Christopher Chen, Tom Dang, Dennis Dun, Miley Yamamoto and Harmony Zhang Set for Sierra Madre Playhouse’s Production of Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES, May 20 – Jun. 12

Sierra Madre Playhouse is presenting King of the Yees, the award-winning play by Lauren Yee, helmed by Tim Dang and produced by Gary Lamb, May 20 – Jun. 12. Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 West Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Opening night is set for Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

The cast features Christopher Chen, Tom Dang, Dennis Dun, Miley Yamamoto and Harmony Zhang.

For nearly 20 years, playwright Lauren Yee’s father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Family Association, a seemingly obsolescent Chinese American men’s club formed 150 years ago in the wake of the Gold Rush. But when her father goes missing, Lauren must plunge into the rabbit hole of San Francisco Chinatown and confront a world both foreign and familiar. At once bitingly hilarious and heartbreakingly honest, King of the Yees is an epic joyride across cultural, national and familial borders that explores what it means to truly be a Yee.

The production and design team includes Production Stage Manager Jeanne Marie Valleroy, Set Designer Yi-Chien Lee, Costume Designer Jojo Siu, Lighting Designer Derek Jones, Fight Choreographer Tom Tsai, Scenic Painter Orlando de la Paz and Scenic Builder Steve Barr.

Tim Dang

Tim Dang is a director/producer and is the recipient of the 2015 Society of Directors and Choreographers’ Zelda Fichandler Award for transforming the regional theatre arts landscape through theatre. He is producing artistic director emeritus of East West Players (EWP), having run the longest running professional theatre of color in the United States for 23 years producing over a hundred plays and musicals for the mainstage. He is the recipient of Ovation Awards for directing Pacific Overtures and for directing and producing Sweeney Todd. He received numerous awards for direction, production and performance from Backstage West and Drama-Logue. He has directed dozens of shows in an astonishingly prolific career. He has also been a playwright and lyricist (co-writing Nisei Widows Club, Canton Jazz Club, Beijing Spring).

He is a Los Angeles County Arts Commissioner and serves on several committees including the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (Co-Chair from 2015-2020), the County’s Economic Resiliency Task Force for which he is the Arts and Culture sector leader providing strategies and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in response to Covid-19 and the civil unrest due to racial and social inequities across our country, and recently appointed to an ad hoc committee for Supervisorial District 1 for Measure J.

Dang is on faculty at the USC School of Dramatic Arts and AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Arts) College for the Performing Arts.

His recent directorial credits include Songs for a New WorldEdges, and Ordinary Days for AMDA College of the Performing Arts, Vietgone for L.A. Theatre Works, The Joy Luck Club and Nothing is the Same for Sierra Madre Playhouse, Pippin for Pomona College, The Emperor’s Nightingale for Mainstreet Theatre in San Bernardino County, and Evita at the University of Southern California.

Dang is a USC alumnus and started out as a performer before transitioning to a career in directing and becoming artistic director of a professional theatre company. He still manages to perform voiceovers such as The Ghost of TsushimaWorld of Warcraft: The Mists of Pandaria, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

His numerous honors include Tim Dang Day (L.A. City Council); Local Hero of the Year (KCET/Union Bank); Top 100 Asian Americans of the Decade (A. Magazine); Leadership Award (James Irvine Foundation); many, many more. Tim will continue to initiate and innovate diversity and inclusion across the American theatre.

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren Yee (Playwright) was the second most produced playwright in America for the 2019/20 theatrical season (as per American Theatre Magazine). Her plays include Cambodian Rock Band (South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep) and The Great Leap (Denver Center, Seattle Repertory, Atlantic Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre, Steppenwolf); Hookman; The Hatmaker’s Wife; The Tiger Among Us; and more. King of the Yees is the winner of the Ashland New Play Festival Award (2016). The play had its World Premiere in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada in 2016. Honors: Doris Duke Artists Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/ATCA Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, Horton Foote Prize, Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, Hodder Fellowship, #1 and #2 plays on 2017 Kilroys List. New Dramatists, Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab, Playwrights Realm alum. TV: Pachinko (Apple), Soundtrack (Netflix). BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD

Christopher Chen
Christopher Chen* (Actor 1) most recently appeared in East West Players’ acclaimed, two year-delayed production of Sondheim’s ASSASSINS as “Sam Byck.” Previously at SMP, he portrayed “Canning Woo” in Tim Dang’s sold out production of THE JOY LUCK CLUB.
Chris studied Theater at Northwestern University and can currently be seen in recurring guest roles on two NBC comedies: as Dwayne Johnson’s PR Manager “Sandy” on YOUNG ROCK and as Payne Motors CFO “Jin” on AMERICAN AUTO. Other TV credits include: CRIMINAL MINDSMODERN FAMILYTHE MINDY PROJECTBROOKLYN 9-9SUPERSTOREIT’S ALWAYS SUNNY…CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, among others. Commercials for Liberty Mutual, Geico and DirecTV.
Tom Dang
Tom Dang (Actor 3) is an actor based in Los Angeles, CA and is so excited to make his debut at Sierra Madre! SELECT REGIONAL: M. Butterfly (Artswest Playhouse), Red Earth (ACT Theatre), Assassins (East West Players), Kaidan Rogue (Artists Ensemble and East West Players), Shakespeare in Love (Seattle Shakespeare), Hamlet and As You Like It  (Colonials Shakespeare), The Witching Hour and Maltese Falcon (Nordo), Richard III (REBATEnsemble). Recent Film/TV credits: Angelyne (Universal), Blue Bloods (CBS), Ryan’s Playdate (Nickelodeon), and Assassin’s Creed/Unknown9 (Reflector), Z Nation (SyFy), The Librarians (TNT).
Dennis Dun
Dennis Dun* (Larry Yee) is happy to be on stage tonight. He studied marketing and got a “real” job but after stumbling into an acting class, his life’s path took a left turn into the unknown. There were only two things he knew: 1) acting gave him joy and 2) the “real” job wasn’t working for him. Now decades later he still does not have a “real” job but acting still brings him great joy. His stage credits include productions at Asian American Theater Company, East West Players, Mark Taper Forum, Pan Asian Rep, Berkeley Rep and Lodestone Theatre. His film credits include Big Trouble in Little ChinaThe Last Emperor and Year of the Dragon. TV credits include HBO’s Luck (recurring) and NBC’s Midnight Caller (series regular).
Miley Yamamoto
Miley Yamamoto (Actor 2) is thrilled to be making her debut at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Miley’s theatre credits include AVENUE QCLOSER THAN EVER (Lodestone Theatre) and TERRA NOVA. Major video game credits include AAA titles such as GHOST OF TSUSHIMA (SONY), DAYS GONE (SONY), BORDERLANDS 3 BOUNTY OF BLOOD (Gearbox) and STAR TREK: BRIDGE CREW. She has also been on TV shows like HOW TO ROCK (Nickelodeon) and voiced animated characters on shows like TripTank (Comedy Central). Having spent her early adulthood in Tokyo she is fluent in Japanese and has a fondness for sakura viewing parties and late night karaoke. In case you’re wondering, Miley is pronounced Meelay.
Harmony Zhang
Harmony Zhang (Lauren Yee)is thrilled to be working with Sierra Madre Playhouse for the first time. Bicoastally based in Los Angeles and Chicago, Harmony is originally from Tucson, Arizona. Notable educational credits include: An Experiment with an Air Pump (Ellen), Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Maria/Lisa Simpson), The House of Bernarda Alba (Angustias), and The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra, Go! (Violet). Regional credits include the world premiere of Hershel & The Hanukkah Goblins at Strawdog Theatre Company, and Kentucky with The Gift Theatre. Favorite on-screen credits include The Red Line (CBS), a State Farm commercial on social media (Clap Snack Girl), Noodles and Incense (dir. Rey Tang), and BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop (dir. Jason Park). She is grateful to her family, friends, and agents at Avant Artists and Lily’s Talent. Education: BA in Theatre Studies – Duke University; MFA in Acting – The Theatre School at DePaul.

This show is experiencing strong advance sales. Please reserve early to get your date of choice. King of the Yees is a story of a Chinese-American who starts off distant from her heritage and Chinese culture, connects with her family and her heritage, and learns how to embrace it as a Chinese-American in her own way. But Lauren’s journey is likely to resonate with you, no matter your ethnicity. King of the Yees is a play that can be enjoyed by everyone.

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