Guest blogger this week is T. Martin Crouse, one of the brains behind local publisher Sic Semper Serpent. I asked Crouse about what brought him (back) to the Minneapolis and Saint Paul arts scene. Here’s his love letter to Twin Cities theatre, new work, and The Story. Publishing opportunities included! - Amber
Minneapolis is a publisher’s dream. We have enough opportunity to draw skilled writing talent from around the world, but not enough to keep everyone busy. There’s all sorts of undiscovered fiction, non-fiction and poetry to be found in our Small Town Metropolis. Some of it is really, really good. But what excites this modest Editor-in-Chief, and the publishing house he represents, is the wealth of dramatic literature that saturates the very pores of this city.
As an actor turned writer turned publisher, I harbor a deep fondness for my first Fine Art love: live theater. The active performance community of Mpls/St. Paul is one of the many qualities that drew me back to this region to begin my publishing house, Sic Semper Serpent. What I found here amazes even me.
One-off small-time productions inundate the area like spontaneous theater is commonplace. If only every city could be like this; a hotbed of talent running so thick it overflows into the bowling alleys, converted warehouses and community spaces of each and every vibrant neighborhood. There’s at least two centers devoted just to playwrights, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond the stage, writers and poets of the land tell tall tales that could stretch the imagination of Nostradamus himself. Words are cheap around the world, but the stories are priceless in Minnesota.
That’s the motto at Sic Semper Serpent, anyway. In a time when language is changing, when doorbells are text messages and laughter is lol, it is important to remember the art of The Story. Linguistics can (and will) transform to match society and technology; its rules are transitive and subject to change. But the reason to swap our words will never change: to communicate thoughts and ideas with narrative. This is still done in many ways today, i.e. stand up comics, television, film, literature, and (certain parts of) the internet, etc.
We are dedicated to preserving The Story. Unlike more conventional publishers, we don’t fear the changing state of language. We embrace it. Theater will always be a great way to tell a story, and to theater Sic Semper Serpent is thusly bound. (publishing humor).
We want to support the fine practicing creative talent of the greater metro area, and give potential patrons more reason to leave their homes and exercise their freedom of expression. Art is beauty and beauty is alive. Will you help us breathe life into the beauty that walks these streets? If yes (especially if hell yes!), then add your voice to the growing din of The Fugue.
We're having a wicked awesome, totally free magazine release party on June 20th. Please join us!
T. Martin Crouse has trained as an actor, self-realized as a writer, and only recently found his calling as an independent publisher. Ask him about space, dinosaurs, books, music or theater. Go on, I dare you. Tom wants all Savage Umbrella-ers to know that thespians excite him.