ST. CLOUD-- A Pulitzer-Prize-winning Broadway play is coming to St. Cloud this weekend. The Public Theater in New York City is taking Lynn Nottage’s Sweat on the road in their first-ever Mobile Unit National program.

The goal of the program is to break down barriers to the arts by bringing free, professional productions to local venues in six states across the Midwest. Project Leader Chiara Klein says this shared story-telling experience it is a whole new way to interact with theater.

We brought our A-team. We brought a fantastic cast, many of whom were in the Broadway production. It is our best work. I never want to see a play in a different way. It's amazing to be that close to the actors, and you really like get into the story.  The play, it really makes you think, it'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry.

 

The month-long, 18-stop tour includes cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Sweat is set in Reading, PA, and follows the fates of working-class families in regions like the Rust Belt who were hit hard by the disappearance of jobs between 2000 and 2008.

It is a portrait of a community going through agonizing and tragic changes. Inspired by themes in the play itself, Klein says the Public Theater hopes to open up community dialogue.

  It's not about just bringing a play, and then leaving. It's really about being in conversation, in dialogue, with communities, because that's not usually a place where big regional, big Broadway theaters are really at home.

 

The free show will be held at the Great River Regional Library tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. and followed by a discussion session. Because of serious themes including unemployment, unions, immigration, and opioid use, the performance is recommended for ages 16 and up. Photography is not allowed.