Most playwrights who work on play cycles rarely get to see them performed all at once. August Wilson, for example, died shortly after the completion of his ten-play effort, and never saw them in a dreamed-for marathon staging.
But Twin Cities writer, director and actor Aditi Kapil (above) will get to see her complete Hindu gods trilogy at their launch.
All three plays of her new epic cycle on displaced Hindu gods living in the western world will premiere this fall at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis. Kapil’s trilogy orbits incarnations of Brahma, the creator, Vishnu the supreme being and preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer or transformer of things.
The first play is “Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show,” about a hermaphrodite stand-up comic. It will star Debargo Sanyal and Peter Christian Hansen under the direction of Playwrights' Center head Jeremy Cohen.
Director Bruce Young helms the second work, “The Chronicles of Kalki,” a girl-gang thriller about a young woman who is the avatar of Vishu. “Kalki” will feature Lipica Shah, Cat Brindisi, Andrew Guilarte and Joetta Wright.
And director Risa Brainin will stage “Shiv,” which “explores the psychological residue of post-colonialism,” according to the description. Actor Nat Fuller joins Guilarte, Shah and Hansen in this production. The three plays premiere in a five-hour marathon on Oct. 5 and run through Oct. 27.
“I feel incredibly lucky,” Kapil said from her home in Minneapolis, where she was doing re-writes on “Shiva.” “I wrote these plays in response to people who say that because I’m of Bulgarian-Indian background and was raised in Sweden, I’m not Indian enough. But I am, and the answer to them will be very entertaining.”
Kapil’s works launch an ambitious, festival-laden season at a theater that now offers a free admission rush line. Mixed Blood’s 2013-2014 roster also includes the premiere of Anton Jones’ “4 Score Toward the Sun,” a large-scale, site-specific work that be performed at Base Camp at Fort Snelling. Leah Cooper directs this play based on the stories of veterans of several wars (Nov. 15-24, 2013).
Mixed Blood also is doing what it calls “The Seconds Festival,” which features four plays that have each had one production elsewhere. They are all about biracial characters and interracial relationships.
José Cruz Gonzales’ “The Sun Serpent” is an Aztec-based story about the conquest of Mexico that features three actors doing over 20 roles. Rachel Bowditch directs (March 14-23, 2014).
“Sun Serpent” will be fully produced while other plays in this mini-festival will get staged readings. The others are “Cloudlands,” Octavio Solis’ “Next to Normal”-style musical drama about a dreamy girl who discovers her mother in a compromising position with a stranger. The show features music by Adam Gwon and is directed by Mixed Blood regular Mark Valdez;
Drew Hayden Taylor’s “In a World Created by a Drunken God” centers on a mixed race young man who is approached about giving a kidney to his terminally ill white father;
and Thomas Jones’ “Sheddin’” plumbs generational between doo-wop and hip hop. Bruce Young directs a show that described as the love child of Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby.
Mixed Blood concludes its season with the regional premiere of “Passing Strange,” the musical by Stew and Heidi Rodewald that won a Tony for best book. It is a musician’s biography of confusion and self-discovery that ranges from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, and from soul, gospel and funk to punk, rock and Gilbert and Sullivan. Jahi Kearse, who played to role to critical acclaim in Washington, will star in a production directed by (April 25-May 18, 2014).
“We’re celebrating the global village,” said Mixed Blood founder Jack Reuler, noting that the shows have stories rooted in traditions from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Mixed Blood has a no-cost admission rush line but also has guaranteed $20 admission per show or season passes that range from $25-$120. 612-338-6131.