Al Pacino’s Tony Montana memorably says, “Say hello to my little friends!” Well, I want you to say hello to a few of my big friends who dot the cast of our upcoming production of AUTONOMY. They, too, are beautiful, powerful pieces of metal that are instrumental in telling an altogether different tale in an altogether different way.
How can climate change, autonomous vehicles, and immigration be married in a theatrical event that stars 20 actors and 40 cars plus a Hollywood-made movie on a 70,000 square foot stage…with moving seats?! We at Mixed Blood have been working since 2017 to bring this to life: drive-through theater.
In the subcultures of car collectors, climate change activists, immigration policy champions, and scientists and engineers readying us for the greatest transportation revolution since cars replaced horses – autonomous vehicles – live a wealth of information and passion punctuated by an unparalleled generosity. 40 cars worth five million dollars or more have come to us gratis. From 3M engineers to a patriarch of AV (former GM Google VP) to locksmiths to robotics CEO’s to sign collectors to TV anchors to driverless cab companies to immigration attorneys to NHL hockey employees to philanthropic foundations, and so many more, AUTONOMY lives on the shoulders of disparate people who have believed in a vision to invent a new kind of theater, one that spurs awareness, but with a call to action.
As a director I am blessed to be surrounded by uber-talented friends who are willing to take a chance and perform, Groundhog Day-like, the same scene dozens of times to bring AUTONOMY to life. Ansa Akyea has been in at least one Mixed Blood show per year since 2005. Jamie Denton, who came from Desperate Housewives to Twin Cities theater and befriended me upon his arrival. Harry Waters, Jr., who was in the original Back To The Future, shares the limelight again with a DeLorean Time Machine in AUTONOMY. Fellow artistic director Randy Reyes, former child prodigy Nathan Barlow, my beloved daughter Taj, Mixed Blood stalwart Raul Ramos, Mermaid Hour’s Malachi Caballero, and newcomers Rainbow Dickerson, Isabella LaBlanc, and Kiko Laureano are but a portion of the cast members hoping to wow audiences traveling past them in/on electric vehicles.
No one will end up face down in a mountain of cocaine like Tony Montana, but AUTONOMY will be a celebration of play-making unlike anything we at Mixed Blood have tried before. Come join us!