‘Nature,’ A walking play planned at Eastman

Three Rivers Park District and TigerLion Arts are teaming up this fall to present “Nature,” an outdoor walking play. Created and produced by TigerLion Arts, “Nature” is an outdoor experience like no other. An award-winning ensemble of actors and musicians brings audience members right into the playful and deeply moving journey through the natural environment, which is filled with song, story and celebration as scenes unfold around them.

“Nature” is referred to as a walking play because audiences walk from scene to scene to experience the play in various natural surroundings. Performances at Eastman Nature Center, in Elm Creek Park Reserve in Dayton, offer unique stages of inspiration, with the Minnesota River Valley being one of the last places Henry David Thoreau explored before his death and Elm Creek Park Reserve having the largest span of uninterrupted habitat in the Twin Cities.

Eastman Nature Center in the Elm Creek Park Reserve will be presenting a walking play, "Nature," Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
Eastman Nature Center in the Elm Creek Park Reserve will be presenting a walking play, “Nature,” Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.

The story is an original work collaboratively created and performed by Tyson Forbes, a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and directed by Markell Kiefer. The play explores humankind’s relationship to nature through the eyes of two of America’s great environmental voices, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Forbes said, “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.”

Performances at Eastman Nature Center are Friday, Sept. 30, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 1, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. or 5 to 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 2, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

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. During the course of the experience, the audience will walk short distances between four different locations, so guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes. Performances are outside, so theatre goers should dress for the weather and feel free to bring portable chairs and blankets to sit on. Inclusion services are available upon request.

Cost is $20 per ticket, or $5 for children under 10. Picnic lunches can be ordered for $12 up to the day prior of the performance. Beverages, including craft beer from Omni Brewing, and additional food items will be available onsite for purchase prior to the performance.

Tickets are available online at: ThreeRiversParks.org/nature