Disability at Mixed Blood
Mixed Blood Theatre aspires to be a key destination for
audiences and artists with disabilities.
Producing work by, with, for, and about individuals with and affected by disabilities is a core part of the company’s mission and vision, earning the organization VSA Arts Access and Met Life Foundation awards, and major grants from the Wallace Foundation, Theatre Communications Group, and National Endowment for the Arts.
Mixed Blood is guided by a Disability Liaison and Disability Advisory Council, a volunteer group of individuals who are connected to local and national disability communities, organizations and businesses. The Council reviews and provides feedback on scripts; guides audits of services, physical facilities and amenities; advises on partnerships with organizations serving persons with disabilities; participates in promoting Mixed Blood’s disability-focused programming and services, and; advises staff and board on key human resources issues and policies.
Mixed Blood is embarking on gathering scripts by playwrights with disabilities, with characters with disabilities, and with theme and content about disability. The library, developed in partnership with Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, will be enjoined by a comprehensive database of theater artists with disabilities. Both the library and database will be disseminated and promoted to theater leaders nationwide to expose them to new theatrical literature, to assist them in finding talent to populate those scripts' casts, and to find new audiences from local disability communities.
In an effort to improve the relationship between American theatre and disability, Mixed Blood solicited 40 theatre professionals to share plays that they feel best speak to disability in two ways: plays with theme or content on disability and/or plays with characters with disabilities. Over half of those polled self-identify as people with disabilities. In addition, medical and disability specialists were consulted and provided extensive categorization of professionally recognized disabilities that were crystalized to fewer, broader umbrellas.
Mixed Blood staff read every nominated play, and subsequently Mixed Blood’s Artistic Director Jack Reuler, with the assistance of Playwright-In-Residence Aditi Brennan Kapil, curated a select list of scripts for consideration by artistic directors, producers, and decision-makers. $5000 is available to professional theatres that commit to produce one of these plays with the proviso that theatre artists with disabilities be employed in roles of characters with disabilities.
To learn more about this initiative, the plays that were selected, and how to apply for funding, please visit the Disability Visability page.
Complimentary Guaranteed Admission
Offering Access in Many Ways
- Two handicap parking spaces avaiable for patron use in the theatre’s staff parking lot and on 15th Avenue immediately outside the theatre’s entrance
- A ramp with a power door opener to the handicap accessible theater
- Flexible wheelchair seating
- Accessible bathroom, lobby doors with levers, and a lowered box office window for wheelchair users
- ASL interpreting, audio description, and captioning for most mainstage productions
- Listening devices available for all mainstage performances
- Large print programs available for all mainstage performances
- Upcoming improvements: resurfacing the driveway and new lobby water fountain
DVD of On the Spectrum available
A History of Disability Programming
- The History of Bowling (2002), a comedy by Mike Ervin about invisible and acquired disabilities.
- The Boys Next Door (2002) by Tom Griffin, co-produced with Interact Theater and featuring a cast of people with disabilities.
- Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2003), Stephen Sachs’ dramatic debate about cochlear implants.
- The Deaf Duckling (2005), Aditi Kapil’s touring show about a deaf child born to a hearing family.
- Vestibular Sense (2006), Ken LaZebnik’s award-winning play about a young man with autism.
- Love Person (2008), Aditi Kapil’s acclaimed play examining language, performed in spoken English, ASL, and Sanskrit.
- Distracted (2008), Lisa Loomer’s controversial comedy about ADHD.
- Theory of Mind (2009+), a touring show by Ken LaZebnik about a high school senior with Asperger’s Syndrome.
- Center of the Margins (2011), a festival of 3 plays exploring the complex world of disability: Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph, My Secret Language of Wishes by Cori Thomas, On the Spectrum, by Ken LaZebnik
- Next to Normal (2012), Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about mental illness.
- Center of the Margins (2012), a festival of 2 plays and 3 staged readings exploring the world of disability: Next to Normal, Theory of Mind, Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker, Cyrano by Stephen Sachs, A Nervous Smile by John Belusso.
- The Veterans Play Project (2013), a collaboration with Footprints Collective about the experience of being a veteran, including themes of and actors with disaiblities.
- Colossal (2014), Andrew Hinderaker's new play about a football player who gets a spinal cord injury.
- MetLife Access Award presented to Mixed Blood at APAP conference, January 2007.
- The American Theatre Critics Association's Osborn Award presented to playwright Ken LaZebnik at Actor's Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival for his play about autism, Vestibular Sense, March 2007.
- VSA Minnesota Access Award given to Mixed Blood, 2008.
- Aditi Kapil presented with the Stavis Award at the National Theatre Conference in New York for her play Love Person, October 2008.
- Mixed Blood receives a Wallace Excellence Award to develop audiences within disability communities, 2009.
- The American Theatre Critics Association's Steinberg Award citation presented to playwright Ken LaZebnik at Actor's Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival for his play about autism, On The Spectrum, March 2012.
- A-ha! grant from MetLife/TCG to assemble a comprehensive national database of both artists with disabilities and English-language plays that explore worlds of disability, 2012.
- Mixed Blood awarded The Arc Twin Cities's Changemakers Award in the 'Changing Attitudes' category