When theaters talk about taking care of actors and audiences these days, it usually means masks and COVID tests. While that's part of the picture with Theater Mu's "Man of God," there's much, much more.

Inspired by a true story, Anna Ouyang Moench's dark comedy deals with suicide, consent, harassment, eating disorders, human trafficking and other sensitive topics. They come up on a church mission trip to Bangkok, where four Korean-American teenage girls fantasize about revenge after discovering that their pastor placed a hidden camera in their bathroom.

The "Heathers"-ish play is a lot of fun, says Mu artistic director Lily Tung Crystal. But "Man of God" also is a lot to handle.

"Because of the subject matter, we've been really intentional about how we're taking care of the actors, not only in terms of COVID safety but also in terms of emotional and mental wellness," said Crystal. "We're taking care of audiences and our company."

For the company, that starts with director Katie Bradley, best known as a performer in shows including "Guys and Dolls" at the Guthrie Theater and Mu's "Today Is My Birthday." She's giving actors time to get centered.

"Katie has done this wonderful thing where every day the cast does a check-in at the top of rehearsal. I can't remember a show I've been on as a director or actor where we've had time to do that," said Crystal, who previously hired Bradley as her assistant director for Mu's "Peerless." "I can't overstate the difference that makes, the importance of having a half-hour or 15 minutes for the cast to make sure that they're all OK."

Bradley said the check-ins grew out of being in rehearsal rooms where the assumption was that actors must leave problems at the door.

"There are things, especially in the pandemic, that are happening, that are out of our control and that take up our brain space," Bradley said. "We need to be understanding of that. Not that you have to stop what is going on but it's a normal thing to expect there are days when people are not doing well and then here we come with this material."

As an actor, Bradley has been in plays whose themes triggered something that she needed time to process. As a director, she's offering that time.

"If something within the work we're doing in the room begins to trigger them or raises their heart rate, [or] if it's sensitive to an actor or creative team member, they can leave the room," Bradley said.

All they have to do is to let the stage manager know that they're taking a second to step outside, she added, and no questions will be asked.

Mu is making sure actors have off-time to process, too. Like many theaters, Mu moved to a more humane schedule, including five-day work weeks (the theatrical standard is six). Although the theater's contract allows employees to work 10 out of 12 hours, it has stopped doing that. If workers need additional help, Mu walks the talk.

"We partnered with a few mental health providers to make them available to anyone in the company ... and Mu will cover the bill if they want to talk to a counselor," Crystal said.

The other half of the equation is theatergoers. As Mu conveys information about the show, particularly to young audiences (including matinees for students roughly the same age as the characters in "Man of God"), it's being clear about the subject.

"There's [conversation] about not revealing too much of a plot or keeping its mysteries," said Morgen Chang, Mu's programs manager. "But when you're dealing with a sensitive topic and want your community to feel safe and fully present, you don't want to keep things from them."

Mu is doing post-show discussions and partnering with social service agencies to provide information about issues addressed in the play, both online and at Mixed Blood Theatre, where "Man of God" will be performed. That's standard but Mu also is creating a "quiet space" where theatergoers can retreat if something in the show disturbs them. It's a newish concept, so audience members will be shown where to find the space.

"In doing my own research, I found very few examples I could go to for people who had created a separate space for an especially triggering production," Chang said (Children's Theatre Company has a "quiet room," where parents and kids can separate themselves from the rest of the audience). "In a lot of cases, I built off of what has been done for sensory-friendly performances."

All of these measures are less about shielding audiences and company members from difficult subjects than helping them make informed choices. For Chang, it boils down to: Why is Mu inviting people to the play? And what does Mu hope they'll leave with?

"I would love them to walk away with the feeling that these subjects are not taboo and that there is a way to talk about them," said Chang. "For young people who experience so much silencing, I want them to see how this can be brought to life. And also, it's funny. I'd love for them to laugh."

'Man of God'

Who: By Anna Ouyang Moench. Directed by Katie Bradley.

When: 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Through March 6.

Where: Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls.

Protocol: Vaccination or lab-confirmed negative COVID test within 72 hours required. Masks required.

Tickets: "Pay-as-you-are," ranging from $5-$50, theatermu.org.