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“The program for “Nature: a walking play” doesn’t credit anyone, but whoever designed these acres of trees, ravines, flowers, meadows and ponds deserves a salute. What better scenery could exist for a play about two men who drew inspiration from the beauty of the Earth? Audiences travel the literal distance between sloping meadow, tree-sheltered cabin frame and fen (standing in for Walden Pond). They also travel a figurative distance, as Emerson and Thoreau bond on a hillside in their bromance over nature and then fall out over differing philosophies on progress and society.”

Star Tribune

Hello

The eleven-person cast and community chorus lead us through the experience, dressed in authentic looking period clothing (costumes by Christine A. Richardson). Waldo and Henry are perfectly personified by Tyson Forbes (who also created and co-wrote the piece) as the tall, elegant, well-dressed minister and lecturer, and John Catron as the bearded and unruly-haired nature-lover who eschews the trappings of modern society.

Cherry & Spoon

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TigerLion Arts’ production of Nature, directed by Markell Kiefer, may be less of a play in the conventional sense and more of an explication of the ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson (playwright Tyson Forbes) and Henry David Thoreau (John Catron) through movement, dialogue, and music, but it is still very much worth your while. Emerson and Thoreau both believed that the divine manifested itself most strongly and clearly in the natural world, and, after spending a few hours tromping to and fro in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Garden for Wildlife, even the most indoorsy of audience members will likely be inclined to agree with them.

Emily Anderson

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The show owes much of its energy to its performance outdoors, and director Markell Kiefer does an admirable job creating performance spaces that are clearly demarcated from but wholly integrated into some rather majestic landscapes. Some of the moments are strikingly beautiful, and there always will be something to venerate in hearing, as we do here, delicate music sung by strong voices echoing off a hill of tall prairie grass. Composer Dick Hensold has done a terrific job with a score inspired by the music of New England in the 19th century.

Matthew Foster

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Aside from providing an opportunity to appreciate the natural world, Nature stages a more profound debate about political engagement. While Emerson (Tyson Forbes) advocates bringing change to the world through public discourse, Thoreau (John Catron) becomes a hermit, preferring to minimize his environmental footprint as much as possible. Much of the script is drawn directly from original texts by Emerson and Thoreau, and Forbes and Catron do an excellent job bringing the eloquent prose to life while imbuing it with their characters’ distinct personalities.

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The idea is to really heighten the awareness of the nature and the gardens themselves,” says Forbes, 38. “We’re always talking about that with the cast: to be very aware of the sun, the wind, the birds–to play with them and to acknowledge them.

Chris Hewitt

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I thought about nature not as something to be visited occasionally, but as something we live in the midst of daily, whether we’re aware of it or not. Sometimes her voice is obscured by the busyness of modern life, but she’s always there if we take the time and listen hard enough.

Broadway World

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Nature is performed outdoors as a “walking play.” A professional ensemble of actors takes the audience on a journey through the natural environment as scenes unfold around them. Bagpipes, ancient flutes, drums and rich choral arrangements are intricately woven into the script with compositions by Dick Hensold.