Phase 1: Episodes

Water Tub Puppet

photo: Bruce Silcox

Invigorate the Common Well

A Civic Project
A Sacred Project
A Communal Health Project

Initiated by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre with the Tomales Bay Institute

To renew the “out of order” drinking fountain in the Avalon Theater through an episodic performance to raise the activism of the commons towards the health of our public water.

An Initiative:

  • To inspire gratitude for Water, one of the most precious gifts of life.
  • To connect our local drinking water experience with the impending global water crisis of  staggering proportions concerning water quality, consumption and ownership.
  • To listen to the teachings of water toward the interconnectedness of all life, as it tunes our hearts and minds towards the value of “the commons”, a founding principal of the USA.
  • To enhance citizen awareness of the Mississippi River as source of all public city water in Minneapolis, as well as much of St. Paul.
  • To invest our financial and imaginative resources towards “The Commons” – the non-partisan, collective assurance of healthy water for all – with a faith that sustainable, healthy systems are possible within urban and rural settings.
  • To educate the public about Minneapolis’ Public Water Works.
  • To conduct public art/ecology residencies throughout the region to invigorate public wells (drinking fountains) as places of meeting, of physical and spiritual sustenance while educating about major local and global water concerns.
  • To discourage the proliferation of plastic water bottles mounting up in land fills of the world.
  • To encourage the collective power of individual citizens to enact positive change upon the problems created by the accumulation of individual actions.

A Sacred Project:

  • Water is Life. Let us be grateful for this most precious gift. Let us see how water binds us to All of Life, to our histories, to our futures.

A Civic Project:

  • This project will involve the intersection of artists with partners from ecological, social, geological and civic fields, as well as with broad spectrums of the general public.
  • We will be inventing new forms of artistry that give honor to the vision and expertise of people working with water issues. Because this project carries the underlying value of responsible, participatory democracy in creating healthy communities, we will also invent forms that spur interaction of the public with the research presented. We will continually pose the question of our individual and collective responsibilities and activism in meeting the growing issues of local and global water stewardship.
  • We stand on the brink of a global water crisis of staggering proportions. Participation is not optional. This project will reveal how we already stand in the midst of this global situation through our own daily use of water, and will encourage community dialogue and responsive action.

A Communal Health Project:

  • People gather around public water sources. They greet each other. “How are you today?”
  • Stories are exchanged; people are refreshed by the generosity of water, and by the generosity of each other.
  • The quality of Water shared by one is the quality of water by all. Issues of water quality for the public good are mindfully inherent in the care of public water sources.
  • We are connected to each and everyone’s health issues as we consider the hazards seeping into all the waters.
  • The quantity of water is a finite global shared resource. To quote a grade school student expressing what she learned in a residency focused on water, “All the water we have, is all the water we have.”

Project Description:

Invigorate the Common Well is a unique theatrical collaboration between In the Heart of the Beast artists and a variety of partners from professional water fields.

Through 3 separate episodes, audiences journey through the many alarming facts and figures, realities and myths about our planet’s finite water system. The performance takes a myriad of forms, including puppet-shows, game shows, video poems, paintings and installations. Each show will also feature hands-on, interactive stations where people learn about real actions and changes they can make in their everyday lives to keep water safe, clean, and accessible to all.

Episode 1: Come to the Well

When water is frozen: March 2-25, 2007
  • The essentialness of water for ALL of life,
  • water connected to physical, cultural and spiritual health.
  • Consider How consumption and ownership issues RELATE to THE ACCESS AND assurance of healthy water for all
  • A call for Invigorating the mindset and actions towards the Commons—the health and Wealth of ALL

Episode 2: Beneath the Surface

When life stirs under the earth: 2008 Season
  • The Water from our fountain connects to the Minneapolis Water WORKS, WHICH connects with the Mississippi RIVER, WHICH connects to all the Water in the World.
  • We are part of a huge watershed—consider how our actions affect the All
  • The Economy and Quality of Water–consider Public Water Works, and the Plastic Bottled Water Industry
  • A call for Invigorating the mindset and actions towards the Commons—the health and Wealth of ALL

Episode 3: Decorate the Well in Gratitude

When our City celebrates Water: 2008 Season
  • We build a public fountain of beauty and NECESSITY
  • We “invigorate the commons” and learn to respect and care for water
  • Dedicate and Decorate the Renewed Public Fountain