Feb. 17-20: Metropolitan State copresents "Six Degrees of Separation"

By Robert Boos
Posted January 15, 2016

Feb. 17-20: Metropolitan State copresents "Six Degrees of Separation"

Six Degrees of Separation, a play by John Guare, runs one weekend only at the Whitney Fine Arts Main Stage in Minneapolis. Performances are 7 p.m., Feb. 17, 18, 19 and 20 with an additional matinee performance 1 p.m., Feb. 20. The play is a coproduction between Metropolitan State and Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).

Inspired by a true story, Six Degrees of Separation follows the trail of a young, intelligent con man, Paul, who insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple, Ouisa and Flan, claiming he knows their son at college. He also tells them he is the son of Sidney Poitier, has just been mugged and needs their help. This con expands to the couple’s other friends, and into much darker territory, exposing some of the flaws of upper class society—financial greed, self-absorption and insulation.

The story of this con also poses questions. Where do we draw the boundaries between inclusion and exclusion? At a time when our national security and identity are under threat by ISIS as well as American radicals, it is with great pertinence that we create and revisit art that essentially concerns outsiders: those who are the other solely because of race, religion or perhaps more exactly, class.

“I have always loved this play,” said Director Gail Smogard, who is also the director of the Metropolitan State Theater Program. “It’s fast and funny, disturbing and articulate. Yes, we are hyper connected now in ways that were not part of the 90s, but that is not the center of what happens here. We are only a few degrees away from each other with internet and social media. But one of Guare’s central questions is ‘How do we evaluate the quality of our connection to someone, and how do we keep the experience? How do we make these connections matter?’”

Performances are at the Whitney Fine Arts Center Main Stage, located on the Minneapolis Campus of Metropolitan State University and MCTC, 1424 Yale Place, Minneapolis. Parking is found on the street and in the MCTC ramp at 1501 Hennepin Ave.

No reservations are necessary and general admission to all performances is free. Audience members are asked to bring nonperishable food items to be donated to the MCTC Resource Center Food Pantry.

For more information, contact Anna.Branstner@metrostate.edu