BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA Minneapolis 2004 - Mixed Blood Theatre
Mixed Blood Theatre is on a roll. Last fall, the company enjoyed a surprise sellout with Stephen Sachs's Sweet Nothing in My Ear, a family drama told largely in American Sign Language. They followed that one with a fiery production of Suzan-Lori Parks's Pulitzer Prize-winning tragedy of fraternal rivalry, Topdog/ Underdog, an area premiere that played to regular standing ovations. And this past February, Mixed Blood teamed with Michael Bigelow Dixon, the Guthrie's literary director, for Bill of (W)Rights, a collection of 10 mini-plays that explored the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution with Jeffersonian wit and intelligence. Conceived by Dixon and Mixed Blood honcho Jack Reuler, and written by nine playwrights working individually, the 24-actor-strong Bill of (W)rights was put together quickly. This made for some rough edges. More important, though, it gave the production an immediacy and excitement that permeated the stages, dressing rooms, stairwells, hallways, and parking spaces where the miniatures were inventively staged. An invigorating and nervy effort from a 30-year-old institution that refuses to grow staid and irrelevant.