Now Playing

The Guthrie Theater presents
a Theatre Forever production of
The Nature Crown
conceived and directed by Jon Ferguson
with text by Dominic Orlando
created with the ensemble.

Previews begin March 20; Opening night March 21; Playing through April 5, 2015


Theatre Forever's The Nature Crown is a celebratory narrative event exploring origin, innocence, community and change. This world premiere is told through the eyes of a stranger who, at a crossroads in his life, finds himself jolted from his reality and lost in the woods. With only a broken briefcase and a sad potted plant, he finds -- at the center of it all -- a village within his own heart.

Highly physical, comic and poetic, this new work marks award-winning director and playmaker Jon Ferguson's return to the Dowling Studio following his celebrated Super Monkey in 2009. The company's special brand of playful, irreverent and imaginative work features some of the Twin Cities most exciting actors, musicians and theater-makers -- an event not to be missed!

Soon, more information about the creation of The Nature Crown can be found at The Rambler, A Map of Inspiration to the Making of The Nature Crown.

The Nature Crown ensemble includes: Christian Bardin (Assistant Director), Lauren Rae Anderson, Aimee K. Bryant, Alexander Hathaway, Catherine Johnson Justice, Kalen Keir, Diogo Lopes, Ben Mandelbaum, Brant Miller, Adelin Phelps, Lorenzo Reyes, Peter Lincoln Rusk, Paul Rutledge, Tony Sarnicki, Nick Saxton and Allison Witham. Additionally, the ensemble musicians are Tim Cameron, Dan Dukich, Kalen Keir and Elizabeth Windnagel, joined by the women's chamber choir, Artemis. With stage management by Audrey Rice.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

"The Nature Crown, is, on first glance, a pastorale ruminating on nature and humanity's place in it. Look a little more closely, though, and it's possible to observe less well-worn paths into thickets of memory, longing and regret."

“Spring is uncertain and fickle in this part of the world. So perhaps this is the right time and place for a play that asks audiences to consider both the possibilities and the peculiarities of nature the way "The Nature Crown" does.”

- Dominic Papatola, Pioneer Press

"A devised work co-created by director Jon Ferguson and his plucky 16-member ensemble of actors, the show keeps you smiling from the moment the actors walk onto the bare stage…"

"It's prodigious creativity is on view within the first few minutes as Joao enters with just a keyboard, walking to his office. He is attended by someone holding a light, a small chair and other things that he’ll need. They move with him, like wings on a bird. This delightful choreography extends throughout “Crown,” which features live scoring by ensemble musicians and the Artemis Chamber Choir."

"If it’s easy to fall in love with the physically engaged telling of “Crown,” it’s partly because we’ve seen such creativity writ larger by the likes of Julie Taymor, Mary Zimmerman and George Wolfe.

- Rohan Preston - The Star Tribune

"The Nature Crown, one of the most elaborate shows Ferguson’s produced in years, is a rich production built on a deeply layered allegory about memory and loss, about courage and fear, and about the meaning of maturity. It’s a little heavy, yeah, but it’s also charming and funny, suspended in Ferguson’s buoyant yet poignant alternate reality.”

"Ferguson has the courage to take the audience-performer relationship very seriously, to illuminate the fact that audience members are, in an important sense, co-creators themselves."

"The Nature Crown is an inspiring production; it also happens to be a lot of fun."

"Ferguson’s best shows—notably You’re My Favorite Kind of Pretty and its sequel A Bun for a Door Handle—have openly been inspired by his own life, and The Nature Crown plays an interesting twist on that dynamic. Ferguson spent his childhood in England, and Lopes is from Portugal; their stories blur into one another, and ultimately into ours."

- Jay Gabler - The Tangential

“…a whimsical and often touching ride into the real and imaginary worlds of our own lives.”

“a detour into the kind of forest that usually exists only in our imaginations.”

“The Nature Crown is the perfect start-of-spring piece. It offers us a taste of the world that's just outside if - we are willing to open the door.”

- Ed Huyck, City Pages

"…it's lovely, delightful, innovative, poignant, creative, and incredibly moving. The original fairy tale deals with the ideas of home, place, and change…"

"If exploring the ideas of home and change and courage ("be brave or you'll miss everything") with music, movement, delightful props, heartfelt performances, and much theatrical innovation is intriguing to you, go see Nature Crown, and be reminded of those places that lie inside your heart"

- Cherry and Spoon

“…part fable, part parable, part satire, fanciful but in the context of real issues—and all bursting with imagination. It has the feel of a staged dream, and like a dream, subject to a host of interpretations.”

“The physical production is wondrous...”

“See The Nature Crown to be inspired to set out on your own path, or just for the sheer joy of exuberantly creative storytelling.”

- Arthur Dorman -