Theatre and Dance Department Presents “In the Blood” April 10-12

Macalester students in the play, "In the Blood." Clockwise - Christine Ohenewah '15, Stephen Straub '14, Salima Seale '14, Pia Mingkwan '17, Lester Jacobson '14, and Harrisonford Fauni '16.

St. Paul, Minn. – The Macalester College Theatre and Dance Department presents In the Blood, by Suzan-Lori Parks, in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Mainstage Theatre, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, Minn. Tickets are $7 general admission and $5 for seniors and groups. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Thu. – Sat., April 10 – 12, and Sat., April 12 at 2 p.m. In the Blood is directed by Harry Waters Jr., associate professor in the Theatre and Dance Department. For ticket information, call 651-696-6359. Seating is limited.

In the Blood, a 1999 play by Pulitzer Prize and Obie Award winning American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, is a moving indictment of the cruelties of “public assistance,” focusing on the plight of one homeless woman, Hester, and her five children. A retelling of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, In the Blood evokes ideas of wilderness, suffering, and pain experienced by Hawthorne’s protagonist and translates them to the urban experience of the present. Hester’s reality is torn between the unconditional, often-comical love for her five “treasures,” and the abuse she suffers at the hand of the civilized world, whether facing threats from child protection services, street-side doctors, or ex-lovers.  In the Blood is a provocative piece about the ones who fall through the cracks, into the gutter, and are constantly seeking a leg up but are never seen.

This is the first time Macalester is producing one of Parks’ plays, and Waters said he’s “excited to present her work in effort to direct our attention to the very current problem of homelessness and the self-perpetuating structure it creates.”

The performance features award-winning guest and Twin Cities artists Trevor Bowen and T. Mychael Rambo as well as Ivey award-winning actor Mike Croswell.

“It was important to incorporate the community as much as possible into the production of this piece because homelessness is a very real problem in the Cities, and community members can bring another perspective to the performance and to the issue,” said Waters.  Keeping in this vein, each show will feature a lobby exhibit from an artist of the Kulture Klub Collaborative.

The cast consists of Christine Ohenewah ‘15 from Mankato, Minn., as Hester/La Negrita; Harrisonford Fauni ‘16 from Lakewood, Calif., as Baby/Reverend D.; Lester Jacobson ‘14 from Seattle, Wash., as Trouble and the Doctor; Pia Mingkwan ‘17 from Albany, Calif., as Beauty/Amiga Gringa; Salima Seale ‘14 from Washington, D.C. as Bully/Welfare Lady; and Stephen Straub ‘14 from New York, N.Y. as Jabber/Chili.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

March 25 2014

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