Mu was first founded in 1992 as Theater Mu, a theater company dedicated to bringing Asian American voices to the stage in the Twin Cities at a time when Asian American theater did not exist in the area and the Asian American community was rarely recognized. After forming Mu Daiko, a taiko drumming ensemble, the company rebranded itself as Mu Performing Arts, reflecting our broad artistic base of theater, taiko, and artist development.
Mu Performing Arts remains Minnesota’s only pan-Asian performing arts organization, and has grown into one of the largest Asian American performing arts company in the United States. Through performance and community outreach, Mu provides an unparalleled resource for Asian American artists, introduces Asian American stories and issues to audiences of all backgrounds, and gives Asian Americans of all ages and ethnicities a place to connect and belong.
Mu has become a leader in the local and national development of Asian American theater and taiko. Mu has helped to develop and support the work of local and national playwrights, actors, directors, and musicians by premiering many new works, fostering a new generation of Asian American artists, and bringing Asian American voices to Twin Cities audiences. Through educational, community, and corporate outreach programs, we brought theater and taiko to over 60,000 people throughout the upper Midwest in the last year alone, providing access to Asian American culture and arts to communities who otherwise may not have the opportunity to experience it.
In 2011, Mu Performing Arts published a new anthology of plays through Temple University Press, Asian American Plays for a New Generation. Six of the seven plays included were commissioned and/or produced by Mu.
Each season, Mu produces three mainstage plays and one mainstage taiko concert, along with numerous artist development programs and other special events.
Upcoming Organizational Changes
Stemming from the growth of both the Theater Mu and Mu Daiko programs, Mu Performing Arts’ leadership decided to end the taiko programming effective August 2017. Mu Daiko will transition during the 2016-2017 season into a separate nonprofit organization focused on the taiko art of drumming, while Mu Performing Arts will focus on the Theater Mu programs.