Founder Jack Reuler

When my perfect daughter was seven she uncharacteristically did something wrong. It became a learning opportunity. We set up a lemonade stand in the parking lot of the Hiawatha Golf Course in south Minneapolis on a hot sultry day. She sold a refreshing beverage for a few hours and then we proceeded to St. Joseph’s Home for Children on 46th Street, where she felt the joy of charitable giving ($7.43) and got to tour the facility, including seeing kids on lockdown. She simultaneously became appreciative and generous, both of which are traits she possesses to this day.

For a decade to follow, at year’s end I’d provide her with a gazillion solicitations for charitable causes, a checkbook, and $300, and she read the need statements and made informed decisions about how to distribute that $300 to have impact, altruism, and empathy. Arts institutions, animal rescue organizations, child welfare agencies, educational alma maters (of hers or mine), and disease research foundations usually rose to the surface. In her DNA is the desire to give not from abundance but from a desire to make a change.

On Give To The Max Day you will be inundated by requests, appeals, and gimmicks to part you with your dollars – for 24 hours. Study them consider them, prioritize them, but give.

Have people lost touch with what is enough? We claim to not have enough time, money, things, and so we squirrel things away so that if we ever don’t have enough, we will. Having made my career in the non-profit sector for 44 years, 501(C)(3) organizations never have enough. That culture of scarcity is so pervasive that we’ve lost the meaning of sufficient.

If Mixed Blood makes it onto your list of prioritized giving on this GTMD, thank you. But don’t hoard on this Thursday – a fortnight before Thanksgiving – but recognize your own enough and, beyond that, share. Give not from abundance but from a desire to make a change.

Give now to support Mixed Blood!

Founder Jack Reuler

At the core of our next show, THE SONG OF SUMMER by Lauren Yee, is a question of authenticity of authorship of “the song of summer,” that song that is played relentlessly on the radio from May to Labor Day. As the old saying goes: there is no such thing as an original thought. Everyone from Shakespeare to the Beatles to Zeppelin has been accused of stealing ideas from those that came before them. We are all influenced by the world around us, and songwriters are no exception. But where is the line drawn between being influenced by something, and plagiarizing it?

The law states that anything that reflects a “minimal spark” of creativity and originality can be copyrightable, including melody, chord progression, rhythm and lyrics. In the event of a trial, the person claiming infringement must prove two things:
1) Access – that the infringer had heard, or could reasonably be presumed to have heard, the original song prior to writing their song; and
2) Substantial Similarity – that the average listener can tell that one song has been copied from the other. The more elements that the two works have in common, the more likely they are substantially similar.

In March 2015, a Los Angeles jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s children nearly $7.4 million after determining that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams plagiarized Gaye’s song GOT TO GIVE IT UP to create BLURRED LINES, the biggest song of 2013. The Gayes’ lawyer characterized Thicke and Williams as liars who went beyond merely being influenced by Marvin Gaye, and instead crossing the line into outright music plagiarism. Pharrell testified that he created the music for BLURRED LINES in an hour in 2012, and that Thicke added vocals afterward. Williams told jurors that Gaye’s music was part of the soundtrack of his youth, but that he didn’t use any of this music to create BLURRED LINES.

My guilty pleasure is that I collect the CD’s “Now That’s What I Call Music.” I have all 72 of them and have listened to pop music since WDGY during the Kennedy-Carter administrations, Hines and Berglund on WLOL through Reagan and Bush 1, Dave Ryan on KDWB through Clinton, Bush 2, Obama, and, soon, Pelosi. I listen to tomorrow’s oldies as I become today’s oldie. But with imitation being the highest form of flattery – it’s a crime in music. And it’s been rampant for a long time. Check it out:
Beyonce’s DRUNK IN LOVE plagiarized Mitsou’s BAJBA, BAJBA PELEM

Eminem’s RAP GOD plagiarized Hotstylz LOOKIN BOY

JayZ, Kanye, Frank West’s MADE IN AMERICA plagiarized Mike Dean’s MADE IN AMERICA

Katy Perry’s DARK HORSE plagiarized the Christian pop song JOYFUL NOISE

Sam Smith’s STAY WITH ME plagiarized Tom Petty’s I WON’T BACK DOWN

George Harrison’s MY SWEET LORD plagiarized The Chiffon’s HE’S SO FINE

The Stoke’s LAST NIGHT plagiarized Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ AMERICAN GIRL

Luke Bradley’s SHAKEMAKER plagiarized The New Seekers’ I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING

The Beach Boys’ SURFIN’ USA plagiarized Chuck Berry’s SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN

Ray Parker, Jr.’s GHOSTBUSTERS plagiarized Huey Lewis’ I WANT A NEW DRUG

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ DANI CALIFORNIA plagiarized Tom Petty’s MARY JANES LAST DANCE

Radiohead’s CREEP plagiarized The Hollies’ ALL THE AIR THAT I BREATHE

Demi Lovato’s STARS plagiarized Sleigh Bells’ INFINITY GUITARS

Nirvana’s COME AS YOU ARE plagiarized Killing Joke’s EIGHTIES

Will.i.am’s LET’S GO plagiarized DJ Arty’s REBOUND

Avril Lavigne’s BOYFRIEND plagiarized from The Rubinoo’s I WANNA BE YOUR BOYFRIEND

Justin Bieber’s BABY plagiarized Perla’s TREMENDO VACILAO

The Doors’ HELLO I LOVE YOU plagiarized The Kinks’ ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT

Bruno Mars’ TREASURE plagiarized Breakbot’s BABY I’M YOURS

Katy Perry’s ROAR plagiarized Sarah Bareilles’ BRAVE

David Guetta’s PLAY HARD plagiarized Alice Deejay’s BETTER OFF ALONE

Miley Cyrus’ WE CAN’T STOP plagiarized Flurgon’s WE RUN THINGS

Meghan Traynor’s ALL ABOUT THAT BASS plagiarized Koyote’s HAPPY MODE

The Beatles COME TOGETHER plagiarized Chuck Berry’s YOU CAN’T CATCH ME!

JLo’s ON THE FLOOR plagiarized Kaoma’s LAMBADA

Rod Stewart’s DO YOU THINK I’M SEXY plagiarized Jorge Ben’s TAJ MAHAL

Michael Bolton’s LOVE IS A WONDERFUL THING plagiarized The Isley Brothers’ LOVE IS A WONDERFUL THING

De La Soul’s TRANSMITTING LIVE FROM MARS plagiarized The Turtles’ YOU SHOWED ME

Faith Hill’s and Tim McGraw’s THE REST OF OUR LIFE plagiarized Jasmine Ray’s WHEN I FOUND YOU

The Verve’s BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY plagiarized The Rolling Stones’ THE LAST TIME

Led Zeppelin allegedly ripped off everyone for every song, including The Yardbirds, Moby Grape, Muddy Waters, and Richie Valens! STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN even plagiarized Spirit’s TAURUS

And, of course

Vanilla Ice’s ICE ICE BABY plagiarized Queen and David Bowie’s UNDER PRESSURE and Robin Thicke’s BLURRED LINES plagiarized Marvin Gaye’s GOT TO GIVE IT UP

Other fabled copycats include Kid Rock, Flo Rida, Cee Lo Green, Coldplay, Pitbull, Jet, and Abba.

Listen to these in pairs and find the similarities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0wsiLdPVWQ They’re easier to find than Waldo. Send me more that come to your mind!

And, by the way, I stole a lot of what I listed in this musing!

Founder Jack Reuler

In 1987, a man named Curt Jones froze ice cream into pellets with liquid nitrogen, named them Dippin’ Dots, and eventually dubbed them “Ice Cream of the Future.” Decades later can it still be ice cream of the future or has the future come?

Mixed Blood now enters its ninth year of Radical Hospitality. While first-come-first-served admission without cost is the most visible manifestation of Radical Hospitality, it is intended to address all barriers to people attending live theater in general and Mixed Blood more specifically. Internally it has become so much more, guiding our approach to all that we do.

To become the theatrical destination for people with disabilities, for example, Mixed Blood not only offers a performance with ASL interpretation and live audio description, but offers audio description for virtually every performance. There are tactile tours for people with vision loss, projected supertitles of the script at every performance for people with hearing loss, mats for guide dogs’ comfort, facility improvements and changes to allow people with mobility challenges to sit or work almost anywhere, sensory friendly performances, free transportation to and from the theater, a year-round Disability Organizer with a Disability Advisory Council, and more, but also programming about disability, with artists with disabilities, and even festivals of plays centered on disability. We have dedicated performances for DeafBlind patrons. All that said, our work has such a long way to go in this arena.

Such targeted attempts could be cited about many populations underserved by the American theater.

Just as Kleenex has become synonymous with tissues, the Irvine Foundation hosted a conference in May for its arts grantees entitled Radical Hospitality, not because of Mixed Blood, but because the term is now equated with efforts to become a welcoming, inviting, affirming place for all.

After conducting focus groups a decade ago to determine the barriers to participation in theater, the one issue that spanned all groups was that finance was a barrier to participation. Mixed Blood had been receiving funds to offer free or reduced admission for people with disabilities, for Latinos, and for the immigrants and refugees of Cedar Riverside. Upon closer inspection and reflection that segregated treatment was deemed antithetical to our mission and no cost admission for all became a principle of Radical Hospitality.

Statistically, Radical Hospitality has been a triumphant success in transforming the composition of Mixed Blood’s audiences in terms of age, race, class, gender, and disability, but the overall assumption that finance is a barrier to participation is still being tested. While composition has been transformed, the overall size of the audience has not significantly grown. Is that because we continually reinvent our marketing strategies and don’t let any effort time to get traction? Is it the freedom to be bolder in our selection of material to be produced, material that is offputting to some? Is it subtle racism or classism that keeps some people from not wanting to assemble with certain others?

Beginning Radical Hospitality was a courageous act by Mixed Blood’s Board of Directors. It was a three-year trial. After three years the Board assessed and voted unanimously that Radical Hospitality was to be Mixed Blood modus operandi in perpetuity. It has become our brand, our culture, our competitive distinction, and the basis for our value system.

Whether you come via Guaranteed Admission or Radical Hospitality, please come. There are three parts to the successful experience at Mixed Blood: the area through which you travel to get to Mixed Blood, who sits beside you while at Mixed Blood, and who’s on stage when you come. All three things must be succeed for us to succeed.

Like Dippin’ Dots, after nine years is Radical Hospitality really radical or just our way of walkin’ our talk? Whatever the answer, Radical Hospitality is a source of pride for all of us at Mixed Blood.

Help to make radical hospitality possible into the future by becoming a member today.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 8, 2019

Media Contacts: The PR Team, pr@mixedblood.com

Mixed Blood Announces Lauren Yee’s comedy

THE SONG OF SUMMER

as the opening offering of its 44th season,

directed by Addie Gorlin, opening November 1

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) – With catchy tunes and outrageous comedy, Lauren Yee’s THE SONG OF SUMMER – an unrequited romance between a reluctant rock star and his high school BFF – tops the charts.  Named for that inescapable earworm that dominates the summer, THE SONG OF SUMMER is an electrifying romcom about who is behind the song that’s on everyone’s playlist and what happens when the song’s singer runs away from his headlining world tour to return to his hometown.  A play with music, THE SONG OF SUMMER is multi-layered, rich and absorbing, with fascinating, complex, lovable characters who’ll keep you laughing, entertained, and intrigued from the moment the play begins.

Opines Artistic Director Jack Reuler: “Lauren Yee is among my favorite playwrights in America. I have seen and/or read virtually everything she has written and Mixed Blood has commissioned a new script. Her humor is quirky, her dialogue punchy, and her characters memorable. Her appetite for disparate topics knows no bounds. As a pop music junkie, I admit to having all 69 “Now That’s What I Call Music” CD’s! I wrote down the “song of summer” for the past 20 years as we went to work producing THE SONG OF SUMMER. From Crazy in Love to Party Rock Anthem to Call Me Maybe to Uptown Funk as inspiration, this comedy is simultaneously heartwarming and breathtaking, reflective of Mixed Blood’s worldview, and a joyous 90 minutes of theatricality.”

Lauren Yee (she/her/hers), a 2019 Doris Duke Artist, is a playwright whose perceptive work often explores family stories, history reimagined through different lenses and the lives of people on the margins of or outside of a dominant culture. Her award-winning play “Cambodian Rock Band,” a comedy infused with music by the band Dengue Fever and classic Cambodian oldies, shadows a young woman on her mission to take down a Khmer Rouge war criminal thirty years after her father fled Cambodia. The play premiered at South Coast Repertory and is running at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, followed by runs at La Jolla Playhouse, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Portland Center Stage, Jungle Theatre and Signature Theatre in New York City. Her play “The Great Leap,” a sociopolitical sports tale that centers on a fictitious friendship game between China and America in the late 80s, has been produced by The Denver Center Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, the Guthrie Theater, Arts Club Theatre Company and InterAct Theatre Company, Steppenwolf, Long Wharf, Pasadena Playhouse/East West Players, Asolo Rep/Miami New Drama and Cygnet Theatre.

Yee has received the Whiting Award, the Steinberg/ATCA Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, the Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize and the Francesca Primus Prize.  She is a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, a Princeton University Hodder fellow, a New Dramatists member, a Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member and a Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. Her work is published by Samuel French, and her plays were in the top two slots of the 2017 Kilroys List. Her current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage and South Coast Rep. She currently writes for the TV adaptation of “Pachinko” for Apple and previously wrote for Netflix’s “Soundtrack.”

THE SONG OF SUMMER is the first of three productions by Lauren Yee in the Twin Cities this season, followed by THE HATMAKER’S WIFE at Ten Thousand Things and CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at The Jungle Theatre (coproduced with Mu). Last season the Guthrie produced THE GREAT LEAP and Theatre Mu has produced CHING CHONG CHINAMAN and THE TIGER AMONG US in 2009 and 2014 respectively.

Minnesota native Addie Gorlin (she/her/hers) returns to her home state and former artistic home to direct, having been a Producer in Residence at Mixed Blood for two years before completing her MFA at Brown University’s/Trinity Rep’s professional training program.

Mixed Blood aspires to be the destination for people with disabilities. Patrons with disabilities are eligible for free advanced reservations and free transportation to the theatre. All performances are captioned in English with projected supertitles for patrons with hearing loss.  For people with vision loss, audio description is available for most performances. Lobby, auditorium, and restrooms are fully accessible.

Tickets can be obtained in two ways: 1) Through Radical Hospitality, admission is FREE on a first come/first served basis starting two hours before every show, or 2) Advanced reservations are available online or by phone for $35 per person. Visit www.mixedblood.com or call 612- 338-6131 or boxoffice@mixedblood.com for more information All Performances in Mixed Blood Theatre’s Alan Page Auditorium, 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis, MN 55454

 

About Mixed Blood Theatre: 

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.

THE SONG OF SUMMER previews October 31st and opens November 1, with performances Wednesday-Friday at 7:30, Saturdays at 4:00 and 7:30, and Sundays at 2:00.

October 31        7:30 (preview)

November 1        7:30 (opening)

November 2        4:00 and 7:30

November 3        2:00

November 6        7:30

November 7        7:30

November 8        7:30

November 9        4:00 and 7:30

November 10    2:00

November 13    7:30

November 14    7:30

November 15    7:30

November 16    4:00 and 7:30

November 17    2:00

November 20    7:30

November 21    7:30

November 22    7:30

November 23    4:00 and 7:30

November 24    2:00 (close)

Download a PDF version of the press release.

Founder Jack Reuler

To be in America, must it be a rite of passage to be directly impacted by gun violence? We can all recount the cascade of mass shootings since Columbine, if we can even remember all of them. But on September 22, 2008 the news stories of gun violence about which I read and heard and debated and acted upon looked me in the eye.

As I walked out of the door of the Mixed Blood Theatre that I have exited since 1976, a 20-year old Augsburg student lay dead in the street at the end of our driveway, having been shot in the head at point blank range.

Ahmed Nur Ahmed Ali was a soccer player whose work study was tutoring young students at the Brian Coyle Community Center, which sits across 15th Avenue from Mixed Blood. He had asked a 15 year old to wait for the little ones to finish in the gym before playing basketball. That 15 year old ambushed Ahmed as he left the building.

15th Avenue South became a crowd scene. Ahmed’s body lay uncovered for hours as police gathered evidence. Hundreds of people, including family, were kept from getting close to him for tears or prayers. It was Ramadan.

I couldn’t leave either and watched, ten yards from a vital, ambitious, caring young man who would know no future. His blood coagulated around him. The police wouldn’t cover him so as not to taint evidence. I had coached one of the officers in Little League baseball 30 years earlier and he kept me informed, but I have been forever moved by that son/brother/friend whose life ended in the place I have spent my adult life.

While this act fulfilled a larger metropolitan impression of Cedar Riverside, police data revealed that we live in the second safest neighborhood in Minneapolis, safer than Linden Hills and Kenwood at the time. Nonetheless, City and community leaders leapt into action and eradicated the area of abandoned blighted buildings, removed public berms behind which criminal activity could take place, and punctuated the safety of our blocks, blocks on which over 5000 people reside.

The face of that young man – Ahmed Nur Ahmed Ali – shines in my mind’s eye each time a new report of unnecessary gun violence flows through the airwaves. It made it personal.

It feels like just a matter of time before it’s personal for every American. As crowds chant “Do something!” we at Mixed Blood vow to do just that.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2019

Media Contacts: The PR Team, pr@mixedblood.com

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) – Mixed Blood Theatre will premiere the new musical Interstate as the headliner of its 44th season. “Interstate is a glorious ‘pop-rock musical’ about inclusivity, queer and trans community, and the open road.” — Village Voice

Interstate

By Kit Yan and Melissa Li, Directed by Jesca Prudencio

March 6 – March 29, 2020

Interstate is a Queer Asian-American pop-rock musical about two trans people at different stages of their journeys, navigating love, family, masculinity, and finding community in the era of social media. It charts Dash, a transgender spoken word performer as he goes on a cross-country tour with Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter, as the activist band, Queer Malady, fueled by the allure of fame and a desire to connect with the Queer Asian community. The band’s fiercely political and deeply personal music touches Henry, a transgender teenage blogger living in middle America, who finds solace in their art as he struggles with his own identity and family.

Written by Kit Yan and Melissa Li, its development history has included residency at Musical Theater Factory, the 2018 New York Musical Festival, Dramatists Guild, Goodspeed Musicals Residency, and the MacDowell Colony Residency. Interstate won 5 awards at NYMF including Best Lyrics and will be presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in October 2019. Critically acclaimed Jesca Prudencio (How To Use A Knife at Mixed Blood in 2017) will direct Mixed Blood’s production and Natasha Sinha is the dramaturg.

“Mixed Blood, at its core, is about cultural collisions and is predicated on the premise that people like to see themselves reflected on stage in important ways. So when Interstate was presented to us for consideration, it felt as though it had been crafted for this organization. A ‘road show,’ it traverses the country geographically, but also along lines of race, culture, gender, generation, musical styles, and art forms. It is personal, professional, and political. Its remarkable creators – Kit Yan and Melissa Li – and its development pedigrees ready it for its Mixed Blood world premiere, and we can’t wait to share it!” says Artistic Director Jack Reuler.

Kit Yan (they/them/theirs) is a Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii.  Kit is a 2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, 2019 Lincoln Center Writer in residence, a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellow, 2019-2020 Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow, and 2019-2020 Playwright’s Center Many Voices Fellow. Their work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, Diversionary Theater, and Dixon Place. They have been a resident with the Civilians, Mitten Lab, 5th Avenue Theater, and the Village Theater. In 2018 Kit founded Translab, an incubator for Transgender and Non-binary voices in the American Theater, along with MJ Kaufman and supported by WP Theater and the Public Theater.

Melissa Li (she/her/hers) is a composer, lyricist, performer, and writer based in New York and Baltimore. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, a 2019 Lincoln Center Theater Writer-in-Residence, a 2019 Musical Theater Factory Maker, a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a former Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellow. Musicals include Interstate (New York Musical Festival, Winner “Outstanding Lyrics”), Surviving the Nian (The Theater Offensive, IRNE Award Winner for “Best New Play” 2007), and 99% Stone (The Theater Offensive). Her works have received support from The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theater, Musical Theater Factory, National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, Dixon Place, and others.

Jesca Prudencio (she/her/hers) is a director and choreographer focused on creating highly physical productions of new plays, musicals, and documentary theater nationally, and internationally. Directing credits include Will Snider’s How To Use a Knife (Mixed Blood), Calling (La MaMa ETC), Anna Moench’s Man of God (East West Players), A&Q (Philippines), and FAN: stories from the brothels of Bangkok (Thailand). Her critically acclaimed productions of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone and Anna Ziegler’s Actually at San Diego Repertory Theatre received multiple Craig Noel nominations including Outstanding Director. She is a recipient of The Old Vic’s T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange Fellowship, The Drama League Fellowship, and the inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship. Jesca is Artistic Director/Founder of People Of Interest, dedicated to creating community specific documentary theater works. She is currently Head of Directing at San Diego State University. BFA Drama: NYU Tisch, MFA Directing: UC San Diego. Upcoming: The Great Leap at Steppenwolf, PDA at La Jolla Playhouse’s WoW Festival.

Mixed Blood aspires to be the destination for people with disabilities. Patrons with disabilities are eligible for free advanced reservations and free transportation to the theatre. All performances are captioned in English with projected supertitles for patrons with hearing loss. For people with vision loss, audio description is available for most performances. Lobby, auditorium, and restrooms are fully accessible.

 

Tickets can be obtained in two ways: 1) Through Radical Hospitality, admission is FREE on a first come/first served basis starting two hours before every show, or 2) Advanced reservations are available online or by phone for $35 per person. Visit www.mixedblood.com or call 612- 338-6131 or boxoffice@mixedblood.com for more information All Performances in Mixed Blood Theatre’s Alan Page Auditorium, 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis, MN 55454

About Mixed Blood Theatre:

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.

Interstate previews March 5 and opens March 6, with performances Wednesday-Friday at 7:30, Saturdays at 4:00 and 7:30, and Sundays at 2:00.

March 5                      7:30 Preview

March 6                      7:30 Open

March 7                      4:00 & 7:30

March 8                      2:00

March 11                   7:30

March 12                   7:30

March 13                   7:30

March 14                   4:00 & 7:30

March 15                   2:00

March 18                   7:30

March 19                   7:30

March 20                   7:30

March 21                   4:00 & 7:30

March 22                   2:00

March 25                   7:30

March 26                   7:30

March 27                   7:30

March 28                   4:00 & 7:30

March 29                   2:00

Download the full press release for this World Premiere Production.

Founder Jack Reuler

The Minnesota theater community offers its audiences the finest on-stage work in the country. It continues to be a treasure bringing quality to the lives of many, though not yet all, Minnesotans. Today, there is an ache in this Minnesota theater community as its past meets its present, as its coffers remain un-full, as the competition from cell phones, tablets, and TV is at a zenith (as theater writers depart for “greener” pastures).

Strategic Planning guru David LaPiana keenly observes that non-profits often play out internally the very social malaise that they tried to address externally. As we at Mixed Blood plot our 44th season, we muse about the incalculable value of being part of this theater community and how we together can enrich, expand, and cross-pollinate our audiences.

It has been said that a community is defined by the people who have stuck around long enough to become a caricature of themselves. I look in the mirror every day to see if that is true of me as leader of Mixed Blood. In the aftermath of what I consider the best mainstage season of our 43, a season in which we allowed/forced a look in to Black Lives Matter, Second Amendment rights, MeToo, reproductive rights, immigration, climate change, and autonomous vehicles, a year in which City Pages declared Mixed Blood the Best Theater (2018), and a year that hosted The Fringe, SPCPA, Pangea, Turtle Collective, Underdog Theater, and countless events of Cedar Riverside residents, politicians, and businesses, that mirror ain’t tellin’ me it’s time to go to pasture.

At Mixed Blood, the best is yet to come. I am convinced the same can be said for Minnesota theaters big and small, old and young… even as we change to thrive.

There has been a mantra that if we, the Twin Cities theaters, are splintered, we are doomed. In these times, this maxim bears reconfirmation and calls for common cause. As people watch whatever they want to watch whenever they want to watch it from wherever they are for free, live events of all kinds – from the Vikings to the Orchestra to the Guthrie to storefront theaters and gymnatorium dance companies – need to band together, knowing that people gathering at a live event is a win-win-win for all. We need to convince evolving participants that coming together – traveling through weather to go to a particular place at a particular time and plunking down money – is, indeed, a great decision.

men leaning over young person in car, the word :autonomy" on side of car