By REBECCA HALAT.  Mixed Blood’s production of Colossal dealt with the difficulty of loss.  Most simply, it is the story of a young football player and a game injury that leaves him in a wheelchair. The loss of the full use of his legs, however, is not the most painful one we see him suffer in this short, football game-length production.

Darius Dotch, Torsten Johnson, photo by Rich Ryan.

Darius Dotch, Torsten Johnson, photo by Rich Ryan.

Standing out in this show is the choreography. Right from the beginning, we see dance blend with football, showing the grace of this violent sport. Lead actors Toby Forrest and Torsten Johnson were solid in their ability to juxtapose their roles.  They played the same character, one pre-injury and the other post-injury, and were able to clearly demonstrate the differing motivations of each perspective.

Being such a short production, the character development was somewhat flat, and the love interest, though still radical for football, is not so in the world of theater.  The play explores masculinity and sexuality, but in what felt like a somewhat cliché and superficial manner.   Even with this weakness, it was an engaging production that did get into some questions about our national obsession with football that I think we need to reflect on more.

Colossal written by Andrew Hinderaker, directed by Will Davis.  October 10 – November 9, 2014, Wed-Sat at 7:30pm, and Sun at 2:00pm at Mixed Blood Theater, 1501 South 4th Street Minneapolis, MN 55454. Believing in what they refer to as “Radical Hospitality,” Mixed Blood provides no-cost access to their productions for general admission seats. Advanced and guaranteed admission available for $20 at

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