Weekend Arts Roundup: Free Black Dirt, If My Feet Have Lost the Ground, The Aliens

The Aliens
Paul LaNave and Spencer H. Levin in Walking Shadow Theatre Company's production of "The Aliens". Performances run through February 27 at Red Eye Theater. (Dan Norman Photography)
Weekend Arts Roundup: Free Black Dirt, If My Feet Have Lost the Ground, The Aliens
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MPR News Arts Reporter Marianne Combs joins Jade and Sean McPherson to talk about three happenings in the local art world.

Here's this week's rundown:

Free Black Dirt Collective — Artists Erin Sharkey and Junauda
, cofounders of the collective Free Black Dirt, have been exploring the archives of the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota as artists in residence with the Coffee House Press In The Stacks program. Sharkey and Petrus will present an interactive and dynamic recap of their findings and learnings. Their presentation will be followed by a panel conversation featuring curator Cecily Marcus, Tana Hargest, Executive Director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, and Jay Peterson of Coffee House Press.

If My Feet Have Lost the Ground — At Open Eye Theater, the show uses Bunraku puppetry (a Japanese style of puppetry that requires three puppeteers visible to the audience), shadow puppets, toy theater, scenery, natural landscapes, aerial photography, and medical drawings to tell the story of Grace, a woman who spends too much of her life suspended in flight, finds a letter containing a living, beating heart in the airplane pocket in front of her. All she has to go on is a return address and a desire to keep this fragile thing alive.

The Aliens — At the Red Eye Theater, Jasper & KJ spend their days behind the coffee shop, writing songs and planning novels. The young barista Evan needs them gone. But when the duo begin to initiate him in the ways of tea, music, and Bukowski, their uncomfortable friendship blossoms into an unlikely transcendence. A captivating drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker.

Marianne Combs joins The Current's Morning Show for the Weekend Arts Roundup every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Read all the latest arts news from MPR News.

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