Explore the vivid history of America’s largest Chinatown through the eyes of a new generation in Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees – a Goodman Theatre-commissioned world premiere that was developed in the 2015 New Stages Festival. Yee’s longtime collaborator Joshua Kahan Brody directs her offbeat and electric joy ride about living in the contemporary world while honoring one’s rich ancestral heritage-and the conflict that ensues. The production will debut at A Contemporary Theatre and Canada’s National Arts Centre later this year.
The affable Larry Yee (Francis Jue) remains a driving force in the San Francisco Chinese American community as the head of the Yee Fung Toy family association-a seemingly obsolescent men’s club dedicated to the preservation of the Yee line. His daughter Lauren (Stephenie Soohyun Park), however, is dismissive of its patriarchal culture, despite her father’s dedication. When Larry suddenly goes missing, Lauren’s desperate search drops her into a foreign but familiar world where she will have to embrace the past in order to get her father back. Daniel Smith, Angela Lin and Rammel Chan round out the cast, appearing in a variety of roles throughout the two-act play.
The design team includes William Boles (set), Izumi Inaba (costumes), Heather Gilbert (lighting), Mikhail Fiksel (sound) and Mike Tutaj (projections). Tanya Palmer is the dramaturg and Donald E. Claxon is the production stage manager.
King of the Yees, produced in association with Center Theatre Group is currently in previews (press night is April 9 and opening night is April 12) in the Owen Theatre. Performances are scheduled through April 30. Tickets ($10-$40; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Yees, the box office (170 N. Dearborn) or by phone at 312.443.3800.
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.