Innovative Performance Space


When I was up in Duluth last week, I heard about The Play Ground. It sounded like an interesting concept so I thought I’d go check it out.

The Play Ground is a new 70-seat theatre located in Duluth’s Technology Village. The Play Ground is an innovative performing arts venue offering alternative programming in all disciplines – theatre, dance, music, poetry, art, film and the spoken word. The Play Ground aims to showcase the vibrant artistic community throughout the Duluth region while serving as a home for the area’s emerging artists.

There is no charge to use the space for performances. Presenters have the opportunity to make money from performing at the Play Ground. The Play Ground provides the performance space, helps advertise the show, sells tickets at the door, provides limited tech support and in return, takes a percentage of box office receipts, splitting remaining the profit with the artists 50/50. Performers are asked to maintain a standard $10 ticket price for events, and, if possible, perform a minimum of three nights (Thursday-Saturday).

There is also no charge to use the space for exhibitions. Artists have the opportunity to make money should their artwork sell. The Play Ground does not require a percentage of the sale nor are there any overhead costs. The Play Ground’s top priority is to present performers of varying disciplines in the evenings.

The Play Ground was opened by the Duluth Playhouse to in order to build stronger links with the community and, perhaps more importantly, to foster the development of emerging artists. It is essentially an incubator for the performing arts.

I’m interested to hear from the performing arts community if this type of facility would be a valuable addition to Northfield.