A scene from "Bank Robber"

Fjaere Harder Nussbaum, left, and Zach Christensen rehearse for “Bank Robber.” The play by Maurice Herzing will be staged at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis during the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Long-time playwright Maurice Herzing of Excelsior will return to the Minnesota art scene with “Bank Robber,” to be performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival Aug. 1-10 at the Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. Minneapolis.

At 45 minutes in length, the play features two cast members. A robber, played by Zach Christensen, attempts to rob a bank, but the tables quickly turn and he ends up giving money to the bank. The banker is played by Fjaere Harder Nussbaum.

“The premise is an individual goes to the bank intending to rob it and through persuasion ends up forcing him to open up a bank account and so forth,” Herzing said. “I think people who attend are really going to enjoy it.”

The subject matter of the play is serious but maintains a feel of lightheartedness by utilizing satire and dialogue that is common in everyday life. The message, in part, being about the role that institutions, such as banks, play in our lives.

“You present a serious issue but use humor as a counterpoint. The play doesn’t feel acted or scripted, it features things we’d actually be saying,” Herzing said. “I expect there will be lots of laughs and audience members will think about the message on their way home.

Herzing returns to Minnesota after five years in Milwaukee and 13 years in Chicago. Minnesota offers a different type of inspiration for his art, one he welcomes at this point in his career.

“Minnesota is a really amazing place,” Herzing said. “It is a good place to go and decompress and has enabled me to explore different things creatively, such as blacksmithing.”

In particular, the festival is handling a big part of putting a performance together and has enabled Herzing to channel his efforts into creating the play.

“With the ticket and marketing being handled, it has allowed me to focus on creating the show,” Herzing said.

The festival is a space for local creators to come together and share their various talents.

“It is a great opportunity to meet other artists, with over 130 shows taking place,” Herzing said. “There is a big tent theater party that can expose you to hundreds of different artists.”

The “Bank Robber” performances will be at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4; 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7; at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9; and 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.

Tickets and more information can be found at minnesotafringe.org/2019-show-information/bank-robber#tickets.

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