The Playwrights' Center Has a Case of “Wonderlust”

A highly theatrical fundraiser brings out the best of the creative theater community

The essence of what it means to be creative—whether it’s making a beautiful piece of art, finding a new use for an old object, or creating a story so fascinating the reader can’t bear to turn away—is always up for definition. The Playwrights’ Center’s business is a particular kind of creativity: fostering the writing and acting that bring out our deepest and most profound emotions.  And it all comes from wonderlust—what the PWC calls “the itch that only art can scratch.”

This year, the Center’s annual benefit aptly bears the same name—Wonderlust—a nod to both the vitality of creativity and a continuously unfolding sense of fun. 

Guests are expected to “check [their] dull at the door,” [per the PWC], and can spend the first hour sipping cocktails, betting on a silent auction, posing for pictures, and playing a so-called “game of chance.”

Then, in a series of three acts, guests can enjoy the talents of playwrights, auctioneers, and actors, such as Jennifer Blagen, a regular at the Guthrie; Cat Brindisi, City Pages’ Best Emerging Actress in 2013; and Terry Hempleman, a stage veteran who is also seen in ’90s flicks such as Mall Rats and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Act One will warm up the crowd with an interactive game of Play Libs.  Like the classic fill-in-the-blank storytelling game Mad Libs, playwrights will create scripts with holes that audience members can fill.

During the live auction in Act Two, guests can bid on one-of-a-kind theater travel trips or commission a playwright (or wonder-maker, per the evening’s theme) to write a play just for them—perfect for art lovers with deep pockets.  In the final act, the on-the-spot play will be performed for the entire crowd. 

However it’s defined, creativity lives in us all—and Wonderlust is an original celebration for a very worthy cause in our distinctive and evolving cultural life.

WHAT: Wonderlust
WHEN: May 15, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Aria at the Jeune Lune
105 N. First St., Minneapolis

For ticket information, visit