Poetwright: Katie Hae Leo and "Four Destinies"
MFA poetry alum Katie Hae Leo's play, "Four Destinies", is opening October 15th and will run through October 30th at the Mixed Blood Theatre, 501 4th Street, Minneapolis. The play will open the season for Mu Performing Arts, who Leo has had a close working relationship with for several years.
"Four Destinies" builds a satirical, humorous story around the lives of four adoptees all named Destiny Jones (a Korean adoptee, an African American adoptee, a Guatemalan-born adoptee, and an adopted Caucasian boy). A well intentioned playwright embodies the shaky hand of fate as she attempts to give the characters the rose colored lives they desire. Leo's play pushes the audience headfirst into the murky waters of DNA, of what ifs, of family, of blood, of our own origin stories.
Leo insists that her background in poetry feeds directly into her playwriting. "Dialogue is heightened language, so you need to be able to choose words carefully. As a playwright you have to distill everyday dialogue into the crucial components that forward the action. A good ear is required," says Leo. Leo also uses whispers of poetical tactics to create texture within "Four Destinies." She experiments with repetition, interruption, and non-linear time. Leo states, "For the purposes of this play, it didn't make sense to utilize a straightforward, emotionally cathartic, naturalistic climax. So, I have the characters break out into poems."
Leo (and the MFA blog agrees with her!) encourages writers to blend and bend and blur the lines of their creative interests. Creative stone soup for everyone! More pretty threads for our mismatched quilt we say!
Leo also emphasizes the benefits of theater's collaborative tendencies and the experience of watching her work grow some long legs and walk off the page. Leo says, "You get to work with actors, directors, and designers, all in the service of your work. And, seeing your writing come alive on stage is a truly rewarding, visceral experience."
Tickets range from $10 to $25, and are available from the Mixed Blood Theatre box office at 612-338-6131 or online at www.muperformingarts.org.