“She had a great sound and stage presence. There was a sense of raw freedom. She was very dynamic,” says Reyes, a local performer, director, and head of Mu Performing Arts.
Mayda’s experiences as a Korean adoptee raised in Minnesota also piqued Reyes’s interest. Mu is dedicated to exploring the Asian and Asian-American experience.
“There are so many Korean adoptees in Minnesota. It’s a story that is just beginning to be told,” Reyes says.
DeMayda’d, the fruit of the collaboration between Mayda and Mu, will be presented this weekend at the Guthrie.
The piece centers on Mayda’s experiences growing up. It also features her own funky pop music, with a number of songs written for the new show. But the young artist is no newcomer. She has a pair of albums under her belt and has toured around the world, and her music has been featured on TV and in a number of commercials.
For Reyes, the process has included working closely with Mayda to shape the piece while also knowing when to stand back a step and let the confident, natural performer take over.
"[The show] deals with her racial identity and how music was a part of that. When she sings, it is masterful,” Reyes says.
The piece isn’t a traditional musical. There isn’t a story being told in a linear fashion, but the piece uses the artist’s experiences and music. DeMayda’d focuses on her experiences as a Korean adoptee in America. While part of the show, Mayda’s experiences as a transgender performer are not as prevalent, Reyes says.
“It’s a one-person show that has a different sensibility. It is snapshots of different parts of her personality,” Reyes says. “Her writing is just as dynamic as her songwriting. There is a huge scope of ideas.”
Along with Mayda’s performance, the weekend shows feature additional music. Aby Wolf performs Friday evening, and DJ Adora Tokyo is set for Saturday.
After this weekend’s performances, Reyes hopes the piece can evolve into a full production. “It’s a show that could work in a club or a community center or a theater,” he says.
IF YOU GO:
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
The Guthrie Theater
818 S. Second St., Minneapolis
For tickets and more information, call 612-377-2224 or visit online.