Minneapolis, St. Paul – This week, Mu Performing Arts announces its 2011 – 2012 20th Anniversary mainstage season. The lineup includes two premiere works by Asian American playwrights: Four Destinies by Katie Hae Leo and A. Rey Pamatmat’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them.
Mu Daiko celebrates 15 years of taiko drumming in the Twin Cities with a special anniversary concert to kick off the group’s Minnesota tour.
To close out the mainstage season, Mu will present the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods, re-imagined from an Asian American perspective.
The season will kick off on October 15 at Mixed Blood Theatre with the world premiere of Four Destinies. The play by local playwright Katie Hae Leo is a satirical exploration of adoption through the eyes of Destiny Jones, a single character represented from four different ethnic backgrounds, as she/he grows up in a Minnesota family.
Leo, herself a Korean adoptee, presents herself as a character determined to embody the overarching adoptee experience, both in youth and adulthood. Four Destinies has been in development for the past two years through Mu’s Jerome New Performance Program, a platform for emerging Asian American theater voices to create and present edgy new work.
In February, Mu Daiko will return to the Ordway’s McKnight Theatre for a special performance celebrating both the local taiko powerhouse’s 15th Anniversary and the kickoff of its Minnesota tour.
Mu Daiko will honor the contribution of women in taiko by welcoming both national and international guest artists. Hanayui, a three-woman offshoot of the legendary Japanese taiko ensemble Kodo, leading American taiko artist Tiffany Tamaribuchi, and recent Minnesota transplant Megan Chao Smith, formerly of Shidara, will join Mu Daiko for the Ordway concert and tour.
Mu will next join several theaters around the country in the world premiere of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat. The gritty yet tender new drama tells the story of three children – Kenny, his friend Benji, and his little sister Edith – fending for themselves on a Midwestern farm after being all but abandoned by the adults in their lives.
They are forced to face the pain and joy of growing up as their relationships evolve and the outside world encroaches on their makeshift family. Edith opens March 16 at Mixed Blood Theatre.
Rounding out the season, Mu dives further into its recent Asian American musical theater initiative with the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine favorite Into the Woods. After the success of Flower Drum Song and Little Shop of Horrors, Mu tackles the topsy-turvy take on classic fairytales that places Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and his beanstalk in a world where happily ever after is not what it seems.
In Mu’s own twist, the costumes and staging will be re-imagined from an Asian American perspective, giving even the show’s most seasoned fans something new to enjoy. Into the Woods will open at Loring Theater on June 2.
The Mu Performing Arts 2011-2012 season is sponsored by General Mills.
by Katie Hae Leo
October 15 – 30, 2011
Mixed Blood Theatre
Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert
with guest artists Hanayui, Tiffany Tamaribuchi, and Megan Chao Smith
February 9 – 12, 2012
McKnight Theatre, The Ordway
Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them
by Rey Pamatmat
March 16 – April 1, 2012
Mixed Blood Theatre
Into the Woods
music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
book by James Lapine
June 2 – 17, 2012