August 19, 2022
A scene from “Hype Man,” with Michael Knowlton, Kadah Bennett and Rachel Cognata. (Photo by Paul Fox)

Minneapolis/St. Paul (June 15, 2018) — Mixed Blood Theatre announced its six-show lineup Friday for it 43rd season in 2018-19.

Transforming the Impossible to the Probable. Speaking truth to power and upending the status quo through theater via provocative programming in which comedy, drama, satire, and extravaganza take on Me Too, automation, Black Lives Matter, abortion, climate change, gender identity, NFL player protests, and, throughout everything, race. The season will put on display Mixed Blood’s core value to be predictably unpredictable.

“At Mixed Blood the stage is a soapbox and compassion is a verb,” said Mixed Blood Artistic Director Jack Reuler. “How do we move from seeing each other  to acting for each other? How can an arts organization be an antidote for dominant trauma? Transforming the Impossible to the Probable aspires to have a moral imagination that stimulates ripples of hope. I was once told that ‘The work of an artist is to make revolution irresistible.’ That is the aim for the half dozen shows that populate our offerings before Memorial Day, 2019”

The 2018-19 Season features the following productions:

“Is God Is”
By Aleshea Harris, directed by Nataki Garrett
Sept. 21 – Oct. 14, 2018

Winner of the 2018 Obie Award for playwright, director, and lead actors, IS GOD IS is an epic woman’s revenge play that takes its cues from the Spaghetti Western, hip hop, Afropunk, the ancient, modern, and the tragic.

African American twin sisters journey from the Dirty South to California in blood-soaked travels. It’s both a satire and an earnest exploration of what it means to claim justice and survive violence. Funny, triumphant, and surprising, Is God Isasks us to consider the roots, futility, and consequences of cyclical violence.

Mixed Blood’s production features Obie and Ivey Award winning actress, Dame-Jasmine Hughes.

Mixed Blood’s Response to the Mid-Term Election: Prescient Harbingers presents three full-length plays by African American provocateurs performed in rotating rep from Nov. 17 through Dec. 2, 2018

“Gloria:
by Branden Jacob-Jenkins, directed by Lavina Jadhwani

“Hooded,” or Being Black for Dummies
by Tearrance Arvell Chisholm, directed by Thomas W. Jones II

“Hype Man,” a break beat play
by Idris Goodwin, directed by Shawn LaCount

The Prescient Harbingers plays are glued together by an African American male prism, through contrast and via Second Amendment violations.

In “Gloria,” sincerity meets cynicism meets hilarity as millennials mock the Xers and boomers in a field – print media – on the edge of obsolescence.

An adrenaline rush of a show, “Gloria” is a shocking, hilarious and spectacularly honest play set among the hyper ambitious cubicle dwellers of a once-great magazine. Like journalism, it asks “What is crisis but an opportunity?” and “Who has the right to tell whose story and for how much money?”

30-something Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award. “Gloria” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2016; another, Everybody, was a finalist in 2018. Both of his plays Appropriate and An Octoroon won Obie Awards for Best New American Play in 2014. “Gloria” is the third play by Branden that Mixed Blood has produced, preceded by Neighbors and An Octoroon.

“Hooded” is a breathtaking, subversive dead-serious comedy that unwraps what is no laughing matter: race relations in America and the peril faced daily by young Black men.

Street savvy Tru thinks preppie adoptee Marquis has lost his “blackness” and pens a manual entitled Being Black for Dummies as they navigate a world of cheerleaders, Black Lives Matter, 2Pac, identity politics, Nietzsche, the police, and Apollo.

20-something Tearrance Arvell Chisholm finished Juilliard’s playwriting program in May 2018. His plays, Br’er Cotton and Hooded have received productions throughout the U.S. and England.

In “Hype Man,” a break beat play, hip-hop culture is a crucible where issues of racial identity, gender inequity, career ambition, and friendship converge and collide.

A mixed race hip-hop trio – frontman, hype man, and beatmaker – is on the verge of making it big until the police shooting of an unnamed Black teen shakes it to its core. Their ensuing questions  about race, gender, privilege, cultural examination and creative freedom threaten to blow up this union of friends and musicians.

40-something Idris Goodwin is a playwright, poet, performer, and essayist as well as the Producing Artistic Director of Stage One in Louisville. Hype Man is one of a break beat series.

This production of Hype Man originated at Company One (of Boston), a national leader in audience engagement, artist development, and the creation of new work that pushes boundaries by presenting issues and events critical to the progress of society. The production, directed by Shawn LaCount, Company One’s Co-founder and Artistic Director, received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Script in Boston.

Prescient Harbingers will have nine shows per week, three performances of each of the trifecta, with marathons on Saturdays and Sundays for three weeks in which one can see all three with three breaks for food and beverage over seven hours.

TBA

March 15 – April 7, 2019

Pending rights discussions prohibit the announcement of this great new play headed to Broadway! This will be your play of choice for the season.

AUTONOMY
“Drive Through Theater”
By Ken LaZebnik, with music by Eric Mayson, directed by Jack Reuler
May, 2019
WORLD PREMIERE

152 wheels, 300 cylinders, 50 tailpipes, and 25 actors led by Artistic Director (and car geek) Jack Reuler will reinvent storytelling, re-tool the audience-performance relationship, enhance standard auto sound technology into sensurround immersion, and personalize what a theatrical venue can be. For performers, it will give new meaning to auto parts!

Recognizing auto design as a great American art form, the disappearance of drive-in movies, the tradition of car cruising as spectator sport, and binge watchers’ insatiable appetite for series finales that end in a crescendo of tension, Mixed Blood presents “Drive Through Theater” in which audiences watch this original 10-scene car-based play from their own vehicles, driving through an indoor carscape, hearing through sound systems, and guided by phone navigation systems. Like the film Crash, the scenes eventually intersect with an explosive and surprising climax.

AUTONOMY connects the dots of global warming, Autonomous Vehicles, unemployment, race, culture, pandemics, and disability.

Ken LaZebnik is a playwright, author, and screenwriter, heading a LA-based MFA program in screenwriting. He has written for Touched by An Angel, Star Trek, and A Prairie Home Companion. AUTONOMY marks the eighth play by Ken LaZebnik produced by Mixed Blood, preceded by African Jazz, Calvinisms, League of Nations, Vestibular Sense, Theory of Mind, and On The Spectrum.

New concession offerings include beer and wine in 2018-19 sponsored, in part, by Indeed Brewing Company and Fair State Brewing Cooperative!

 

ZEALOUS HELLIONS
Conversations with Rebels, Renegades, and Rascals

Mixed Blood will host on-stage conversations with thought leaders of their fields.

ERNIE HUDSON inspired the founding of Mixed Blood in 1976. He has had a successful Hollywood career, currently a regular on Grace and Frankie, and best known as Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore. From Taxi to Oz to St. Elsewhere to Grey’s Anatomy to Twin Peaks to Blue Bloods, Ernie has been a TV fixture.

OSKAR EUSTIS is a Minneapolis native who has gone on to be artistic director of the Eureka Theater (San Francisco), Trinity Rep (Rhode Island), and The Public Theater (NYC). He commissioned and directed the world premiere of Angels in America at the Mark Taper Forum and has produced and/or directed a dozen shows that have moved to Broadway, including Hamilton, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Sweat.

REPRESENTATIVE ILHAN OMAR was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016, making her the first Somali American elected legislator in the U.S.

Mixed Blood Theater.

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. Lobby, auditorium, and restrooms are fully accessible.

Single tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Aug. 15, 2018, but seats are available now for Members. More information on the season and on how to become a Member is available online at www.mixedblood.com

All performances except Autonomy take place in Mixed Blood Theatre’s Alan Page Auditorium, 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis, MN 55454. Box Office: 612-338-6131 or [email protected]

Mixed Blood Theatre has invited the global village into its audience and onto its stage for its unique brand of provocative, inclusive, and predictably unpredictable theater since 1976. Using theater to illustrate and animate, Mixed Blood models pluralism in pursuit of interconnections, shared humanity, and engaged citizenry.

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