Brooklyn Center residents star in, produce play about foster children

A pair of Brooklyn Center residents will be putting on a theatrical show about the struggles and heartbreak experienced in the foster home system.

“Home,” a production of the Minneapolis-based SPARK theater and dance troupe, will run March 24 to April 1, at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis, and is the brainchild of SPARK artistic directors and Brooklyn Center residents Corey and Betsy Mills. Using Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey” as inspiration, the production intersperses video interviews with teenagers in the foster system with a fictional narrative.

The Mills have a personal investment in the topic of fostering, as Betsy’s sister and brother-in-law recently adopted a 15-year-old, which illuminated the gravity of the foster care system in a greater light to the Mills.

“These teens are facing adulthood without a safety net,” Betsy Mills said. “Something needs to happen now.”

Audiences will move throughout the Capri Theater space to replicate the journey of a teenager moving through the foster system, making the experience both immersive and interactive.

“We want to help the audience break out of their usual experience,” Betsy Mills said, “(ss well as) contemplate the experiences a foster teen encounters.”

In preparation for the production, SPARK has partnered with The Reel Hope Project, a video production group that chronicles real-life stories of teens seeking adoption; Foster Art, which helps children create art that’s later donated, with proceeds going towards foster assistance organizations; and Threads for Teens Minnesota, which offers free clothing to young girls in need.

In addition to serving as artistic directors, the Mills also star in the cast, which also includes Joann Oudekerk and Cory Johnson. “Home” will run at 7:30 p.m. March 24-25, March 30, and April 1, as well as two 2 p.m. matinee shows March 25-26 and April 1. Tickets are $24, with discounts for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more.

The Capri Theater is located at 2027 W. Broadway Ave. in Minneapolis. To reserve tickets or for more information, visit sparktheater.com.

Contact Christiaan Tarbox at [email protected]