Pangea World Theater Presented Second Annual Lake Street Story Circles Cohort Performance

By Emily Meenan


I am amazed again and again by the power of Story Circles and creating from that place. As artists the time for deep listening, the curiosity and questions raised are such powerful roots to build what is possible. We need each other’s stories, we need each other’s truth, we need each other’s dreams. Now more than ever we need each other.  It’s no small thing. – Ellen Hinchcliffe, Curator and Creator of Lake Street Story Circles

How can I be a playwright RIGHT now? How can I, a person who longs for control, lean into messiness? How can I find joy in the MESS of emotions I’m feeling since just this morning? Can I create from a genuine place of joy in the midst of this confusion, grief, guilt, rage? – Johanna Keller Flores, Lake Street Story Circles Artist

Pangea World theater was pleased to present Lake Street Story Circles 2020. Ten artists came together to hold Story Circles and create new performance work about life, spirit, resistance, power, politics, vision, relationships, history, healing, business, home, time, nature, weeds, wants, needs, survival and joy. Grounded on Lake Street, grounded in Minneapolis, grounded in story, in place, and each other.

Each artist in the cohort spent the summer holding Story Circles and creating songs, plays, poems, images and installations. Through conversations, art installations, and socially distanced community gatherings, they put their ear to the ground on Lake Street and held their community close, all in response to current events in their city and around the world.

I am deeply saddened and inspired by my childhood stomping grounds from the E. Lake Street library to the former Sears Building, now Midtown Global Market. Memories of roasting cashews, peanuts and mixed nuts sitting alongside lawnmowers and lingerie swirl around the charred and jarring smells and sounds of the recent uprisings triggered by the murder of George Floyd. – Sandra Agustin, Lake Street Story Circles artist.

At Pangea World Theater, they have made a commitment not only to rebuilding Lake Street and Minneapolis, but to reimagining them. They step forward with hope and determination towards a future made of mutual reciprocity, of joy and equity, peace and justice – and this year’s Lake Street Story Circles performances all help to lay the groundwork for this new vision. Each of the artists in this cohort worked to begin breaking down this current system and create an alternate vision through their projects.

Lake Street Circles Performances were held October 16th and 17th and were followed by live talkbacks with the artists. The schedule was as follows:

Night One – October 16, 2020

Sequoia Hauck – Collective Healing: Taking Time to Recharge

Juma B. Essie – Blackness is Nature

Johanna Keller Flores – Tenemos la responsabilidad to hold one another

Masanari Kawahara and Molly Van Avery- Make a Sanctuary of Me

Miré – Sites of grief, transformation, resisting immobility, and paving the street with gold.

Night Two – October 17, 2020

Sandra Agustin – Corner Conversations

Aegor Ray – future/crowns

Rebecca Nichloson – Minneapolis: An Awakening, A Reckoning, A Search for Breath

Mollie Lacy – Redefining Power

Mankwe Ndosi – We Persist! Black and Green Relationships of Nourishment and Resilience

Also featuring Music/Video Soundscape from The Muatas\

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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