Congratulations to Chil Kong who is the new Artistic Director of Ten-time Helen Hayes Award Recipient Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC). With over 10 years’ experience as Co-Artistic Director for the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, Kong brings a strong vision and passion for the art of theatre for young audiences in addition to a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Chil Kong began his career in theater garnering multiple awards for his innovative reimagining of American classics and developing ground breaking new works as artistic director of theater companies in Boston, San Diego, Seattle, and in Los Angeles as the Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. Seeking new challenges, Chil transitioned to film and TV with his pilot adaptation of the critically acclaimed book Screening Party by Dennis Hensley in “Fashion Police” (Entertainment Television). After directing two feature films (“The Mikado Project” and “QWERTY”) and multiple short films (“Pollen,” “The Oh-Malley’s,” and “The Walk”), which star such talents as “Ugly Betty” actor Alec Mapa and “Sullivan & Son” actress Jodi Long, Chil was tapped as the creative director of a film fund which focused on English based stories for the Asian market. He currently has a live-action feature in development at Disney Channel.
Says Kong of his appointment, “As a kid growing up in Woodbridge Virginia, I often had to explain my existence. Always the ‘other,’ I found myself trying to understand my place in the diverse tapestry of the American experience. So I left Virginia behind and traveled the country to grow as an Artist and find my place.
“And now I come full circle to my hometown and to where my artistic journey began, a different person then when I started. Realizing, after all this time, that the very thing that inspired a misfit kid from Woodbridge Virginia, was and is the same inspiration I see in my son’s eyes when I take him to the theater. It’s that joy that I want to share with every child, regardless of age. It’s amazing I had to travel the country only to discover what I was looking for back home.”
Impending Executive Director Leon Seemann, “We had over 100 applications for this position nationwide, and it was a long process in finding the right fit. Chil not only brings the experience, but the joy and community engagement that Adventure Theatre is known for.”
Montgomery County is very diverse, with approximately 59% of the population categorizing themselves as non-white. “The fact that Chil reflects a segment of our community not currently represented is a wonderful bonus. From our quick research, Chil is the only Asian American Artistic Director in the DMV and the only Asian American in a leadership role in any major TYA theatre in the U.S. right now. We know Chil’s will build upon our work in promoting diversity and racial equity across all cultures.”
Exiting Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt, agrees wholeheartedly, “I have known Chil for a very long time and I’m thrilled that this amazing artist and family man will take the reigns of the theatre and drive it to amazing places. His art and personality will be an asset to the DC community and the theatre for young audience field. Everyone should take the time to get to know this great man.”
ATMTC celebrates the glorious richness of our world by cultivating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity as they inspire the creativity that nurtures great art, artists, and audiences. For more information, visit www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org or call 301-634-2270.
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.
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