Last fall, I attended the play adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The play was great; it struck the right balance of funny and sobering; it transported me into the world of 1930s Alabama; it took me away from thoughts about homework and whether my spinach was still good. It gave me pause—something I consider one of the most important and difficult tasks of any type of entertainment. Some people struggle with adaptations. They complain about misrepresentations of characters or that a stage production reduces the themes of the novel. But I think such productions make stories tangible. They attest to a story’s lasting impact. Though Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird over 50 years ago, people care enough about her work to keep it alive.
I never would have attended this play on my own. Tickets cost between $20 and $60, the Guthrie Theater is located in downtown Minneapolis, it was a Thursday night, and as a busy college student, I could have named a thousand reasons to stay within the comforts of my daily routine. But thanks to the English Honor Society, I attended the show without paying a cent. All I had to do was indicate my interest in an email, climb into a yellow school bus that whisked me to downtown Minneapolis, and sit back and enjoy the show.
The Twin Cities have no shortage of fun activities: plays, major league baseball games, art, history, and science museums, zoos, lakes, restaurants, the list could go on and on. Last October, I went apple picking at Afton Orchard. A bus took us there and back and we entered the orchard for free. Though I was raised in Minnesota and have visited apple orchards countless times, I never grow tired of the hayrides and hot apple cider.
A regularly-priced adult ticket to the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul costs $13, but at certain times during the year, you can buy $5 tickets from the Information Desk with transportation included. The Info Desk also offers discounted movie tickets to a few local movie theaters. When The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 premiered in November 2014, Program Board offered $5 tickets and free transportation. The regular price to see this movie? Sixteen dollars.
Macalester offers numerous opportunities like these. I did not realize this before coming here, and it’s definitely something I will miss after graduation.
Alexandra McLaughlin ’16