(Photo by Rich Ryan) Young Mike (Torsten Johnson) takes flight on the football field with a little help from his friends (Mathias Becker, Ryan Colbert, Ian Zahren, Casey Hoeksta) in Mixed Blood's production of Colossal.
Playwright Andrew Hinderaker’s mentor challenged him to write an unproducible play. So Hinderaker created a story that required a football team, a drum line, a modern dance company, and an actor in a wheelchair who is quadriplegic (21 performers in all). The play was structured to take place just like a football game—four quarters of 15 minutes each, plus a halftime show, and a pre-show warm-up. That play became Colossal, and instead of being unproducible, it’s getting a rolling world premiere at five different theaters across the United States as part of the National New Play Network. One those theaters is Minneapolis’ own Mixed Blood. Colossal lives up to its name and then some, in both physical size and emotional scope. It’s a powerful meditation on the seductive power of America’s most popular contact sport (some would argue its most popular form of entertainment, period). It’s also a haunting rumination on the way young men punish their bodies for a shot at glory, and punish their hearts in the elusive pursuit of love—a love of people and a sport that may not love them back.MORE »