February 18, 2019

zAmya Theater, The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center and Hennepin Theatre Trust collaborate in a production for one night only on Friday, March 15

MINNEAPOLIS — Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today a new collaboration with zAmya Theater and The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center to present a theater production about homelessness, created and performed by people who have experienced it. STORIES FROM THE BOOK OF HARBOR LIGHT will be presented at 900 Hennepin on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 6 p.m. with a reception at 5:30 p.m. A donation of $20 is recommended. Our goal is to bring together a socially diverse audience. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

Friday March 15 6 p.m. Studio 900 Suggested $20 donation

STORIES FROM THE BOOK OF HARBOR LIGHT is inspired by the true stories behind a large-scale mural on the facade of the Harbor Light administrative building, across from the Harbor Light Center, the largest adult shelter in the five-state area.

In 2017, Hennepin Theatre Trust commissioned artist Bianca Pettis to paint a mural on the Harbor Light facade with help from people who were staying at the shelter. The idea was to give voice to people at the shelter and create a sense of community and belonging. Pettis covered the entire side of the Harbor Light’s administrative building with brightly colored faces and patterns, and words such as “love,” “prosperity” and “hope.”

“This production is really about making the stories behind those powerful words come alive, and we’re honored to present it in our venue at 900 Hennepin, in collaboration with our neighbors,” says Hennepin Theatre Trust CEO and President Mark Nerenhausen. “This space belongs to the community, and we’re looking forward to welcoming an audience with diverse life experiences, including people who have experienced homelessness, housing advocates, downtown leaders and other members of the community to see and hear these inspirational and moving stories.”

STORIES FROM THE BOOK OF HARBOR LIGHT tells real-life stories of people who are currently or have been homeless. The production is being created in workshops with zAmya Theater troupe members, Harbor Light residents, and others who have experienced homelessness. zAmya believes that theater can change how people think about homelessness by creating plays based on the real stories of participants who have experienced homelessness.

“This partnership [between Harbor Light, zAmya and Hennepin Theatre Trust] is brilliant, because it gives our people and anyone who has experienced homelessness an opportunity to speak their truths — and sometimes their truths are hard to hear, but they must be heeded,” says Luke Zenker, a performer and staff member at Harbor Light. “Arts are so important in society towards ending poverty and injustice, because it gives a platform for expression of people’s truths.”

HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST is a nonprofit organization that creates positive change through the arts. We serve the community through our three historic theatres – the Orpheum, State and Pantages – and our unique arts, culture and education programs. All performances of the Broadway on Hennepin series are supported by Bank of America. All performances of the Living Legend series are supported by BMO Harris Bank. Spotlight Showcase is sponsored by Fredrikson & Byron, Slumberland Furniture and Sun Country Airlines. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

was founded in 2004 by Minneapolis citizen Lecia Grossman. Lecia wanted to learn about homelessness working “with” people, not “for” them. With support from theater professionals and homeless advocates, she devised a process for bringing homeless and housed together to create theater, learn from one another, and share with the broader community. zAmya is a Sanskrit word that means “aiming at peace.” For zAmya, aiming at peace means aiming toward a community with safe, stable, affordable housing options for all. Through captivating performances and creative collaboration workshops, zAmya builds understanding and connection between citizens who have experienced homelessness and those who have not. Learn more at zamyatheater.org.

THE SALVATION ARMY’S HARBOR LIGHT CENTER at 1010 Currie Ave., Minneapolis, is a safe place for people to stabilize their lives and begin the process of healing. We offer a wide range of basic needs to anyone without discrimination. As Minnesota’s largest homeless adult outreach facility, we meet people at their greatest point of need to inspire hope, instill belief in possibilities, and impart opportunities for a fresh start. Learn more at salvationarmynorth.org/community/harbor-light.