Mu production of ‘Edith can shoot things…’ gets national attention, mixed reviews

It was a delightful surprise this weekend to hear the familiar name “Mu Performing Arts” mentioned in the course of a National Public Radio story by Elizabeth Blair.

Edith1.jpg

Isabella Dawis as Edith in the Mu Performing Arts production of “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them”

Photo by Michal Daniel

Blair was reporting on Rey Pamatmat’s play “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them,” which premiered last year at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Kentucky.

Showing those experiences on stage is important to Pamatmat — and to [Humana director] May Adrales, who says that, for her, “seeing Filipino actors onstage and hearing them tell their story is always moving to me.”

Adrales and Pamatmat are part of the Asian American Performers Action Coalition. A recent study by the group found that last year just 2 percent of the roles on Broadway and major Off Broadway shows went to Asian American actors.

“You go to shows and everyone in the cast is of the same ethnicity,” Pamatmat says, “when in reality, almost all Americans live their life and encounter people of various ethnicities everyday. Whether it’s your co-workers or people at the grocery store.”

His plays will always have diverse casts, he says, because “that is the way my world actually is.”

Mu Performing Arts got a mention because the company is currently staging “Edith…” at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis.

Edith6.jpg

Isabella Dawis as Edith and Alex Galick as Kenny in the Mu Performing Arts production of “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them”

Photo by Michal Daniel

All the reviews I found were clear to note that this is a play still in its formative stages, and it needs some work. For some, the experience was still worthwhile.

From Rob Hubbard at the Pioneer Press:

Mu Performing Arts’ production of this 2011 drama deserves to be seen, for the author has fashioned an intriguing coming-of-age story, one in which three youths try to figure out how to live without adult supervision. It’s far from a perfect script, and the performances lose some steam in the second act, but when it’s good, it’s very good.

From Graydon Royce at the Star Tribune:

Mu gets a gold star for giving a playwright a look at his work. Gold is not cheap, though, and it comes at our expense… bring pillows and board games.

Edith3.jpg

Isabella Dawis as Edith in the Mu Performing Arts production of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them

Photo by Michal Daniel

From John Olive at HowWasTheShow.com:

Edith Can Shoot Things And Hit Them wants to be a movie. Much of what we hear about in A. Rey Pamatmat’s play – Edith’s armed “securing the perimeter” of the house, the shooting of Dad’s girlfriend Chloe, Benji’s fraught confrontation with his homophobic mother, Dad waiting in his car, unwilling/unable to enter the house – would be, in a film, seen, and to excellent effect.

…but too often the play has a choppy and often uncomfortable rhythm. Just as a scene develops power, it ends, and then we wait, with growing dissatisfaction, for the next one.

Have you seen “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” by Mu Performing Arts? If so, what did you think? Leave you review in the comments section.

  • http://www.muperformingarts.org Don Eitel
  • Kari Swanson

    I really enjoyed “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them”. The theater is so intimate and small, I felt like I was in the play. The actors and actress did such an honest performance, it was impossible not to become involved! I thought Benji stole the show. His role wasn’t as prominent as the other two but he is such a good actor! It was overall a great show and I would definitely recommend it!

  • Kit Thao

    I loved “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them”! It was easy to be drawn into the world of the play and the actors were awesome. The play portrayed a lot of controversial issues very well and it definitely hit at the heart for me in terms of the family portion of conflicts. I would definitely re-watch it!