Otterbein University is presenting a reading of Ernest Abuba’s KWATZ! The Tibetan Project: The Sound of a Hammer Hitting the Head in the ACT OUT Reading Series on Thursday, April 13th at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Center Theatre, 100 W. Home St. in Westerville, OH.
Abuba’s unconventional script combines mystical visions, music, song, and dance to explore Tibet under Chinese oppression. Kwatz is a Buddhist term for a new awakening, in this instance brought about by an assault when a wandering vagrant drives the claws of a hammer into a Tibetan immigrant’s head. The play explores this man’s visions while having an out of body experience. Abandoning conventions of plot or character development, Abuba immerses his audience in a groundlessness that is at the heart of Buddhist teachings and traditions.
Ernest Abuba is the recipient of an OBIE Award, five New York State Council on the Arts fellowships for playwriting and directing, a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, Creative Artist Public Service Award (CAPS), Best Actor Focus Press Award, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC) member. Broadway: Pacific Overtures, The King and I (national tour), Shimada, Zoya’s Apartment, Loose Ends. Off-Broadway: Yellow Fever (Obie), Teahouse of the August Moon, Shogun Macbeth, Three Sisters (Pan Asian Rep); Leir Rex, Mishima, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (La MaMa E.T.C.); Prometheus (Guggenheim Theater); Long Day’s Journey Into Night (National Asian American Theatre Co.); Chang Fragments (The Public); Pacific Overtures (Promenade Theatre). Author of Kwatz! The Tibetan Project, Leir Rex, The Dowager Empress of China, An American Story, Eat a Bowl of Tea, Night Stalker, and the opera Cambodia Agonistes, all produced off-Broadway; national tours to the Cairo Experimental Theatre and Johannesburg, South Africa. Performed Butoh with Shigeko Suga in Spleen, Accade Domani by Dario Fo, and Sotoba Komachi. Film/TV: 12 Monkeys (director Terry Gilliam), King of New York, Call Me, New York Undercover, Kung Fu. Director/ screenwriter: Mariana Bracetti, Arthur A. Schomburg, Asian American Railroad Strike, Iroquois Confederacy, Lilac Chen-Asian American Suffragette, and Osceola (PBS/CBS). Voice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the audiobook The Art of Happiness. SLC, 1995–
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.