Nature to be Performed at Gustavus’ Linneaus Arboretum

Posted on August 31st, 2015 by

"Best of Twin Cities Theatre 2014" TigerLion Arts "Nature"

“Best of Twin Cities Theatre 2014” TigerLion Arts “Nature”

Linnaeus Arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus College, in collaboration with the Gustavus Department of Theatre/Dance, presents the highly acclaimed Twin Cities outdoor show, Nature produced by TigerLion Arts on September 25-27. Nature is a professionally produced family-friendly outdoor experience like no other. An award-winning ensemble of actors brings audience members into a playful outdoor journey filled with music, song, story and celebration through the natural environment as scenes unfold around them.

Performances of Nature in the Linnaeus Arboretum are scheduled for:

  • September 25 at 5:30 p.m.
  • September 26 at noon and 5:30 p.m.
  • September 27 at 1:00 p.m.

Nature was honored in the Minneapolis Star Tribune as the “Best of 2014: Striking performances mark best in theater” after presenting at the MN Landscape Arboretum in 2014. This summer marks the launch of the nationwide tour of Nature at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in the Washburn Fair Oaks Park with their sixth and penultimate stop at the Linnaeus Arboretum of Gustavus Adolphus College.

The play will take place amid the prairies and woodlands of Linnaeus Arboretum, recently named one of the nation’s most amazing college botanical spaces by The story is an original work collaboratively created with Tyson Forbes, a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and directed by Markell Kiefer. Forbes says, “I have always felt honored to be an Emerson descendent. I feel an intimate responsibility to his lineage, and for years I have imagined a play that could bring his spirit and teachings, along with that of his friend and fellow author Henry David Thoreau, to a broader audience. When I read their work, I find answers to burning questions on how to live my life more deeply and responsibly in this world. They were both radicals of their time, calling on their peers to think for themselves and be agents of change. I believe their words and ideas are as necessary now as they were then.”

“We are thrilled to offer this phenomenal outdoor experience to the Saint Peter, Mankato and surrounding communities. It’s a truly unique outdoor performance for all ages, and Linnaeus Arboretum in autumn is the perfect setting,” said Scott Moeller, Arboretum Director. “We are excited to welcome many friends, old and new, to come out and join us for this one-of-a-kind performance.”

“Gustavus continuously strives to provide professional quality learning experiences for our students, alumni, faculty and friends,” says Theatre Department Chair Micah Maatman. “Offering this opportunity with professionals like TigerLion Arts is just another example of that.”

The professional ensemble cast features John Catron as Thoreau (named Best Actor 2014 by City Pages and seen locally at the Guthrie Theater, Jungle Theater, Frank Theater and many others); Tyson Forbes (Guthrie Theater, Ordway, Jungle Theater and multiple TigerLion Arts productions) as Emerson. Kimberly Richardson (Ten Thousand Things, Open Eye Figure Theater, Children’s Theatre Company); Norah Long (Guthrie Theater, Skylark Opera, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Nautilus Music-Theater).   The ensemble also includes Matt Sciple, Aeysha Kinnunen, Ryan Patrick and Nathan Gebhard, as well as a volunteer chorus that will be drawn from the local community. Cast bios are available at Bagpipes, ancient flutes, drums and rich choral arrangements are intricately woven into the script with compositions by Dick Hensold (2006 Bush Artist Fellow).

Audience members are encouraged to come early to visit the grounds. Picnic meals are welcome and can be enjoyed along with pre-show choral arrangements performed by local community members before the performance begins. The show is about nature, so weather plays a role as well . Guests should dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Nature runs approximately 90 minutes without intermission, and during the course of the experience, the audience will walk short distances between four different locations. Portable lawn chairs or blankets to sit on are recommended.

Ticket prices for this TigerArts performance of Nature in the Linneaus Arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus College are $15 for general admission and free to children 12 and under. Tickets are on available at or 507-933-7520. More information available at or or by calling 507-933-6181.


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