Jul. 25: NYSAF Presents Melissa Li and Kit Yan’s INTERSTATE Featuring Raymond J Lee, Geena Quintos, Henry Gottfried, Ari Groover, Sushma Saha, Michiko Sasaki, Theo Tiedemann, and Gianna Yanelli; Summer Lineup Includes Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson MEXODUS, Florencia Iriondo’s SOUTH, Michael R. Jackson’s WHITE GIRL IN DANGER, Billy Porter’s SANCTUARY, and More

Kit Yan and Melissa Li. Photo by Lia Chang

New York Stage and Film is presenting Melissa Li and Kit Yan’s INTERSTATE featuring Raymond J Lee, Geena Quintos, Henry Gottfried, Ari Groover, Sushma Saha, Michiko Sasaki, Theo Tiedemann, and Gianna Yanelli on Sunday, July 25 at 3:00 p.m. at Marist College: Cornell Boathouse Outdoor Tent. Jesca Prudencio directs. 

INTERSTATE features Book by Melissa Li and Kit Yan, Music and Lyrics by Melissa Li, and Poetry and Additional Lyrics by Kit Yan. 

Fueled by his desire to connect with the Queer Asian community, transgender slam poet Dash goes on a cross-country tour with his best friend Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter. News of the tour reaches Henry, a transgender teenage blogger from Kentucky, who finds inspiration and solace in the band’s political and personal music as he explores his own relationship to gender. INTERSTATE is a Queer Asian-American pop-rock musical about two trans people at different stages of their journeys navigating love, family, masculinity, and finding community in the era of social media.

Casting for Interstate by The Telsey Office.

The summer season for NYSAF is July 17-August 1, with in-person programming in Poughkeepsie. Additional programming includes Billy Porter’s new Gospel musical Sanctuary as part of New York Stage and Film’s Always On virtual programming, available July 29-August 2. 


WHITE GIRL IN DANGER will feature Liz Lark Brown, Latoya Edwards, Jennifer Fouché, Morgan Siobhan Green, James Jackson, Jr., Farah Lopez, Alyse Alan Louis, Lauren Marcus, Eric William Morris, Ronald Peet, Natalie Walker, and NaTasha Yvette Williams.

To celebrate the reopening of NYSAF’s Summer Season and to make the work available to all, all tickets for presentations at Vassar and Marist Colleges will be Pay-What-You-Can. The box office is now open. For more information, visit www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/summer. Tickets for South at Revel 32 ° are available for purchase at www.revel32.com.

Throughout the summer in Poughkeepsie, artists and artistic teams will work on projects with the support of New York Stage and Film, including residencies for the Filmmakers’ Workshop, The Lark international theater laboratory, the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory and several artists-in-residence. For 37 years, NYSAF has operated as a vital incubator for artists and their work, a catalyst for stories that continue across the country and around the world. With artist-driven flexibility, resources and opportunities are shaped to meet projects at every step of their development. NYSAF is eager to gather once again, reaffirmed in the commitment to supporting the nation’s leading generative artists in the creation of innovative and bold stories for the stage and the screen. In partnership with Vassar College, Marist College, and Revel 32 °, NYSAF will serve the needs of theater and film artists today, bringing them safely together in community to generate new stories and reconnect with one another and audiences.


NYSAF’s 2021 Summer Season will kick-off with an outdoor event at Vassar College which has historically hosted the annual Powerhouse Season. Taking full advantage of the campus grounds, guests will be welcomed to the Outdoor Amphitheater for a concert presentation of songs from Mexodus by Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson.


Co-created and Performed by Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson

July 17 at 7:00 p.m. at Vassar College: Outdoor Amphitheater

July 24 at 3:00 p.m. at Marist College: Cornell Boathouse Outdoor Tent

MEXODUS is a concept album inspired by the estimated 4,000-10,000 enslaved people in the Southern part of the United States who pursued a journey into Mexico instead of looking north. This under-told chapter of the Underground Railroad is an exploration of Black and brown bodies standing together against oppression.

NYSAF’s 2021 Summer Season will be further enriched by an inaugural collaboration with Revel 32 °, a historic music venue in the heart of Poughkeepsie.


Created by Florencia Iriondo

Book, lyrics, music: Florencia Iriondo
Music by Luis D’Elias

Arrangements by Federico Diaz

July 23-24 at 8:00 p.m.; Doors open at 7:00 p.m. at Revel 32 °

Inspired by her experiences as a Latina living in the US, SOUTH is an original, one-woman musical by Florencia Iriondo about finding one’s roots and the place called home.

NYSAF’s 2021 Summer Season artistic community campus will be centered at Marist College, where they will house artists participating in musical workshops, residencies, as well as the Filmmakers’ Workshop. Overlooking the Hudson River, audiences will join artists at an outdoor tent located next to the historic Cornell Boathouse for developmental presentations of musical works-in-progress.


Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz

July 31 at 7:00 p.m. and August 1 at 3:00 p.m.

Marist College: Cornell Boathouse Outdoor Tent

WHITE GIRL IN DANGER, a new musical from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael R. Jackson (A STRANGE LOOP), is the story of Keesha Gibbs, a young woman who lives in the “Blackground” of a melodramatic soap opera town called Allwhite. Tired of repetitive Blackground stories of enslavement and police violence, Keesha sets out to become Allwhite’s leading heroine by appropriating the storylines of her three main rivals, Meagan, Maegan and Megan. But as she gains power for herself, she also attracts the attention of the Allwhite Killer, putting her story and her life in more danger than ever. A thrilling, binge-worthy and wildly funny dark new musical satire.



Book by Billy Porter

Music and Lyrics by Kurt Carr

Streaming July 29 to August 2

What is God? God is love! Plain and simple. SANCTUARY invites audiences to fellowship and to learn how to spread the love, through the power of gospel music. Love is God. This special virtual presentation includes performances by Deborah Cox, Bryan Terrell Clark, Ledisi, and Virginia Woodruff with Broadway’s Inspirational Voices, led by incoming Artistic Director Allen René Louis. Tickets will be available on a pay-what-you-can basis at www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/sanctuary.

Artists-in-Residence include participants from the inaugural NEXUS cohort: Elisa Bocanegra, Shayok Misha Chowdhury, Jennifer Gibbs, Joanna Castle Miller and Phanésia Pharel; the 2020 Founders’ Award Recipient, Kirya Traber; the 2020 Pfaelzer Award Recipient Estefanía Fadul; the 2021 Leo Shull Musical Fellowship Recipient Sivan Battat (in collaboration with The Drama League); as well as Chris Darbassie, Kareem Fahmy, Keelay Gipson, Jacinth Greywoode, Jessica Huang, Kameron Neal, Doron JéPaul Mitchell, Julius Pryor IV, Dominique Rider, Paul Oakley Stovall, Sam Salmond, Will Steinberger, and more to come.

The Filmmakers’ Workshop of New York Stage and Film, running July 27-August 1, will bring participants together at Marist College for a five-day workshop intensive. The time will focus on television and film workshops led by industry professionals. Participants include Nancy Bannon, Jason Begue, Rob Bellon, Anika Benkov, Yakira Chambers, Kim Dempster, Jenny Halper, Alessandro King, Guru Ramanathan, Traven Rice, Charia Rose, and Shawn Snyder.

The Lark international theater laboratory will be in residence for one week in July bringing writers from their community for intense play development, Brittany Allen, A.A. Brenner, Nora Brigid Monahan, Edison Diaz, Jahna Ferron-Smith and Xavier Galva.

NYSAF Hosts The Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory
In Process With The Local Community at Marist College:

The Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory presents
(a two-night collaborative event)

Thursday, July 22nd
6:00-8:00 p.m. workshop

Thursday, July 29th
6:00-8:00 p.m. performance

The Lab invites our Hudson Valley community to join us for two nights of play and performance. On July 22nd, we begin with a monologue and songwriting workshop focusing on the topic of Summer in the Hudson Valley. The following Thursday, July 29th, workshop participants perform monologues and songs from the stage. You must attend the in-person workshop to perform. RSVP.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an Award winning filmmaker 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. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. 

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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