“Chad Deity” gives Mpls. the smackdown

The culture-rich Mixed Blood Theater houses the award-winning play that compares wrestling and capitalism.

"The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity" uses wrestling to explore the perils of capitalism.

Mark Brenden

What: âÄúThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad DeityâÄù Where: Mixed Blood, 1501 4th St. S. When: April 9 – May 2 Tickets: $10 – $28 Sports and theater do not usually pursue much of a relationship. The gym locker room and the makeup room do not merge into one. However, âÄúThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,âÄù the National Latino Playwriting Award-winning play about race and class from Kris Diaz is mixing these two poles on the gamut of performance arts. It’s like âÄúDeath of a SalesmanâÄù meets Jesse âÄúThe BodyâÄù Ventura. To put on a play that involves actors performing real (fake) wrestling moves, an actor must not only be an actor but an athlete as well. Director Tom Jones (no relation to the âÄúIt’s Not UnusualâÄú crooner) said that the actors were given such a physical workout that they would go home to hot baths and sore mornings. Just like Diamond Dallas Page. âÄúIt was intense. We had actors that not only had to learn a detailed play but also had to learn how to wrestle. No doubt it was a grueling experience,âÄù Jones said. The play, which uses the game of wrestling as a synecdoche for the hard-nosed competition of capitalism, is a marker of the times. Written in 2008, the theme of a ruthlessly one-sided competition between the privileged and the not-so-privileged resonates strongly in the era of the Great Recession. âÄúThe playwright is a young voice. He is writing in and of his time. It’s a very 21st century play,âÄù Jones said. In the world of wrestling, there are stars, and there are people who cater to the stars. All too often it’s only the stars’ stories that get told, but âÄúThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad DeityâÄù sought to make sure that you don’t have to be among the haves for your tale to be told. âÄúIt’s a play about class. You get to see the hierarchy between the haves and the have-nots. There are those that are the stars, and those that are there to make the stars look good,âÄù Jones explained. He added, âÄúOften, no matter how talented we are, the competition is not designed for us to win. So we went into it with that context.âÄù A college student should be able to relate to the playâÄôs focus on both contemporary times and the proverbial struggle to find a place in the wrestling match of a world. ItâÄôs probably at least better than WWE.