By Susan Berdahl, Park Square Theatre
Panic, by playwright Joseph Goodrich, is in previews and opens Friday, June 17 at Park Square Theatre. Winner of the Edgar Allen Poe Best Play Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 2008, Panic provides that summer fare we all enjoy—a thriller filled with twists and turns, and the delicious surprises of a Hitchcock-style “whodunit.” An elegant and stylish set, with costumes that could fit on the set of “Mad Men,” takes us to Paris in the 1960s. Panic also presents some delightful backstage stories for Park Square as we close a successful 35th anniversary season and begin planning for next—our biggest season ever in terms of actors on stage!
Joe Goodrich has a long history with Park Square. In 1984, he was a student at Hamline University when the theatre department was under the direction of Dr. William H. Kimes—who was also the first president of the board for Park Square Theatre. That year, Kimes played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice—a production at the original location of the theatre that gave us our name: the basement of the Park Square Court Building. (A location that was nothing like the comfort and great sight lines of our current location in the newly refurbished theatre in the Hamm Building!) The director was Richard Cook—who continues today as the theatre’s artistic director. Now the story comes full circle as Park Square presents the area premiere of Goodrich’s Panic.
And while that story is one of old acquaintances reconnecting, Panic also brings a new friend to the theatre as Carin Bratlie launches her Park Square directing debut. Carin is the director of Theatre Pro Rata, and has directed more than 50 productions throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.
These are just a few examples of how a theatre like Park Square—which has been a part of the Twin cities community for 35 years—connects with the lives of our audiences and artists, continuing to be vibrant, exciting and truly theatre for you, yes you!