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Dear Most Valued Customers…

Robin Frohardt ouside The Plastic Bag Store

UMS presents Robin Frohardt’s The Plastic Bag Store, January 17 – February 5, 2023.

Dear Most Valued Customers:

It’s almost impossible for me to try to explain what it is you are about to experience and the journey it took to get here. I started working on The Plastic Bag Store in 2015 after watching someone bag and double bag all my groceries that were already bags inside of bags inside of boxes. I wanted to highlight the absurd amount of packaging we are using and throwing away by making something even more absurd: a grocery store that only sold packaging.

Over time the project evolved into an elaborate live immersive puppet play with transforming sets and hidden rooms. For several years, my amazing team and I slowly pieced together this epic beast of a project. Sometimes that meant working with the support of prestigious residencies at architectural firms and fellowships at Universities. But more often it meant grueling rehearsals, endless schlepping and hours spent sifting through NYC garbage.

With all the pieces finally in place and a venue to die for, The Plastic Bag Store was set to open in the heart of Times Square on March 18, 2020…ya know… the day the whole world shut down? We did one amazing dress rehearsal and locked the doors and walked away.

I think part of me wanted to give up after that. Thankfully, with the persistence of vision of the team at Pomegranate Arts and the generous support of CAP UCLA, we were able to create a filmed version of the project. I was relieved that there would be a record of what we created (we didn’t film that last rehearsal), but I never imagined how beautiful the film would turn out, and how perfectly it would capture the story as I see it in my head.

We then found a way to integrate the film into the installation for a truly unique live experience which we opened in Times Square, and have since taken to Australia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin! I couldn’t be more excited to share it now with the lovely people of Ann Arbor.

-Robin Frohardt

Robin Frohardt: The Magic of the Mundane

The Plastic Bag Store creator Robin Frohardt joined U-M’s Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series on January 12, 2023.


Growing a Long-Lasting Tomato 🍅

Robin Frohardt shares how a tomato is “grown” for The Plastic Bag Store, coming to Ann Arbor January 17 – February 5, 2023.