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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.