In January of this year I was awarded sponsorship by Fearless Comedy Productions to do a show in the Minnesota Fringe Festival that I’ve had brewing in my mind for the past five years. The show is called Caucasian-Aggressive Pandas and Other Mulatto Tales. It is a collection of stories inspired by my life being biracial. The humorous and the awkward, funny and sad moments that have made me the person I am today.
It was a big step for me. I’ve written quite a few other things for the stage but nothing this personal and very little that has broached such serious and important subject matter. I was excited. Race is a huge issue in America right now and I was eager to contribute my voice to the dialogue. When my ball didn’t come up until way down in the festival waitlist I was pretty bummed out.
On a whim when Fearless started planning for its current season I threw the title of the show back toward the group as a possibility and within moments I was writing a show staging in the fall and had Jena Young attached to direct. We did our first plugs that evening on her Apropos of Nothing podcast. It was a really big deal for me. I know too well the amount of commitment and energy it takes from so many people to promote and produce a play so the fact that Fearless was willing to stamp its name on it was a huge vote of confidence. On Friday, November 13th the show becomes a reality as we open on the Bryant Lake Bowl stage at 7pm.
I couldn’t be happier with the cast. The show features the talents of many actors I’ve been a fan of for some time. Aside from myself the team includes Suzanne Cross (Theatre Unbound), Ted Femrite (Super Academy), Matthew Kessen (Green T Productions), and Kirsten Wade (Vilification Tennis).
So is this the show for you? I think so. It’s I want you to be there anyway. It is a play about race, which can be a touchy and taboo subject but we welcome everyone into our audience. I think comedy can be a great tool for breaking down barriers and getting people to a place where they can listen and learn. As different as we all are we have to figure out how to live in this world without pooping all over each other. In the end it is just a part of my story, one that I think is missing from the current rhetoric about race. The tale of a man of African American and Caucasian heritage and the hyper-intelligent Caucasian-biased panda bears that are trying to decide if they should eat him.
Tickets for Caucasian-Aggressive Pandas and Other Mulatto Tales are available through the Bryant Lake Bowl! $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Discounts are available at the door with a Fringe Button or CONvergence badge.