For the last 40 years, Illusion Theater has earned its spot as an essential presence in Twin Cities theater by producing ambitious works that consistently reflect our evolving national character. In recognition of the company’s esteemed history, Illusion was named an Outstanding Theater by the National Theatre Conference, and awarded a $15,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. True to form, Illusion’s two producing directors, Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris, promptly applied the funds to the development of playwright James Still’s Miranda. A three-time Pulitzer Prize-nominee, Still first previewed Miranda in 2014 as part of Illusion’s Fresh Ink program, a showcase for works-in-progress. The premiere of the fully formed piece features the acclaimed Carolyn Pool as the title character, a CIA agent working undercover as the director of a youth theater company in Yemen. Grieving over a brother killed in the Twin Towers on 9/11, Miranda had hoped her assignment would provide clarity of purpose. Instead, she finds herself questioning both the mission and her motivations. Staged with an impressive ensemble cast (including Beth Gilleland, Delta Giordano, Steve Hendrickson, and Ricky Morisseau) under the direction of Robins, this production demonstrates Illusion Theater’s drive to support innovative works.