Mu Performing Arts
and Artistic Director Randy Reyes invite you to join us for our 25th Anniversary Season!

Celebrate 25 years of Mu Performing Arts with this huge season. Bringing you new taiko performances and innovative works from the heart of the Asian American experience. Become a subscriber today!

 

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$90 gets you a ticket to five spectacular performances in the 16/17 season, and discounts to tickets to the Twin Cities Theaters of Color Coalition, including Penumbra Theatre, Teatro del Pueblo, New Native Theatre, and Pangea World Theater.

2016-2017 Productions

THE TWO KIDS THAT BLOW SHIT UP
by Carla Ching
September 9 - September 18

A play about trying not to fall in love with your best friend, or else you might end up hating them.

Kilburn Theatre at Rarig Center on the U of M Campus 330 21st Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Diana and Max meet at 9 years old, the day their parents start having an affair. In the ensuing decades, they see each other through highs and lows, trying not to make the same mistakes their parents did. A play about trying not to fall in love with your best friend so you end up hating them.

The Two Kids that Blow Shit Up was featured in the 2016 New Eyes Festival at The Playwrights Center, and we are pleased to have Carla's show opening our 25th Anniversary Season.

STARRING

Sun Mee Chomet* as "Diana"

Sun Mee Chomet* as "Diana"

Sherwin Resurreccion as "Max"

Sherwin Resurreccion as "Max"

 

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

CARLA CHING THE KILROYS ©ELISABETH CAREN 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

CARLA CHING ©ELISABETH CAREN

An LA native, Carla Ching stumbled upon pan-Asian performance collective Peeling at the Asian American Writers Workshop and wrote and performed with them for three years, which she still considers her first theater training. Her plays include Nomad Motel (2015 O’Neill Playwrights Conference; workshop with Roundabout Theater Company), Fast Company (South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Lyric Stage, Pork Filled Productions; winner of the Edgerton New American Play Award and The Seattle Times’ Footlights Award for Top Play on a Smaller Stage ), TBA  (2g), The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi Theater Company), and The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (also currently running at Artists at Play in Los Angeles). She’s an alumna of The Women’s Project Lab, the Lark Play Development Center Writers Workshop, the CTG Writers’ Workshop and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Former Artistic Director of Asian American Theater Company, 2g.TBA is published in Out of Time and Place.Fast Company is published by Samuel French. BA, Vassar College. MFA, New School for Drama. Proud member of New Dramatists and The Kilroys. On television, Carla has written on USA’s Graceland, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead and is currently writing on Amazon’s I Love Dick,executive produced by Sarah Gubbins and Jill Soloway. www.carlaching.com Twitter: @carlaching

The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up was developed by and received its co-world premiere by Artists at Play in Los Angeles, CA; Julia Cho, Stefanie Wong Lau, and Marie-Reine Velez, Producing Artistic Leaders and Mu Performing Arts in Minneapolis, MN; Randy Reyes, Artistic Director. The University of Minnesota is not endorsing or sponsoring the activities conducted by Mu Performing Arts on the University of Minnesota campus. The relationship between the University of Minnesota and Mu is solely that of licensor and licensee.

TAIKO LAB FALL 2016
by Mu Daiko
October 30 - October 30

ONE SHOW ONLY at 2:00 (7:00 show has been canceled) Taiko Lab is your opportunity to experience original compositions, experimental melodies, and brand new rhythms from the innovative composers/ensemble members of Mu Daiko. You will see the evolution of ideas presented in last year’s lab, as well as new pieces.  This year there will be a focus on exploring shinobue melodies (Japanese flute or fue). You will also get a sneak peak at "Kyoyo", composed by Yuichi Kimura of Daichi No Kai from Kobe, Japan. Seating is very limited, so please reserve your seat in advance for this exciting showcase.
AVAX 2016: THE HOLIDAY PARTY
December 12 - December 12

Jasmine's had quite a year. After her debut at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in October, she's feeling a bit beat, but she still wants to see all of your lovely faces for the holidays! So we're changing things up for A Very Asian Xmas this year with a lovely holiday party - and you're invited!

If you've been to AVAX before, this one's going to be a little bit different, so you don't want to miss it! The party will include:

Scrumptious appetizers, drinks, and hot chocolate! Jasmine's secret recipe bubbly punch Karaoke performances by Jasmine and her friends Sugar cookie decorating Mix & Mingle with all of your Mu favorites

We're looking forward to a festive evening full of laughter, singing, and merry-making with you! Dress in your favorite holiday attire!

FLOWER DRUM SONG
by David Henry Hwang, Music by Rodgers & Hammerstein
January 20 - February 19

To create something new, we must first love what is old.

Co-produced with and at Park Square Theatre

Father produces Peking Opera. Son knows nightclub acts sell better. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the late 1950s, this funny and moving story explores what it means to become American. The new, fully‐revised version includes David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award‐nominated text, and favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein songs. After Mu’s successful 2009 production, the company is excited to bring this Broadway hit back to the Twin Cities for a month‐long run.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

Photo by Lia Chang

Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang was awarded the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and John Gassner Awards for his Broadway debut, M. BUTTERFLY, which also was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. For his play GOLDEN CHILD, he received a 1998 Tony Nomination and a 1997 Obie Award. His new book for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical FLOWER DRUM SONG earned him his third Tony nomination in 2003. He was also a book writer on Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA. Hwang’s other plays include FOB (1981 Obie Award), THE DANCE AND THE RAILROAD, FAMILY DEVOTIONS, THE SOUND OF A VOICE and BONDAGE. His opera libretti include three works for composer Philip Glass, 1000 AIRPLANES ON THE ROOF, THE VOYAGE and THE SOUND OF A VOICE, as well as THE SILVER RIVER with music by Bright Sheng and Ainadamar with Osvaldo Golijov. Hwang penned the feature films M. BUTTERFLY, GOLDEN GATE and POSSESSION (co-writer) and co-wrote the song “Solo” with composer/performer Prince. He has written the book on the new Broadway musical TARZAN, and his new play, YELLOW FACE, will premiere next season. Hwang serves on the Dramatists Guild Council.
NEW EYES FESTIVAL 2017
March 25 - March 25

We’ve got stories to tell you.

WHAT IS A STAGE READING? A stage reading is a form of theatre without sets or full costumes. The actors, who read from scripts, may be seated, stand in fixed positions, or incorporate minimal stage movement. The purpose is to gauge the effectiveness of the dialogue, pacing and flow, and other dramatic elements that the playwright or director may wish to adjust. Audience feedback contributes to the process.
This series of readings of new works from Asian American playwrights is an artistic incubator for thoughts and ideas looking to be born onto the stage.

Saturday, March 25 at 10 A.M. • SteppingStone Theatre

The Princess’ Nightingale

Written by Damon Chua | Directed by Daisuke Kawachi Synopsis: A brand new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Nightingale.” Set in eighteenth century China, the story revolves around the rivalry between Tenth Princess and her half-brother Prince Jia, children of the Emperor. It would take nothing less than a magical bird to show them the wonders of their land, and their responsibility as royalties. TENTH PRINCESS — Sarah Schweitzer NIGHTINGALE — Stephanie Bertumen ACTOR #1 (PANDA #1, EMPEROR, PEASANT #4, MECHANICAL BIRD #2) — Wesley Mouri* ACTOR #2 (PANDA #2, EMPRESS, PEASANT #3, MECHANICAL BIRD #1) — Catrina Huynh ACTOR #3 (PRINCE JIA, TIGER HEAD, PEASANT #2) — Kyle Legacion ACTOR #4 (MINISTER WU, TIGER TAIL, PEASANT #1) — Pogi Sumangil*

Damon Chua, playwright

Damon Chua is a New York-based playwright, poet, fiction writer and producer. Originally from Singapore, Damon now calls Jackson Heights his home. Damon is a member of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group 2014-15 and Ma-Yi Theater’s Writers Lab in New York. His stint at The Public Theater was supported by a Time Warner Foundation grant. He is the recipient of a 2015 Dramatists Guild Fund #writechange scholarship and a 2014 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus and the Proscenium Journal, Damon received an Ovation Award for Best New Play and has obtained support from UNESCO and the Durfee Foundation. Damon’s plays have been staged in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and presented in several states. They also have been seen in London, Singapore and Toronto. In 2015, he made his Off-Broadway debut through Pan Asian Repertory Theatre with this full-length noir drama Film Chinois.   Steppingstone Theatre | 55 N Victoria St, Saint Paul, Mn 55104 10 A.M. – The Princess’ Nightingale Free Admission • Free snacks This children’s story is for the whole family.
Steppingstone Theatre, 55 N Victoria St, St Paul, MN 55104

Steppingstone Theatre, 55 N Victoria St, St Paul, MN 55104

Parking is currently available to SteppingStone patrons in the Mitchell Hamline School of Law parking lot on weekends. Paid parking is available at the Victoria Crossing ramp (corner of Victoria and Grand Ave.) Free parking is available along Grand Ave. On-street parking is available on surrounding residential streets.

Saturday, March 25 at 4 P.M. • Mu Performing Arts studio

The Moon Embraces the Song

by May Lee-Yang | directed by Katie Bradley Synopsis: When a K-drama addict with a secret meets a Korean heir who has been banished to the Midwest, fantasy collides with reality in this romantic comedy about fate, cultural clashes, and the art of losing one’s virginity. *K-drama refers to televised dramas in the Korean language, made in South Korea, mostly in a miniseries format, with distinctive features that set them apart from television series and soap operas made elsewhere. GAO HLEE SONG — Suzie Juul BENEDICT SONG/SONG JUNG SOO — Eric Sharp* SECRETARY KIM/TOU MONG VANG/GARY JOHNSON/ENSEMBLE — Wesley Mouri* MADAME SONG/GAO HLEE’S MOM/ENSEMBLE — Jeannie Lander Z/MIRAE PARK/HOTEL CLERK/ENSEMBLE — Stephanie Bertumen

May Lee-Yang, playwright

May Lee-Yang is a playwright, poet, prose writer, and performance artist. Born in Ban Vinai, a refugee camp in Thailand following the Secret War in Laos, May moved with her family to Saint Paul, MN where she lives to this day. Her work often explores the lives of Hmong women and living in a bicultural world, and she has been hailed by Twin Cities Metro Magazine as “on her way to becoming one of the most powerful and colorful voices in local theater.” Her theater-based works have been presented at Mu Performing Arts, the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), Out North Theater, the 2011 National Asian American Theater Festival, the MN Fringe Festival and others. Her works includeConfessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman and Ten Reasons Why I’d Be a Bad Porn Star.  She has received grants from the Bush Leadership Fellowship, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Performance Network, the Midwestern Voices and Visions Residency Award, the Playwrights' Center, and the Loft Literary Center.  

Saturday, March 25 at 7 P.M. • Mu Performing Arts studio

Two Mile Hollow

by Leah Nanako Winkler | directed by Leah Anderson Synopsis: A parody coupled with moments of disorienting sincerity, Two Mile Hollow explores the dysfunctional family with brutality, awe and compassion. When the Donnellys gather for a weekend in the country to hash out belonging from their recently sold estate, an emotional storm breaks inside while a literal storm brews outside. As this family of famous, longing-to-be-famous, and kind-of-a-mess-but-totally-Caucasian characters come together with their personal assistant, Charlotte, some really really really really really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed (over white wine). MARY — Katie Bradley* BLYTHE DONNELLY — Sheena Janson JOSHUA DONNELLY — Eric Sharp* CHRISTOPHER DONNELLY — Jake Sullivan CHARLOTTE — Hope Nordquist

Leah Nanako Winkler, playwright

Leah Nanako Winkler is a Japanese American playwright from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington Kentucky. Her play KENTUCKY was among the top 10 on the 2015 Kilroys List and recently received an Off-Broadway Premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre in coproduction with Page 73 and the Radio Drama Network. It subsequently received a West Coast Premiere at East West Players in November-December 2016. Leah is also the author of Two Mile Hollow (2016 Kilroys Honorable Mention, CAATA conference), Death For Sydney Black (terraNova Collective, 2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention) Diversity Awareness Picnic (2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention) , Double Suicide At Ueno Park (EST/Marathon) and The Adventures of Minami: The Robot From Japan Who Makes You Feel Safe When Loneliness Is Palpable (The Brick). With playwright Teddy Nicholas, she cowrote Flying Snakes in 3-D!!! which enjoyed performances in 2011-2012 at Ars Nova (ANT Fest), The Brick Theater and the New Ohio Theatre (Ice Factory ). Leah’s work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, The Bushwick Starr, The Flea Theatre, Primary Stages, Artists at Play and more. Her experimental stuff has been performed all throughout the city at places like little theatre @ Dixon Place, Prelude Festival, Bowery Poetry Club and more. Her collections of short plays, NAGORIYUKI & Other Short Plays and The Lowest Form Of Writing are available on Amazon and have been performed all over the US, France and Asia. Her plays have also been published in Nanjing University’s Stage and Screen Reviews , Smith and Krauss, Sam French and Dramatists Play Service. She was an artist in residence at New Group/Urban Arts Initiative , a winner of the 2015 Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, a 2015 and 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee, a two time recipient of the A/P/A commission for the Japanese American National Museum, a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship for Creative Writing, a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Playwrights Group, a 2016 Sloan Commission recipient with the Ensemble Studio Theatre, a commissioned writer with 2G, a 2016-2018 Time Warner fellow at the Women’s Project, an alumnus of Youngblood and a 2017 Sundance/Ucross Fellow. The New York Times called her a “distinctive new voice.”   Mu Performing Arts studio | 755 Prior Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104 4 P.M. – The Moon Embraces the Song 6:15 P.M. – dinner 7:30 P.M. – Two Mile Hollow Free Admission • Free food
Mu Performing Arts, 755 Prior Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104

Mu Performing Arts, 755 Prior Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104

    Others involved in New Eyes Festival 2017: Adele Lennig *Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States  
Mu Performing Arts gathers together world-class talent for Minnesota’s First Taiko Festival The festival culminates with a Mu Daiko 20th Anniversary Concert celebration. Mu Performing Arts celebrates Mu Daiko’s 20th anniversary by gathering some of the best taiko talent from Minnesota, the United States, Canada, and Japan to give audiences the opportunity to experience the impact, depth, and diversity of taiko performance as a dynamic musical art form and a cultural heritage that originates from Japan and is practiced around the world. “This Minnesota Taiko Festival is a dream come true for me. I want to show Minnesota the best of what taiko has to offer. We are bringing together my favorite taiko people in the world, traveling near and far, to help us celebrate 20 years, and launch us into 20 more.” — Jennifer Weir, Mu Daiko Artistic Director The festival opens with — and repeats as an encore closing event — a concert on the Guthrie’s McGuire Proscenium stage featuring Mu Daiko and spotlighting guest artists. The concert celebrates two decades of Mu Daiko with an all-star guest list, featuring a playlist of Mu Daiko favorites, new compositions, and a commission by Michelle Fujii.

MU DAIKO 20TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT

Friday and Saturday • April 28–29 • 7 p.m.

Concert venue: Guthrie Theater • 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Concert dates and time: April 28 and 29, 7 p.m. each night. Concert tickets and prices: $60 VIP tickets (limited quantity) include pre-show reception and preferred seating. $40 Adult tickets. $20 Student tickets. For tickets and information, please visit online: www.muperformingarts.org or call 651-789-1012

Celebrate 20 years of Mu Daiko with an all-star list of guest artists, featuring Mu Daiko favorites, new compositions, and a commission by Michelle Fujii of UNIT SOUZOU.

Guest artists include:

Yuichi Kimura of Daichi No Kai (Kobe, Japan)

Tiffany Tamaribuchi of Sacramento Taiko Dan & Jodaiko (Sacramento, CA)

Shoji Kameda of On Ensemble (Los Angeles, CA)

Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe of UNIT SOUZOU (Portland, OR)

Naomi Guilbert and Hiroshi Koshiyama of Fubuki Daiko (Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

ensemble-MA (Greater Twin Cities, Minnesota)


FREE FAMILY FUN ON SATURDAY!

Saturday afternoon activities are free and open to the public. They include select guest artist performances and workshops designed to introduce the public to taiko basics and allow them to experience the energy, challenge, and grace of taiko drumming firsthand. Panel discussions, educational opportunities, and family activities including origami, face painting, storytelling, and a drum petting zoo will continue throughout the afternoon. These daytime performances, mini-workshops, and family activities are all free events scheduled for Saturday, April 29 from 1–5 p.m. Festival venue: Guthrie Theater • 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415
EXTEND YOUR TAIKO EXPERIENCE WITH HANDS-ON STUDIO CLASSES Master Class Workshops — Sunday, April 30th Join us for a full day of Taiko! Sign up for individual workshops or join us for the whole day. Mu Performing Arts taiko students who have successfully completed the Introductory Class may attend these workshops. 9:00am-10:30am – Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Form and Spirit 10:30am-12:00pm – Shoji Kameda 12:00pm - 12:30pm - Lunch 12:30pm-2:00pm – Yuichi Kimura 2:00pm-3:30pm – Michelle Fujii & Toru Watanabe, Uchiwa Movement $40 per workshop or $100 for the entire day Four Master Class Workshops held at the Mu Taiko Studio facility at 2700 Winter Street NW, Minneapolis, MN 55443. The musician instructors include Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe, Shoji Kameda, and Yuichi Kimora. *Previous experience recommended. For registration and information, please visit online: Taiko Master Class Workshops

1967: a new political identity called Asian American emerges and a young literary hippie named Frank essays an inscrutable Chinese detective. A harmless sing-song orientalist minstrel show that ENDS IN A GROTESQUE CARNIVAL OF MURDER!!!

At once both comedic and political, Lloyd Suh’s play within a play delves into the history and politics of yellowface with a keen eye, dark humor, and a sharp wit. The New York Times calls the show "a metatheatrical polemic about the way Asian-Americans have been characterized and caricatured in popular culture." Charles Francis Chan Jr.'s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery was featured in the 2016 New Eyes Festival at The Playwrights Center, and we are pleased to add Lloyd's show to our 25th Anniversary Season.

Join us at Guthrie Theater's Dowling Studio as we stage this exciting work as part of the Level Nine Initiative!

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

unnamedLloyd Suh is the author of American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, The Children of Vonderly, Masha No Home and others, produced with Ma-Yi, The Play Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, La Mama ETC, Magic Theatre (SF), ArtsEmerson (MA), Denver Center Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company (MN), East West Players (LA), and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via The Lark, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Theatre Communications Group and Dramatists Guild. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Actors Studio, an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.  He has served since 2011 as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.
IMMIGRANT JOURNEY PROJECT
August 4 - August 20

Created by artist Masanari Kawahara, the project explores the 21st-century immigrant experience using puppetry, movement, and masks. Community members will be joined by Mu actors who will play cameo roles and serve as mentors for the newly trained performers.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

imageMasanari Kawahara is a performer, educator and Butoh practitioner who incorporates puppetry, mask and movement into his work. His latest work as a performer/writer/designer was a solo performance piece Little Boy, commissioned and developed by Pangea World Theater’s Alternate Vision series, performed in fall 2014 at Pillsbury House Theatre. He was a company member of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) from 1998 to 2009. At HOBT, Masanari collaborated on numerous productions such as his latest production with HOBT is The Story of Crow Boy (2016). He also created, A Path Home: A Story of Thich Nhat Hanh(2009) which was chosen as outstanding puppetry by Lavender. He was the co-creator and designer of GOTAMA: Journey to the Buddha (2006), recognized by City Pages as one of the ten great sets/scenic designs of the year. Masanari Kawahara is a Playwrights’ Center McKnight Theater Artist Fellow (2010-2011).