Garagepodge

Steve and Jan Campbell open their garage door to the public for Off Leash Area’s production of “A Gift From Planet BX63”

“A Gift for Planet BX63” will run on Friday and Saturday 7p.m. at Steve and Jane Campbell's garage, 3612 33rd Ave. NE., Minneapolis.

“A Gift for Planet BX63” will run on Friday and Saturday 7p.m. at Steve and Jane Campbell’s garage, 3612 33rd Ave. NE., Minneapolis.

 

What: A Gift for Planet BX63

When: 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Where: Steve and Jan CampbellâÄôs garage

3612 33rd Ave. NE, Minneapolis

Cost: Suggested donation of $5-$15

 

Steve and Jan Campbell donâÄôt clean their garage often. And why should they? Besides the resting place for their two cars it doubles as a storage facility for bikes, ski equipment, shovels âÄîall the excess possessions a family of four deems unworthy to sit in their living quarters.

But come this weekend the cars will be parked in the street and the floors swept as they welcome in Off Leash AreaâÄôs production of âÄúA Gift for Planet BX63âÄù for their second annual garage tour. An eclectic mix of theater and dance culminates in a visually focused materialism bashing fest.

âÄúAt first I was like, âÄòI donâÄôt know. Do we really want to do that much work to get the garage cleaned up?âÄôâÄù Jan Campbell said. âÄúIt was such a mess. It was a huge mess.âÄù

A performance in a garage âÄîtheater without the theater âÄî may imply a low-budget, ragtag affair. But thatâÄôs not what Off Leash has in mind. TheyâÄôll be hauling in a full-fledged, raised stage complete with lighting equipment and seating for the 40-plus expected attendees.

âÄúItâÄôs a magical transformation. ItâÄôs your garage, which youâÄôre in every single day and then all of a sudden the lights come on and itâÄôs a whole new universe,âÄù Jan said.

The universe in which âÄúPlanet BX63âÄù lies is one of fluid mobility and locomotion. This theater-dance hybrid is just as focused on the physical aesthetics of the piece as it is on the content. Not surprising considering itâÄôs the brain/lovechild of Off LeashâÄôs married co-artistic directors Paul Herwig, an actor, and Jennifer Ilse, a dancer.

âÄúFor us artistically, we found that happy little place between text, dance and theater where it all just works together perfectly,âÄù Ilse said.

Throughout the 45-minute piece, the performers are constantly in motion, tactfully swaying and contorting their bodies as they move along a plot that warns the audience of the perils of commercialism.

An innocent, unnamed girl, played by Ilse, has her peaceful existence forever altered when a trans-dimensional space salesman, Herwig, comes and sells her something that she doesnâÄôt need. And so begins the downward spiral into excessive materialism.

The garage tour will be using their semi-anti-capitalism punch to breed neighborhood camaraderie throughout Minneapolis, the suburbs and beyond.

âÄúOne of the points of it is going to neighborhoods and sprinkling our little sugar there. ItâÄôs great to be able to plant seeds and spur more community involvement.âÄù

Jan has already seen her social network grow. âÄúWeâÄôve met people from up the street that we had been neighbors with for years and had never met. It really is a community-building endeavor.âÄù

Though the production may not bring about a cultural shift away from loot piling, it just might get Boo Radley to step outside and mingle for a bit.