Four Destinies cast members with Katie Bradley, center. (Press photo by Stephen Geffre)
Minneapolis / Saint Paul — Mu Performing Arts opens its 2011-2012 season with the world premiere of a play that takes a humorous, satirical look at the concept of fate through the experience of adoption. Four Destinies, by local playwright Katie Hae Leo, directed by Suzy Messerole, runs October 15 – 30 at Mixed Blood Theatre, 501 South 4th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454.
The titular “Four Destinies” refer to Destiny Jones, an adopted child in a Minnesota family. On the same day in the same family, Destiny is portrayed from four different backgrounds: a Korean adoptee (Sara Ochs), an African American adoptee (LaDawn James), a Guatemalan-born adoptee (Nora Montanez), and an adopted Caucasian boy (Neil Schneider).
Jumping in and meddling in their lives, the playwright (Katie Bradley) does her best to give the four Destinies the perfect happy ending to their stories. Unfortunately, her best intentions do not work out as planned.
Describing the structure of the Four Destinies as “akin to the film Groundhog Day,” playwright Katie Hae Leo explains how she recognized the potential of exploring the concept of fate through the variables of adoption.
“Four Destinies [asks] whether or not any of us are truly destined to come to our particular lives, and what would happen if someone else ended up in our family rather than us,” Leo explains. “Through the lens of adoption, the play examines one family and one adopted child, but considers how different their lives might look if they’d adopted someone else. Is fate really determined by forces outside of ourselves. . . [or] is it inscribed into our DNA?”
Though humor permeates the script, Four Destinies is based on the very real questions that adoptees face as they grow up: where did I come from, and how did I get here? Leo, herself an adoptee, shows how adoptees reflect on the missing pieces of their personal story that most of us take for granted.
“We emerge into the world the accumulation of all experience, trial, and error of those who’ve shared our blood,” Leo reflects, “[but] what stories to we tell ourselves” in order to fill in the gaps? In Four Destinies, she attempts to sort out the truth from the fantasy.
Tickets range from $10 to $25, and are available from the Mixed Blood Theatre box office at 612-338-6131 or online at www.muperformingarts.org.