MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 28, 2018) — Mixed Blood Theatre Company presents “ON OUR OWN TERMS: Voices at the Intersection of Transgender Experience and Mixed Blood Theatre,” living at the crossroads of theater and the trans experience at Mixed Blood on April 28-29. The weekend propels Mixed Blood’s ambition to become an artistic home for trans theatre artists.
Three plays offer three complementary prisms to trans theater: one written by a trans playwright with a cast including gender nonconforming actors; one that revolves around a central trans character written by a cisgender Latino playwright; and one by a cisgender playwright with a cast of trans and gender nonconforming actors with a trans-inclusive metaphorical theme.
The title of the celebratory festival – “On Our Own Terms” – is reflective of the self-determination of the curation of the weekend’s events. A national council of trans actors, directors, educators, performance artists and designers curated the selection of offerings to be included. The effort was led by Jay Owen Eisenberg, Mixed Blood’s Trans Organizer, who runs Mixed Blood’s local Trans Advisory Council all year.
Mixed Blood will produce a reading of MJ Kaufmann’s Sensitive Guys. In addition, Mixed Blood includes its final weekend of Mermaid Hour: ReMixed by David Valdes Greenwood. A reading of Bennett Fisher’s No Bull completes the theatrical offerings. A facilitated discussion on the history and future of the arts and transgender artists punctuates this momentous weekend of affirmation.
In 1986 Mixed Blood produced Liquid Skin, featuring a young Don Cheadle as the transfeminine Angel in a world premiere about the reactions of the people surrounding a person who is transitioning. In 2014 trans director Will Davis directed the football-oriented Colossal at Mixed Blood. In 2015, Mixed Blood mounted Taylor Mac’s Hir, which brought Jay Owen Eisenberg to the Twin Cities. The 2016 season concluded with Charm, about a community center for homeless trans youth. Mermaid Hour: ReMixed and “On Our Own Terms” catapults Mixed Blood from its fledgling efforts to a reinvented culture.
The national advisory council that curated the offerings of “On Our Own Terms” includes Jay Owen Eisenberg, Cat Hammond, Randy Wong-Westbrooke, Alok Vaid-Menon, Britton Mauk and Marcel Michelle Mobama.
“ON OUR OWN TERMS” programming and schedule are as follows:
Sensitive Guys by MJ Kaufman
In the safe spaces of a small liberal arts college, the student-led Men’s Peer Education Group and women’s Survivor Support Group work together on an ambitious plan to eradicate all sexual violence everywhere in just five years. They’ve got it all together — until an incident throws their ideals into question. The reading of this 95-minute social satire demonstrates complicity and what it really takes to face the patriarchy.
April 28 at 5 p.m.
“Mermaid Hour: ReMixed”
By David Valdes Greenwood, Music by Eric Mayson
Directed by Leah Anderson
An NNPN Rolling World Premiere chamber musical exploring the gender continuum through the prism of a pre-pubescent transgender biracial girl. Working class parents Pilar and Bird face their opposing parenting styles, the cracks in their marriage, and their own fears as they navigate their daughter’s gender transition. Meanwhile, she navigates puberty, her first crush, and the possibility that YouTube holds all the answers.
April 28 at 7:30 p.m.
April 29 at 2 p.m.
By Bennett Fisher
Directed by Genevieve Bennett
When Bell announces to her parents she isn’t a girl, but a bull, they decide the most humane solution is to trap her inside of a labyrinth. No Bull is an allegorical comedy about being ready to become who you really are, even when the people around you might not be ready just yet. No Bull is not just a play for young audiences, but for families, performed by a cast of 8-9 trans and gender and conforming actors.
April 28 at 2 p.m.
Salon: “The Roles We Play: Building A Better Model for Transgender Inclusivity and Accessibility in the Theatre”
Led by Jay Owen Eisenberg and Cat Hammond
How can we examine past and current models of trans-inclusive theater to build a more effective model for the future? What does it mean to be trans-conscious in your season programming, casting practices, and community engagement? In this discussion, theatre artists Jay Owen Eisenberg and Cat Hammond will facilitate conversation around active allyship and best practices that can more meaningfully engage transgender and gender nonconforming artists, arts administrators, and audience members. Participants will gain an understanding of the historical context of transgender presence in the performing arts, at a national and regional level, and will discuss Mixed Blood Theatre’s ongoing commitment to creating an artistic home for members of the transgender community.
April 28 at noon
Social Gatherings: April 28 at 10 p.m.
“On Our Own Terms” has received support from the Minnesota State Arts Board and National Endowment for the Arts.
Using theater as a tool to illustrate and animate, Mixed Blood Mixed Blood models pluralism in pursuit of interconnections, shared humanity, and engaged citizenry. Mixed Blood aspires to be the destination for people with disabilities. Patrons with disabilities are eligible for free advanced reservations and free transportation to and from the theatre. All performances are captioned in English with projected supertitles for patrons with hearing loss. For people with vision loss, audio description is also available for most performances.