The wisdom of the forest

Posted September 28, 2020

Ittct Isthmus

The Isthmus' Catherine Capellaro offers a lovely play-by-play of "If These Trees Could Talk"

For theater lovers, one of the biggest heartbreaks of the season was the cancellation of American Players Theatre’s summer and fall offerings. Trips to the Spring Green outdoor theater — with picnics, bug repellent and blankets — were a summer and fall ritual. We held out hope, for a while, that the company’s outdoor shows could continue with limited capacity. But they couldn’t. So here we are, sticking earbuds in an mp3 player and experiencing If These Trees Could Talk, the company’s immersive and innovative response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The self-guided soundscape tour is a beautiful reminder of the way that art and nature are deeply entwined, and that the award-winning classical theater company has carved out a special place in the wooded hills of the Driftless Area. It’s a chance to slow down and enjoy the grounds and empty theater spaces in a quite different way.

Tickets to If These Trees Could Talk, now open to the public Fri.-Sun. through Oct. 18, are available online only ($25, with daytime, starlight and accessible tours available). The company is following strict safety protocols for COVID-19. Masks are required for staff and patrons, and tours are limited to no more than eight people at a time, leaving every 15 minutes. So, at any given time, no more than 60 people will be strolling the dozens of acres of paths.

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