Take A Walk And Enjoy Nature

By Scott Wente



Family-friendly walking play set for Oct. 11–13 at Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Dakota County Parks and TigerLion Arts will present the acclaimed outdoor walking play Nature in five performances Oct. 11–13 at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. An award-winning ensemble of actors and musicians will bring audience members into a playful and deeply moving performance with music, song and story unfolding around them in this first-of-its-kind event for the park.

Nature is performed outdoors as a “walking play.”  A professional ensemble of actors takes the audience on a journey through the natural environment as scenes unfold around them. Bagpipes, ancient flutes, drums and rich choral arrangements are intricately woven into the experience.

Nature will take place in multiple locations along Lebanon Hills’ rolling hills and native prairies. The story is an original work created and performed by Tyson Forbes, a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and director Markell Kiefer. The play explores humankind’s relationship to nature through the eyes of two of America’s great environmental voices, Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Performances will be 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12; and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13. A post-show discussion will follow the 1 p.m. Oct. 13 performance.

Nature begins near the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan. Run time is about 90 minutes without intermission. During the experience, the audience will walk short distances to four different locations. Portable lawn chairs or blankets are suggested as there are a limited number of chairs for those who need them most. A golf cart will be provided for people with limited mobility.

Audience members are encouraged to arrive early to explore the park. Food truck concessions will be available for purchase. Pre-show choral arrangements and bagpiping will be performed by local community members 30 minutes before the play begins. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.

Tickets and other information are available at www.dakotacounty.us/parks, search Nature play. In the event of rain, ticketholders may return for any subsequent performance.

Nature was honored in the Minneapolis Star Tribune as a “Best of 2014” theater performance. In 2015–17 Nature was performed at 18 parks and arboretums throughout the Midwest and East Coast as part of a nationwide tour called Nature for the Nation. The recent documentary “Nature: Walking with Emerson & Thoreau” won a 2018 Regional Emmy Award.

Nature is supported with a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.