Mixed Blood's Reuler: Receives national award, as optimistic as ever
Last weekend at the 2010 Theatre Communications Group conference in Chicago, Mixed Blood Theatre's Jack Reuler was given the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award before an audience of 900 (including mayor Richard Daley). The award recognizes an organization or individual whose work reflects exceptional ingenuity and integrity.
Reuler epitomizes both traits, to be sure, spending the last 35 years building a public-service theater into one of the most vital and continuously challenging in the region. The man's resume, as he once pointed out to me, is one line: Artistic Dirrector, Mixed Blood Theatre."
Here are a few quotes from Reuler's acceptance speech:
"The mayor and others have done a lot of proseletyzing about Chicago and the Chicago theater scene. I am impressed and even persuaded. But be reminded that the Mecca of the American theater resides in Minnesota, with its unparalleled talent pool, the unwavering support of funders, audiences, policy makers, and critics, and where the theaters care for one another and generously support each other's success . . .
"I used to lament that the American theater was stratified into the mainstream and margins. I felt that it was my job to help bridge the two. But as the years have gone on, I am proud to have a career in the center of the margins . . .
"It has been said that a community is defined by those who stick around long enough to become a parody of themselves. I look in the mirror every day to see if that applies to me . . . Parody or not, I'm sticking around because the best is yet to come. Thank you."
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