Mu Performing Arts and Artistic Director Randy Reyes invite you to experience an unparalleled variety of events in our 2015-16 Season of theater and taiko!
Celebrate 50 years of Asian American theater with Mu Performing Arts this season. Bringing you new taiko performances and innovative works from the heart of the Asian American experience, as well as our 50th World Premiere production.
November 5 - November 8
Assistant Director: Emma Valentine
Featuring Los Angeles-based taiko group ON ENSEMBLE
November 28 - November 29
Starring Jasmine herself, Mu's annual holiday cabaret! A night of songs, smiles, and seasonal delights!
by Jessica Huang
December 4 - December 20
WORLD PREMIERE production by Minnesota playwright Jessica Huang
WORLD PREMIEREWhen you’re hapa, you know deep down you’re greater than the sum of your many parts. In Purple Cloud, three generations of Huangs deal with the many facets of their multiracial identities as – accompanied by four Jade Pieces– they embark on a mythical journey from China to America and back again. Through three intertwining stories, we see the Huang family through the messy and beautiful business of acculturation: Grandpa Lee immigrates from Shanghai to America during World War II; his son Orville deals with his confusion as a first generation Asian American, taught to pass as white and unsure of his own blood; and his granddaughter fights for her Chinese-ness through a tattoo of a deer and the search for her true name.
by Mia Chung
February 20 - March 6
Associate Producers Greg and Penny Anderson
REGIONAL PREMIERE at the Guthrie Theater's Dowling Studio
Friday, February 19 at 7:30 PM (Preview) Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 PM (Opening Night) Sunday, February 21 at 1:00 PM Sunday, February 21 at 7:00 PM
Wednesday, February 24 at 1:00 PM Thursday, February 25 at 7:30 PM (PSD) Friday, February 26 at 7:30 PM Saturday, February 27 at 1:00 PM Saturday, February 27 at 7:30 PM (PSD) Sunday, February 28 at 1:00 PM
Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 PM Thursday, March 3 at 7:30 PM (PSD) Friday, March 4 at 7:30 PM Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 PM (PSD) Sunday, March 6 at 1:00 PM
Join us for Post-Show Discussions after select performances:
- Sunday February 21 (1:00PM performance) Guest: Playwright Mia Chung
- Thursday February 25 (7:30PM performance) Guest: Dr. Rich Lee, Professor of Psychology and the Editor of the Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology at the University of Minnesota
- Saturday, February 27 (7:30PM performance) Guests: Julia Nekessa Opati and Angilee Shah from Gazillion Strong
- Thursday, March 3 (7:30PM performance) Guest: Kurt Robert Kim Blomberg and Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
- Saturday, March 5 (7:30PM performance) Guest: Hyon Kim of Freedom for North Korean Refugees of Minnesota
Resources on North Korean Refugees"The family I lost in North Korea. And the family I gained." A TED Talk with Joseph Kim: Press play below or WATCH HERE A refugee now living in the US, Joseph Kim tells the story of his life in North Korea during the famine years. He's begun to create a new life — but he still searches for the family he lost. Freedom for North Korean Refugees Freedom for North Korean Refugees Minnesota is a Minnesota based non-profit organization working toward the safe and humane resettlement of North Korean refugees in the United States. Freedom for North Korean Refugees Minnesota is pioneering an initiative to educate about the plight of North Korean refugees and to promote relationships and policies that provide for safe, welcoming, and expedite settlement in the United States. www.freedomrefugeesmn.org "My escape from North Korea" A TED Talk with Hyeonseo Lee: Press play below or WATCH HERE As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was “the best on the planet.” It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope — and a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind. She recently returned to North Korea to rescue her family. Liberty in North Korea Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is a nonprofit organization based out of Torrance, California, United States, and Seoul, South Korea. The organization hiding in China and resettles them in South Korea or the United States, so that they can avoid being forcibly repatriated back to North Korea, where they can face harsh punishments as a result of illegally emigrating. The refugees first travel from China to Southeast Asia through what the organization calls a modern-day "Underground Railroad", where they can then be processed and travel to South Korea (or occasionally, the United States) where they are recognized as refugees. From there, LiNK helps the refugees through its resettlement programs. Each rescue costs approximately $3,000 USD, and includes $500 for resettlement programs. As of October 2015, LiNK has resettled 400 refugees throughout the U.S. and South Korea. www.libertyinnorthkorea.org Thank you to the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association for their support
March 18 - March 20
Friday, March 18 at 7pm
Charles Francis Chan Jr's Exotic Oriental Murder Mysteryby Lloyd Suh - directed by Randy Reyes Synopsis: 1967. The auspicious beginnings of a new political identity called Asian American, as 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!!! With Eric Sharp as FRANK / HASTINGS Hope Nordquist as KATHY / LINDA Stephanie Bertumen as SUZY / ELENOR Nathan Keepers as SERGEANT / CHARLIE Song Kim as CHARLES SR / COP / BARTENDER / ALFRED Randy Reyes as MONKEY Lloyd 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.
Saturday, March 19 at 7pm
The Two Kids that Blow Shit Upby Carla Ching - directed by Katie Bradley Synopsis: Diana and Max meet at 10 years old, the day their parents start fucking. In the ensuing 18 years, their parents break up, get back together, marry and divorce. And they see each other through it all, trying not to make the same mistakes their parents did. A play about falling in and out of love with your best friend.
With Sheena Janson as DIANA and Sherwin Resurreccion as MAXAn LA native, Carla Ching started doing autobiographically-based theater with NYC collective Peeling, which she still considers her first theater training. Her plays include Nomad Motel, Fast Company, TBA, The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness, Big Blind/Little Blind, and The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up. Her work has been produced or workshopped by South Coast Rep, Center Theater Group, Lyric Stage, the Eugene O’Neill Playwright Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, 2g, Partial Comfort, Porkfilled Players and Artists at Play among others. Alumna of the Women’s Project lab, Ma-Yi Writers Lab and the Lark Play Development Center’s Writers’ Workshop. BA, Vassar College. MFA, New School for Drama. Former Artistic Director of Asian American Theater Company, 2g. Fast Company is published by Sam French. Proud member of New Dramatists and The Kilroys. Carla wrote on Season Two of USA’s Graceland and currently writes on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead.
Sunday, March 20 at 7pm
The Sex Showconceived and directed by Sun Mee Chomet Synopsis: The Sex Show is an exploration of intimacy, sexual stereotypes, and sexuality in the Asian American community. Using movement, music, and text, the artists have collaborated to explore their own bodies and sexuality in a raw, humorous, and imaginative way. This is a work-in-progress. WIth Katie Bradley, Kurt Blomberg, Suzie Juul, Rich Remedios, Maxwell Thao The workshop has been funded by a 2012-2016 TCG Fox Fellowship with Mu as the host theater. Sun Mee Chomet has worked with Mu Performing Arts (You for Me for You, Cowboy vs. Samurai, Asiamnesia [playwright and actor], Circle Around the Island, WTF); Lincoln Center Theater (brownsville song: b-side for tray); Guthrie Theater (Othello, The Burial at Thebes, Macbeth, The Intelligent Homosexual…); Broadway tour of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses; Syracuse Stage/Charlotte Repertory (M. Butterfly); Ten Thousand Things Theater (Forget Me Not When Far Away, Dirt Sticks, A Midsummer Night’s Dream); Penumbra Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, and many other theaters locally and nationally. Sun Mee’s recognition includes a 2015 Lucille Lortel nomination (brownsville song); 2013 McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship, 2013-15 TCG Fox Fellowship, Star Tribune’s ‘Best of’ lists for The Origin(s) Project (2012) and Asiamnesia (2007); “2012 Best Solo Performance” honors for her play, How to Be a Korean Woman (Lavender Magazine), and one of City Pages’ 2008 Artists of the Year. Upcoming, Sun Mee will be acting in the Guthrie’s production of Harvey and assistant directing Disgraced.
by Mu Daiko
April 3 - April 3
Taiko Lab 2016Hikari Kaze by Michiko Todokoro Buchanan Taiko Pop! By Jennifer Weir Untitled by Kai Anderson (MTI) Inspiration by Chiaki O’Brien Sakura Sakura by Junko Kumamoto (MTI) Emi by Heather Jeche Impermanent Wind by Jeff Ellsworth Falling Flowers by Arlene Teraoka and Cathie VanDanacker Summer Storm by Jennifer Weir
Hikari Kaze (Light and Breeze)A mysterious feeling surrounds you. Then you notice that a person you shouldn’t be able to see in this world is standing by you. The sun envelopes you both, and you embrace the person energetically. After a moment the person disappears, but you feel a nice breeze as it whispers “it’s OK. I’m always with you.” Players: Michiko Todokoro Buchanan, Jeff Ellsworth, Heather Jeche, Susan Tanabe, Cathie VanDanacker, Emma Valentine, Arlene Teraoka, Jenifer Cho
Taiko Pop!Inspired by a Korean pop song played to Jen by Sara Ochs. The idea was to create a loosely structured groove with solos that can change depending on the players and instrumentation. Performers: Jennifer Weir, Jeff Ellsworth, Susan Tanabe, Michiko Todokoro Buchanan, Jennifer Cho, Junko Kumamoto, Kai Anderson
UntitledA piece about how stress builds up over time. Performers: Kai Anderson, Jeff Ellsworth, Susan Tanabe
InspirationThis is a piece that incorporates sections that are like "drills" and was inspired by a professional Taiko player Yuichi Kimura in Japan and Tiffany Tamaribuchi. I participated in Tiffany's workshops twice in the past. Please enjoy watching our teamwork and seeing how women can be strong! Performers: Cathie VanDanacker, Michiko Todokoro Buchanan, Arlene Teraoka, Emma Valentine
Sakura Sakura (cherry blossoms cherry blossoms)Also known as “Sakura”, is one of the most popular Japanese folk song. Choreography by Junko Kumamoto, Arranged fue part by Michiko Buchanan. Performers: Junko Kumamoto, Susan Tanabe, Michiko Todokoro Buchanan
Emi (smile)Emi is about that one thing in your life that picks you up, motivates you, gives you reason to celebrate, brings you true bliss…makes you smile. Performers: Heather Jeche, Cathie VanDanacker, Emma Valentine, Arlene Teraoka, Jennifer Cho
Impermanent WindThis song is dedicated to all the people that have blown into and out of the composer's life leaving lasting impressions. Performers: Jeff Ellsworth, Susan Tanabe, Michiko Todokoro Buchanan
Falling FlowersFalling Flowers is an exploration of incorporating tai chi movements into taiko performance. Special Thanks To: Sifu Ray Hayward, Twin Cities T'ai-Chi Ch'uan Studio Performers: Arlene Teraoka, Cathie VanDanacker, Heather Jeche, Emma Valentine, Jennifer Cho
Summer StormThis composition is an exploration of movement and repetition with the images of clouds rolling in. Fue melody composed by Michiko Todokoro Buchanan. Performers: Mu Daiko & MTI
by Victor Maog
June 16 - June 26
WORLD PREMIERE production in partnership with the JEROME FOUNDATION
June 24 - June 24
Get in the ring with The Main Event, the 2016 gala fundraiser for Mu Performing Arts!
TICKETSGeneral Admission – $100 One general admission ticket includes food, desserts, and a seat at the performance of tot and Mu’s award ceremony. For questions about the event or sponsorship opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-789-1012.
July 9 - July 10
17th Annual Taiko Student Recital
TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY:
- Saturday July 9 at 7:00 PM
- Sunday July 10 at 2:00 PM
Japanese Drummer (Wadaiko Player) Yuichi KimuraBorn in Kobe in 1976, Yuichi Kimura first encountered taiko as a member of the high school taiko club. In the wake of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that destroyed his home, Yuichi and his team performed taiko at evacuation centers in order to raise the spirits of those suffering. From that experience he felt the mysterious and invigorating effect of taiko on the audience, and decided to set his sights on becoming a professional taiko artist. From the spring to summer of 1995, he joined Ichiro Jishoya’s group, Wadaiko Ichiro, and performed sixty concerts across Europe. In 1996, he encountered one of the leading experts in taiko, Eitetsu Hayashi, and came under his study as a member of his professional ensemble, Fu-Un no Kai. In 1997 he toured Europe again with Wadaiko Ichiro, performing a grueling 120 times in 6 months. From 1998-2002 he became a full-time supporting member of Eitetsu Hayashi’s Fu-Un no Kai and performed in concerts and events throughout Japan before returning to Kobe to perform with his hometown group. In 2005, in observance of the 10th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, he produced the charity taiko concert, "From Kobe: Thanks and Hopes, Facing to the Future", and also wrote the original requiem piece "Daichi" ("Earth"), a piece now played by taiko groups across Kansai area. In 2010 he was an invited guest performer of Japan Chinese Orchestra (Nihon Kagakudan) on the mainstage of the World Expo in Shanghai. In 2011, he began activities as an independent solo artist. Under the theme of “Music Without Borders/One World”, he began with joint performances with Chinese guzheng (koto) artist Wu Fan, and then formed the Kansai-based "Kimura Yuichi & Special Sauce", a pioneering jazz/classical/latin/world genre-blending collaborative unit. For young taiko enthusiasts interested in more in-depth training, he has established the Wadaiko Unit “Daiichi no Kai”, which performs concerts and school shows in the area. Yuichi Kimura is a recipient of the 2010 Hyogo Prefecture Sakai Tokitada Music Award, the 2012 Kobe City Cultural Promotion Prize, and the 2013 Hyogo Prefectural Arts Promotion Prize.