“The Buddha Prince,” an outdoor walking play presented by TigerLion Arts and the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota, takes the audience on an immersive, active journey through the life and teachings of the 14th Dalai Lama in Washburn Fair Oaks Park, just across the street from Mia.

"The Buddha Prince" audience sits at the beginning of the play. The Amazing Momo food truck, serving dumplings for the performance, is parked in the background. Photo by Anna Devine

Producer, director and co-writer Markell Kiefer felt inspired to create this play in 2001 when the Dalai Lama visited the Twin Cities. She remembers excitedly announcing to her peers that he would be visiting, but they didn’t really know who he was.

“At that point, I had this inspiration to figure out a way to tell his story to the general public,” Kiefer said. Kiefer and co-creator Tenzin Ngawang planned on reviving the play in 2020, but like most things, it was postponed due to the pandemic.

"The Buddha Prince" performs on June 30 at Washburn Fair Oaks Park. Photo by Anna Devine

“Over the course of the past three years it’s just become more important and relevant for it to come back to life.” Kiefer said. “Tibetan tradition, spirituality, the culture, the music, the dance, at the very core has this appreciation for life. An appreciation for nature, for people, celebration of humanity, joy, that I just think we all need. We all need to be infused with that joyful celebration of life and people.”

"The Buddha Prince" performs at Washburn Fair Oaks Park on June 30. Photo by Anna Devine

The Twin Cities has the second largest Tibetan community in North America, besides New York City. “It’s a very active, very closely connected, vibrant community,” Kiefer said.

Tibetan dumplings from Amazing Momo are available to pre-order to eat before the performance. Playgoers and the public can also order from the food truck directly. Catch the last few performances through July 9. More information can be found at buddhaprince.org.