MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MINN.: Theater Mu announced last week that Lily Tung Crystal will become the company’s next artistic director in September. The announcement by board chair Reginaldo Reyes and the search committee ends a five-month long search that began after the previous artistic director, Randy Reyes (no relation to Reginaldo Reyes), was let go last December for conduct the theatre said “did not reflect the culture we strive to achieve at Mu and did not reflect the high standards to which we hold Mu leadership.”
Said board chair Reyes in statement, “The board of directors share my excitement in announcing Lily as the new leader for the organization. She brings both artistic and organizational expertise to our team that will enhance our mission and values for years to come. We can’t wait for her to meet the artists, performers, and community of the Twin Cities.” Added Theater Mu managing director Shannon Fitzgerald in a statement, “I am excited to introduce Lily to the incredible Twin Cities theatre community, and to introduce the Twin Cities to Lily. I have no doubt that her leadership and experience will strengthen Mu as we continue to move Asian American theatre forward.”
In a statement, Crystal called Theater Mu “an important influence on the national theatre scene, particularly among Asian American artists and the Asian American community at large. Having founded a theatre with a similar mission in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve always been inspired by Theater Mu and how its founders and leaders built and grew it into what it is today. I’m humbled, honored, and grateful to be entrusted with serving the Asian American communities of the Twin Cities, making an impact on the region’s vibrant arts and theatre scene, and advancing Mu on a local and national scale.”
A performer, director, leadership coach, and multimedia producer, Crystal’s work spans the world and a variety of sectors. A 2016 YBCA 100 honoree, named by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as a “creative pioneer making the provocations that will shape the future of culture.” Each year, the list honors 100 celebrities, unsung heroes, activists, and artists for their efforts in using arts and culture as a catalyst for change. She was also a 2009 Theatre Bay Area Titan Award recipient, which led to the development of the Bay Area Asian American Actors Collective and eventually her own theatre company, Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company, with a mission to give voice to artists with diverse and international perspectives. Since the company’s inception in 2010, Crystal has nurtured and expanded it to be the Bay Area’s premiere theatre company, offering Asian American artists the
opportunity for growth, training, and mentorship.
After receiving training from Studio American Conservatory Theatre, Cornell University, and Columbia University Graduate School of Theatre, Crystal began her career as an actor/singer, performing with various theatres across the country, including Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Cal Shakes, Crowded Fire, Magic Theatre, Mountain Play, New World Stages, Portland Center Stage, Ragged Wing, SF Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Those Women Productions, and Woodminster. Apart from her role in elevating the Asian American arts community, Crystal is a multimedia writer/producer and leadership coach who received her certification from the Hudson Institute, one of the early leaders in the field of coaching.
Theater Mu is the second largest Asian American theatre company in the nation.
Founded in 1992, Theater Mu aims to tell stories from the heart of the Asian American experience, presenting a fusion of traditional and contemporary artistic influences, which range from classics to up-and-coming voices in its community.