Jack Reuler

Recent Articles

Award-winning director brings Passing Strange to Twin Cities

Actor feels free to take risks at Mixed Blood
Director-actor-playwright Thomas W. Jones II, hailing from Atlanta as founding artistic director of Jomandi Productions, owns an enviable Twin Cities presence, consistently working at Mixed Blood Theatre, currently directing and performing in Passing Strange. His track record is remarkable. Starting with directing. Jones walked off with a Helen Hayes Award for Samm Art Williams’ Home and his original script Bessie’s Blues. No mere hat-trick. Continue Reading →

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Austene Van ascends in role of Aida




Austene Van, a brilliant performer, has long been outshone by fellow stars Jevetta Steele and Regina Marie Williams. But not because she’s, per se, a lesser talent. However, Steele saw her profile incredibly heightened by a stint in her autobiographical hit Two Queens, One Castle at Mixed Blood Theatre and Williams saw hers receive a tremendous boost when she performed in  Dinah Was…at Penumbra Theatre Company. I’ve written on more than one occasion that Austene Van, —while for years enjoying the enviable success of not needing a day job and being able to make a rock solid living at theatre — sings beautifully, acts her hips off and can trip the proverbial light fantastic hadn’t come across just the right vehicle to distinguish her as a leading lady. Well, she found one in the form of Aida, which had a recent run this past January in downtown Minneapolis at the Hennepin Theater Trust’s Pantages Theatre. It’s fairly understandable why Austene Van — to those for whom the name doesn’t ring quite the same bell as does Steele or Williams — has been a harder fit for the Cinderella slipper, despite the fact that she’s a Penumbra company member and mainstay on the venue’s stage. Continue Reading →

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