Bedlam Lowertown: Arrivals and Departures

Bedlam Theatre

Funding Received: 2013
St. Paul, MN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 23, 2013


With our venue still under construction, Bedlam has decided to take it’s activity elsewhere; and by elsewhere, I mean partying on a rooftop in Lowertown. Three Macalester College students: Martha Rigby, Mohamed Samatar, and Maya Vilaplana (Bedlam’s Collective Noise) have been throwing free outdoor concerts every Wednesday on the East Plaza of the Union Depot. The concerts have been happening for the last 4 weeks, with local artists performing World Music, Soul, Acoustic, Rock, Hip-Hop, and more.

The Big Lowdown is another way Bedlam has been utilizing the opportunity to create art in different Lowertown spaces. This Roving Adventure in the neighborhood is happening August 23rd - 25th, with a preview August 21st. “Roamers” will accompany audience members and guide them to different performance locations; each group taking their own detours and telling Lowertown stories along the way. Performances will be taking place in locations like Mears Park, Golden’s Deli, The Tilsner Artist’ Co-op, Alleyways and more.

Recent Wins

● There’s a lot of activity and expansion happening in Lowertown as of late. The Strip Club, a popular steak and fish house is getting approved by the City Council for a restaurant/bar lease at the Lofts at Farmers Market. Restoration work has started on The Landmark Center. Central Library opened up a new community room, the Buttered Tin has kick started their business, and the Ordway Theatre is being demolished to make way for a 1,100 seat concert hall.

● Bedlam and Live Action Set put advertisement’s for The Big Lowdown on Metro-Transit Bus routes in Lowertown and other Saint Paul neighborhoods. so be on the lookout for familiar faces on your neighborhood public transit route.

● Bedlam’s Collective Noise has been gaining momentum, every Wednesday since it started has been packed. Each concert has featured local talent from Minnesota, bringing a different genre of music to Lowertown every week. There has been a great diversity of crowds coming in the neighborhood and intermingling as a result of this. Collective Noise has evolved into something more than just an outdoor concert. People have been break dancing, juggling, chalking sidewalks, sketching the performers, eating picnics together, and making new friends in this space. The dynamic crowd is growing and there’s still two Wednesdays left! (8/21/13) (8/28/13)


Hosting concerts on the East Plaza of the Union Depot has been an interesting experience to say the least. We’ve been playing with seating arrangements for guest, and different stage set-ups for performers. We’ve tried a combination of carpets, benches and chairs for different seating arrangements and we’ve had bands perform from different sides of the space, and used different forms of lighting as well. We’ve noticed that the way audience members interact with the space, performers and each other is impacted a great deal by the setting. The same thing has been prevalent in the all-cast and public showings of The Big Lowdown making me realize that Intermedia Art’s belief that “Art changes everything” is true. Art can change a train/bus station into a youthful gathering or a random alley in Lowertown into a theatrical performance.