the 1980s

The 1980s featured a slew of awards, the birth of our touring program, and national recognition.

* denotes world premiere

** denotes regional premiere

^ denotes touring production


Wake by Leni Sloan and Charles Mills

Warp I, II, & III by Bury St. Edmond & Stuart Gordon

Bloody Bess by Bill Norris

I Have A Dream* by Warren C. Bowles and Ken LaZebnik

Mixed Blood wins Twin Cities Drama Critics Circle Award (Kudo) for best production for its science fiction trilogy WARP, featuring Geoff Ewing, Warren Bowles, Pat O’Brien, Steve Yoakam, Lia Rivamonte, Mike Kissin, Margaret McGrady, Sherri Brown, and Ken LaZebnik, among others.

Dr. King’s Dream is performed by Warren Bowles for the first of 2,000+ performances; it becomes the anchor for the theatre’s touring program.

First year of summer training program for low-income Minneapolis teens. Mixed Blood formally separates from Center for Community Action to be independent 501(c)(3). The second staff member was added (Beth Ann Connor) and the first board of directors was Syl Jones, Delroy Calhoun, Nigel Redden, and Doug Lennick.


Cruel Tears** by Ken Mitchell

Accidental Death of an Anarchist** by Dario Fo

Tuesday by Jewel Walker

Strider by Leonid Tolstoy

They’re Coming To Make It Brighter by Kent Broadhurst

Mixed Blood wins Twin Cities Drama Critics Circle Award (Kudo) for best production for its American premiere of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, featuring Warren Bowles, Steve Yoakam, Pat O’Brien, Mike Kissin, Marvette Knight, and Ken LaZebnik.

Cruel Tears was produced in co-production with Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, directed by Howard Dallin with a large cast led by Steve Yoakam and Cynthia Simpson, but also included Warren Bowles, Edna Duncan, Marvette Knight, Joe Keyes, Gregory Williams, and many more.

Actor Pat O’Brien wins Twin Cities drama Critics Circle Award for his performance as title role in Strider.


Black Magic* by Jack Reuler, Bob DeFlores, Ken LaZebnik

100 Years of Solitude* by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (adapted by Dale Wilson)

Basement Tapes* by Eric Brogger

Lemons* by Kent Broadhurst

Paul Robeson*^ by Phillip Hayes Dean

Warren Bowles adds Paul Robeson by Phillip Hayes Dean to Mixed Blood’s touring repertoire.

One Hundred Years of Solitude opened the day after Gabriel Garcia Marquez was given the Nobel Prize for literature.



Holiday Inn* by Irving Berlin (adapted by Jack Reuler)

K2 by Patrick Myer

Mr. Motown* by Jack Reuler

Harlem Renaissance Revue* by Ken LaZebnik

Children of a Lesser God by Mark Medoff

Kabuki Spectacle by Leonard Pronko & Takao Tomono

Motown Opera* by Jack Reuler

Jackie Robinson*^ by Sharon Walton

Mixed Blood begins Midnight Series with Motown Opera, directed by Stephen Yoakam

Warren Bowles adds Jackie Robinson to the touring repertoire.

Holiday Inn, written and directed by Jack Reuler (and Irving Berlin), performed with Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra and starring Steve Yoakam, Leni Sloan, Marvette Knight, JoElleyn Geske in a cast of 25. (Additionally, Kasha Foster played Baby New Year in diapers.) It was also Sanford Moore’s first musical director job.


Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Tango Fatale* by Jon Averill

Lady Soul* by Jack Reuler

I Cheng* by Maria Cheng and Mike Kissin

Motown Mademoiselles* by Jack Reuler

About Face* by Dario Fo

Jack Reuler is named to Esquire’s first “Register of People Under 40 Who Are Changing America”.

Charlie Moore joins the staff of Mixed Blood.

Lady Soul was Jevetta Steele’s first show at Mixed Blood.


In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbott

Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang

Ohio Tip-Off by James Yoshimura

Rebel Without A Cause* by Jack Reuler (adaptation)

Baby Boomers’ Black Big Bands Meet The Great Falsettos* by Jack Reuler

Mixed Blood is awarded Twin Cities’ Mayors’ Public Arts Award


Rap Master Ronnie by Garry Trudeau & Liz Swados

A…My Name Is Alice by Julie Boyd

Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet

A…My Name Is Alice opens for 520 performances over 5 years.


The Mystery of Irma Vep by Charles Ludlum

The Colored Museum by George Wolfe

A…My Name Is Alice by Julie Boyd

How To Improve Your Golf Game* by David Babcock

A Map of the World by David Hare


I’m Not Rappaport by Herb Gardner

The Boys Next Door by Tom Griffin

Calvinisms* by Ken LaZebnik

Happy Birthday Freddy* by Anton Hudek

Liquid Skin* by Doug Anderson

A…My Name Is Alice by Julie Boyd

Mixed Blood featured in Sports Illustrated.

23 year old Don Cheadle stars in Liquid Skin and The Boys Next Door. 



Speed The Plow by David Mamet

Only Kidding by Jim Geoghan

Buenavista* by Bernardo Solano

A…My Name Is Alice by Julie Boyd

Ali!* by Geoff Ewing and Graydon Royce

According to Coyote^ by John Kaufmann