Sunday, January 24, 2010

Communist Tim Robbins at St. John's Abbey

St. Cloud Times

College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University Fine Arts Programming is using the upcoming theater production of “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine” as an opportunity to reflect on a historic event that has close ties to the community.

“The Trial of the Catonsville Nine” follows the 1968 trial of two Catholic priests and seven fellow Catholic activists who committed an act of civil disobedience in protest of the war in Vietnam. The act galvanized the national protest movement.

The trial has close ties to the university through religion, and the Central Minnesota area has close ties to the trial through former St. Cloud resident George Mische, who was one of the nine and later a St. Cloud City Council member.

“Clearly the trial was born out of an anti-war statement and movement, but I think it’s too simple just to look at one side,” said Brian Jose, executive director of Fine Arts Programming. “I really want people to understand what was going on at the time.”

The Actors’ Gang, a Los Angeles-based theater company run by actor Tim Robbins, will perform “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater at St. John’s University, Collegeville.

For the week leading up to the production, Fine Arts Programming has organized a series of events and discussions to give students and community members a sense of what it was like to be on campus during the Vietnam War.

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