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Katie Bradley in "Today Is My Birthday" at Theater Mu.

Katie Bradley Named Theater Mu Interim Artistic Director

A longtime performer and teaching artist with the company, she will serve alongside managing director Anh Thu T. Pham while a successor for Lily Tung Crystal is sought.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL: Theater Mu, the Midwest’s largest Asian American theatre company, has announced that Katie Bradley will be the company’s interim artistic director starting in August, while the board seeks a successor to departing artistic director Lily Tung Crystal. In this position Bradley, who joins managing director Anh Thu T. Pham as a co-leader, will report to the board of directors, produce the 2024-’25 season programmed by Crystal, and oversee Mu’s ongoing outreach and community programs. Bradley has worked with Mu since 2006 as an actor, teaching artist, producer, and director, most recently directing the 2024 world premiere of Hells Canyon by Keiko Green. 

“Theater Mu has had an enormous artistic impact on my career over the years, beginning in 2006 when co-founder Rick Shiomi cast me in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” said Bradley in a statement. “Not only did I have a space to train and hone my skills both onstage and behind the scenes, but Mu also gave me the opportunity to receive mentorship from other Asian American artists in the company, including Lily. Lily is leaving Theater Mu in such a strong place, and as interim artistic director, my goal is to provide as smooth a transition as possible for the staff and the community.”

Bradley made her Twin Cities acting debut in 2005 with the former Theatre de La Jeune Lune, and over the years has performed at Mu, the Guthrie Theater, Ten Thousand Things Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Full Circle Theater, Open Eye Theatre, and others. Regionally, she has been on stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Pacific Conservatory Theatre, and Wallis Annenberg Center in Los Angeles. As a director, she helmed Anna Ouyang Moench’s Man of God (2022) and Hells Canyon (2024) at Mu, in addition to directing play workshops and readings, and assistant directing at the Guthrie Theater (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with Tim Bond) and Mu (peerless with Tung Crystal). 

Beyond Theater Mu’s mainstage productions, Bradley has had a part in all of Mu’s education programs, as a lead teacher for the Mu Stories school residencies. She has also taught multiple Mu Training Institute classes, designed for aspiring or working BIPOC artists ages 16-plus, and she has taught at Mu Explorations Summer Camp. 

“Katie has worked with Mu in some capacity every year since I’ve been managing director,” Pham says. “She’s been a part of Theater Mu’s growth these last couple of years, and I’m looking forward to working with her in this new role as we continue to grow.”

Theater Mu is currently reviewing proposals by several search firms who will help shape the national search process for a permanent artistic director. Said Tung Crystal in a statement, “I have a deep love of Mu, and while it breaks my heart to leave, I am thrilled that the theatre, as well as the artists and work I’ve shepherded for our upcoming seasons, is in Katie and Anh Thu’s capable and loving hands while the board launches a search for my permanent successor.”

Founded in 1992, Theater Mu strives 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 our community. As of 2023, its budget was around $1.3 million.

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