Production Photos: Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More in HADESTOWN at National Theatre

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Following record-breaking runs at New York Theatre Workshop and Canada’s Citadel Theatre, Hadestown opens at the National Theatre on November 13.

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers can’t survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust in each other is put to a final test.

André De Shields as Hermes and the company in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes and the company in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

The cast includes Sharif Afifi, Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Rosie Fletcher, Amber Gray, Beth Hinton-Lever, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Eva Noblezada, Seyi Omooba, Gloria Onitiri, Patrick Page, Aiesha Pease, Joseph Prouse, Jordan Shaw and Shaq Taylor.

André De Shields as Hermes and Patrick Page as Hades in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes and Patrick Page as Hades in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Directed by Rachel Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Liam Robinson, orchestrations and arrangements by Michael Chorneyand Todd Sickafoose, with Ken Cerniglia as dramaturg.

Eva Noblezada. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray and Nathaniel Cross. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray and Nathaniel Cross. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
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Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More Open in HADESTOWN at National Theatre on November 13

André De Shields and Anais Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye writes,  “Andre De Shields is appearing in the musical Hadestown, which is previewing at the National Theatre.

André De Shields and Anais Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Anais Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields is a living, walking landmark. I’ve been watching him in shows in New York, and here, for most of my professional life.

In Hadestown he strolls onto the Olivier stage, says hello to the cast, and checks in with the band. The meet and greet lasts a sublime five minutes.

I could have left the theatre right there and then and been content, and happy.”

André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson and Set Designer Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown is currently playing to enthusiastic preview audiences and Press night is set for Tuesday, November 13 at 7pm. After the sold-out Saturday evening performance, Hadestown cast members and creative team joined New York Theater Workshop sponsors for a post-show reception in the Ashcroft Room at the National Theatre.

The cast and creative team of HADESTOWN with New York Theater Workshop sponsors. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast and creative team of HADESTOWN with New York Theater Workshop sponsors. Photo by Lia Chang

Celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin have transformed Mitchell’s acclaimed concept album into a genre-defying new musical that mixes modern American folk music with vintage New Orleans jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang

In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers can’t survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust in each other is put to a final test.

Cast members Jordan Shaw, Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Eva Noblezada, Gloria Onitiri, Aiesha Pease, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Amber Gray, Beth Hinton-Lever, Reeve Carney, Sharif Afifi, Josie Richardson and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Cast members Jordan Shaw, Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Eva Noblezada, Gloria Onitiri, Aiesha Pease, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Amber Gray, Beth Hinton-Lever, Reeve Carney, Sharif Afifi, Josie Richardson and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast stars Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, André De Shields as Hermes, Amber Gray as Persephone and Patrick Page as Hades. The cast also includes Sharif Afifi, Rosie Fletcher, Beth Hinton-Lever, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Seyi Omooba, Gloria Onitiri, Aiesha Pease, Joseph Prouse, Jordan Shaw and Shaq Taylor.

André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson and Set Designer Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson and Set Designer Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Rachel Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Liam Robinson, orchestrations and arrangements by Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, with Ken Cerniglia as dramaturg.

Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Liam Robinson
Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Liam Robinson
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo Star in the Ma-Yi and Barrington Stage Co-Production of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at The Beckett through November 18

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Lloyd Suh’s new play The Chinese Lady, a co-production between Ma-Yi Theater Company and Barrington Stage Company (BSC), is currently in previews at The Beckett on Theatre Row and will play a limited run through November 18, 2018. Opening night is set for November 10 at 7:30pm. The two-hander stars Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung”.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by Lloyd Suh (Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery) and directed by Ralph Peña (Microcrisis, Ma-Yi Theater Company).  Click here for more information and tickets. 20% Discounts at Today Tix and limited Rush tickets are $22.25 one hour prior to showtime at Theatre Row box office.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

The Chinese Lady received three 2018 Berkshire Theatre Critics Award nominations including Outstanding New Play for Lloyd Suh, Best Supporting Actor for Daniel K. Isaac and Best Sound Design for Fabian Obispo.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Set and Costumes designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting design by Oliver Wason. Sound design by Fabian Obispo. Production Stage Manager is Geoff Boronda.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”

Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.AccordingToMyMother.com

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.  Select NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).  www.DanielKIsaac.com

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Director Ralph B. Pena and Playwright Lloyd Suh. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Ralph B. Pena and Playwright Lloyd Suh. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Q & A with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, Stars of Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY 

In Rehearsal: Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo 

Barrington Stage and Ma-Yi Present Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at Barrington Stage, July 20 – August 11

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

Jon Norman Schneider, Jiehae Park, Keelay Gipson, Julian Leong, Diana Oh, David Shih and Teal Wicks in Daniel K. Isaac’s OR OR OR &&& at The Actors Fund Arts Center 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Shannon Tyo, Lia Chang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo, Lia Chang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN to be Presented in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary

Utah’s commission for the Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration has announced that Gold Mountain, the original musical by Jason Ma, will be presented as one of the cultural events commemorating the landmark anniversary. Alan Muraoka will direct three evenings of staged concert presentations, performed by a New York cast of Asian American actors,  including Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera) as Mei, Jonny Lee Jr. as Lit, Alan Ariano (The King and I) as Ba, Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes) as Jiang, Lawrence-Michael Arias as Wong, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures) as Loong, and Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures) as Lo.

Music direction will be provided by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and choreography by Billy Bustamante. Production will be spearheaded by Spike 150 in partnership with the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, 2019, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and a matinee on Saturday, May 11, curtain time TBD.

About Gold Mountain:

Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self- sacrifice.

The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York on October 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters, and internationally. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer & Awesomer!!!(Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21), Falsettoland(NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty (Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific & Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musical and Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical (MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown (Trinity University), and Up In The Air (Kennedy Center-AD). Television: “Sesame Street,” Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; Aladdin, Pacific Overtures, Mail, Shogun, the Musical, My Favorite Year, The King and I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: One of the most iconic and life-altering events in America’s history – the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad – happened in Utah on May 10, 1869. Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission, established by the Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert and organized to partner with all those celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony in Utah. Through a series of activities and events, the Spike 150 initiative aims to inspire, educate, and reflect on the Transcontinental Railroad legacy as it unifies Utahns to see that great things are possible with vision, hard-work, dedication, and collaboration. There are events planned all across the state so people can celebrate in 150 ways. The festivities will culminate in a celebration at Promontory Summit on May 10, 2019. For a full list of Spike 150 events, visit www.spike150.org.

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans. Please visit: www.goldenspike150.org

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Brandon J. Dirden to Helm August Wilson’s KING HEDLEY II Featuring Brittany Bellizeare, Harvy Blanks, Brian D. Coats, Elain Graham, Charlie Hudson III and Blake Morris at Two River Theater, November 10 -December 16 

Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon J. Dirden Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon J. Dirden
Photo by Lia Chang

Marking the halfway point in its commitment to present all 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, Two River Theater is presenting Wilson’s “exhilarating” (The New York Times) and incendiary drama King Hedley II, directed by Brandon J. Dirden. For the first time, the theater will be presenting one of Wilson’s plays in its intimate 110-seat Marion Huber Theater, with performances beginning on November 10 and continuing for an extended five-week run through Sunday, December 16. The opening night performance is Friday, November 16 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The production sponsors are Monmouth University and Collex Collision Experts.

August Wilson is the 10th most produced playwright of the current season in the United States, according to American Theater magazine. Two River’s staging of King Hedley II is currently the only production of this rarely seen play happening anywhere in the world.

The year is 1985 and Pittsburgh’s Hill District has been ravaged by violence, unemployment, and Urban Blight. King Hedley II returns to his home after a seven-year prison term looking to re-build his life, save some money, and start a family. However, both he and those around him quickly find that in 1980s America, the rules have changed.

Brandon J. Dirden-the award-winning actor/director who has appeared in five Two River productions, including, most recently, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and A Raisin in the Sun-directs this sequel to Seven Guitars, which was produced under his direction at Two River in 2015. King Hedley II picks up the stories of Ruby and Canewell (known here as Stool Pigeon) from the earlier drama, which is set in the 1940s.

The cast of King Hedley II includes Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya), Harvy Blanks (Elmore), Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon), Elain Graham (Ruby), Charlie Hudson III (Mister), and Blake Morris (King Hedley II).

The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Kathy A. Perkins, sound designer Kay Richardson, and wigs designer Erin Hicks. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Laura Wilson.

Says Artistic Director John Dias, “Over the past decade, Two River Theater has made a commitment to producing plays that deal with issues of race, social justice, and our shared history. These include four plays from August Wilson’s majestic American Century Cycle: Jitney, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. With each production, the artists who work here-and the audiences who are coming here to see these plays-are engaged in emotional and complex conversations about race. We believe that, as a theater, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to this evolving civic discourse.”

Ticket prices range from $40 to $80, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve a free spot, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.

Book Club: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Monday, November 26 at 6:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library
Ta-Nehisi Coates pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son in this Pulitzer Prize finalist and #1 New York Times bestseller from 2015. The journalist, thinker, and writer offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crises all the while trying to convey and interrogate what it is like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it. Coates works to untangle these difficult questions by writing a letter to his adolescent son. In connection with King Hedley II, Literary Manager Taylor Barfield will discuss how a broader socio-political history can be explored through the lens of familial bonds and personal stories.

First Monday Masters is series of master classes led by artists affiliated with Two River Theater’s recent productions and current season. Classes take place in locations throughout the Two River Theater arts complex, on Monday evenings from 6pm-8pm. To reserve a spot, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.

November 5: Costume Design with Karen Perry

For adults and high school students, limited to 16 participants, 6-8:00pm, $40 per person

King Hedley II costume designer Karen Perry previously designed August Wilson’s Jitney, Two Trains Running and Seven Guitars at Two River Theater, as well as Lives of Reason, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Guadalupe in the Guest Room, Third and Trouble in Mind. This season, she will also design Oo-Bla-Dee. She has also designed costumes for Encores!, Dallas Theater Center, Second Stage, Signature Theatre, Goodman, and The Public Theater, among others. Karen will walk the class through the costume design process from the page to the stage by discussing her work on new musicals and classic plays. This workshop will take place in Two River Theater’s Costume Shop.

Before Play and Lobby Display

Audiences will learn about August Wilson and King Hedley II in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations

Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, November 21 at 1pm; Sunday, November 25 at 3pm; and Wednesday, November 28 at 7pm.

Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.

Artists

BRITTANY BELLIZEARE
BRITTANY BELLIZEARE

Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya) previously appeared at Two River Theater as Ruby in Seven Guitars and is happy to return to work on yet another August Wilson masterpiece. New York credits include an interactive play, In the Blue Hour (Emily) at La Maison d’Art Gallery in Harlem, and A Raisin in the Sun (Beneatha) at The Gallery Players. Regional: Portland Center Stage (Oregon) JAW Festival: three girls never learnt the way home (Edith); Baltimore Center Stage: Skeleton Crew (Shanita); The Guthrie: The Bluest Eye (Pecola); TheaterWorks Hartford: Sunset Baby (Nina); La Jolla/Berkeley Rep: The Last Tiger in Haiti (Rose); Northern Stage: The Mountaintop(Camae); the Yard: Archy & Mehitabel (Ensemble) Educational Tour: McCarter: Sunjata Kamalenya (Player 3). Film/TV: The BlacklistEye CandyThe Knick. Education: MFA: The New School for Drama; BS: Spelman College. NAACP Theatre for Best Ensemble nomination for The Last Tiger in Haiti(2017/18). brittanybellizeare.com

HARVY BLANKS
HARVY BLANKS

Harvy Blanks (Elmore) appeared on Broadway as Shealy in the Tony-winning production of Jitney. Off-Broadway, he received the Drama Desk Award for his performance in Tabletop. Other Off-Broadway credits include First Breeze of Summerand The Guest at Central Park West. His regional appearances include Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow (Williamstown), Familiar (Yale Rep, The Guthrie and Seattle Rep) and Fire on the Mountain _(TheatreWorks Palo Alto). At the Denver Center he starred in _RuinedFencesJoe Turner’s Come and GoneGem of the OceanSeven Guitars _and _Radio Golf, among others. Harvy can be seen this season in Terrence Nance’s Random Acts of Flyness (HBO). His other television appearances include Preacher _and _Crime Story. He is very happy to return to Two River where he appeared in JitneyTwo Trains Running and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

BRIAN D. COATS
BRIAN D. COATS

Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon) Broadway: Jitney. He was previously seen at Two River Theater in Seven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Off-Broadway includes: Travisville (Ensemble Studio Theatre), La Ruta (Working Theater), The First Noel (Classical Theatre of Harlem/The Apollo), On the Levee (Lincoln Center), The Merry Wives of WindsorTwo Gentlemen of Verona (Public/ NYSF). Regional: The Royale (Cleveland Play House), The Nest (Denver Center Theatre), Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre, Studio Theatre DC), FencesA Raisin in the Sun(Geva Theatre), Distant Fires (People’s Light and Theatre), Clybourne Park (Caldwell Theatre), The Wedding Giftpen/man/ship (Contemporary American Theatre Fest), Count (PlayMakers Rep). TV includes: Law & OrderLaw & Order: SVUJAGBlue BloodsThe SopranosBoardwalk EmpireLuke Cage, and The Blacklist.

CHARLIE HUDSON III
CHARLIE HUDSON III

Charlie Hudson III (Mister) is thrilled to be appearing again at Two River, where he was previously seen in A Raisin in the Sun and Seven Guitars . Previous shows include Detroit ’67 (Playmakers Rep); The Mountaintop (Northern Stage); Father Comes Home from the Wars (American Repertory Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun(Barrymore Theatre, Broadway);The Raisin Cycle: Clybourne Park & Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Centerstage);Hurt Village (Signature); Fences (Virginia Stage); The Piano Lesson (Yale Rep); Bike Wreck (Ensemble Studio Theatre); White Women Street (Irish Rep); “Master Harold”…and the boys (Portland Stage); Fly (Crossroads and Vineyard Playhouse); ARaisin in the Sun,Richard IIIA Christmas Carol* , All the King’s Men *,*  Cyrano de Bergerac (Trinity Rep); Hillary (New Georges); Old Comedy (Classic Stage); Mother Courage (Public Theater/NYSF); Sweet Bird of Youth (Williamstown); Romeo and Juliet (Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble); Julius Caesar* , Topdog/Underdog(Brown/ Trinity Consortium). TV includes: ManifestThe Night OfShades of BluesThe Good FightUnforgettableForever,The Rosa Parks Story, and A Raisin in the Sun “Revisited.” Film credits include Roxanne RoxanneComplete UnknownTwelveNewlyweedsLillian; and his voice is featured in the McGraw-Hill’s PodClass GRE Vocabulary Study Guide. Mr. Hudson is the 2003 KC/ACTF Irene Ryan Best Actor Award winner (Region IV) and is a graduate of Alabama State University and the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Consortium. Charlie would like to thank God for this opportunity and his loving family for their support.

BLAKE MORRIS
BLAKE MORRIS

Blake Morris (King Hedley II) Off-Broadway: Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public Studio), Kings of Harlem (New Horizon Theater). Festivals: New Black Fest, 48 Hrs. in Harlem, NYSAF Reading Series. TV: Pose (FX), Jessica Jones (Netflix).

ELAIN GRAHAM
ELAIN GRAHAM

Elain Graham (Ruby) i s pleased to be back at Two River Theater, where she was seen as Mrs. Dickson in the critically acclaimed production of Intimate Apparel. Other stage credits include: Intimate Apparel, Dorset Theatre Festival; Dolores, While I Yet Live, Primary Stages; The Picture Box, Negro Ensemble Company; Mum in SoHo Rep’s critically acclaimed Born Bad; The Woman in Lynn Nottage’s Banana Beer Bath, Going to the River Festival/EST; Lena Younger, A Raisin in the Sun, Virginia Stage Company; Permanent Collection, Baltimore Center Stage; Mama Benin, Playboy of the West Indies, Lincoln Center. Film/Television: The Last O.G.The BreaksThe DetourLaw & Order: SVULaw & Order666 Park AvenueSmashUnforgettableAcross the UniverseCity TeacherArthur!: A Celebration of LifeThe JuryMessengers100 Centre StreetOzThird WatchTurn It Up. She was also Etta Mae Burrell on the daytime soap opera, Another World.

August Wilson (April 27, 1945-October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II,and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of the descendants of Africans in North America, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century, forming the complication entitled The American Century Cycle. His plays have been produced on Broadway, at regional theaters across the country and all over the world. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned, _currently touring and featuring Eugene Lee reprising Mr. Wilson’s role. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for _Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson _(1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for _Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Jitney. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, and the 2003 Heinz Award. He was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street—The August Wilson Theatre. Today, his plays continue to be produced, and his place in the American Theater continues to grow. New York Public Radio recorded all ten plays in The American Century Cycle at the Greene Space, casting many of the actors that worked on the original productions. PBS aired a documentary on Mr. Wilson entitled, The Ground on Which I Stand, as part of the American Masters series. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero, who is the executor of his estate.

Brandon J. Dirden (Director) made his directing debut at Two River Theater with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. He has appeared at Two River in A Raisin in the Sun; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Jitney; the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine; and Topdog/Underdog, in which he starred opposite his brother Jason Dirden under the direction of the play’s author, Suzan-Lori Parks. An award-winning actor/director, he is best known for portraying Agent Dennis Aderholt in the acclaimed FX series The Americans. ?A Morehouse College and University of Illinois graduate, he is also known for appearing on Broadway as Martin Luther King Jr. in the successful Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon B. Johnson. Other Broadway credits include August Wilson’s Jitney (2017 Tony Award for Best Revival), Prelude to a Kiss, Enron and Clybourne Park. In 2012 he was awarded an Obie and a Theatre World Award and was nominated for Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards for his portrayal of Boy Willie in the Signature Theatre Company revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. ?He has guest starred in TV series such as The Good WifeThe Big CBlue BloodsPublic MoralsBraindead andBaz Luhrmann’s The Get Down on Netflix. Brandon is married to actress Crystal Dickinson and currently lives in West Orange, NJ with their four-year-old son, Chase.

Michael Carnahan (Scenic Designer) previously designed The Ballad of Little JoYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like MineThirdOn Borrowed Time, and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars _and _Two Trains Running at Two River. Off-Broadway—Atlantic Theater Company: Skeleton Crew; 59E59: I and You; Second Stage: The Happiest Song Plays Last; Signature Theatre: The Piano LessonThe First Breeze of Summer; Life Could Be A DreamThe Marvelous WonderettesThree Mo’ TenorsPygmalionHowie the RookieBrando.  Tours— Cheers, Live On StageA Christmas Story The Musical, Peter & The Starcatcher. Regional credits include Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater, The Kennedy Center, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Two River Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Cleveland Play House, Detroit Public Theater, Laguna Playhouse, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Northlight Theatre, Signature Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, Arsht Center, Musical Theatre West, San Jose Repertory, Center Repertory. michaelcarnahandesign.com Instagram: Carnypics Twitter: @mike_carnahan

Karen Perry (Costume Designer) previously designed Lives of ReasonYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Guadalupe in the Guest RoomThirdTrouble in Mind, and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black BottomJitneyTwo Trains Running and Seven Guitars at Two River. Recent credits include Cabin in the Sky (Encores!); The Happiest Song Plays Last (Second Stage); DreamgirlsClybourne ParkA Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center); stop. reset. and The Piano Lesson (Signature); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (dir. Phylicia Rashad, Mark Taper); the 10th Anniversary production of Crowns, written and dir. by Regina Taylor (Goodman); Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, dir. Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse); John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, dir. Ethan McSweeny (Arena); Regina Taylor’s Trinity River Plays, dir. McSweeny (Dallas Theater Center, Goodman); The Trip to Bountiful, Walter Mosley’s The Fall of Heaven, dir. Marion McClinton (Cincinnati Playhouse); The Brother/Sister Plays by Tarell McCraney, dir. Tina Landau (The Public) and Landau and Robert O’Hara (McCarter); Things of Dry Hours by Naomi Wallace (NYTW); Having Our Say, written and dir. by Emily Mann (McCarter); and Resurrection by Daniel Beaty (Arena). She has designed eight of the 10 August Wilson plays including: Gem of the OceanThe Piano LessonKing Hedley IIRadio GolfTwo Trains Running, and Seven Guitars. Select film/TV credits include: Gregory Hines ShowSaturday Night Live, and The Brother from Another Planet by director John Sayles.

Kathy A. Perkins (Lighting Designer) made her Two River debut with Seven Guitars. She has designed both nationally and internationally including Switzerland and South Africa. In New York, she has designed for New Federal Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club. and in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Regionally, Kathy has designed for Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Steppenwolf, Alliance Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Black Repertory, American Conservatory Theater, Indiana Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Congo Square, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Writers Theatre and Playmakers Repertory Company. She is the editor/co-editor of six anthologies focusing on African/African Diaspora women. A graduate of Howard University and the Univ. of Michigan, Kathy is Professor Emerita of Theatre at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kay Richardson (Sound Designer) is a two-time Suzi Bass nominated Sound Designer and Audio Engineer. This production marks her Two River Theater debut. Regional theater designs include: Eclipsed at Synchronicity Theatre; Thurgood at Theatrical Outfit; Smart People; Fetch Clay, Make Man; and Gut Bucket Blues for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA; Sister Act in Whitefish, MT; the Medora Musical in Medora, North Dakota; and Crowns in Savannah, GA. Other designs include A Man of No ImportanceSpring AwakeningThe Colored MuseumA Song for CorettaHoodoo Love, and Seven Guitars. As an Audio Engineer she’s toured with Jekyll & HydeRing of FireChurch Basement Ladies and The Honky Tonk Angels. At the Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, MT she’s mixed Matilda the MusicalSmokey Joe’s CafeSingin’ in the RainThe Addams FamilySister ActBig RiverThe Who’s TommyLittle Shop of Horrors and Master Class. She has also toured in over 45 countries around the world mixing live for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines International. Kay is currently the Resident Sound Engineer at the Lewis Center for the Arts in Princeton, NJ.

Erin Hicks (Wig Designer) grew up in Harlem, NY. She began styling hair as an assistant on The Winter’s Tale _at the New York Shakespeare Festival, starring Alfre Woodard, Mandy Patinkin, and Diane Venora. Over the last 20 years she has worked on various Broadway, film and TV shows. This is Erin’s fourth show at Two River, following _Guadalupe in the Guest Room and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Unkle Dave’s Fight-House (Fight Direction) UnkleDave’s Fight-House is a company of fight-directors founded by Dave Anzuelo. The core members of the team are Jesse Geguzis, Gerry Rodriguez, and Sean Griffin. Two River Theater credits: Be More Chill, SevenGuitars, A Raisin in the Sun, El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom. Broadway credits: Tuck Everlasting (Broadhurst); An American in Paris (Palace); Disgraced (Lyceum). Off-Broadway: Oedipus El Rey, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Public Theater); Downtown Race RiotSticks and Bones (New Group); Alligator (New Georges/Sol Project); And I And Silence (Signature); The Hill Town Plays (Rattlestick; Axis; Cherry Lane); To the Bone (Cherry Lane); Adoration of the Old Woman (Intar). National Tour: An American in Paris. Regional: Macbeth (Northern Stage); Oklahoma (Goodspeed); Disgraced(Goodman, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep).

Heidi Griffiths (Casting) has worked for more than 25 years at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in NYC, where she has cast over 200 productions Off-Broadway and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, including Shakespeare, new plays, and musicals. On Broadway: Sweat; Shuffle Along; The Crucible, Eclipsed; A Delicate BalanceA Raisin in the SunLucky GuyChinglishThe Motherf*ker with the HatThe Merchant of VeniceHairPassing StrangeCaroline, or ChangeTake Me Out (Tony Award, Best Play 2003); Topdog/Underdog (Pulitzer Prize, 2002); The Wild Party;Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da FunkOn the Town; and The Tempest. She also cast the films The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, MURDER and murderSaving Face and Ladybird. King Hedley II is her 10th collaboration with Two River Theater.

Kate Murray (Casting) Two River Theater: The Importance of Being EarnestThe Women of Padilla, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ma Rainey’s Black BottomSeven GuitarsYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, and The School for Wives. Broadway (as Casting Associate): The CrucibleA View from the Bridge, A Delicate Balance, A Raisin in the SunLucky Guy _(Casting Assistant). Additional casting credits include work with Center Theater Group, The Cherry Lane, Bedlam, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, LAByrinth, New Georges, TheaterWorks Hartford, The Studio Theatre, and Throughline Artists._ Kate is a Casting Director at The Public Theater.

Laura Wilson (Production Stage Manager) Previously at TRT: Ma Rainey’s Black BottomSeven GuitarsYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like MineThird, No Place to Go._ Broadway: _Roman Holiday (OOT Tryout), JitneyAll The WayFirst DateA Free Man of ColorThe People in the Picture. Off-Broadway: Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre); School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (MCC); Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company); Exit Strategy (Primary Stages); The Really Big OnceA Family of Perhaps Three (Target Margin Theater). Regional: Bull Durham (Alliance Theatre); Guys and Dolls (Riverside Theatre); The Three Sisters, The Boys from Syracuse, and Things of Dry Hours(Centerstage, Baltimore); Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle (Clarence Brown Theatre).

Final Chance to See Orlando Pabotoy’s Tour De Force Performance in Self- Penned SESAR

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of SESAR, written by and performed by Orlando Pabotoy in his playwrighting debut, ends limited run tonight.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Richard Feldman, SESAR began previews on October 20, opened October 24  and ends limited run tonight on Theatre Row at The Beckett (410 W 42nd St). Tickets to “SESAR,” are available through TODAYTIX. Check every morning at 10am.Or go to Telechargeoffers.com and use CODE TRMOCAPRE for 20% off during previews. Or TRMOCAREG for 20% off during the regular run.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT “SESAR”
Born to a Filipino father and American mother, Pabotoy grew up in Bohol, a province that is part of the cluster of islands in the Philippines known as the Visayas Region. When he was 15, while watching television, Orlando caught a show with Christopher Plummer delivering a speech from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” In SESAR, the teenager locks himself in the only family bathroom to dive head-first into the world of ancient Rome, determined to make sense of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. The boy’s father, a former town mayor now exiled because of his democratic beliefs, joins his son in the bathroom, and using his own experiences, teaches him real-life lessons about power, love, and loss.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

With Set and Costume Design by Junghyun Georgia Lee, Lighting Design by Oliver Wason, Sound Design by Fabian Obispo, Projection Design by Dan Scully and Rachael Gass as Production Stage Manager.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Check out what the critics have to say:

“…a moving solo show of personal memoir smartly written and performed with élan by Orlando Pabotoy. As a young Filipino boy seduced by Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, this play is the sweet and profound story of how that text bonded a son and father together during a time of political strife in Asia.” —Stage Left

“Director Richard Feldman and his production team build the atmosphere around him via vivid screen projections on the stark white walls of designer @jhgeorgialee Junghyun Georgia Lee’s set, quick blackouts that speed up time, then an extended blackout where it is easy to believe there are two actors on stage conversing. And yes, having staged a show entirely in a bathroom, Feldman could not resist an homage to the shower scene in Psycho.” –frontrowcenter.com

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

“Portraying both father and son, as well as a variety of other Shakespearean and contemporary characters, Pabotoy displays impressive linguistic and physical skills. He rails in pantomime against the winds of a hurricane, magically shrinks to boy-size then grows to manhood and back again. He speaks, or hypnotically whispers or sings, not only in modern and Shakespearean English, but also in Fijian and Visayan.”_Theatre Guide

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

“Musical interludes, crashing thunder and battle noises are adeptly depicted by sound designer Fabian Obispo. Oliver Wason’s striking lighting design veers from realism to fantasy with its fluctuations. Stylized footage of the Philippines, hurricanes, and news broadcasts are the chief features of Dan Scully’s mesmerizing projection design.

Filled with sentiment, Sesar is an uplifting and engaging experience.” THEATERSCENE

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Orlando Pabotoy “ is sunshine after the rain. He ignites the stage –you can see this is his home and he radiates the inner glow of an artist born to tell stories that shake worlds and heal wounds and mend hearts. He is completely brilliant.” _Stage Biz

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Orlando Pabotoy debuts as a Playwright with Ma-Yi Theater Company. His recent work as playwright includes That Beautiful Laugh and an adaptation of Goldoni’s The World In the Moon. His recent work in devising and creation of new works were in collaborations with projects such as The Object Lesson (NYTW, BAM, various International Festivals) Home (BAM, various International Festivals) by Geoff Soebelle and Holoscenes – a site specific art piece that deals with the Trauma of flooding by Lars Jan. Orlando Pabotoy was recently a movement director for NAATCO’s Henry the VI by Shakespeare. His professional works in performance, direction and choreography has been seen in (selected venues): NAATCO, Ma-Yi Theater, The Public, NYTW, Yale Rep, Met Opera, Kirk Douglas, The Guthrie. American Airlines Theater, TFANA, The Lake Lucille Project. Salzburg Festival (Austria). Orlando Pabotoy is a faculty member at NYU Tisch School of The Arts, ITW (Amsterdam) and The Juilliard School. Awards: Obie Award (Magno Rubio with Ma-Yi), TCG Fox Fellowship Foundation.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Richard Feldman, Director, SESAR – Juilliard School of Drama – Specialty: Scene Study, Associate Director, Project Director
Richard Feldman was born in New York City and has directed productions including Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya, Rosmersholm, Fifth of July, Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, and Infinity’s House. He was formerly a teacher at H.B. Studio, is a founding member of the Vermont Ensemble Theater, and co-founder of the Dinosaur Theater. He attended Horace Mann School, holds a BA from Yale University, and did graduate studies at the American Conservatory Theater. Feldman joined the Drama Division faculty at Juilliard in 1987, became associate director in 2007, and has been acting director since 2016.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

The Drama Desk, Obie Award and Lucille Lortel Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company’s 2018 – 2019 Season features all-new American plays by Asian American Playwrights. After a breakout season with the award-winning success of the musical KPOP, and with the closing of Mike Lew’s highly praised Teenage Dick – Ma-Yi is presenting the productions of Sesar & The Chinese Lady in repertory at Theatre Row. Click here for more information.

Ma-Yi Theater Company has the distinction of being a primary incubator of new Asian American theater and the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the world.

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Ma-Yi Presents World Premiere Of Orlando Pabotoy’s SESAR

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad’s “I AM A FILIPINO” Cookbook Launch with Special Guest Jose Antonio Vargas at Consulate General of the Philippines Tonight

Artisan Books is presenting the book launch of “I AM A FILIPINO: And This is How We Cook”by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad, featuring special guest  Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of DEAR AMERICA, with Moderator Elda Rotor on Monday, October 29th at the Consulate General of the Philippines, 556 5th Avenue in New York from 6:30-8PM. Click here to RSVP.

NOTE: There will be books for purchase of both “I Am a Filipino: And This is How We Cook” as well as Jose Antonio Vargas’s book “Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen”. Book Signing will also be taking place this evening.

Nicole Ponseca is the founder and creative director of Maharlika and Jeepney restaurants in New York City. A native of San Diego, Ponseca moved to New York to pursue a career in advertising but found her true calling upon discovering a lack of authentic Filipino food in the city and deciding to do something about it. Together with chef MiguelTrinidad, she opened Maharlika in 2011 and Jeepney one year later. Ponseca is also a motivational speaker for young Filipino adults and an active fund-raiser for charities in the Philippines. Both authors live in New York City. Find them on Instagram @nicoleponseca and @chefmigsnyc.

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and a leading voice for the human rights of immigrants. He is the founder and CEO of Define American, the nation’s leading non-profit media and culture organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. His memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by HarperCollins in fall 2018.

Elda Rotor is Vice President and Publisher for Penguin Classics. She oversees the U.S. editorial program including the works of John Steinbeck, Arthur Miller, Shirley Jackson, William Golding, and the Pelican Shakespeare series. She has created and edited several series including the Penguin Civic Classics and the Penguin Drop Caps, and co-produced Poems By Heart, named one of the Best Apps of the Year by Apple. For Penguin Books, she most recently edited Long Players by Peter Coviello andNot Quite Not White by Sharmila Sen. Previously, she worked at Oxford University Press. She is a board member for the Academy of American Poets, Kundiman, and Singapore Unbound.

Dr. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, Jim Dale and Arthur Levine to be Honored at New-York Historical Society’s Annual History Makers Gala on November 6

The New-York Historical Society will present the 2018 History Makers Award to world-renowned entertainer and celebrated Harry Potter audiobook voice actor Jim Dale at its annual History Makers Gala, in recognition of the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, now on view at New-York Historical. The gala will take place on November 6, 2018, at 583 Park. Harry Potter editor Arthur A. Levine will receive the New-York Historical Society Distinguished Service Award, and New-York Historical Trustee Dr. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang will receive the New-York Historical Society Medal of Merit for Public Engagement.


“This is truly a magical year at New-York Historical, and it is an honor to recognize this trio of honorees who have been so instrumental in the world of Harry Potter as well as to the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “Jim Dale’s outstanding international career, including voicing all the Harry Potter audiobooks, has delighted generations of fans. The course of children’s literature was forever altered when Arthur A. Levine single-handedly introduced J.K. Rowling to American audiences. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang’s impact on New-York Historical—as a member of our board and as a supporter of our exhibitions—is immeasurable, along with her scholarship and guidance regarding the ancient oracle bones that are featured in Harry Potter: A History of Magic.”

The funds raised at the History Makers Gala benefit education programs at New-York Historical that serve more than 200,000 New York City public school students. Past recipients of the History Makers Award include William J. Bratton and Rikki Klieman (2017), Ken Burns and Ric Burns (2016), Ron Chernow and Lin-Manuel Miranda (2015), Hillary Clinton (2014), David Petraeus (2013), Wynton Marsalis and Walter Isaacson (2012), and Henry Kissinger (2011), among others.

What Annual History Makers Gala
When Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Cocktails: 6 pm | Dinner and Program: 7 pm
Where Annual History Makers Gala
Tickets $1,250 Illusionist Ticket
$2,500 Professor Ticket
$5,000 Oracle Ticket
$12,500 Sorcerer’s Table
$25,000 Vice Chair Table
$50,000 Co-Chair Table
$100,000 Chairman’s Table

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact: 212-744-0799 or barbi@barbizakinevents.com.

2018 Honorees
As an actor, singer, dancer, author, lyricist, comedian, narrator, and raconteur, Jim Dale is one of the world’s great stage entertainers. He has recorded all seven Harry Potter books for the U.S. and Canadian market, creating more than 200 different character voices and winning two Grammy Awards. For his stage work, he earned a Tony Award for Best Actor for his role in Barnum, and he was honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to education.

Children’s book editor and founder of Arthur A. Levine Books, Arthur A. Levine’s determination to bring a diverse selection of “The Best of the World’s Literature for Young People” to American readers has been the guiding principle of his career. He famously took a chance on an author named Joanne Rowling in 1997. It was through Arthur A. Levine Books that Scholastic purchased the U.S. publication rights to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, released in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone20 years ago.

H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang. Photo by Lia Chang
Dr. H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang chairs New-York Historical’s Exhibitions Committee and serves as a member of its Board of Trustees. She is an archaeologist and an acting faculty director at Columbia University and an international cultural heritage policy advisor, having conducted fieldwork in Central Asia, including three UNESCO missions to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Western China. Dr. Hsu-Tang has provided critical research and guidance on the oldest artifacts on view in the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic—Chinese oracle bones that are more than 3,000 years old, on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gala chairs include Anonymous, Helen and Robert Appel, Diana and Joe DiMenna, Pam and Scott Schafler, Bernard L. Schwartz, Oscar Tang, and Leah and Michael Weisberg. Co-chairs include Norman S. Benzaquen, Ravenel B. Curry III, Elizabeth B. Dater, Buzzy Geduld, Ahuva and Martin J. Gross, Susan and Roger Hertog, Helen and Edward R. Hintz, Patricia D. Klingenstein, Paula and Tom McInerney, Suzanne Peck and Brian Friedman, Jean Margo Reid, Richard Reiss, Michelle Smith, Laurie and Sy Sternberg, Ann and Andrew Tisch, Sue Ann Weinberg, and Barbara and David Zalaznick. Vice chairs include Judy and Howard Berkowitz, Franci Blassberg and Joseph Rice, Blavatnik Family Foundation, Lois Chiles and Richard Gilder, Betsy and Ed Cohen/Arete Foundation, Shelley and Steven Einhorn, Leslie Himmel and Alan Shuch, Ruth and Sid Lapidus, Leni and Peter W. May, Joseph C. McNay, Jennifer and John Monsky, Abby and Jonathan Moses, Joan and Joel I. Picket, Donna and Marvin Schwartz, Paul E. Singer, Daria and Eric Wallach, and Anita and Byron Wien.

About the New-York Historical Society
Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City, state, and the country, as well as to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, such as Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Nueva York; The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution; Chinese American: Exclusion/InclusionSuperheroes in GothamThe Vietnam War: 1945 – 1975; and Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs is one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York. New-York Historical is also home to one of the oldest, most distinguished libraries in the nation—the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, which contains more than three million books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, music sheets, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

This fall, New-York Historical presents Harry Potter: A History of Magic (through January 27, 2019), a British Library exhibition that captures the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories with centuries-old treasures including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the British Library and New-York Historical Society collections as well as original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic and J.K. Rowling’s own archive; and Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow (through March 3, 2019), exploring the struggle for citizenship and racial equality that unfolded in the years after the Civil War.

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THE CHINESE LADY’s Daniel K. Isaac, Shannon Tyo, Lloyd Suh and Ralph Pena at MOCA

THE CHINESE LADY's ASM Erin McCoy, Daniel K. Isaac, Playwright Lloyd Suh, Director Ralph Pena and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
THE CHINESE LADY's ASM Erin McCoy, Director Ralph Pena, Daniel K. Isaac, Shannon Tyo and Playwright Lloyd Suh. Photo by Lia Chang
THE CHINESE LADY’s ASM Erin McCoy, Director Ralph Pena, Daniel K. Isaac, Shannon Tyo and Playwright Lloyd Suh. Photo by Lia Chang

On October 25th, MOCA and Ma-Yi Theater Company presented an excerpt from Lloyd Suh’s new play The Chinese Lady, which begins performances on Theatre Row on November 7 and will play a limited run through November 18, 2018. The two-hander stars Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung”.

THE CHINESE LADY's ASM Erin McCoy, Daniel K. Isaac, Playwright Lloyd Suh, Director Ralph Pena and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
THE CHINESE LADY’s ASM Erin McCoy, Daniel K. Isaac, Playwright Lloyd Suh, Director Ralph Pena and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by Lloyd Suh (Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery), directed by Ralph Peña (Microcrisis, Ma-Yi Theater Company), and The Chinese Lady is a co-production between Barrington Stage Company (BSC)  and Ma-Yi Theater Company. Click here for more information and tickets.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, stars of THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, stars of THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Lia Chang

The Chinese Lady received three 2018 Berkshire Theatre Critics Award nominations including Outstanding New Play for Lloyd Suh, Best Supporting Actor for Daniel K. Isaac and Best Sound Design for Fabian Obispo.

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Set and Costumes designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting design by Oliver Wason. Sound design by Fabian Obispo. Production Stage Manager is Geoff Boronda.

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”

Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.AccordingToMyMother.com

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.  Select NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).  www.DanielKIsaac.com

Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

Q & A with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, Stars of Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY 

In Rehearsal: Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo 

Barrington Stage and Ma-Yi Present Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at Barrington Stage, July 20 – August 11

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

Jon Norman Schneider, Jiehae Park, Keelay Gipson, Julian Leong, Diana Oh, David Shih and Teal Wicks in Daniel K. Isaac’s OR OR OR &&& at The Actors Fund Arts Center 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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Roundabout Extends Ming Peiffer’s USUAL GIRLS Through December 16

Ming Peiffer
Ming Peiffer
Ming Peiffer

Due to popular demand, Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) has just announced a one-week extension to the Roundabout Underground production of Usual Girls by Ming Peiffer, directed by Tyne Rafaeli, now through December 16, 2018.

The cast includes Sofia Black-D’Elia as “Sasha, Older Girl 2, KKG Sister,” Abby Corrigan as “Anna,” Ali Rose Dachis as “Marina, Older Girl #3, KKG Sister,” Midori Francis as “Kyeoung,” Karl Kenzler as “Father,” Jennifer Lim as “Woman,” Ryann Redmond as “Older Girl, KKG Sister,” Nicole Rodenburg as “Lindsay” and Raviv Ullman as “Rory.”

Usual Girls opens officially on Monday, November 5, 2018 at the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This is a limited engagement through Sunday, December 16, 2018.

How do girls grow up? Quickly, painfully, wondrously. On an elementary school playground, a boy threatens to tell on the girls for swearing – unless one of them kisses him. But just before lips can touch, Kyeoung tackles the boy to the ground. The victory is short-lived. Over the coming years, Kyeoung’s stories get stranger, funnier, more harrowing – and more familiar. This hilarious, explicit gut-punch of a play bursts with playwright Ming Peiffer’s bold, explosive voice.

The creative team includes: Arnulfo Maldonado (Sets), Ásta Hostetter (Costumes), Jen Schriever (Lighting) and Tei Blow (Sound).

All tickets for Usual Girls are $25. General Admission tickets and are available by calling 212.719.1300, online at roundabouttheatre.org, in person at any Roundabout box office: American Airlines Theatre Box office (227 West 42nd Street); The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 W 46th Street) and Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street). For groups of 10 or more please call 212-719-9393 x 365 or emailgroupsales@roundabouttheatre.org.

Usual Girls plays Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:00PM with Saturday matinees at 1:30PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00PM.

roundabouttheatre.org

SOFIA BLACK-D’ELIA (Sasha, Older Girl 2, KKG Sister) is thrilled to be making her New York stage debut with Roundabout Theatre Company. Recent TV credits include: FOX’S comedy “The Mick” and HBO’s Emmy-nominated mini-series “The Night Of.” Other TV credits include: “Gossip Girl” and “Skins.” Film credits include: Paramount’s Ben Hur and Project Almanac, and Blumhouse’s Viral. Thank you Tyne and Ming!

ABBY CORRIGAN (Anna) is thrilled to make her off Broadway debut with the Usual Girls family. Stage: Medium Alison, in Fun Home (Broadway National Tour, Helen Hayes Award), Apostle/Ensemble in Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE!, Emcee in Cabaret, Cassie in A Chorus Line(TCS); Fiona in Shrek (2014 Blumey Award), Daniela in In the Heights, Peter in Peter Pan, Maureen in Rent (NWSA); Natalie in Next to Normal (QCTC); Sally in The Day They Shot John Lennon(C.A.S.T.). Film/TV: Headed South for Christmas (Painted Horse); A Smile as Big as the Moon (Hallmark); The Ultimate Life (Reelworks); “Homeland” (HBO); “Rectify” (Sundance); “Banshee” (Cinemax).
ALI ROSE DACHIS (Marina/Older Girl #3) is so pleased to be making her Roundabout debut! Most recently she was seen in Anna Zeigler’s world premiere of The Wanderers at The Old Globe. Ali has appeared on Broadway in Larry David’s Fish In The Dark. New York and off-Broadway credits include: The Wedge Horse (Fault Line Theatre), Hamlet (The Factory), Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, As You Like It (Backroom Shakespeare), The Awesome 80s Prom, and Exit 27. Ali has appeared regionally in The Edge Of Our Bodies, Circle Mirror Transformation, Vanya &Sonia &Masha &Spike, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Great Gatsby, and others (the Guthrie theater), Leveling Up (Cincinnati Playhouse), Gaslight (Barrington Stage), Pride and Prejudice (Baltimore Center Stage), Romeo And Juliet (Southwest Shakespeare). Her film and Television credits include: Unicornland, Match Perfect, The Magnificent Eve, The Last Breath and Fatal Encounters. Ali received her B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota Guthrie Actor Training Program. Ali is a proud volunteer with Artist’s Striving To End Poverty.
MIDORI FRANCIS (Kyeoung). At age 6, Midori Francis dreamed of playing “Annie” on Broadway. That didn’t happen but the seed was planted. Midori joined the local community theatre scene in New Jersey and when cast in a production of Titanic at 10 years old, she realized that acting was something more than an after-school activity. Since earning her BFA in Theatre from Rutgers, Francis has earned accolades for her roles in the award-winning play, The Wolves (LCT), directed by Lila Neuberger, which garnered her Obie and Drama Desk Awards for Best Ensemble, and Connected (59E59), for which she won NYIT Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress. This fall Midori stars as “Kyeoung” in the Roundabout Underground world premiere production of Ming Peiffer’s Usual Girls, directed by Tyne Rafaeli. The new drama, which follows the story of Kyeoung—from a schoolyard tackle and beyond—is billed as a “hilarious, explicit gut-punch of a play.” Midori is currently shooting the Universal Pictures comedy, Good Boys, produced by Seth Rogen and directed by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, to be released in 2019. Earlier this year, Midori appeared in the epically female-centric, Ocean’s Eight. Midori’s TV resume includes episodes of “Gotham,” “Divorced,” and “Younger.” Her regional theatre work encompasses roles ranging from “Molly” in Peter and the Starcatcher (Virginia Stage Co.) to “Nina” in Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Syracuse Stage). Midori lives in Brooklyn and runs daily.
KARL KENZLER (Father). Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, You Can’t Take It with You, Mary Poppins, Twelve Angry Men, The Caretaker, Dinner at Eight, The Heiress. NY Theatre: Three Wise Guys and Beyond Therapy (TACT), Clinton: The Musical! (NYMF), Peter & The Starcatcher(NYTW), Hamlet and The Tempest (CSC), Spinning Into Butter (LCT), Back From The Front(Working Theater). Regional theater includes: Williamstown, Barrington Stage, Guthrie, Shakespeare Theater, Old Globe. TV includes: “Madam Secretary,” “Suits,” “Mister Robot,” “House of Cards” (recurring), “Law & Order: SVU” (recurring), “Person of Interest,” “Made in Jersey,” “The Good Wife,” “Fringe,” “Rescue Me,” Law & Order” and “Darwin” (DarwinTheSeries.com). Training: UE (BFA), NYU (MFA). KarlKenzler.com
JENNIFER LIM (Woman). BWAY: Chinglish (Theater World Award, IASNY Trophy for Excellence & Drama Desk Nom). NYC: Caught (PlayCo), Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb), The World Of Extreme Happiness (MTC), The Urban Retreat (Public), The Most Deserving (Women’s Project), Golden Child (Signature), Vengeance Can Wait (P.S.122), and YJLee’s Songs of The Dragons Flying to Heaven (HERE Arts & European Tour). TV/FILM: Jessica JonesInstinct, High Maintenance, Hell on Wheels, Person of Interest, Elementary, Good WifeBlue Bloods, Law & Order (original/SVU and Criminal Intent), The Savages, and 27 Dresses. Upcoming: Impossible Monsters. MFA: Yale School of Drama. Jenniferlimonline.com
RYANN REDMOND (Older Girl/KKG Sister). Broadway: Escape to Margaritaville, If/ThenBring It On. TV: “Younger.” Film: “Double Exposure.” Off-Broadway: GiganticMarvelous Wonderettes. National Tour: Escape to Margaritaville, Bring It On. Regional: How to Succeed (TUTS), Hairspray (MUNY), Kiss Me Kate (Bay Street Theatre). Love to Mom, Dad, John, KMR, Kyle, Annette, Andrew, Craig and the Berlins. Proud faculty member of the Broadway Dreams Foundation. Thank you to Tyne, Ming, and the entire Roundabout team for bringing me along! NYU (CAP21). Twitter/Instagram: @ryannreds www.ryannredmond.com
NICOLE RODENBURG (Lindsay). Off-Broadway: Annie Baker’s The Antipodes (Signature Theatre) and The Flick (Barrow Street); The Winter’s Tale (TFANA). Multiple regional credits including Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Westport Country Playhouse); Venus in Fur (Alley Theatre); Cherie in Bus Stop (Huntington), and the world premieres of The Whale (Denver Center) and Slasher (Humana). TV/Film: “Inside Amy Schumer”, “The Shivering Truth” (Comedy Central); “Amish Witches” (Lifetime); What Children Do, Good News for Modern Man, Tic. Nicole is directing her first feature film Glob Lessons, which she also co-wrote, this winter in her home state of North Dakota. BFA: University of MN/Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program.
RAVIV ULLMAN (Rory) is honored to be making his Roundabout debut at his favorite underground theater. Theater: Sticks & Bones, Russian Transport (New Group), Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner (Atlantic Theater), Bad Guys (Second Stage), Dead End (Ahmanson), Bad Jews (Geffen), Choice (Huntington), Deathtrap (Bucks County). TV credits include “Broad City,” “Phil of The Future,” “Strangers,” “Rita Rocks,” “Law & Order SVU/CI,” “Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case,” “Big Love,” “House.” His directorial documentary film debut Standing Ground is currently in post production.
MING PEIFFER (Playwright) is a playwright and screenwriter from Columbus, Ohio and a member of the Obie Award-winning playwriting group Youngblood. Her play Usual Girls will be produced at the Roundabout Underground and her work has been developed and/or presented by New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE Arts Center, The Flea, The Wild Project, New Ohio, Soho Playhouse, The Gene Frankel Theater, C.O.W., Theater for the New City, FringeNYC, Horsetrade Theater, Yangtze Repertory, among others. Awards/fellowships include: NYTW 2050 Fellowship, The Kennedy Center’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award Recipient (i wrote on ur wall and now i regret it), The Relentless Award Honorable Mention (Usual Girls), The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center NPC Finalist (Usual Girls), Playwright’s Realm Fellowship Semi-Finalist, Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist (i wrote on ur wall and now i regret it), Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award Finalist. Ming was a Guest Artist at The Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and a 2012-2013 Member of NPTC’s Women’s Work Project. She has training from both the Stella Adler School of Acting and the Shanghai Theatre Academy where she lived abroad studying Traditional Peking Opera. She studied poetry at The New School and holds a BA with Honors in both Theater Arts and Mandarin Chinese from Colgate University. MFA: Columbia University (’16). In TV/Film, Ming is a staff writer on the Hulu Series “Locke & Key,” and is currently developing her own series with Color Force and F/X. Additionally, she is adapting Weike Wang’s Chemistry into a film for Amazon.
TYNE RAFAELI (Director) is a New York based director of new plays, classics and musicals. Recent productions include the world premiere of Michael Yates Crowley’s The Rape of the Sabine WomenBy Grace B. Matthias with Playwright’s Realm, the world premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Actually at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles (Ovation nominated), and the New York premiere of In a Word by Lauren Yee. Her work has also been seen at: Classic Stage Company, The Geffen Playhouse, Playwright’s Realm, Cal Shakes, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Atlantic Theatre, Two River, PlayMakers Rep, New York Stage & Film, Goodspeed, Juilliard, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Great Lakes Shakespeare, American Players Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference among others. Upcoming productions include Ironbound by Martyna Majok at The Geffen Playhouse and The Heart of Robin Hood by David Farr at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Tyne is a 2016-18 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women’s Project Theatre and received the 2014 SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classic Direction. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Columbia University.

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