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Planning Saint Paul's Como Park

Como Park Placeography

The Birth of Twin Cities' Commercial Radio

WCAL Radio

St. Olaf College


Minnesota Wrestling

Minnesota’s Golden Age of Wrestling

Project Details

Date: March 2010 - June 2010
Partner(s): Jon Ferguson; Hayley Finn and Sarah Teich, The Playwrights’ Center; Brian Goranson, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists; Christina Ham; Cory Hinkle; Dario Tangleson; Aleah Vinick, Minnesota Historical Society, Project Manager
Location: Saint Paul , MN

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