Kate Baldwin, Bryce Pinkham, Thom Sesma, Julia Abueva and More Set for John Logan and Tom Kitt’s SUPERHERO at Second Stage

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Continuing its 40th Anniversary Season, Second Stage Theater has announced complete casting for the world premiere musical, Superhero. Directed by Jason Moore, the production features a book by John Logan and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt.

Julia Abueva (Rachel), JAKE LEVY (Dwayne), Salena Qureshi (Vee), Thom Sesma (Vic) and Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton) will join previously announced stars Kate Baldwin (Charlotte), Bryce Pinkham (Jim) and newcomer Kyle McArthur (Simon).

SUPERHERO will begin previews January 31, 2019 at the Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street) and will officially open on February 28, 2019. Subscriptions are available now starting at $255 by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422.

Before we can save the world, we have to save each other. From the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Next to Normal and the Tony Award-winning writer of Red comes a deeply human new musical about a fractured family, the mysterious stranger in apartment 4-B, and the unexpected hero who just might save the day.

BIOGRAPHIES

Julia Abueva (Rachel) made her New York stage debut in the critically acclaimed production of KPOP at Ars Nova. West End: Miss Saigon (Kim u/s). Other stage credits include: Cinderella (Newport Performing Arts Theater); Singapore premieres of Next to Normal(Natalie) and Spring Awakening (Wendla); Manila premieres of Into the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood) and Aspects of Love (Young Jenny); and Philippine Repertory’s production of The Fantasticks (Luisa). Julia co-starred in the Amazon comedy pilot “Making Friends.” Upcoming film: Stella’s Last Weekend (opp. Nat Wolff).

Kate Baldwin (Charlotte) recently appeared in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! for which she received Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Other Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow (Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nominations), Big Fish, Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Full Monty. Off-Broadway, she received Drama Desk nominations for her work in The Keen Company’s production of John & Jen and The Public Theatre’s production of Michael John LaChuisa’s Giant. Also off-Broadway: Songbird at 59E59 Street Theaters. Film: Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best. TV: “Law & Order: SVU”. PBS: “First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb” and “Live From Lincoln Center: Stephen Sondheim’s Passion.” Concerts: Chicago Humanities Festival, NSO, PSO and the American Songbook Series. Recording: Let’s See What Happens and She Loves Him: Live at Feinstein’s (PS Classics).

JAKE LEVY (Dwayne) is thrilled to make his Second Stage Theater debut. He earned his BA from the UCLA Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program in 2018. Favorites: Carrie (Tommy Ross), Carousel (Jigger), Pippin (Pippin) and Dogfight (Fector). Regional: 13 The Musical, Rent, Les Misérables and Hairspray. @Jlevy31

Kyle McArthur (Simon) will be making his professional theatrical debut with this production after playing Simon in the O’Neill NMTC reading of Superhero. Other readings include Disney’s Freaky Friday (Adam), Rapture (Andy), Stuck (Rayce), and The America Project (Cam).

Bryce Pinkham (Jim) is most widely known for originating the role of ‘Monty Navarro’ in the Tony Winning Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, for which he was nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk awards. He soon after appeared in the Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in 2015. His other Broadway credits include Holiday Inn, Ghost the Musical, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He most recently starred in Benny and Joon, a new musical adaptation of the 1993 movie starring Johnny Depp at The Old Globe Theater. His latest onscreen appearances include Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down, Robert De Niro’s The Comedian, and as a series regular on PBS’s Civil War drama series Mercy Street. His other TV credits include Blindspot, The Good Wife and Person of Interest.

Salena Qureshi (Vee). Second Stage debut! Film: Draupadi Unleashed, My Cousin Sister’s Wedding, All These Small Moments (Tribeca FF), Friends and Romans. TV: Recurring on “Madam Secretary” (CBS). Also seen on “The Brave” (NBC), “The Path” (Hulu), “Girls” (HBO). Theater: Evita (Mistress, Maine State).

Thom Sesma (Vic) recently appeared as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in the off-Broadway revival at Barrow Street Theatre. He was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for his portrayal of roles in John Doyle’s acclaimed 2017 revival of another Sondheim classic, Pacific Overtures. Broadway credits include The Times They Are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Search and Destroy, Chu Chem, and national tours of The Lion King, Miss Saigon and Titanic. Other appearances off-Broadway: Discord (Primary Stages), Awake and Sing! (NAATCO/Public Theatre), Othello (Public Theatre), Cymbeline (NYSF). Regional credits include the McCarter, Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Signature Theatre, Centre Stage, Music Theatre Wichita and more. Television guest appearances include “Instinct,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Gotham,” “Jessica Jones,” “Person of Interest” and others. Previous credits at Second Stage: Eric Overmyer’s In a Pig’s Valise and Baba Goya by Steve Tesich, both in 1989. Instagram @thsesma; Twitter @ThomSesmaNYC.

Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton). Broadway: Cats, The Color Purple (original and revival), The Lion King, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Off-Broadway: Big Love, Signature Theatre; Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, NY City Center’s Encores!; The First Noel, Classical Theatre of Harlem. Regional: Lempicka, Williamstown Theatre Festival; Man of La Mancha (Jeff Award), The Bridges of Madison County (Jeff nomination), Ragtime, Marriott Theatre; Hatuey: Memory of Fire, Music-Theatre Group. Concerts: Candide(Carnegie Hall); West Side Story, Bernstein’s MASS (Philadelphia Orchestra). Ten Chimneys Fellow, UW-Madison alum.nathanielstampley.com

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Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY – A Reading from the Play and Post Discussion at MOCA on October 25

On Thursday, October 25th, MOCA and Ma-Yi will present an excerpt from Lloyd Suh’s new play The Chinese Lady, which begins performances on Theatre Row on November 7 and will play a limited run through November 18, 2018. The two-hander stars Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung,”

Written by Lloyd Suh (Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery), directed by Ralph Peña (Microcrisis, Ma-Yi Theater Company), and The Chinese Lady is a co-production between Barrington Stage Company (BSC)  and Ma-Yi Theater Company.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.

The Chinese Lady received three 2018 Berkshire Theatre Critics Award nominations including Outstanding New Play for Lloyd Suh, Best Supporting Actor for Daniel K. Isaac and Best Sound Design for Fabian Obispo.

After the reading, there will be a Q&A with the playwright, the cast and creatives.

Tickets are $10 and includes wine and Museum general admission. Members receive complimentary tickets. Click here for tickets. The event begins at 6:00 pm at Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St, New York, NY 10013.

20% discount code will be provided to all MOCA ticket buyers to see the theater production of The Chinese Lady. Click here for tickets.

Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”

Daniel K. Isaac in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.
Daniel K. Isaac in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia.

Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). “According To My Mother” is currently in development to become a digital series on First Look Media’s new platform, TOPIC. Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.AccordingToMyMother.com

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.  Select NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).  www.DanielKIsaac.com

Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia
Shannon Tyo in THE CHINESE LADY. Photo by Eloy Garcia

Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Set and Costumes designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting design by Oliver Wason. Sound design by Fabian Obispo. Production Stage Manager is Geoff Boronda.

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Lloyd Suh, Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac on the set of THE CHINESE LADY.
Lloyd Suh, Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac on the set of THE CHINESE LADY.

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

THE CHINESE LADY starts off as a shipping container. Designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting by Oliver Wason. Sound by Yngo Terra. Photo by Ralph B. Peña
THE CHINESE LADY starts off as a shipping container. Designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting by Oliver Wason. Sound by Yngo Terra. Photo by Ralph B. Peña

Q & A with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, Stars of Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY 

In Rehearsal: Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo 

Barrington Stage and Ma-Yi Present Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at Barrington Stage, July 20 – August 11

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

Jon Norman Schneider, Jiehae Park, Keelay Gipson, Julian Leong, Diana Oh, David Shih and Teal Wicks in Daniel K. Isaac’s OR OR OR &&& at The Actors Fund Arts Center 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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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LEVIATHAN LAB PRESENTS THE WALL: IMMIGRATION IN THE TIME OF 45, October 26-27

Leviathan Lab (Ariel Estrada, Producing Artistic Director) will present THE WALL: IMMIGRATION IN THE TIME OF 45, featuring new short plays on the immigration crisis by Asian American playwrights at The Tank (312 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues) on Friday, October 26 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, October 27 at 7:00 PM. Tickets ($12 in advance, $15 at door) are available for advance purchase at http://www.thetanknyc.org. The performance will run approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. Liquor sales from the evening will benefit Immigrant Families Together, a network of Americans committed to rapid response unification of families separated by the ‘zero tolerance’ policy.

The evening’s playwrights include Sheila Bandyopadhyay, Kaela Garvin, Daniel K. Isaac (THE CHINESE LADY; Billions), Cherry Lou Sy, and Sanaz Toosi. The evening will also feature a screening of a new short film American Immigrant by The Film Lab (Jennifer Betit Yen, Writer and Director). The performances are presented as part of Leviathan Lab’s annual Living Room series of new short plays by Asian American playwrights performed by Asian American actors and directors.

The featured plays include:

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S WALL
By Daniel K. Isaac
Directed by Carlos Armesto
Starring Kathleen Choe*, Philip Estrera*, and Neil D’astolfo*

SAUDADE
By Kaela Garvin
Directed by Nina Zoie Lam
Starring Alton Alburo and Carolina Do

WHAT IS A CONTRIBUTION?
By Sanaz Toosi in collaboration with Shadi Ghaheri
Directed by Shadi Ghaheri
Starring Bahar Beihaghi, Abraham Makany*, and Madelyn Robinson

THE WALL
By Cherry Lou Sy
Directed by Eugene Ma
Starring Brian J. Gabriel and Josh Tyson*

Excerpt from RISE/FALL
By Sheila Bandyopadhyay
Music by Portraiture (James Pingenot and Nathan Siler)
Starring Jeff Alkins, GJ Dowding, Karen Johal, Kane Parker, Nico Piccardo, and Madison Youch

Tickets for THE WALL: IMMIGRATION IN THE TIME OF 45 are available at http://www.thetanknyc.org and by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.

*Appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association. THE WALL: IMMIGRATION IN THE TIME OF 45 is an AEA approved showcase production.

ABOUT LEVIATHAN LAB
Founded in 2009, Leviathan Lab is an award-winning not-for-profit creative studio whose mission is the advancement of Asian and Asian American (A/AA) performing artists and their work. Through the speaking of A/AA artists’ words, and the presentation of A/AA bodies, presence, and gestures on stage and film, Leviathan works to open spaces that promote social justice, bridge communities, and assert the power of art to change the world. We function as a lab where early- career and established A/AA artists can be courageous, experiment, and thrive as they create works that captivate the audiences we serve. www.leviathanlab.org.

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David Zayas, Hilary Bettis and Shirley Rumierk will be honored at Barefoot Theatre Company’s Third Annual Vassallo Awards on November 17

David Zayas
David Zayas

On Saturday, November 17th, Barefoot Theatre Company celebrates the third annual Vassallo Awards with a Fall Gala beginning at 8pm at the SVA THEATRE in NYC on 333 W 23rd Street in Manhattan. Actor David Zayas (Showtime’s DEXTER, FOX’s Gotham, OZ on HBO); acclaimed writer, Hilary Bettis (FX’s Emmy Award winning, The Americans), Actress Shirley Rumierk (NBC’s RISE) are among those honored for artistic achievements. The ceremony, hosted by Actor and founder of Barefoot Theatre Co., Francisco Solorzano and ensemble member, Christopher Whalen, also honors mentorship and educational outreach to a younger generation of artists in memory of Ed Vassallo, whose artistic career spanned 20 years and included work producing for the LAByrinth Theater Company and volunteering with the 52nd Street Project.

RED-CARPET CELEBRATION VIP TICKETS: $150 (tax deductible) includes VIP COCKTAIL HOUR – 6:30pm. -7:30 pm. General Admission: $75 – 7:30 pm (includes drinks & presentation). CURTAIN: 8pm. Running Time (presentation & awards ceremony) – 75 mins. For tickets and further information please click here or call 212-802-8305.

The one-night only event features Live Music from Mexican-American singer-songwriter and activist, Renee Goust (Joe’s Pub, Lincoln Center) and Performances by Special guest artists from Broadway, Film and Television. Accepting the award for Educational Outreach will be Jill DeArmon (LAByrinth Theater Co., Vineyard Theater) and Jinn S. Kim (LAByrinth Theater Co., Hi-Arts) for their work with DEVELOPING ARTISTS. Past recipients included Kamilah Forbes with Hi-ARTS and the Stella Adler Educational Outreach Program, Anna Chlumsky (EMMY Nominee, VEEP), Lynn Cohen (Spielberg’s MUNICH, Sex and the City), Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis and Daniel Talbott.

Barefoot founded the awards after Vassallo lost a two-year battle with cancer in 2014. The company was inspired to recognize Vassallo’s dedication to the arts, which included work producing the TENN99 and NYNY festivals for the LAByrinth Theatre Company as well as feature films which saw release at the Tribeca Film Festival and IFC/Sundance Selects. Vassallo’s passion extended to work as a mentor with the 52nd Street Project, which pairs New York City children and teens with professional theatre artists. For this reason, the awards acknowledge not only artistic achievements but also educational outreach and mentorship that engages the next generation of artists.

BAREFOOT THEATRE COMPANY / BAREFOOT STUDIO PICTURES is an award winning, critically acclaimed multicultural collective of actors and filmmakers specializing in the development and incubation of new work and the cultivation of new attention for lesser-known works by well-established authors, with a vital, thought-provoking eye toward themes of diversity and inclusion. Barefoot Theatre Company’s most notable production includes the first ever Off-Broadway stage adaptation of the Academy award winning film, Dog Day Afternoon. The company has developed and produced over 150 new plays staged at INTAR; RATTLESTICK; THE FLEA; Cherry Lane Theatre; IRT THEATER; HERE Arts Center; THE BRICK; LABYRINTH THEATER CO., The Actors Studio, THEATRE ROW THEATRES, THE NEW OHIO THEATRE among others. Recent Barefoot Theatre Company collaborations with award-winning writers include Jose Rivera, Dominique Morisseau, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristoffer Diaz, Mando Alvarado, Ed. Cardona Jr., Mike Reiss, Daniel Talbott, Hilary Bettis and with actors Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale, Gina Gershon, Richard Kind, Mickey Sumner, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Annabella Sciorra, and Michael Stuhlbarg to name a few. In film, Barefoot Studio Pictures’ work has been recognized with the Barcelona International Best Short Film Award, World-Fest Film Festival Best Short FIlm, at Hollyshorts Film Festival and many others. Barefoot Theatre Company was founded by actor, Francisco Solorzano in 1999, who is currently Producing Artistic Director with Christopher Whalen as Producing Director.

David Zayas is best known for his role as Angel Batista on the Golden Globe-nominated psychological drama “Dexter.” David was recently seen as “Sal Maroni” on the Fox series Gotham, “Sheriff Aguirre” on the Netflix series Bloodline and “Eduardo Magana” on the Hulu series Shut Eye. His other recent television credits include Saint George (FX), Seven Seconds (Netflix), Blue Bloods (CBS), Quantico (ABC), and The Guest Book (TBS). While working on the crime drama The Beat, Zayas met Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer Tom Fontana, who went on to create the role of “Enrique Morales” on HBO’s Oz especially for him. On film, he has starred in The Expendables, Skyline, 13, Michael Clayton, Sixteen Blocks, The Savages, Bringing Out the Dead, The Yards, Undefeated, Wit, Angel, and The Interpreter. David also starred opposite Helen Hunt in the indie feature Ride, starred opposite Ellen Page and Allison Janney in the feature Tallulah, and appeared in the film remake of the 1982 movie musical Annie opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. David stars in the upcoming feature Shine. A former New York police officer, Zayas began his acting career with LAByrinth Theater Company in 1992. He has starred in more than thirty theater productions, most with The LAByrinth Theater Company, including: “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” “Our Lady of 121 St.,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Anna in the Tropics” on Broadway.

Shirley Rumierk played the series regular role of “Vanessa Suarez” on RISE for NBC. Last year she starred in the independent film, 11:55 as well as the film COLLATERAL BEAUTY starring Will Smith. She recently completed guest star roles on ELEMENTARY and BLUE BLOODS for CBS and POWER for Starz. She also starred in LATINOLOGUES at the Helen Hayes theater on Broadway. Shirley is a proud board member of The 52nd Street Project in New York City which teaches kids in Hell’s Kitchen the importance of theater and arts education while working alongside professional working actors (a program she was a member of as a child). Shirley is also on the Alumni Council of Oliver Scholars, an organization that unlocks doors of opportunity for high achieving Black and Latino students in New York City by helping them gain admission to top independent high schools. As an Oliver Scholar she attended Trinity School. Shirley is a graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Hispanic Studies.

HILARY BETTIS is a Brooklyn-based writer who works in TV, film, and theater. She was nominated for a 2018 Writer’s Guild of America Award for her work on the Emmy nominated series “The Americans” on FX, which she wrote on for the final two seasons. She is an alum of the highly competitive Sundance Episodic TV lab. She is a 2015 graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwright Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Bettis has received fellowships, workshops, and residencies at the Roundabout, Alley All New Festival, Orlando Shakes PlayFest, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, John N. Wall Fellow at Sewanee Writers’ Conference, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Writer-In-Residence at Cape Cod Theatre Project, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Playwrights’ Week at The Lark, NNPN’s National Showcase of New Plays, Audrey Residency at New Georges, Two River Theater, Great Plains Theatre Conference, WildWind Lab at Texas Tech, The Kennedy Center/ NNPN MFA Workshop, and a Sloan/EST Commission. She has had plays recognized by The Kilroys every year since its inception. She has been a Runner-Up for the ALLIANCE THEATRE’s Kendeda Award, Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition, American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Award, New America Fellowship, and the Leah Ryan Prize. Bettis is a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theater, a Usual Suspect at NYTW, and an Affiliated Artist at New Georges. The Ghosts of Lote Bravo received a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, MO, Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona. Her play, Alligator, was produced Off-Broadway with New Georges and The Sol Project, and was nominated for a 2017 Drama Desk for Outstanding Music in a Play. Queen of Basel, a bilingual adaptation of Miss Julie commissioned by Miami New Drama, was produced at Miami New Drama in April 2018 to critical acclaim, and will receive its world premiere at Studio Theatre in D.C. March 2019. Her play, 72 miles to go… will receive a workshop production at the Alley in Houston January 2019. As a screenwriter, Bettis has written and produced two short films, B’Hurst and The Iron Warehouse, which have screened at film festivals across the globe. She wrote and produced her directorial debut short, Amarillo by Morning, currently in post-production. She has developed TV projects with NBCUniversal, FOX 21 and Citizen Media. She is currently adapting the Colombian hit-series “La Niña” for FX with Propgate (“Jane the Virgin”, “Ugly Betty”) producing. She is represented by CAA and Grandview. www.HilaryBettisWriter.com

DEVELOPING ARTISTS MISSION
Developing Artists is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1999 dedicated to providing opportunities for underdog (underserved) teens to reach their full potential through a practical application of the performing arts. We help students find their place and their connection to their community through participation in the arts. Developing Artists offer top-notch training for students from culturally diverse and socioeconomically underserved backgrounds to proclaim themselves as artists and to create a supportive young artist community through our innovative signature program REBEL VERSES Arts Festival. Developing Artists bridges the disparity of arts education for students from underserved communities by providing youth between the ages of 13 through 19 who attend High Schools in New York metropolitan area the opportunities to study performing arts at the highest level. We impact students by creating a forum to navigate life’s increasing challenges; to find their voice in dealing with issues like rage, fear or frustration; and channel that energy into self-expression and self-confidence. Over 95% of our students go on to graduate college. Jill DeArmon (Artistic Director/Board) / Jinn S. Kim (Executive Director/Board).

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Ma-Yi Presents World Premiere of SESAR by Orlando Pabotoy, Opens October 24

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Ma-Yi Theater Company is presenting the World Premiere of SESAR, written by and performed by Orlando Pabotoy, who previously acted with Ma-Yi, in his playwrighting debut, October 20 – November 1, 2018.  Helmed by Richard Feldman, SESAR is now in previews for a Wednesday, October 24 opening night on Theatre Row at The Beckett (410 W 42nd St). Tickets to “SESAR,” are available through TODAYTIX. Check every morning at 10am.Or go to Telechargeoffers.com and use CODE TRMOCAPRE for 20% off during previews. Or TRMOCAREG for 20% off during the regular run.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT “SESAR”
Born to a Filipino father and American mother, Pabotoy grew up in Bohol, a province that is part of the cluster of islands in the Philippines known as the Visayas Region. When he was 15, while watching television, Orlando caught a show with Christopher Plummer delivering a speech from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” In SESAR, the teenager locks himself in the only family bathroom to dive head-first into the world of ancient Rome, determined to make sense of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. The boy’s father, a former town mayor now exiled because of his democratic beliefs, joins his son in the bathroom, and using his own experiences, teaches him real-life lessons about power, love, and loss.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

With Set and Costume Design by Junghyun Georgia Lee, Lighting Design by Oliver Wason, Sound Design by Fabian Obispo, Projection Design by Dan Scully and Rachael Gass as Production Stage Manager.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Orlando Pabotoy debuts as a Playwright with Ma-Yi Theater Company. His recent work as playwright includes That Beautiful Laugh and an adaptation of Goldoni’s The World In the Moon. His recent work in devising and creation of new works were in collaborations with projects such as The Object Lesson (NYTW, BAM, various International Festivals) Home (BAM, various International Festivals) by Geoff Soebelle and Holoscenes – a site specific art piece that deals with the Trauma of flooding by Lars Jan. Orlando Pabotoy was recently a movement director for NAATCO’s Henry the VI by Shakespeare. His professional works in performance, direction and choreography has been seen in (selected venues): NAATCO, Ma-Yi Theater, The Public, NYTW, Yale Rep, Met Opera, Kirk Douglas, The Guthrie. American Airlines Theater, TFANA, The Lake Lucille Project. Salzburg Festival (Austria). Orlando Pabotoy is a faculty member at NYU Tisch School of The Arts, ITW (Amsterdam) and The Juilliard School. Awards: Obie Award (Magno Rubio with Ma-Yi), TCG Fox Fellowship Foundation.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Richard Feldman, Director, SESAR – Juilliard School of Drama – Specialty: Scene Study, Associate Director, Project Director
Richard Feldman was born in New York City and has directed productions including Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya, Rosmersholm, Fifth of July, Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, and Infinity’s House. He was formerly a teacher at H.B. Studio, is a founding member of the Vermont Ensemble Theater, and co-founder of the Dinosaur Theater. He attended Horace Mann School, holds a BA from Yale University, and did graduate studies at the American Conservatory Theater. Feldman joined the Drama Division faculty at Juilliard in 1987, became associate director in 2007, and has been acting director since 2016.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

The Drama Desk, Obie Award and Lucille Lortel Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company’s 2018 – 2019 Season features all-new American plays by Asian American Playwrights. After a breakout season with the award-winning success of the musical KPOP, and with the closing of Mike Lew’s highly praised Teenage Dick – Ma-Yi is presenting the productions of Sesar & The Chinese Lady in repertory at Theatre Row. Click here for more information.

Ma-Yi Theater Company has the distinction of being a primary incubator of new Asian American theater and the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the world.

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Ma-Yi Presents World Premiere Of Orlando Pabotoy’s SESAR

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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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Jason Ma, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee and More in NAAP’s INTO THE WOODS Rehearsal

The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang
Ann Harada (the Witch). Photo by Lia Chang
Ann Harada (the Witch). Photo by Lia Chang

National Asian Artists Project and Prospect Theater Company will present a special one-night-only concert reading of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods October 20 at 7:30 PM at The TimesCenter (242 W. 41st Street).

Steven Eng (Director). Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng (Director). Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Steven Eng with music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, the cast will include Katie Mariko Murray (Passion) as Cinderella, Alex Chester (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as Little Red Riding Hood, Joanna Carpenter as the Baker’s Wife, Karl Josef Co (CSC’s Pacific Overtures) as Cinderella’s Prince, Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes) as Rapunzel’s Prince, Lydia Gaston (The King and I) as Jack’s Mother, Ann Harada (Cinderella, Avenue Q) as the Witch, Kennedy Kanagawa (Dinner with Georgette) as Jack, Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day, Honeymoon in Vegas) as The Baker, and Jason Ma (writer/composer, Gold Mountain) as the Mysterious Man.

The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang

Other cast members include Rona Figueroa, Kimbirdlee Fadner, Rebecca Lee Lerman, Colin Miyamoto, David Shih, Laura Yen Solito, Virginia Wing, and Xiaoqing Zhang.

Raymond J. Lee (The Baker) and Joanna Carpenter (Baker's Wife). Photo by Lia Chang
Raymond J. Lee (The Baker) and Joanna Carpenter (Baker’s Wife). Photo by Lia Chang

The associate director is Cassey Kivnick, and the assistant musical director is Griffin Strout.

The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang

“NAAP is excited to bring together a remarkable ensemble of some of NYC’s finest actors—joining with the celebrated NAAP Broadway Community Chorus and the award-winning NAAP Kids—for a single night, to perform this rich, poignant, and very fun piece of theater,” said director Eng.

Kristen Lee Rosenfeld (Conductor/Music Director) and Griffin Strout (Associate Musical Director). Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Lee Rosenfeld (Conductor/Music Director) and Griffin Strout (Associate Musical Director). Photo by Lia Chang

“Prospect is honored to continue our fruitful partnership with NAAP, bringing to life one of the great modern classics of American musical theater,” added Prospect Producing Artistic Director Cara Reichel.

Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella), ReBecca Lee Lerman (Lucinda), Kimbirdlee Fadner (Florinda). Photo by Lia Chang
Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella), ReBecca Lee Lerman (Lucinda), Kimbirdlee Fadner (Florinda). Photo by Lia Chang

This event is part of NAAP’s annual Rediscover Series, which explores classic musicals with professional artists of Asian descent, proving that great works of theatre speak to all communities. The event is also part of Prospect’s ongoing IGNITE concert series.

The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang

For tickets and more information, visit NAAProject.org or ProspectTheater.org or call (212) 352-3101.

The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang
Raymond J. Lee (The Baker), Joanna Carpenter (Baker's Wife) and Ann Harada (the Witch). Photo by Lia Chang
Raymond J. Lee (The Baker), Joanna Carpenter (Baker’s Wife) and Ann Harada (the Witch). Photo by Lia Chang
Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella) and Steven Eng (Director). Photo by Lia Chang
Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella) and Steven Eng (Director). Photo by Lia Chang

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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

BD Wong to Revisit Lauren Yee’s THE GREAT LEAP at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, March 6 – March 31

BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

Following rave reviews and audience acclaim at off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company this past spring, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon announced that Tony Award winner and San Francisco native BD Wong will reprise his role as ‘Wen Chang’ in award-winning Bay Area playwright Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, performing at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (415 Geary St., San Francisco) from Wednesday, March 6, through Sunday, March 31, 2019. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Says Wong: “I’m always looking for the rare work that’s as moving as it is funny, that has characters who are people you’ve never met before but whom you somehow immediately feel familiar with. This play, kind of miraculously, gives me all of it. I love Lauren Yee’s insightful vantage point that looks over family relationships and the unsettled scores such relationships keep, all wrapped up in a fresh athletic metaphor. It’s a play that is so specifically Chinese American, yet somehow all-embracing-and that isn’t an easy feat for a playwright. It is a gift of an opportunity to perform Lauren’s play on one of the great regional stages in the country.”

Lauren Yee, BD Wong, Lisa Peterson, Pam MacKinnon. Photo by Lia Chang
Lauren Yee, BD Wong, Lisa Peterson, Pam MacKinnon. Photo by Lia Chang

Adds MacKinnon: “The Great Leap was already going to be a celebration of San Francisco-a story set here, by a playwright from here, about a sport vital to here. We now add to that a homecoming for San Francisco’s own BD Wong. I cannot wait!”

When a college basketball team from San Francisco is invited to China for an exhibition game in 1989, a smack-talking American coach prepares to take on his protégé-now grown and bent on crushing the Westerners. But after a public high school star from Chinatown joins the American team, his actions in Beijing become the accidental focus of attention, escalating the fractured history between the coaches. Funny, urgent, and contemporary, this slam dunk of a sports drama from Yee-developed at A.C.T.’s New Strands Festival in 2017-explores cultural identity, global politics, and the collision of cultures and generations. Under the direction of two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Peterson, The Great Leap soars through time and leaps across continents from the hardball courts of San Francisco’s Chinatown to a Beijing on the brink of a revolution, building tension right up to the buzzer.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Wong is the only actor ever to have received all five major New York Theater awards for a single role-namely his performance in M. Butterfly (his Broadway debut): the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Theater World Award, the Clarence Derwent Award, and the Tony Award.

Wong gained notice on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Oz” as the resilient prison priest (Father Ray) for the show’s six-season run. Then, for 11 seasons on the top-rated NBC series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” he played George Huang, an FBI forensic psychiatrist and expert on the criminal mind. Other television credits include NBC’s “Awake,” ABC’s “All-American Girl,” HBO’s telefilms And the Band Played On and The Normal Heart, as well as guest-starring roles on “Sesame Street,” “The X-Files,” “Madam Secretary,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” He most recently has been seen in two drastically different television roles simultaneously: as the nefarious Hugo Strange on “Gotham” and as the mysterious trans-female hacker Whiterose on “Mr. Robot.” For his work on the latter, he received an Emmy, Gold Derby, and a Critic’s Choice Award nominations.

Wong has appeared in more than 20 feature films, including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Jurassic World, Focus, The Space Between Us, Stay, The Salton Sea, Executive Decision, Seven Years in Tibet, Jurassic Park, Father of the Bride (1 & 2), and The Freshman. He can also be heard as the voice of Shang in the Disney animated films Mulan and Mulan II. He will next be seen in Birdbox.

Wong’s additional New York theater credits include The Great Leap at The Atlantic Theater Company, The Tempest, A Language of Their Own, As Thousands Cheer, Shanghai Moon, and the Broadway revivals of the musicals You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures (the latter for which he received a Drama League nomination for distinguished performance). He recently starred regionally in The Orphan of Zhao at La Jolla Playhouse and San Francisco’s A.C.T. In addition, he has starred in five productions of the one-man musical Herringbone, a project dear to his heart.

Wong holds an honorary M.F.A. from American Conservatory Theater.

Three-, four-, and five-play subscriptions are available and offer incredible savings, unparalleled access, exclusive benefits, and personalized customer service. Subscribers save as much as 50% off single-ticket prices. Students and educators are eligible to save up to half price on subscriptions, and senior discounts are available for certain series. A.C.T.’s competitive subscriber benefits include free ticket exchanges up to the day of your scheduled performance, guaranteed best seating, ticket insurance, access to convenient prepaid parking one block away from the theater, discounts for neighborhood restaurants, and the opportunity to subscribe to Words on Plays, A.C.T.’s in-depth theater guide for each show.

BD Wong, Ned Eisenberg, Ali Ahn and Tony Aidan Vo Celebrate Opening Night of Lauren Yee’s THE GREAT LEAP 

The Rise of Playwright Lauren Yee

Francis Jue, Peter Kim, Michelle Krusiec, Jaygee Macapugay, Joél Pérez, Kendyl Ito, Lulu Fall and More in Rehearsal for WILD GOOSE DREAMS at The Public, Extended through December 16

Michelle Krusiec and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Public is presenting the New York premiere of WILD GOOSE DREAMS, written by Hansol Jung and directed by Leigh Silverman. WILD GOOSE DREAMS has been extended through Sunday, December 16, with an official press opening on Wednesday, November 14. Click here for tickets.

Lulu Fall, Michelle Krusiec, Peter Kim, and Joel Perez. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Lulu Fall, Michelle Krusiec, Peter Kim, and Joel Perez. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of WILD GOOSE DREAMS includes Dan Domingues (Chorus), Lulu Fall (Digital Nanhee/Chorus), Kendyl Ito (Heejin/Chorus),Francis Jue (Father), Peter Kim (Guk Minsung), Michelle Krusiec (Yoo Nanhee), Jaygee Macapugay(Wife/Chorus), Joél Pérez (Digital Minsung/Chorus), Jamar Williams (Chorus), and Katrina Yaukey (Chorus).

Lulu Fall and Michelle Krusiec. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Lulu Fall and Michelle Krusiec. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

WILD GOOSE DREAMS returns to The Public after its initial run in Public Studio in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where it had a critically-acclaimed run last season. Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible? Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directs this strikingly original play with music, about two people from two cultures forced to choose between family and freedom.

Michelle Krusiec and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Krusiec and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

WILD GOOSE DREAMS features scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Keith Parham, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, composition by Paul Castles, Korean music composition by Jongbin Jung, movement direction by Yasmine Lee, and music supervision by Charity Wicks.

Francis Jue, director Leigh Silverman, and playwright Hansol Jung. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Francis Jue, director Leigh Silverman, and playwright Hansol Jung. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Director Leigh Silverman and playwright Hansol Jung. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Director Leigh Silverman and playwright Hansol Jung. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Krusiec and Peter Kim. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Krusiec and Peter Kim. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Director Leigh Silverman and playwright Hansol Jung. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Director Leigh Silverman and playwright Hansol Jung. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Dan Domingues, Jamar Williams, and Katrina Yaukey. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Dan Domingues, Jamar Williams, and Katrina Yaukey. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kendyl Ito and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kendyl Ito and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Joel Perez and Peter Kim. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Joel Perez and Peter Kim. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Ryun Yu Set for The Old Globe’s New Voices In The Community Series at Mira Mesa Public Library on October 20

Ryun Yu as Gordon Hirabayashi in “Hold These Truths”. Photo credit: Patrick Weishampel/Courtesy Portland Center Stage

The Old Globe is presenting its inaugural New Voices in the Community series: free public performances at libraries across San Diego County, followed by conversations with the playwrights and experts in the community. The first New Voices in the Community features three solo shows by women: Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, “A” Train by Anne Torsiglieri, and Unveiled: A One-Woman Play by Rohina Malik.

Ryun Yu as Gordon Hirabayashi in “Hold These Truths”. Photo credit: Patrick Weishampel/Courtesy Portland Center Stage
Ryun Yu as Gordon Hirabayashi in “Hold These Truths”. Photo credit: Patrick Weishampel/Courtesy Portland Center Stage

New Voices in the Community builds on the success of The Old Globe’s annual Powers New Voices Festival, which brings new work to the Globe’s stages every January. The Old Globe believes that theatre matters, and our work each day is to make theatre matter to more people. With the New Voices in the Community series, the Globe brings exciting contemporary playwrights to San Diego’s neighborhoods, collaborating with the San Diego library system to broaden the city’s access to new plays.

The Old Globe, in partnership with the Mira Mesa Public Library, kicks off the series on Saturday, October 20 at 2:00 p.m. with Hold These Truths, written by Jeanne Sakata, directed by Jessica Kubzansky, and performed by Ryun Yu. The Mira Mesa Public Library is located at 8405 New Salem St., San Diego, 92126.

The performance is FREE to the public. Click here to RSVP.

During World War II, in Seattle, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi fights the U.S. government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass-incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution, Gordon begins a 50-year journey toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs-and a confrontation with its failures. New York Theatre Review calls it “a play where one man’s singular story, so full of heart and heartbreak, can speak to the struggles of an entire nation.”

Jeanne Sakata (Playwright, Hold These Truths ) is a renowned actor and playwright known for using her passion, versatility, talent, and wit to provoke public conversation about culturally significant topics. Ms. Sakata’s talents span theatre, film, television, and voice-over, with productions in 2017-2018 of her nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance) at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Hang A Tale/Sheen Center in New York City, The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and Arena Stage in Washington DC. She has had guest and recurring roles on “Big Hero 6 The Series,” “Dr. Ken,” and Bravo’s “True Fiction.” She has also had acclaimed comic turns onstage in the 2015 Los Angeles Times Critic’s Choice Figaro at A Noise Within, and A Single Shard at People’s Light & Theatre Company. Ms. Sakata can also be heard as Soon Yang in Jennifer Phang’s acclaimed indie sci-fi film Advantageous, streaming exclusively on Netflix (2015 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Collaborative Vision, 2016 Film Independent Spirit Award nomination).

Jessica Kubzansky (Director) has been an Artistic Director of Boston Court Pasadena since its inception, and she is an award-winning director working nationally. She was privileged to develop and direct the world premiere of Hold These Truths at East West Players in 2007, and she has directed many subsequent productions, including at A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, and most recently Arena Stage. For Boston Court, Ms. Kubzansky has directed Luis Alfaro’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at Getty Villa and Sheila Callaghan’s Everything You Touch at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/Cherry Lane Theatre. At Boston Court, her directing credits include the upcoming world premiere of Sarah B. Mantell’s Everything That Never Happened, the West Coast premiere of Julia Lederer’s With Love and a Major Organ, Camino Real, Mother Courage and Her Children, and the world premieres of Stefanie Zadravec’s Colony Collapse, Everything You Touch, Ms. Kubzansky’s R II (a three-person adaptation of Richard II), Michael Elyanow’s The Children, Jordan Harrison’s Futura, Laura Schellhardt’s Courting Vampires, Nick Salamone and Maury McIntyre’s Gulls, Mickey Birnbaum’s Bleed Rail, Carlos Murillo’s Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32, Jean Claude Van Itallie’s Light, and Cody Henderson’s Cold/Tender. Her other credits include Sofia Alvarez’s Amos & Boris and Aditi Kapil’s Orange (South Coast Repertory), Stupid F***ing Bird (A Contemporary Theatre), Pygmalion and Mauritius (Pasadena Playhouse), and Hamlet with Leo Marks (Theatre 150). Ms. Kubzansky has received many awards and honors, among them the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre.

Ryun Yu (Performer, Hold These Truths ) plays the recurring character of Pastor Daniel Kwon in the FX show “Baskets” starring Zach Galifianakis and Louie Anderson. He has done two pilots for NBC and one for CBS, working with James Burrows, John Wells, Henry Winkler, Sissy Spacek, Janeane Garofalo, and others. He has also played characters on “Fuller House,” TBS’s “Animal Kingdom,” and the new Amazon series “Forever” with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen. In film, he played Mark in the film adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s Bondage, and DHH in Yellow Face, which was the first adaptation of a major play for YouTube, where it can still be viewed. In theatre, Mr. Yu originated the role of Gordon Hirabayashi in Hold These Truths at East West Players in 2007 and has since performed it to sold-out houses at A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, and most recently Arena Stage in Washington DC. He also originated the lead role of Takeshi in the world premiere of Kimber Lee’s tokyo fish story at South Coast Repertory. Mr. Yu’s other theatre credits include the West Coast premiere of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out (Geffen Playhouse), the world premiere of Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap (Magic Theatre), and Art and the Los Angeles premiere of Julia Cho’s The Language Archive (East West Players). As a writer and director, Mr. Yu directed and co-wrote the feature film The Last Tour , which won the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and was also selected for the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and the Korean American Film Festival New York. He is the first Korean American to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He also has the first theatre degree ever awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

SWEET CHARITY’s Kenny Ingram Stars In Benefit Concert Reading of SHANE BOY DARLING at Ruth Page Center on October 22

Kenny Ingram. Photo by Lia Chang

The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is presenting a benefit concert reading of Shane Boy Darling on Monday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St.

Kenny Ingram. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenny Ingram. Photo by Lia Chang

Shane Boy Darling is a one man musical written and starring Kenny Ingram with music and lyrics by Peter Candela.

General admission tickets are $25. Discounted tickets are available for seniors, and students over 18. Subject Matter Not Suitable for under 18.

Proceeds from the performance to benefit the Young Men’s Scholarship Program at the Ruth Page School of Dance. To reserve a ticket or find more information, click here.

Shane Boy Darling is a series of vignettes based on true stories with original music and lyrics. Performed as a concert reading, the play is a cosmic ride of laughter, inspiration and reflections on life and overcoming adversity, Ingram reflects on his career, family history and how he dealt with his greatest challenge – being diagnosed with prostate cancer. This challenge creates a special bond between his artistic collaborator, Peter Candela, who was also diagnosed with prostate cancer at the same time. Ultimately, the journey inspires faith and gratitude in an array of musical styles.

Kenny Ingram hails from San Jose, California and he has been a part of the Chicago Theatre Community since 1983. He started his professional career at the Marriott Theatre playing Ritchie in A Chorus Line! He has since choreographed and won a Jeff Award for 42nd Street at Marriott and a Jeff Award for playing Mr. Magix at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. Mr. Ingram recently completed a ten year run on Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King. Ingram recently won a New York Musical Festival Award for Outstanding Choreography for Emojiland and is currently featured as Daddy Brubeck in Marriott’s Theatre Sweet Charity.

Peter Candela was born and raised in Rochester, New York. During his college career, Candela studied various forms of music and with esteemed Gary Burton, Rayburn Wright, Bill Dobbins, Samuel Adler and Robert Morris. He moved to the New York metropolitan area in 1983 and quickly established himself as a freelance musician. His Broadway credits include playing keyboards for Disney’s The Lion King since 1998, and the latest Broadway revival of Bells Are Ringing. He has performed at Radio City and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. As composer, lyricist, and orchestrator, he wrote the 2012 Broadway/Cares Equity Fights Aids Easter Bonnet presentation entitled “Hallelujah Harlem” that won first prize for best presentation. You can also hear his song “Wreath of Kindness” performed by members of the cast of The Lion King on the 2012 “Carols for a Cure” CD. In 2015, he wrote the arrangements for “Face the Light,” an original Christian CD composed by Peter Kidd. He has accompanied many Broadway veterans including Jo Sullivan Loesser and Constantine Maroulis.

For more information about The Ruth Page Center for the Performing Arts and its programs visit www.RuthPage.org.

Lainie Sakakura, Kenny Ingram, Baayork Lee, Tisa Chang. Photo by Lia Chang
Lainie Sakakura, Kenny Ingram, Baayork Lee, Tisa Chang. Photo by Lia Chang

I recently caught up with Kenny Ingram when he appeared in the developmental reading of Lainie Sakakura (producer/book) and Paul Fujimoto’s (music/lyrics) CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, a musical adaptation of The New York Times Best Selling novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford at The Playroom Theater in New York on September 17.