“untitled f*ck miss sa*gon play” by Kimber Lee and “Periods of Collapse OR Mother Russia” by Lauren Yee Are on the 2019 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Shortlist

The Royal Exchange Theatre and Bruntwood have announced the shortlist for the prestigious Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. The Prize – the largest for playwriting in Europe – seeks scripts from established, emerging and debut writers to develop for the stage, in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre’s creative team.

This year’s 15 shortlisted scripts were selected from 2,561 new plays submitted to the Prize following the competition launch in January. Each playwright entered anonymously, meaning all scripts were judged on their own merit by impartial readers, with no knowledge of the writer’s background or previous experience.

The shortlist is vivid, imaginative and topical, with politics, mental health, race relations and climate change just some of the themes appearing within the scripts. Female voices are also strongly represented across the shortlisted works, with eight of the 15 shortlisted plays written by women.

The Prize has a £40,000 fund across four categories. As well as an overall winner, who takes home £16,000, there are three further categories: The Judges Prize (£8,000), the Original New Voice for debut writers (£8,000) and the International Award (£8,000), for writers invited to enter by the Prize’s international partners.

The 10 UK scripts in the running for the overall £16,000 prize are as follows (listed alphabetically by surname).

black bird by Babirye Bukilwa
Shed: Exploded View by Phoebe Eclair-Powell
Neptune by Sam Grabiner
The European Hare by Sami Ibrahim
Glass by Jacob Kay
Salty Irina: (Retitled as ‘Title Redacted’ for the judging process) by Eve Leigh
Hares by Lee Mattison
Ballybaile by Jody O’Neill
Akedah by Michael John O’Neill
Glee & Me by Stuart Slade
Four of the playwrights shortlisted for the overall Prize – Babirye Bukilwa, Sam Grabiner, Jacob Kay and Michael John O’Neill – are also eligible for the Original New Voice Award.

The second category, the International Award, sees five playwrights from Australia and the USA vie to be crowned the winner. They are (listed alphabetically by surname):

TAMBO & BONES by Dave Harris (USA)
Pavlov’s Dogs by Emme Hoy (Australia)
untitled f*ck miss sa*gon play (srsly this is not the title) by Kimber Lee (USA)
This Land Was Made by Tori Sampson (USA)
Periods of Collapse OR Mother Russia by Lauren Yee (USA)

Suzanne Bell, Dramaturg at the Royal Exchange Theatre, said: “I am extremely pleased to present this year’s impressive shortlist for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, which for the first time includes international entries. It’s thrilling to see submissions growing year-on-year, and it is fantastic to celebrate the outstanding achievement of our 15 shortlisted writers who have been selected from over 2,500 entries. Theatre, as we know, is a mirror to the world. So, it comes as no surprise that many of the shortlisted plays reflect our times. From highlighting the crisis of mental health and the rise of the far right to stereotypes portrayed and enforced by the media, the 2019 shortlist represents the remarkable breadth of talent in the UK and further afield.”

Bryony Shanahan, Joint Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre and judge for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, added: “The Bruntwood Prize engages, encourages, supports and celebrates the craft of playwriting, beginning with the phenomenal online resources on http://www.writeaplay.co.uk and culminating in the help each of our winning writers will receive from the Royal Exchange. New work is the way in which theatre remains alive, and a vital way in which we can reflect on the world around us. These 15 writers have bravely shared their stories with us, and it is fantastic that we can celebrate their hard work and dedication and creativity with this announcement today.”

The 15 scripts have been judged by a prestigious panel of figures from across the arts industry. Alongside Bryony Shanahan, judges include: Kwame Kwei-Armah (Chair), Artistic Director of the Young Vic; Michael Oglesby CBE DL, founder of the Bruntwood Group and chairman of The Oglesby Charitable Trust; Anna Jordan, Bruntwood Prize-winning playwright; Bridget Minamore, journalist, poet and critic; Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre Company; Kate Vokes, Director of Social Impact, Bruntwood and actor Shane Zaza. New to the panel this year is ‘The People’s Judge’, Faith Yianni, a member of the public selected following a search by the Prize and leading theatre critic Lyn Gardner, to bring an audience member’s perspective to the judging process.

The winner of the 2019 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on Monday 4th November 2019.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has a proven track record of finding new talent and helping established writers bring their stories to new audiences. Since its inception in 2005, over 15,500 scripts have been entered, £256,000 has been awarded to 28 prize-winning writers and 24 winning productions have been staged in 38 UK wide venues. In 2015, the Prize celebrated its 10th anniversary and is now recognised as a launch-pad for some of the country’s most respected and produced playwrights.

Co-producing partners have included the Lyric Hammersmith, Live Theatre, Soho Theatre, Bush Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, Sherman Theatre, High Tide and The Royal Court Theatre. Work has also gone on to be produced internationally from Australia, USA, Germany, France to Canada and Sweden.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting also works in partnership with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, The Banff Centre Playwrights Lab, Melbourne Theatre Company, The Belvoir Theatre and The National Theatre New Work Department. Nick Hern Books continues to support the Bruntwood Prize as the publishing partner for winning playwrights.

Justin Chien, Christine Lin, Grant Chang and James Eckhouse Set for BD Wong Helmed THE GREAT LEAP by Lauren Yee at Pasadena Playhouse, November 6 – December 1

BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California, presents a co-production with East West Players, the Los Angeles premiere of Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, directed by Tony Award winner BD Wong. From the author of Cambodian Rock Band and King of the Yees, comes the story of an American basketball team in Beijing where the coaches find themselves in a conflict that runs deeper than the strain between the countries, and where a young player’s actions become the accidental focus of attention.

The Great Leap stars Justin Chien as “Manford;” Christine Lin as “Connie;” Grant Chang as “Wen Chang;” and James Eckhouse as “Saul.”

The production will play from Tuesday, November 6 through Sunday December 1; the press opening is November 10 at 5:00pm.

BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong, who starred in the New York off-Broadway Atlantic Theater and San Francisco American Conservatory Theatre productions of this play, now directs. He is most familiar to audiences from his roles in the Jurassic Park films and on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and most recently, on USA Network’s “Mr. Robot” (Emmy and Critic’s Choice nominations). Wong is the only actor ever to have received all five major New York Theater awards for a single role – in M. Butterfly — his Broadway debut: the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Theater World Award, the Clarence Derwent Award, and the Tony Award.

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang
Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren Yee is a playwright born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in New York City. Her Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever and others, premiered at South Coast Rep, with subsequent productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Victory Gardens, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Signature Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and Jungle Theatre. Her play The Great Leap has been produced at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, Atlantic Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre, and Steppenwolf, with future productions at Long Wharf, Cygnet Theatre, and Asolo Rep/Miami New Drama.

Lauren Yee’s play King of the Yees premiered at The Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by productions at ACT Theatre, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and Baltimore Center Stage. Other plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian Rep, Mu Performing Arts), The Hatmaker’s Wife  (Playwrights Realm, Moxie, PlayPenn), Hookman (Encore, Company One), In A Word (Young Vic, SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, Strawdog), Samsara  (Victory Gardens), The Song of Summer (Trinity Rep, Mixed Blood), and The Tiger Among Us (Mu).

She is the winner of the Doris Duke Artist Award, the Steinberg Playwright Award, the Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the ATCA/Steinberg Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, and the Francesca Primus Prize. She has been a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her plays were the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List.

Lauren is a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists member (class of 2025), Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, former Princeton University Hodder fellow, and Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. TV: PACHINKO (Apple), SOUNDTRACK (Netflix). Current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Rep. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD. www.laurenyee.com

For The Great Leap, Sara Holdren of New York Magazine said “An exhilarating, deeply satisfying piece of work, full of bright, inquisitive, humorous life…Yee has crafted a moving fiction around pieces of real history – her own and that of China in the years after the Cultural Revolution, leading up to the protests in Tiananmen Square that turned deadly.”

Director BD Wong says, “As an Asian American director I am always looking for a brand of representation that transcends our difficult history in the media. This play is important as it presents Asian American characters in a contemporary American play that are not trading on racial tropes of past plays and are written in an authentically three-dimensional way.

The collaboration between East West Players and Pasadena Playhouse is also vitally important to me, and on a personal level there is a deep coincidence for me of these two theatres coming together. I came to L.A. in 1984 and in 1986 was in the East West Players production of A Chorus Line. I then auditioned for Mail at Pasadena Playhouse and was hired to do this wildly popular musical, which transferred to Broadway. While I was in Mail, I auditioned for M. Butterfly, and was replaced in Mail by Alan Maroka, who had been in A Chorus Line with me at East West Players. So, it means so much for me to come full circle and be working with these two theatres again for two generations of audiences who are still so invested as we move forward.”

Pasadena Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman says, “I am absolutely thrilled over the outstanding cast and incredible creative team we have assembled for the Los Angeles premiere of The Great Leap. Lauren Yee is one of our most important new playwrights, and it is an honor to have Tony winner BD Wong, who starred in The Great Leap off-Broadway, direct our production. I am also grateful to be presenting The Great Leap in partnership with East West Players, which is vital to our mission at the Playhouse.”

East West Players Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai says “Our 54th season at East West Players is one of laughter and change, often in the face of loss. We started with the question: To whom do we the look to in these troubling times? And our response is a season where we discover that we are the ones we are waiting for. With The Great Leap we are able to illustrate this -both through this incredible play and company led by BD as well as this historic partnership with Pasadena Playhouse.”

The creative team for The Great Leap features set and costume design by Lex Liang; assistant set and costume design by Rodrigo Hernandez; lighting design by Rebecca Bonebrake; sound design by Leon Rothenberg; projection design by Hana Sooyeon Kim; and stage management by Brandon Cheng.

Tickets for The Great Leap start at $25 and are available at pasadenaplayhouse.org, by phone at 626-356-7529, and at the box office at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101.

The Pasadena Playhouse is a place where people have gathered for 100 years to experience bold and important theater. It is one of the most prolific theaters in American history with a legacy of profound theatrical impact and courageous new work. In 1937, the Playhouse was officially recognized as the State Theater of California for its contribution and commitment to the dramatic arts. Today it continues that tradition of excellence under the helm of producing artistic director Danny Feldman. Dedicated to enriching lives through theater, community programs and learning initiatives, Pasadena Playhouse is a living force in the community.

Established in 1965, East West Players is the nation’s leading Asian American theatre company for our award-winning productions that blend Eastern and Western movements and culture. In over 50 years of history, East West Players has since premiered more than 228 plays and musicals, along with over 1,000 diverse readings and workshops for actors, writers, and directors. By building bridges between East and West, we have cultivated a loyal audience of over 70% people of color. Our company continues to build platforms for artists of color while advocating for multi-faceted representations of the Asian Pacific American experience in the performing arts.

“Man in The High Castle” Star Joel de la Fuente in Benefit Performances of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Cultch Historic Theatre in Vancouver through November 2

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

The Umami Fund (Daniel Blinkoff and Tamlyn Tomita) is presenting the International/Canadian debut of Jeanne Sakata’s award-winning play, Hold These Truths at the Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street in Vancouver, which began previews on Friday, October 18 , with performances continuing through Saturday, November 2. Opening night is Sunday, October 20 at 8:00 pm.


Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”) is reprising his Drama Desk-nominated turn in this solo play inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi, in which he seamlessly portrays more than thirty characters under the direction of Lisa Rothe (Irish Repertory Theatre’s Wild Abandon).

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi fights passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he defies the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. A story filled with hope, this play will leave you cheering for a man who stood up for the true meaning of patriotism.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

The design team includes Cat Tate Starmer (lights), Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams (sets), Daniel Kluger (sound) and Margaret Weedon (costumes), with stage manager Mary K. Botosan.

Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang
Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang

Performance schedule and ticket information:
For preview performances on Friday, October 18 @ 8pm and Sunday, October 20 @ 2pm, tickets are $25.

Beginning with the opening night performance on Sunday October 20 @ 8pm, general admission tickets are $50, seniors/students are $25. The remaining performance schedule is Tuesday, October 22 – Friday, October 25 @ 8pm; Saturday, October 26 and Sunday October 27 @ 2pm and 8 pm; Tuesday, October 29 – Friday, November 11 @ 8pm; Saturday, November 2 @ 2pm and 8pm. For tickets and more information, click here.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Proceeds of the performances of Hold These Truths will be donated to three Vancouver organizations: the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, the University of British Columbia Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies, and the Kokoro Dance Theatre Society.

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang
In the dressing room with Joel de la Fuente, who stars as Gordon Hirabayashi in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York on November 24, 2012. Joel is holding a photo of Esther Schmoe and Gordon Hirabayashi on their wedding day. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) received a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Principal Performance for the run of Hold These Truths at Theatreworks SV and garnered a Drama Desk Nomination in New York City for Outstanding Solo Performance when it debuted in 2012. On television, Joel plays Chief Inspector Kido on “The Man in the High Castle,” one of Amazon Studios’ most watched original series. He also portrays Dr. Johann Pryce on Netflix’s second original series, “Hemlock Grove,” and can be seen in perpetual reruns on “Law & Order: SVU,” where he played TARU Tech Ruben Morales for 10 seasons. Currently, he appears as President Datu Andrada on “Madam Secretary” for CBS. Joel has performed in theaters all over the world, as both an avid classical theater actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang

Actress and playwright Jeanne Sakata, whose talents span across TV, film, voiceover and stage, recently received the East West Players Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and Raising the Visibility of the API Community. This summer, Ms. Sakata appeared in the Off Broadway premiere of the brilliant new comedy Do You Feel Anger? at the Vineyard Theatre in New York. She is familiar to TV audiences in the recurring roles of genius scientist Lenore Shimamoto/Mayor Saito on the animated TV series “Big Hero 6,” based on the Disney smash hit movie, and can currently be seen in three national commercials. Jeanne’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Principal Performance and Direction) has had over twenty productions across the country, and will be produced in the 2019-20 season at Barrington Stage, San Diego Rep, and People’s Light, after sold-out and extended runs last year at Arena Stage and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Since April 2019, Hold These Truths became available internationally as a special audio recording, produced by L.A. Theatre Works. The play has also been produced in recent years at Pasadena Playhouse, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers’ Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Daniel Dae Kim, co-producer), Terra Nova Collective, Silk Road Rising, Coachella Valley Rep, Plays and Players, and New Century Theatre. Premiering with the East West Players in Los Angeles, and then Off Broadway with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play was workshopped by the Lark Play Development Center and the New York Theatre Workshop. Hold These Truths is now published by Ageloff Books and available on Amazon, and it is on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington DC, where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in July 2011. Special honors: LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s Red, East West Players; Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Playwrights’ Arena; Outstanding Artist Award, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre. For more information on Hold These Truths, click on www.holdthesetruths.info.

Jeanne Sakata, Joel de la Fuente, Tamlyn Tomita. Photo by Lia Chang

The Rafu Shimpo: TOMITA CO-PRODUCING VANCOUVER PRODUCTION OF ‘HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ 

Vancouver Presents: From High Castle to the high court: Joel de la Fuente stars in Hold These Truths 

Barrington Stage Presents Return Engagement Of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Joel de la Fuente, September 20 – 26 

East West Players to Honor Jeanne Sakata and Aaron Takahashi at EWP NIGHT MARKET on September 14 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

Broadway Vet Darren Lee Joins 29 Hour Industry Reading of Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto’s New Musical, CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET

Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Vet Darren Lee joins the cast of Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto’s New Musical, Corner of Bitter and Sweet to portray Mr. Okada.

The 29 Hour industry reading of Corner of Bitter and Sweet features a book by Lainie Sakakura, music & lyrics by Paul Fujimoto and is being presented by The 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 2:30pm at Theatre 71, 152 West 71st Street in New York.  Lainie Sakakura directs.

Based on the New York Times bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Corner of Bitter and Sweet tells a stunning multigenerational story about a boy’s coming of age during WWII Seattle, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. The Seattle Times called it “A Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet, (that is) so revealing and so well rendered.”

Paul Fujimoto, Lainie Sakakura and Jamie Ford. Photo by Lia Chang

The previously announced cast includes Jane Bernhard, Darius de Haas, Carly Gendell, Rick Faugno, Kenny Ingram, Sala Iwamatsu, Spencer Jones, Kathleen Kwan, Jonny Lee Jr., Fenton Li, Jason Ma, Zach Mackiewicz, Mary Beth Purdy, Alex Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez, Ian Saraceni, Virginia Woodruff, and Timothy Yang.

The creative team includes Cantonese Consultant Fenton Li, Music Supervisor and Dance Arrangements by Sam Davis, Music Director Evan Alparone, Kory Grossman on Percussion and Stage Managers Anita Shastri and Nicole Marconi.

Day 1 of Rehearsal – 1st Row: Kenny Ingram, Darius de Haas, Virginia Woodruff, Isabela Sanchez, Fenton Li, Kathleen Kwan, Jason Ma. 2nd Row: Nicole Marconi, Mary Beth Purdy, Spencer Jones, Ian Saraceni, Carly Gendell, Isabela Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Timothy Yang, Anita Shastri, Richard Vida. 3rd Row: Sam Davis, Zach Mackiewicz, Evan Alparone, Lainie Sakakura, Paul Fiujimoto, Jane Bernhard, Jonny Lee, Jr., Rick Faugno, James A. Rocco. Photo by Lia Chang

Attendance is limited to industry only. For further information, please contact James A. Rocco, Associate Producer, The 5th Avenue Theatre, JRocco@5thavenue.org

Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto. Photo by Lia Chang

BIOS
Lainie Sakakura (Book) is a Japanese America writer/director/choreographer. Recipient of the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award Outstanding Choreography and 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award Best Choreography. Daughter of Japanese American WWII concentration camp survivor, William Norio Sakakura, and granddaughter to his mother, Kiyome who did not survive the medical conditions caused by her imprisonment there. LainieSakakura.com

Paul Fujimoto (Music and Lyrics) is a composer/lyricist, 4th-generation Japanese-American, born and raised in Seattle, now based in NYC. His songs have been recorded by Tony-winners and nominees and have been showcased in many concert venues around the world. Paul also dabbles in jazz composition and an award-winning trumpet player. Dedicated to his grandfather, Tak Akiyama, who was interned in Minidoka. Training: University of Washington, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop Paulfujimoto.bandcamp.com

Day 1 of CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET Rehearsal at the Open Jar Studios in New York on October 17, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Abingdon Theatre Company (Chad Austin, Artistic Director) is dedicated to developing and producing brave, new American work by emerging and established artists. The company provides a safe home where playwrights, directors and actors can collaborate within a supportive and nurturing environment. We search for stories about the human experience that reflect our social, political, historical and cultural diversity. We are acutely aware of the theatre’s power to unite disparate population groups through stories about common human interests, and we strive to shed light on a variety of perspectives.

The 5th Avenue Theatre (Bill Berry, Producing Artistic Director; Bernie Griffin, Managing Director) is one of America’s leading musical theater companies. We enrich the community we love with the art form we love—giving the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that go on to light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway. From the page to the stage, we bring passion and epic scale to every musical we create. With big talent. Bigger-than-life productions. And did we mention dazzle? As a nonprofit theater company and our region’s largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals with people of all ages across our region and state. Each year, we reach more than 75,000 young people through our nationally acclaimed education programs. Programs designed to develop new musicals ensure that the next generation of great musicals will be there to tell the stories that captivate tomorrow’s audiences. On the national stage, we are a leading voice for the power of this American art form to lift the human spirit.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. to Perform Excerpts from Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at MOCA’s 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at Mandarin Oriental on November 13 

The Museum of Chinese in America is presenting the 2019 Legacy Awards Gala, on Wednesday, November 13 at the Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, in New York City. Click here for tickets and more information.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Lawrence-Michael Arias in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera) and Jonny Lee Jr., the stars of Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain: The Musical, will perform several numbers as part of MOCA’s celebration of the SPIKE 150: Running Forward with Our Stories initiative, and MOCA’s two fall exhibitions: Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History andThe Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America. The pair will be accompanied by Gold Mountain Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on the keys.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Company in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain, a new original musical, is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history: the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. It is a heartfelt, universal tale that celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love, and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice among a team of Chinese railroad workers.

Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

In May, the company of Gold Mountain performed to enthusiastic houses in Salt Lake City and Ogden as part of the SPIKE 150 celebrations.

Steven Eng, Eric Bondoc, Joseph Steven Yang, Viet Vo, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Ali Ewoldt, Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr., Darren Lee, Daniel May and Lawrenc-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain was 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.

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma 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 Mountainand is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

MOCA tells the untold stories of a dynamic community whose members are now at the fore-front of all sectors of America’s economic and cultural life. The Gala recognizes the outstanding contributions and accomplishments of individuals and families whose unconditional service as pioneers, role models, and leaders have paved the way for generations.

This year, the Generational Legacy Award will be presented to the Tsai Family from Long Island, New York, whose family members Erh-Ping Tsai, Cynthia Chuang, and Sue Tsai are acclaimed for their excellence in the arts. Legacy Awards will be presented to Tzi Ma, beloved Hong Kong American actor and director; The Honorable Mae Yih, Oregon State Senator, pioneering public servant and the first Chinese American state legislator from Portland, Oregon; and Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D., New York-based philanthropist and plastic surgeon of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, respectively, who are advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang are life-long jewelry and ceramic artists dedicated to communicating and expressing their love of nature through art. Their creative practices cross the boundaries between ceramics, metalworking, painting, sculpture, and horticulture. In 1993, Erh-Ping Tsai was named American Outstanding Craft Artist. They also founded Jewelry10, where they leverage their artistic and technical skills to create nature-inspired masterpieces.

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang met at the National Academy of Arts in Taiwan before emigrating to the U.S. to study at the Parsons School of Design. Their home in Long Island represents the significance of their everyday life and is fundamental to their artistic creation: an elaborate, curated and constantly evolving expression of appreciation and love for nature.

Tracing the roots of her inspiration to her family’s values, Sue Tsai, daughter of Erh-Ping and Cynthia, is an artist and designer born and raised in New York. Her striking creations of vibrant acrylic on canvas and mixed media sculptures reflect an impressive crossover of fine art, fashion, and pop culture. Her pop surrealism style has infiltrated into the music industry, creating major collaborations with stars such as Rihanna, TI, and Wale.

Sue Tsai’s creative talents and on-going entrepreneurial ventures have brought her partnerships with global brands in product design and curated events. In her recent debut collection of PUMA x SUE TSAI, she used her signature style to tell a story of flowers gone wild, rising up to take the planet back from humanity.

Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D.

A native New Yorker, Jess Ting, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Mount Sinai, where he completed the hospital’s first gender reassignment surgery in 2016 and advanced his clinical specialty to the surgical care of the transgender and gender non-binary community. Following Dr. Ting’s groundbreaking practice, Mount Sinai established the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (CTMS). Dr. Ting’s team has performed more than 400 operations to date, making CTMS as one of the first programs in the United States to offer multi-specialty transgender care in one location. After receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, Dr. Ting attended medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Documenting Dr. Ting’s journey, philanthropist and entrepreneur Michelle Koo Hayashi has aided in the public understanding towards the transgender community as producer of her heart-warming film Born to Be. Directed by Tania Cypriano, this documentary chronicles the evolution of an uncharted medical process, alongside the emotional and physical metamorphoses of some extraordinary patients. The world premiere will be held at the 57th New York Film Festival 2019. Ms. Koo Hayashi was born in Taiwan, raised in Japan, and emigrated to the U.S. in 2011. She was the CEO of a Tokyo-based real estate investment firm, and founder of an online wedding planning company in Taiwan. She has been a board member of nonprofits in Taiwan and Japan, and since relocating to the U.S., has been a board member of the Museum of Chinese in America and the China Institute.

Tzi Ma

Tzi Ma is a beloved Hong Kong American actor and director. Having started his career in New York City in 1973, Mr. Ma has an impressive number of theatre and film credits and has worked with many renowned directors and playwrights, including fellow MOCA Legacy Award recipient David Henry Hwang in his 1979 Obie Award-winning FOB and 2001 Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song. Mr. Ma’s most recent films include appearances in Arrival, Meditation Park (Best Actor Nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television), Pali Road (Jury Award, Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in Film), The Farewell, Netflix’s first martial arts original series “Wu Assassins,” and Disney’s forthcoming live-action Mulan.

Honorable Mae Yih

The Honorable Mae Yih is an internationally esteemed and admired legislator who made history 43 years ago when she won a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives as the first Chinese American elected to a state legislature anywhere in the United States. As a revered public official, Ms. Yih served 26 years in the legislature after she had served on the board of two local schools for 13 years, a total of 39 years of outstanding public services. Ms. Yih’s many accomplishments in the State of Oregon include introducing and helping to pass legislation that created a sister-state relationship between Oregon and Fujian province in China. She has made a significant impact in the development of U.S.-China relations for more than three decades. Her book, titled East Meets West: A Bridge to Understanding, Friendship, Trust, Peace, and Prosperity Between My Mother and Adopted Countries, shares her experiences and powerful lessons that she learned from life in China, America, and public services.

MOCA to Honor Tzi Ma, the Tsai Family, Oregon State Senator The Honorable Mae Yih, Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D. at 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at Mandarin Oriental on November 13

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

Maulik Pancholy, in conversation with Randall Park, presents and signs THE BEST AT IT at Vroman’s Bookstore on October 16

Award-Winning Actor Maulik Pancholy, who returns to the stage this season in Second Stage’s Grand Horizons, has written a new book, The Best At It– a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own.  Tonight, Pancholy will be at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena in conversation with Randall Park as the next stop on his book tour at 6:30PM. Vroman’s is located at 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101.  

In The Best At It, Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel increasingly anxious, so his favorite person in the whole world, his grandfather, Bhai, gives him some well-meaning advice: Find one thing you’re really good at and become the BEST at it.

Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul’s brain. While he’s not quite sure what that special thing is, he is convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent Mason will stop torturing him at school. And he won’t be worried about staring too long at his classmate Justin Emery. With his best friend, Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge…. But what if he discovers he isn’t the best at anything?  Funny, charming, and incredibly touching, this is a story about friendship, family, and the courage it takes to live your truth. (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen)

Maulik Pancholy is an award-winning actor whose career has spanned hit television shows, animated series, the Broadway stage, and films. He played Alec Baldwin’s intrepid assistant Jonathan on the Emmy®, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock, and Sanjay on the Showtime hit series Weeds. He also played Neal on the NBC comedy Whitney, and his numerous recurring and guest starring roles include The Good Fight, Dynasty, Star Trek: Discovery, Elementary, Friends from College, The Good Wife , Web Therapy, The Comeback, The Sopranos, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. For his work on television, he has been nominated for and won the Screen Actors Guild Award on multiple occasions.

Pancholy has entertained both children and adults as the voice of Baljeet on the Emmy® award-winning Disney animated series Phineas & Ferb, and as the title voice of Sanjay on Nickelodeon’s Sanjay & Craig. He has appeared in blockbuster films such as Hitch and 27 Dresses, and his many theater credits include starring on Broadway opposite Matthew Broderick and Martin Short in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play, and playing opposite Ed Harris in David Rabe’s Good For Otto.

He served on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and he is the cofounder of the anti-bullying campaign Act to Change. Maulik lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his husband, Ryan, and his dog, T-Rex.

Instagram: @maulikpancholy
Twitter: @maulikpancholy

Randall Park is an actor, writer, and director. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. He is known for his role as Louis Huang in Fresh Off The Boat, which earned him a 2016 Critics Choice nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. He also co-wrote and starred with Ali Wong in the Netflix film, Always Be My Maybe. Randall’s film credits also include Ant-Man and the Wasp, Office Christmas Party, Snatched, The Interview, and others. His TV credits also include VeepWet Hot American Summer: First Day of CampThe OfficeNew GirlCurb Your EnthusiasmHouseThe Mindy ProjectCold CaseCSIReno 911!Wild ‘N Out and The Sarah Silverman Program. He won a Best Actor Award at the 2010 NBC’s Short Cuts Film Festival for the short Blueberry, which he also wrote. He is also the recipient of the 2011 CAPE New Writers Award for an original pilot he wrote entitled Erasists.

Those wishing to get books signed will be asked to purchase at least one copy of the author’s most recent title from Vroman’s. For each purchased copy of the newest title, customers may bring up to three copies from home to be signed. This policy applies to all Vroman’s Bookstore events unless otherwise noted. Save your Vroman’s receipt; it will be checked when you enter the signing line.

Check out where you can meet Maulik on his book tour.

nbc.com: Actor Maulik Pancholy’s debut novel champions pro-LGBT, anti-bullying

publishers weekly.com: Q & A with Maulik Pancholy

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

MOCA to Honor Tzi Ma, the Tsai Family, Oregon State Senator The Honorable Mae Yih, Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D. at 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at Mandarin Oriental on November 13

The Museum of Chinese in America is presenting the 2019 Legacy Awards Gala, on Wednesday, November 13 at the Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, in New York City. Click here for tickets and more information.

This year, the Generational Legacy Award will be presented to the Tsai Family from Long Island, New York, whose family members Erh-Ping Tsai, Cynthia Chuang, and Sue Tsai are acclaimed for their excellence in the arts. Legacy Awards will be presented to Tzi Ma, beloved Hong Kong American actor and director; The Honorable Mae Yih, Oregon State Senator, pioneering public servant and the first Chinese American state legislator from Portland, Oregon; and Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D., New York-based philanthropist and plastic surgeon of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, respectively, who are advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.

6:00 PM Open Bar Reception
7:00 PM Dinner and Awards Program
10:00 PM After Party
Black Tie Affair or Festive Chinese Attire

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang are life-long jewelry and ceramic artists dedicated to communicating and expressing their love of nature through art. Their creative practices cross the boundaries between ceramics, metalworking, painting, sculpture, and horticulture. In 1993, Erh-Ping Tsai was named American Outstanding Craft Artist. They also founded Jewelry10, where they leverage their artistic and technical skills to create nature-inspired masterpieces.

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang met at the National Academy of Arts in Taiwan before emigrating to the U.S. to study at the Parsons School of Design. Their home in Long Island represents the significance of their everyday life and is fundamental to their artistic creation: an elaborate, curated and constantly evolving expression of appreciation and love for nature.

Tracing the roots of her inspiration to her family’s values, Sue Tsai, daughter of Erh-Ping and Cynthia, is an artist and designer born and raised in New York. Her striking creations of vibrant acrylic on canvas and mixed media sculptures reflect an impressive crossover of fine art, fashion, and pop culture. Her pop surrealism style has infiltrated into the music industry, creating major collaborations with stars such as Rihanna, TI, and Wale.

Sue Tsai’s creative talents and on-going entrepreneurial ventures have brought her partnerships with global brands in product design and curated events. In her recent debut collection of PUMA x SUE TSAI, she used her signature style to tell a story of flowers gone wild, rising up to take the planet back from humanity.

Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D.

A native New Yorker, Jess Ting, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Mount Sinai, where he completed the hospital’s first gender reassignment surgery in 2016 and advanced his clinical specialty to the surgical care of the transgender and gender non-binary community. Following Dr. Ting’s groundbreaking practice, Mount Sinai established the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (CTMS). Dr. Ting’s team has performed more than 400 operations to date, making CTMS as one of the first programs in the United States to offer multi-specialty transgender care in one location. After receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, Dr. Ting attended medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Documenting Dr. Ting’s journey, philanthropist and entrepreneur Michelle Koo Hayashi has aided in the public understanding towards the transgender community as producer of her heart-warming film Born to Be. Directed by Tania Cypriano, this documentary chronicles the evolution of an uncharted medical process, alongside the emotional and physical metamorphoses of some extraordinary patients. The world premiere will be held at the 57th New York Film Festival 2019. Ms. Koo Hayashi was born in Taiwan, raised in Japan, and emigrated to the U.S. in 2011. She was the CEO of a Tokyo-based real estate investment firm, and founder of an online wedding planning company in Taiwan. She has been a board member of nonprofits in Taiwan and Japan, and since relocating to the U.S., has been a board member of the Museum of Chinese in America and the China Institute.

Tzi Ma

Tzi Ma is a beloved Hong Kong American actor and director. Having started his career in New York City in 1973, Mr. Ma has an impressive number of theatre and film credits and has worked with many renowned directors and playwrights, including fellow MOCA Legacy Award recipient David Henry Hwang in his 1979 Obie Award-winning FOB and 2001 Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song. Mr. Ma’s most recent films include appearances in Arrival, Meditation Park (Best Actor Nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television), Pali Road (Jury Award, Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in Film), The Farewell, Netflix’s first martial arts original series “Wu Assassins,” and Disney’s forthcoming live-action Mulan.

Honorable Mae Yih

The Honorable Mae Yih is an internationally esteemed and admired legislator who made history 43 years ago when she won a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives as the first Chinese American elected to a state legislature anywhere in the United States. As a revered public official, Ms. Yih served 26 years in the legislature after she had served on the board of two local schools for 13 years, a total of 39 years of outstanding public services. Ms. Yih’s many accomplishments in the State of Oregon include introducing and helping to pass legislation that created a sister-state relationship between Oregon and Fujian province in China. She has made a significant impact in the development of U.S.-China relations for more than three decades. Her book, titled East Meets West: A Bridge to Understanding, Friendship, Trust, Peace, and Prosperity Between My Mother and Adopted Countries, shares her experiences and powerful lessons that she learned from life in China, America, and public services.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Opens Tonight at The Public

The Public Theater’s production of Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton, and direction by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman began performances on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is October 15.

Francis Jue and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Paul HeeSang Miller, Daniel May, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue and Austin Ku. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Aòhālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

SOFT POWER features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

The cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kyra Smith, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Alyse Alan Louis and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kyra Smith, Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Kristen Faith Oei, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Daniel May, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Kyra Smith, Trevor Salter, Francis Jue. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.

 

Milwaukee Rep. Associate Artistic Director May Adrales To Give Keynote At Statera’s National Conference

May Adrales. Photo by Lia Chang

Milwaukee Rep. Associate Artistic Director May Adrales will be delivering one of the keynote addresses at Statera’s 4th National Conference. The conference is being held at City College of New York, October 26-27, 2019.

May Adrales. Photo by Lia Chang
May Adrales. Photo by Lia Chang

StateraArts is a national arts nonprofit. The goal of Statera’s National Conference is to take positive action to bring women* into full and equal participation in the American Theatre. General registration is still open at http://www.stateraarts.org/conference.

May Adrales is a director,  teacher and artistic leader.  She helmed the world premiere of  Lortel Award and Obie Award-Winning production VIETGONE at Manhattan Theatre Club/ South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep; LUCE at LCT3; Chisa Hutchinson’s SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER at Second Stage Theatre;  EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM at Actors Theater of Louisville, after all the terrible things I do at Milwaukee Rep; MARY at The Goodman Theatre,  Chisa Hutchinson’s THE WEDDING GIFT (Contemporary American Theater Festival);  IN THIS HOUSE at Two River Theater Company; Imani Uzuri and Zakiyyah Alexander’s girl shakes loose at Penumbra Theater; Betty Shamieh’s The Strangest at East 4th Theater; Qui Nguyen’s Five Days Till Saturday (NYU Tisch) Richard Dresser’s TROUBLE COMETH at San Francisco Playhouse; and  Katori Hall’s WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! at Williamstown Theater Festival; Kristin Newbom and David Hancock’s world premiere of OUR LOT  (Clubbed Thumb;) Lauren Yee’s CHING CHONG CHINAMAN (Pan Asian Rep;) Thomas Bradshaw’s THE BEREAVED (Top Ten of 2009, Time Out) at Partial Comfort Productions; Tommy Smith’s THE WIFE (Access Theater;)  Lisa Ramirez’s EXIT CUCKOO (Best Solo Performance) at Midtown International Theater Festival; and Anton Dudley’s COLD HARD CASH at Williamstown Theater Festival.  Other Productions:  Dael Orlandersmith’s YELLOWMAN and Katori Hall’s THE MOUNTAINTOP (Milwaukee Rep); Stefanie Zadrevec’s THE ELECTRIC BABY (Two River Theater) and David Henry Hwang’s DANCE AND THE RAILROAD (Signature Theatre and Wuzhen International Theater Festival); David Henry Hwang’s CHINGLISH (Portland Center Stage and Syracuse Stage); Daniel Beaty’s Breath and Imagination (Cleveland Playhouse); IN THE NEXT ROOM  (Syracuse Stage);  DEATHTRAP (Pioneer Theater); Kimber Lee’s TOKYO FISH STORY (Old Globe Theatre); and DISGRACED  (Syracuse Stage) THE WHO AND THE WHAT (Milwaukee Rep); ANIMAL FARM (Milwaukee Rep/Baltimore Center Stage); Little Black Shadows (South Coast Rep)

She has just been named the Associate Artistic Director of Milwaukee Rep.  She served as Director of On Site Programming at the Lark Play Development Center (2008-2010), developing programs to support and nurture over 200 playwrights. She served as an Artistic Associate at The Public Theater (2006-2009), spearheading the Shakespeare Lab, a professional conservatory, and overseeing community engagement programs in the outer boroughs.  She also produced and oversaw the Shakespeare Mobile Unit in 2007 and 2008.  She has worked with several high school and middle school students in Shakespeare workshops and productions through The Public Theater and Epic Theater Ensemble.

Adrales is the recipient of the  TCG Alan Schneider Directing Award; Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s inaugural Denham Fellowship and the Paul Green Emerging Directing award.  She is a recipient of a TCG New Generations grant.  She has been awarded directing fellowships at New York Theater Workshop; Women’s Project; SoHo Rep; and The Drama League.  She has directed and taught at NYU, Juilliard, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, Fordham University and Bard College.  She served as a faculty member for The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab (2006-2009).  She has served on faculty at Yale School of Drama;  Einhorn School of Performing Arts at Primary Stages and Brown/Trinity MFA program. Adrales is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

May is a first generation Filipina American. She grew up in southwest Virginia with her three sisters JoAnn, Gina and Tricia and had a backyard full of chickens, pheasant and dogs. Her father, Dr. Mamerto B. Adrales, a general surgeon and her mother, Jocelyn Divinagracia Adrales, a nurse, established a home and successful family practice in Covington, VA. She is a lover of ice cream and martinis and balances this love with a passion for running and marathon racing. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, architect and theater designer, Brad Kisicki. www.mayadrales.net

StateraCon is open to all theatre professionals, practitioners, students and enthusiasts regardless of gender or age: administrators, designers, dramaturgs, educators, technicians, actors, advocates, etc. Meet with theatre professionals from all over the country to network, learn, renew, share, and more!

Check out the full StateraCon schedule and speaker line up at www.stateraarts.org/conference. Statera also offers a deeply discounted student rate for those who are currently enrolled and attending with their professor. General Registration is still open.

*Women: Statera recognizes the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. We serve and welcome anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman. We also serve and welcome those who are non-binary.

André De Shields to Receive 2019 Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award at SAGE Awards & Gala on October 21

SAGE, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders will be honoring Emmy & Tony Award-winning actor André De Shields with the Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th SAGE Awards and Gala on Monday, October 21, 2019.

Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway star and Tony Award–winning actress Laura Benanti will perform at the event which starts at 6:00 PM at Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street in New York.

Emmy Award–winning actor Leslie Jordan will receive the 2019 SAGE Pioneer Award, and Stacey Friedman, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for JPMorgan Chase & Co. will receive the Jack Watters Corporate Advocate Award.

SAGE Awards are presented each year to individuals, organizations, and companies who have made significant contributions and thereby enriched the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) persons, particularly the senior and elder members of the GLBT community.

In this special year—the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising—SAGE will salute those who were at the forefront of the modern LGBT movement.

Jay Toole, a Stonewall survivor and LGBT activist, will share their story. LGBT elders like Jay stood on the front lines of our community’s struggle for equality. SAGE is working to ensure that LGBT elders have the support and resources they need to age with the dignity and respect they deserve.

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award. On November 11,  he will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and on November 18, he will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He recently received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at  sageusa.org.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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