For a good definition of diversity in entertainment, check out the next few weeks at the Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing.
Starting with a concert by singer-songwriter Marc Cohn Saturday night at the historic venue, the schedule includes one of the world’s most respected string quartets, a play for the entire family, the alternative music of the Caravan du Nord, a world music concert, and a film festival.
And that doesn’t include the Rosanne Cash concert on Nov. 13, the Blind Boys of Alabama holiday show Dec. 2, and the Vienna Boys Choir concert Feb. 26. Mixed in with these major international acts are locally produced plays and classic films.
“We have this three-legged stool,” said Bonnie Schock, executive director of the Sheldon. “We have national and international programming, local, and education. We try to make sure we have space and time for all of those things to happen.”
The Sheldon was built in 1904 and underwent a major renovation project in the late 1980s that turned it into a jewel-box — a 468-seat versatile venue, located in the historic heart of Red Wing. Since then, audiences have found their way to the Sheldon from near and far.
“Thirty-four percent of our audience comes from Goodhue County,” Schock said. “Another third come from within a 50-mile radius, including Rochester and the Twin Cities, and the final third comes from the greater area (outside 50 miles). Red Wing is a tourist community in many ways, and people see this as a destination.”
At its heart, though, the Sheldon’s program is designed for the local audience. “We have a mandate to speak for the full range of our community,” Schock said. “We really look at different ways we can talk to different patrons. We see our role as providing something for everyone.”
Given the Sheldon’s compact size and design, audiences are in for a treat.
“It’s unusual to see an artist like Rosanne Cash on an intimate stage like this,” Schock said. “You’re so close. It really is a unique experience.”