by Ken LaZebnik directed by Jack Reuler September 17 – September 26, 2021 Performed at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory


Wealthy philanthropist Preston Davis has made a $40 million gift to the mythical Jackson Kennicott Zoo to launch an exhibit that will bring a species back from extinction while attracting thousands of zoo goers and leveraging many millions more for this urban zoo, its city’s schools, its region’s residents, and its area’s businesses. Questionable language from this humanitarian casts doubt on the moral decision to accept the donation, despite its ripple effect of financial benefit and species survival.


Playwright Ken LaZebnik, a longtime collaborator of Mixed Blood, joins Jack Reuler in his final directing project of his 46-year tenure. They are joined by a cast of 18, which includes Sally Wingert, Jevetta Steele, Kevin Kling, Regina Marie Williams, Stephen Yoakam, Taj Ruler, Marquetta Senters, Raul Ramos, Khamara Pettus, Regan Linton, Bruce Young, Kate Fuglei, and with special cameos by Don Cheadle, Joe Minjares, and Warren C. Bowles.


This world premiere begins with a helicopter landing and ends with a sea lion jumping, in an eight-scene moving theatrical experience on the wondrous and real grounds of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, located at 1225 Eastbrook Drive in St.


Animate opens September 17 for a two-week run, closing September 26. All performances are at 6:30 pm. Wheelchairs, strollers, and scooters are available. Reservations can only be made, at no cost, through the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Click the following link to reserve your spot now!

*Audio Description offered September 24.

The Cast

ANIMATE is brought to life by an extraordinary group of artists who have varying ties to one or dozens of Mixed Blood performances over the years. It’s with that in mind that we shine a light on our rich and eclectic history with this show’s amazing cadre of theatre professionals and friends!

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Regina Marie Williams* (KEISHA HARDEMAN) A…My Name Is Alice, Ruined, Dance On Widows Row, A Cool Drink A Water, Daughters of Africa, Pure Confidence, Next To Normal, Two Queens One Castle, A…My Name Is Still Alice, Yellowman, Bee-luther-hatchee, Barbecue, On The Spectrum, Black No More

Sally Wingert* (LIZ CONWAY) Spinning Into Butter, Winter, Mad Dancers, Gene Pool, Living Out, Hir, Sweet Nothing In My Ear

Bruce A. Young* (JOE GLEASON) Ruined, African America, Hooded, A Cool Drink A Water, WARP, Neighbors, The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, Autonomy

Lipica Shah* (LAURETTE) Kalki, Shiv, Orange, The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, Passing Strange

Regan Linton* (LILLY) Safe At Home, The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time

Bonni Allen (LIZBET ANDERSEN) Avenue Q, Learn To Be Latina, Hooded, Gloria, Roe, Barbecue

Raúl Ramos (LARRY BANKS) Minnecanos, The Grapes of Wrath, In The Time of the Butterflies, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinking Badges, Found, House of the Spirits, Corazon Eterno, La Nona, Wait Until Dark, The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, Pajama Game, Ten Percent of Marta Solano, The Primary English Class, Flags, Autonomy, How To Use A Knife, Sweet 15, Esperanda La Carozza, Living Out, League of Nations, Boy, Santos y Santos, Safe At Home, Road to Nirvana, Boy, Sweet Nothing in My Ear, Bill of (W)Rights, Found, Vestibular Sense, DJ Latinidad’s Latino Dance Party

Kevin Kling* (MARTY O’SHEA) Lemons, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Rebel Without A Cause

Marquetta Senters* (REV. JOANNE GULLEY) A…My Name Is Alice, How To Improve Your Golf Game, Colorblind, A…My Name Is Still Alice, La Nona, I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinking Badges, Wall of Water, Gene Pool

Jevetta Steele* (GERALDINE JOHNSON) Lady Soul, Black Belts, Two Queens One Castle, Black Belts II, Vices, Bill of (W)Rights, Point of Revue, Barbecue, Black Belts Again

Taj Ruler (TAMAR ROTELLA) Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Theory of Mind, Queen of the Remote Control, Somebody/Nobody, Bill of (W)Rights, Autonomy, My Secret Language of Wishes

Warren Bowles* (ANDRE WRIGHT) Dr. King’s Dream, Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson, The Last Champion, Death of a Salesman, Black Picture Show, Cyrano de Bergerac, Make Room for Dada, Mad Dancers, The Grapes of Wrath, Boy, Tuesday, I’m Not Rappaport, Six Degrees of Separation, They’re Coming To Make It Brighter, Oleanna, Keely and Du, King of the Kosher Grocers, The Boys Next Door, Wall of Water, Other People’s Money, The Mystery of Irma Vep, How To Improve Your Golf Game, Glengarry Glen Ross, In The Belly of the Beast, Beyond Therapy, Holiday Inn, K2, Kabuki Spectacle, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Tango, Cruel Tears, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, WARP, Bloody Bess, Bleacher Bums, Noah, Cruel Tears, Candide, Point of Revue, Flags, The Last Champion, Back No More, Eye of the Beholder, I Cheng, A Map of the World, Buenavista, Point of Revue, Snowflake Avalanche, Radio Mambo, Cut Flowers, Neighbors, Theory of Mind, Dance on Windows Row, Distracted, Wonderful Ice Cream Suite, Wait Until Dark, Primary Class, Sweet Nothing in My Ear, Curse of the Starving Class, Zoo Story

Kate Fuglei* (KIKI ROBBINS) Autonomy

Randy Reyes* (ED KRANEPOOL) Autonomy, 1001, The Romance of Magno Rubio

Rose Portillo (TERESA HECHTER) One Hundred Years of Solitude, Maria, MariaMariaMaria!, La Nona, Cyrano de Bergerac, Other People’s Money

Joe Minjares (MAYOR FERNANDEZ) Other People’s Money, Buenavista, Speed The Plow, Road To Nirvana, The Grapes of Wrath, Only Kidding, I Don’t Need to Show You No Stinking Badges, King of the Kosher Grocers, Sweet 15: Quineañera, Flags

Barbara June Patterson (BEVERLY BUCHANAN) Other People’s Money, Keely and Du, The Grapes of Wrath

Steve Yoakam* (JONAH GLICKMAN) Mother April’s, Cops, Death of a Salesman, Strider, Cruel Tears, Mad Dancers, Tango, Clean House, Barbecue, Tuesday, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, Cyrano de Bergerac, Candide, Bloody Bess, Kabuki Spectacle, Zoo Story, WARP, Brother Champ, Ohio Tipoff, Joanne!, Zoo Story

Clyde Lund (PRESTON DAVIS) I’m Not Rappaport, Glengarry Glen Ross, Other People’s Money, The Grapes of Wrath

Don Cheadle (NARRATROR) Liquid Skin, The Boys Next Door, The Grapes of Wrath, Cincinnati Man, Hundred of Sisters and One Big Brother

Khamara Pettus (ELENA MAMANI) Debut

Emily Robinson* (STAGE MANAGER) Debut


Ken LaZebnik (playwright) African Jazz, Harlem Renaissance Revue, Calvinisms, Black Magic, League of Nations, Theory of Mind, Vestibular Sense, On The Spectrum, Autonomy

© 2022 — Mixed Blood Theatre