This month, Macalester’s theater and dance department presents Distracted, by Lisa Loomer, at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis. Led by director Jack Reuler ’75 (Mixed Blood’s founder and artistic director) and assistant director Isabel Nelson ’04, Distracted tells the story of a mother trying to gain a better understanding of her son’s ADHD diagnosis. It’s also the department’s last production before Mac’s new theater and dance building opens in January.

We asked Kavya Shetty ’19 (Newton, Mass.), who is on stage for the entire production, about her experience.

What have you learned from Distracted?

So many things, but primarily, to breathe. This play moves at breakneck speed. It takes place in this highly stimulated world in which we all live. These characters are struggling with many of the things that come with life and family: making huge decisions, dealing with judgment, and simply trying to make the best of one’s situation. Though we, as college students, are at a different stage of life than these characters, I think a lot of the core messages ring true. Being a student can often feel like a marathon at a sprint pace, but taking time to breathe and give attention to the individual moments, is essential.

What will you remember about being part of this production?

I’ll remember that despite this being one of the busiest semesters of my college career, this space was an energizing and focusing one. Sure, we all have our long days, but more times than not, I relished the time I got to spend with both my castmates and the creative team. The support, drive, and fun we had day to day made it so memorable.

How working with the two alumni directors shape your experience?

Jack and Isabel are people whose work I have admired for a long time. The incredible diversity that they regularly manage to showcase on [Mixed Blood’s] Firehouse stage has been a personal inspiration. It has been an honor to have the chance to work with Jack, someone who has championed the fight for equity in performance. Isabel, who runs the incredible Twin Cities-based physical theater ensemble Transatlantic Love Affair, taught an incredible clowning workshop in my Theater Methods class last year and I was in awe of her keen eye, generosity, and creative brilliance. My initial impressions of these two have only been enriched by the opportunity to work with them these past few months. In a year in which the theater department found itself without a physical home, these alumni truly welcomed and took care of us with open arms.

Distracted is on stage at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis for a second weekend, Dec. 13-15, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for Macalester students, faculty, and staff members as well as ACTC community members. General admission is $5. For tickets, visit macalester.edu/boxoffice or call 651-696-6359.

December 10 2018

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