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Mixed Blood Theater teams up with locals for Iron Range play

A group of actor sit in a circle on hardwood floor.
Lindsey Audrey
Cast members from "Full Range" rehearse at Lost Forty Studios in Chisholm in May 2024.

“Full Range” is a collaboration between Mixed Blood Theater of Minneapolis and Iron Range actors. Director Mark Valdez recently discussed this new play on the KAXE Morning Show.

VIRGINIA — Mixed Blood is a theater based in Minneapolis, but it strives to make connections throughout the state.

Mark Valdez came to the organization a few years ago as a newcomer to Minnesota. One of his goals was to create performances beyond Minneapolis.

“I was asking people where should we go, and over and over again, people said the Iron Range,” Valdez said. “It's a part of the state with a very distinct culture, with a very strong history. It's played a very important part in shaping the state and shaping the country. And sure enough, all of that was true. So we're here.”

Full Range centers on two different storylines: one that deals with the past and another that looks to the future. The stories intersect and run parallel to each other.

Alison Carey, the play’s writer, and Valdez spent a year and a half visiting with people on the Iron Range.

Play poster for "Full Range" depicting a man and boy fishing over a mine pit and a sun made of a bicycle tire and hockey sticks in the background.
Mixed Blood Theater
Productions of "Full Range" are June 20-23 and 20-27, 2024 at Rock Ridge Performing Arts Center in Virginia, Minnesota.

“We've just been gathering stories, asking people what life here is like, what living here means to them," Valdez said. "What are some of the things that they love about this place? What are some of the challenges of this place?”

Twenty-one actors in the play are from the Iron Range, and they are joined by two professional actors from Mixed Blood. The local actors have a variety of backgrounds and theater experiences. Some have never been in a play before. They will be joined by members of Merry Tuba Christmas to add a musical element.

Full Range performances are at Rock Ridge Performing Arts Center in Virginia on June 20-23 and June 27-30. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. Tickets are free and can be reserved at Mixed Blood’s website or are available at the door.

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