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Mill City Players Ready to Perform August 21 at MacPhail and August 25 at Central Library

Article by Claudia Kittock



With that call and response, the Mill City Players begin rehearsals. Both of these words are from the Twi dialect, spoken in Ghana. "Ago" is a call to community or attention, and "ame" is a response meaning the responder is here and is listening.

This energetic and talented group of young people have been rehearsing since mid-June. Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and begin with lunch, provided by community volunteers. If you have forgotten what it means to feed 20 young people, you need to remember the enthusiasm and energy they bring to lunch. With lunch decisively consumed, rehearsal begins.

We are so honored to have an incredible team of professionals leading the Mill City Players. James A. Williams is the Artistic Director and comes to this project with 42 years of theater experience and incredible skills. JW (as he is known) has been a professional actor, director, producer and writer for almost 40 years.  Patricia Brown, adjunct professor of dance at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College, teaches movement and serves as Associate Director. Ahanti Young, professional percussionist, actor and spoken word artist, teaches our actors drumming on paint pails and also serves as Associate Director.

Patricia Brown (center) instructing dance.

Ahanti Young (far left, pink shirt) teaches drumming.

The most exciting news is that we have agreed to make the Mill City Players a year-round troupe. Stay tuned for the details as they are still being planned. The overall plan is to offer 8-week sessions throughout the calendar year with hiatuses in between. We have seen what our actors have been able to accomplish in this short amount of time and are even more excited to have the time to keep building on their accomplishments with a predictable calendar.   

Antonello Hall at MacPhail Center for MusicOur first set of performances with this group are coming soon. Please mark your calendars to join us on August 21st at 7 p.m. in MacPhail Center for Music's Antonello Hall, or on August 25th at 1:30 p.m. in Central Library's Pohlad Hall. Performance will be in 3 sections: Movement, Drumming, and Acting. The actors have been writing - you can expect to hear their own words, and they are powerful.

Pohlad Hall, Minneapolis Central Library

This troupe was created and sponsored by Friends of the Mill District. Our mission is to create and support activities that build community, and are free of charge to all participants. We hit a home run with this group! Come and see for yourself. You do not want to miss a chance to experience what these actors have to say.

If you have any questions or comments, or want to know more about supporting the work of the Friends of the Mill District, please contact Claudia Kittock at

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).


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