Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is presenting the New York premiere production of The Great Leap, written by Lauren Yee and directed by Taibi Magar.
The Great Leap will feature Ali Ahn (“The Path” on Hulu), Ned Eisenberg (Six Degrees of Separation), Tony Aidan Vo (Pan Asian Rep’s NoNo Boy), and Tony Award winner and Emmy Award nominee BD Wong (“Mr. Robot,” “Law & Order: SVU,” M. Butterfly).
The Great Leap begins previews Wednesday, May 23rd and will open Monday, June 4th for a limited engagement through Sunday, June 17th at Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2 (330 West 16th Street).
San Francisco, spring 1989. Manford Lum, locally renowned on the sidewalk basketball courts of Chinatown, talks his way onto a college team, just before they travel to Beijing for a “friendship” game. When they arrive, China is in the throes of the post-Cultural Revolution era, and Manford must juggle international politics and his own personal history.
Inspired by events from her father’s life and (short-lived) basketball career, playwright Lauren Yee (The Hatmaker’s Wife) makes her Atlantic debut with this tender and fearless play. Yee’s play King of the Yees premiered season at The Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by productions at ACT Theatre and Canada’s National Arts Centre. Taibi Magar recently directed the critically acclaimed Master at the Foundry Theatre and the Obie Award-winning production of Underground Railroad Game at Ars Nova, both New York Times Critic’s Picks. Her work can currently be seen on stage in Aleshea Harris’ Is God Is at Soho Rep.
Ali Ahn recently appeared in “The Path” on Hulu and on Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles. Ned Eisenberg has been seen on NBC’s long-running “Law & Order: SVU” and was last seen on stage in the 2017 production of Six Degrees of Separation. Tony Aidan Vo is a founding member of folk band / theater collective The Lobbyists, which was nominated for a 2016 Drama Desk Award. Tony Award winner B.D. Wong can currently be seen in his Emmy nominated role on USA’s “Mr. Robot” and will also appear in the upcoming film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
The Great Leap will feature scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by Tilly Grimes, lighting design by Eric Southern, sound design and original music by Palmer Hefferan, projection design by David Bengali, movement direction by Jesse Perez, and casting by Caparelliotis Casting: David Caparelliotis, CSA; Lauren Port, CSA; and Joseph Gery.
The Great Leap was originally developed and produced by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Chris Coleman, Artistic Director.
Ali Ahn (Connie). Broadway: The Heidi Chronicles. Off-Broadway: Sugar House (Ma-Yi), Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest (The Peral), and House of Bernarda Alba (NAATCO). Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare on the Sound) and Strike-Slip (Actors Theater of Louisville: Humana Festival). International: Singapore Arts Festival, Naples Theater Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Film / Television: “The Path,” “Orange is the New Black,” “The Breaks,” “Billions,” Landline, “Supernatural,” Equity, Benders, “Odd Mom Out,” “Nurse Jackie,” Black Box, “Blue Bloods,” “White Collar,” “Louie,” Girl in the Book, Liberal Arts, The Dark Side, Zero Hour, “Law & Order: SVU,” and “Ugly Betty.” Training: Yale, CalArts.
Ned Eisenberg (Saul). Broadway: Six Degrees of Separation, Rocky, Golden Boy, Awake and Sing, The Green Bird. National Tour: Lost in Yonkers. Off-Broadway: Othello (Iago, Lortel nominee), Oliver Twist (Fagin), King John (title role) at Theater for a New Audience, Rocket to the Moon (Ben Stark) at Theater at St. Clements, and Finks at Ensemble Studio Theater. Regional: Merchant Of Venice (Shylock) at Compagna di Colombari, Camp David (Menachem Begin) at Old Globe, and Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit) at Long Wharf. Film: Asher, Experimenter, Won’t Back Down, Limitless, Flags Of Our Fathers, World Trade Center, and Million Dollar Baby. Television: “The Night Of,” “Bull,” “Person of Interest,” “The Good Wife,” “The Mysteries Of Laura,” “Madam Secretary,” “White Collar,” “Blue Bloods,” and “Law & Order: SVU” and “Criminal Intent.” Fox Fellowship recipient, Ensemble Studio Theater and Naked Angels member, O’Neill playwright ’87 and ’90.
Tony Aidan Vo (Manford) is an actor and a Drama Desk-nominated musician based in New York City. NYC theater: SeaWife (Naked Angels), Frontieres sans Frontieres (The Bushwick Starr), a cautionary tail and These Seven Sicknesses (The Flea Theater), NoNo Boy (Pan Asian Rep), and Bareknuckle (Vertigo Theater). Regional theater: NY Stage & Film, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, White Heron Theater, and The Hangar Theater. Workshops / Readings: New York Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center, Ensemble Studio Theater, Ma-Yi Theater, Soho Rep., The Lark, and Prospect Theater Company. Television: “Alternatino” (Comedy Central, upcoming). Tony is a founding member of folk band / theater collective The Lobbyists. In 2016, The Lobbyists were nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Musical: SeaWife. Tony received his training at Ithaca College and NTI: The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. www.tonyvo.net | www.wearethelobbyists.com
BD Wong (Wen Chang). Broadway: M. Butterfly (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle, Clarence Derwent Awards); Face Value; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Pacific Overtures. Regional: The Orphan of Zhao (La Jolla Playhouse, A.C.T.), Herringbone (La Jolla, Williamstown, McCarter Theater). Television: “Mr. Robot,” “Gotham,” “Madam Secretary,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Awake,” “Law & Order: SVU,” HBO’s “Oz,” “Marco Polo.” Film: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Bird Box, Jurassic World, The Space Between Us, Focus, The Normal Heart, White Frog, The Freshman, Father of the Bride (1 and 2), Jurassic Park, Seven Years in Tibet, Mulan (1 and 2), The Salton Sea, Stay. Author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Following Foo (The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man), published by Harper Collins. Community service recognitions from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian AIDS Project, GLAAD, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Association of Asian-Pacific American Artists, East/West Players, Second Generation. Board member: Actors’ Fund of America.
Lauren Yee (Playwright) was born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in New York City. She received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University, and her MFA in playwriting from UCSD, where she studied under Naomi Iizuka. Lauren Yee’s play King of the Yees is enjoying its premiere this season at The Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by productions at ACT Theatre and Canada’s National Arts Centre. Other plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm, Moxie, PlayPenn), Hookman (Encore, Company One), In a Word (SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, Strawdog), Samsara (Victory Gardens, O’Neill Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival), and The Tiger Among Us (MAP Fund, Mu). She was a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell fellow, a MAP Fund grantee, a member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, a Time Warner Fellow at the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab, the Shank playwright-in-residence at Second Stage Theatre, a Playwrights’ Center Core Writer, and the Page One resident playwright at Playwrights Realm. She has been a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, the PONY Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award, the Sundance Theatre Lab, and the Wasserstein Prize. Her play Samsara has been a nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, and her play in a word won the Francesca Primus Prize and was a finalist for the ATCA / Steinberg Award. Her play The Hatmaker’s Wife was an Outer Critics Circle nominee for the John Gassner Award for best play by a new American playwright. Her work has been published by Samuel French. Lauren is a member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab. She is currently under commission from the Denver Center, The Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center Theatre / LCT3, Mixed Blood Theatre, Portland Center Stage, South Coast Rep, and Trinity Rep.
Taibi Magar (Director) is an Egyptian-American director based in New York, and a graduate of the Brown / Trinity MFA program. Most recently she directed the critically acclaimed Master at the Foundry Theatre (NYT Critic’s Pick). Other recent projects: Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova, NYT Critic’s Pick, Obie Award for Best New American Work), Dry Powder (The Alley), We Are Proud to Present (The Guthrie). In New York, Taibi has directed and developed work for The Foundry, New York Theater Workshop, Ars Nova, TFANA, the Women’s Project Theatre, Rising Phoenix Rep and INTAR Theatre. She is the recipient of a Stephen Sondheim Fellowship, an Oregon Shakespeare Festival Fellowship, a Public Theater Shakespeare Fellowship, the TFANA Actors and Director Project Fellowship, a Usual Suspect at New York Theater Workshop, and is an alumna of Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Most recently, she received the Kaplan Fellowship for young artists. Taibi has directed and taught at many academic institutions, including Juilliard, Fordham University, Brown University and New York University. She is currently developing Patrick and Daniel Lazour’s We Live in Cairo (2016 Richard Rodgers Award) with New York Theatre Workshop and recently directed Aleshea Harris’ Is God Is (Soho Rep.). Upcoming: Danai Gurira’s Familiar (The Guthrie and Seattle Repertory Theatre).
Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is an award-winning Off-Broadway theater dedicated to producing great plays simply and truthfully while utilizing an artistic ensemble. At Atlantic, we believe that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process. The plays in our repertory, from both new and established playwrights, are boldly interpreted by today’s finest theater artists and resonate with contemporary audiences. Alongside being an award-winning producing organization, we’ve also been teaching theater since our inception. The internationally-acclaimed Atlantic Acting School has the only conservatory program in the world that offers in-depth training in co-Founders David Mamet and William H. Macy’s unique and influential approach to acting: Practical Aesthetics, the Atlantic Technique. Our school’s mission is to ensure that each graduate masters the essential analytical and physical disciplines of acting and to empower every student with skills necessary for success in the profession. We also bring theater into the classroom through robust arts education initiatives that serve a record 4,200 public school students each year. Since its inception, Atlantic has produced more than 150 plays including Tony Award-winning productions of Spring Awakening (Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik) and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Martin McDonagh); Pulitzer Prize recipient Between Riverside and Crazy (Stephen Adly Guirgis); New York Drama Critics’ Circle winner for Best New Play The Night Alive (Conor McPherson); the New York Premiere of Hangmen (Martin McDonagh); and Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award-winning The Band’s Visit (David Yazbek, Itamar Moses), now playing on Broadway; among many others! Atlantic has garnered 12 Tony Awards, 24 Obie Awards, 21 Lucille Lortel Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, 8 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 4 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, 3 Drama League Awards, 3 Theater World Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm
Sunday 7:30pm performances on 5/ 27, 6/10, 6/17
Monday 7:30pm performance on 6/11
No Tuesday performances on 6/5, 6/12
Tickets for The Great Leap are now on sale. Regular tickets begin at $50. Order online at atlantictheater.org, by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111, or in person at the Linda Gross Theater box office (336 West 20th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)