Old friends from the Minneapolis theater/performance art scene were reunited on Thursday in celebration of Out There’s 25th Anniversary. A photo slideshow highlighted performances throughout the years (you can see it here) as people shared their favorite Out There memories and hopes for the future on a Post-It wall, while a photo booth allowed guests to get wacky with iconic props from past Out There performances—umbrellas from Big Dance Theater’s Another Telepathic Thing and American flags from The TEAM’s Particularly in the Heartland were popular choices.
Jeff Bartlett, an Out There founder, gave the first toast to Out There. Reminiscing about some very challenging productions, he praised the Walker’s Julie Voigt (an Out There veteran of 24 years) as being the one who made sure that, despite all odds, the shows indeed did go on.
Philip Bither thanked the Twin Cities for being, in Young Jean Lee’s words, a “savvy, open-hearted, generous, fun, and extremely rock-and-roll” audience, and supporting artists who push the boundaries of performance. But most of all, Bither thanked the artists whose work continues to inform and inspire.
Rude Mechs member Lana Lesley noted how the theater world (nationally and internationally) turns its gaze to Minneapolis each January to see what is going on at Out There. And with that, the Rude Mechs led the partygoers out of the Skyline Room and into the McGuire Theater for the opening night performance of The Method Gun.