Paddling Theater on the Minnesota River

Theater in canoes as part of the Minnesota River History Weekend &Minnesota State Water Trails 50th Anniversary

On May 18, 2013, PlaceBase Productions and performers from the Upper Minnesota River Valley area (in the USA) will stage a Paddling Theater Production on the Minnesota River as part of Minnesota River History Weekend and Minnesota State Water Trails 50th Anniversary. From their canoes, the audience will engage with stories, songs and characters from local river lore, presented both as live theatre and live-action radio drama in the original production: With the Future on the Line: Paddling Theater from Granite Falls to Yellow Medicine. Characters from throughout history will emerge on the river’s banks, to lead the audience on an interactive journey into the past, bringing the stories of the Minnesota River Valley.

The production is based on historical research and interviews with local residents, historians, and naturalists and written, produced and directed by Ashley Hanson & Andrew Gaylord of PlaceBase Productions. Guided 10-person voyageur canoes and a plethora of private canoes and kayaks will paddle from Kinney’s Landing, just South of Granite Falls, to the confluence of the Minnesota and Yellow Medicine Rivers. Along the way paddlers will meet with a host of explorers, scientists, river reprobates and prairie politicians, and learn about the ecology, stories, and history of the stretch of river between Granite Falls and the Upper Sioux Agency State Park. Hanson states, “the performance is a starting point for deeper discussion and connection with each other and with the place… by watching our history and stories unfold before us through interaction with lively characters and playful scenes, we learn about who we are and where we came from; then we can begin to envision our future together in a way that is creative and joyful.”

Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have partnered with PlaceBase Productions (PBP) and Wilderness Inquiry (WI) to produce the Paddling Theater Production, as part of a larger weekend festival, Minnesota River History Weekend and Minnesota State Water Trails 50th Anniversary. The full event runs from May 17-19. For more festival information and schedule of events, visit

Event Details:

Starting Location: K.K. Berge Building (807 Prentice Street, Granite Falls)

Starting Time: Event Welcome 10:00am; Final scene at Memorial Park, Granite Falls at 7:30pm

Cost: $10 for a spot on Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur Canoes in advance and $15 on-site

Ages: ALL ages and abilities welcome to participate; Shuttle service provided.

Register at:

By Sacha Kagan

Research Associate at the ISCO - Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization (ISKO - Institut für Soziologie und Kulturorganisation), Leuphana University Lueneburg, Sacha Kagan founded the International level of Cultura21, Network for Cultures of Sustainability, as well as the International Summer School of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST). The focus of his research and cultural work lies in the trans-disciplinary field of arts and (un-)sustainability. Doctor in Philosophy (Leuphana University Lueneburg) with a thesis on the subject of culture, the arts and sustainability under the perspective of complexity ; M.A. in Cultural Economics (Erasmus University Rotterdam) ; and Graduate of Sciences Po Bordeaux (political sciences). For Cultura21, Sacha is also coordinating the eBooks series, the regular updates on our multi-lingual website, the English section of our webmagazine and the work of our Lueneburg-based interns.