Some of you may remember that in 2012 I participated in the amazing blogging challenge, the A to Z Challenge, in which bloggers post every day in April using the letters of the alphabet as their daily prompts. I made some great friends through that challenge.
One of those friends is Mary Aalgaard, who is in the spotlight today. Mary is a freelance writer and reviewer. She is also a playwright who gets both kids and adults excited about creating original plays. Actually, it’s hard to know where to start when talking about Mary. Her creativity takes her in so many directions.
I’m most familiar with her blog Play Off the Page where she shares the many theatre reviews she does, for both kids’ and adults’ productions in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. She also writes about the arts in general and about writing on this blog.
If you went to the link above, you’ll have noticed that Mary doesn’t stop with one blog. She also blogs about food, reviews restaurants, and shares recipes from “the Biker Chef” on Dine Off the Page. You can get a taste of this blog by reading this wonderful post about bread that engages all the senses. Mary is participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge again this year, with daily posts on Dine Off the Page.
Mary and the Biker Chef also get out on his motorcycle and visit cool places as often as possible, and she records those visits in her travelogue Ride Off the Page. When I say cool places, I mean cool places — the Andy Warhol Museum; the Harley-Davidson Museum (and lunch with Bill Davidson) — that level of cool.
Have you noticed a theme in all this? Yes. Everything is off the page. That’s a familiar phrase to me from both music and theatre. When you’re able to play the music without having to focus on the notes on the page, when your part in a dramatic production is solidly inside you, and you don’t have to look at the script, you’re free, you’re off the page.
I love the way Mary expresses it in the “About” section of her website. “Play off the Page means to live in the moment, jump on the bus, experience life. I do this through entertainment reviews, traveling with The Biker Chef, performing, and teaching. When you’re off the page, you’re free to let your imagination soar!”
Besides all the traveling, reviewing, writing, and blogging, Mary and her sister, Joy, run an “Art Spa” where they teach both individuals in voice, piano, art and writing, as well as giving group lessons in theatre arts, music and performance. They also host arts events. I wish I lived closer to the Primo Art Spa! I’ve often seen events on Mary and Joy’s Facebook page that make me yearn to be there.
Let your imagination soar with Mary, on the page and off the page! In the words she often uses –
Go! Create! Inspire!
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