(Minneapolis/Saint Paul) Mu Performing Arts Artistic Director, Rick Shiomi, was awarded an Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement at last night’s celebration of Twin Cities’ professional theater. The eighth annual event was hosted by Shanan Custer at the historic State Theater. Shiomi’s award comes shortly after directing Mu’s recent summer production of Into the Woods. Mu’s take on the classic musical was the highest grossing production in its twenty year history.
Rick Shiomi was already an accomplished playwright, taiko drummer, and community organizer when he co-founded Theater Mu in 1992, which premiered its first annual New Eyes Festival of staged readings at Intermedia Arts in downtown Minneapolis. Since that time, Mu Performing Arts has grown to become one of the largest Asian American performing companies in the nation, garnering critical acclaim and a burgeoning audience base along the way. Mu’s company model is unique in North America in that it encompasses both a taiko drumming ensemble (Mu Daiko) and a professional theater company (Theater Mu).
Mu’s recently announced mainstage season includes their annual taiko concert Mu Daiko at the Cowles Center, a world premiere commission, The Tiger Among Us by Lauren Yee and culminates with R.A. Shiomi’s Yellow Fever (March 9-24, 2013). Rick Shiomi will direct his noir comedy in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater. Yellow Fever launched Shiomi’s professional theatrical career when it was produced Off-Broadway at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in 1982.