In this file photo, Warren Bowles portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

Warren Bowles, a veteran Twin Cities actor, suffered cardiac arrest while on stage at Mixed Blood Theatre Friday night. Bowles collapsed near the end of the opening night performance of "The Neighbors," Mixed Blood’s season-opening production. Paramedics were called and Bowles was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he is in the Intensive Care Unit.

The medical center said Saturday morning that Bowles is in critical condition. Jack Reuler, Mixed Blood’s artistic director, had said Saturday morning that he understood Bowles was stable in the sense that his heart is beating on its own rhythm.

Actor Sarah Agnew, who is in the production, said Bowles was on stage in a solo scene when Bowles collapsed.

"It was terrible and we were all very afraid for him," Agnew said Saturday morning.

Earlier reports had indicated Bowles suffered a heart attack. The difference is that a heart attack is caused by a blockage in the coronary artery, while a cardiac arrest is a heart arrhythima that causes the heart to stop beating.

"It was pretty miraculous work by the EMTs," Reuler said of the responders who treated Bowles after the incident.

Weekend performances of the show have been canceled.

Bowles, 63, has been associated with Mixed Blood as an actor and director since 1977, having done thousands of educational shows where he portrays Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Paul Robeson. A Kansas native and graduate of of the University of Notre Dame, he has also acted and directed at other Twin Cities theaters.

Reuler, Bowles’ longtime friend, said he will try to have an update later today. 

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