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Daybreak Guest: Ibsen Festival

LANESBORO, Minnesota -- The Commonweal Theatre Company announces its 17th annual Ibsen Festival April 11-13 in downtown Lanesboro. Named for Henrik Ibsen, the acclaimed "Father of Modern Drama," the festival is a celebration of Scandinavian theatre, visual art, music and dance, centered amidst the opening of Commonweal's annual Ibsen production. This yearly gathering of artists and craftsmen was honored in 2008 by the Norwegian government, who awarded the commonweal theatre one of only four inaugural international Ibsen scholarships in recognition of its ongoing commitment to producing the works of Ibsen, one of the world's premiere playwrights.

The highlight of this year's festival is the world premiere adaptation of Ibsen's "Brand." The action of the play focuses on fundamentalist pastor brand and his desperate search for a new model of humanity. With his faith being constantly tested, brand remains steadfast in his ideal of "all or nothing" and risks everything in his quest for spiritual perfection. "Brand" is adapted by Minneapolis playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by executive director Hal Cropp and features resident ensemble member Jeremy Van Meter in the title role. The cast also includes commonweal resident ensemble members David Hennessey, Megan Pence, and annual company members Gary Danciu and Ana Hagedorn. The production team will be led by stage manager Bailey Otto and production manager Thomas White.  

Ibsen festival events officially begin Friday evening, April 11th, at the Commonweal Theatre featuring a performance of "Brand." The events of Saturday, April 12 will be highlighted with a presentation showcasing the Ibsen-inspired work of international award-winning jewelry designer and goldsmith Liz Bucheit. Ms. Bucheit of Crown Trout Jewelers in Lanesboro will showcase her "Ibsen Adorned" collection. Influenced by her Norwegian ancestry and trained in traditional silversmithing, Bucheit will speak about how Ibsen's complex characters influenced her creative process. A reception for the artist will follow a presentation of the work. 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 Fund.  

Funding for Commonweal Theatre's programming is provided in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and private funders. A complete schedule of festival events is available at For more details, including information about schedules, tickets, and other commonweal programs, visit or call the box office at (800) 657-7025.

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