Feb. 22 – Mar. 7: Victory Gardens and Geva to Stream Brian Quijada’s WHERE DID THEY SIT ON THE BUS?

Victory Gardens Theater and Geva Theatre Center announce the online streaming production of Brian Quijada’s music-infused production of Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, written and performed by Brian Quijada and directed by Chay Yew.

Brian Quijada in Where Did We Sit on the Bus? Photo: Joel Maisonet

Tickets to the streaming production are $30 for regular patrons and $10 for students and allow viewers to watch any time during the streaming window, February 22 – March 7, 2021. Tickets may be purchased at victorygardens.org and gevatheatre.org. The production will be presented on Vimeo, and instructions for access will be sent following purchase. The event will have subtitles available in English and Spanish.

Where Did We Sit on the Bus? is an electric one-man show pulsing with Latin rhythms, rap, hip-hop, spoken word, and live looping. During a third-grade lesson on the civil rights movement and Rosa Parks, a Latino boy raises his hand to ask, “Where did we sit on the bus?” and his teacher can’t answer the question. This thrilling autobiographical production from Jeff Award winner Brian Quijada examines what it means to be Latino through the eyes of a child, turned teenager, turned adult.

Originally recorded during its performance run in spring 2017 as part of VG’s “Up Close and Personal series,” Where Did We Sit on the Bus? made its world premiere in 2016 at Chicago’s Teatro Vista and won multiple Jeff Awards, including Best Solo Performance and Best Sound Design.

The artistic team includes Brian Quijada (playwright and actor), Chay Yew (director), Diane D. Fairchild (lighting designer), Liviu Pasare (projection designer), and Amanda J. Davis (production stage manager). Videography by Bitter Jester Studios: Nicolas DeGrazia, Producer and Director of Broadcast, Daniel Kullman, Producer and Director of Photography.

Creator Brian Quijada shares, “This video feels like the culmination of all my performances of my solo show. This feels like the HBO Special of Where Did We Sit on the Bus? I had been polishing my performance for 5 years, it was my return to Chicago, and most importantly, my parents were in the audience. We were lucky the Emmy award-winning Bitter Jester Studios captured this night.”

Brian Quijada (writer and performer): Victory Gardens debut. Off-Broadway: My Mañana Comes (Playwrights Realm), Where Did We Sit on the Bus? (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Regional: Where Did We Sit on the Bus? (Boise Contemporary Theatre), How We Got On (Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival), Airness (Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival) Beat Generation (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), No More Sad Things (Boise Contemporary Theatre). TV: “Blue Bloods” and “Manhattan Love Story.”

Click here for the Out of Rehearsal Hall podcast with Chay Yew.

Chay Yew. Photo by Lia Chang

Chay Yew is the former Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater, 2011-2020. Victory Gardens Theater: A Wonder in My Soul, Roz and Ray, The House That Will Not Stand, Hillary and Clinton, Death and the Maiden, An Issue of Blood, The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Mojada, Oedipus el Rey, Universes’ Ameriville. Chicago: Dartmoor Prison, Black N Blue Boys/Broken Men (Goodman Theatre); Where Did We Sit On The Bus? (Teatro Vista/Victory Gardens, Boise Contemporary Theatre); Po Boy Tango(Northlight Theatre). Productions at The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rattlestick, National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Regional: Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, American Conservatory Theater, South Coast Rep, Long Wharf Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre, Playmakers Rep, Empty Space Theatre, Mosaic Theatre Company, Curious Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, Round House Theater, Portland Center Stage, Southern Rep, Geva Theatre Company, Pillsbury Theatre, Gala Hispanic Theatre, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Theatre at Boston Court, East West Players amongst others. His opera credits include world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar (co-production with the Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic); and Rob Zuidam’s Rage d’Amors (Tanglewood Music Center). Chay is a recipient of the OBIE Award and DramaLogue Award for Direction.

As a playwright, his plays include Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, Red, A Beautiful Country, Wonderland, Question 27 Question 28, A Distant Shore, 17, and Visible Cities. His other work includes adaptations of A Winter People(based on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard), Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, and a musicalLong Season. His performance works include Vivian and Her Shadows and Home: Places between Asia and America. His plays have been produced at The Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theatre Club, Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, Wilma Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Center Stage, amongst many others. Overseas, his plays have been produced by the Royal Court Theatre (London), Fattore K and Napoli Teatro Festival (Naples, Italy), La Mama (Melbourne, Australia), Four Arts (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Singapore Repertory Theatre, Toy Factory, Checkpoint Theatre, Theatre-Works (Singapore), amongst others. He is also the recipient of the London Fringe Award for Best Playwright and Best Play, George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting. Award, GLAAD Media Award, Made in America Award, AEA/SAG/ AFTRA Diversity Honor, and Robert Chesley Award. His plays Porcelain and A Language of Their Own, and The Hyphenated American Plays are published by Grove Press. He recently edited Version 3.0: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Plays for TCG Publications. He was the founding director of the Taper’s Asian Theatre Workshop and producer of Taper, Too. Chay is also an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Cultural Advisory Council and League of Chicago Theatres.

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