Chris Myers, Danny Wolohan and Amber Gray in "An Octoroon" at Soho Rep. (Photo by Pavel Antonov)

Mixed Blood Announces 40th Season of Special Events, Two of Them Plays

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s ‘Octoroon’ and Kristoffer Diaz’s ‘The Upstairs Concierge’ bookend celebrations of the theatre’s neighborhood and of the Latino theatre movement.

MINNEAPOLIS: Mixed Blood Theatre has announced its 40th anniversary season under the name “WD40,” as well as the first phase of a major renovation of the historic former fire station that’s been its home since 1976.

Said artistic director Jack Reuler in a statement: “From the first meeting with legendary architect Ralph Rapson, it has taken 20 years to begin the transformation of a glorious former fire station into a spectacular contemporary theatre and event center. Always a reconfigurable space, the relationship between performance and observer will be even more capricious, cementing a Mixed Blood core value to remain predictably unpredictable. And 2015–16’s shows will take advantage of that potential, forcing you to think and respond in ever-changing ways to a brand of theatre that progressively shifts away from conventions of the past. The writers, directors, designers, and actors promise to challenge, provoke and dazzle.”

The season will begin with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins‘s An Octoroon (Oct. 16–Nov. 15), which explores American racial identities today and their irresolvable connection to our legacy of slavery and genocide through the lens of Dion Boucicault’s popular 19th-century melodrama. Nataki Garrett will direct.

Next is a special festival event, Cedar Cypher (Nov. 27–28), which includes performances, art exhibits, documentary screenings and panel discussions featuring established and emerging artists from the Minneapolis neighborhood of Cedar Riverside.

Following will be another special event, DJ Latinidad’s Latino Dance Party (March 4–27, 2016), a celebration of the Latino theatre movement with playwrights, novelists, composers and comedians. The event will feature commissioned work by Junot Díaz, Kristoffer Diaz, Michael John Garcés, Vicki Grise, Maria Isa, Melinda Lopez, Marcela Lorca, Joe Minjares, Kyoung H. Park, Sean San José, Tanya Saracho and Octavio Solis. Mark Valdez will direct.

The season concludes with Kristoffer Diaz’s The Upstairs Concierge (April 15–May 8, 2016), a screwball comedy about a concierge working at a hotel that caters to the rich and famous. Jack Reuler will direct.

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