Nine months into his tenure as the artistic director of Mu Performing Arts, Randy Reyes is putting his stamp on one of the largest Asian-American companies in the nation.
Reyes, who took over from founder Rick Shiomi, has announced Mu’s 23rd season, the first that he has chosen. The roster of shows outlines his thinking.
“Every year, I’d love for us to have a brand new play plus a classic from the Asian-American canon,” he said. “That’s in addition to our taiko concert, our Christmas holiday concert and a classic that’s been reimagined.”
The 2014-15 Mu, performed at different venues in the Twin Cities, season kicks off with the premiere of “Middle Brother.” An absurdist play by Eric Sharp, “Brother” revolves around an adoptee’s reunion with his sibling in Korea. It will be staged by Robert Rosen, formerly of Theatre de la Jeune Lune and will star Sharp (photo, bottom left), a longtime actor at Mu. “Brother” runs at the Southern Theater (Sept. 12-28).
Next up is the company’s annual Mu Daiko taiko drumming concert at Mixed Blood Theatre (Nov. 12-16) followed by the fifth annual “A Very Asian Christmas” concert, directed by Reyes who also hosts in drag as Jasmine at the Southern (Nov. 29-30).
Reyes also will helm “F.O.B.,” David Henry Hwang’s Obie-winning 1980 play about tension between longtime Chinese immigrants and those that are “fresh off the boat.” It will be performed at Mixed Blood (Jan. 30–Feb. 15, 2015).
Reyes will stage another premiere, Eric ‘Pogi’ Sumangil’s ”The Debutante’s Ball.” The play, a History Theatre produciton on which Mu colloborates, pays tribute to declining immigrant rites in Minnesota (March 21 – April 12, 2015).
Reyes, a former artistic director of the Shakespeare-centered Strange Capers company, will adapt, direct and star in “Twelfth Night,” the final play of the season. He plays Feste in a production that will include live music (May 29–June 21, 2015, Mixed Blood Theatre).
“We’re trying to have some consistency in programming as we celebrate what we have achieved and premiere the classics of the future,” he said.