Sean Carvajal and Ashley Park Receive Actors Equity’s Clarence Derwent Award

Ashley Park, Sean Carvajal

The Actors’ Equity Foundation’s 2018 Clarence Derwent Awards for most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene have gone to Sean Carvajal (Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train) and Ashley Park (Mean Girls, KPOP).

Ashley Park, Sean Carvajal
Ashley Park, Sean Carvajal

Carvajal received a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Angel Cruz in Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train at Signature Theatre. He and his co-star Edi Gathegi will receive a 2018 Drama Desk Award this year. As an actor, some of his work includes: Ghetto Babylon (59E59), Lissabon (LaMaMa), Holy Land (HERE Arts Center), Seven Spots on The Sun (Cincinnati Playhouse), Dominica, That Fat Ugly Ho (LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble), Between Riverside and Crazy (Studio Theatre), Water by the Spoonful (Premiere Stages).

Sean Carvajal and Edi Gathegi of “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” to Receive Special 2018 Drama Desk Award 

Park just earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Gretchen in Mean Girls and received a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical for KPOP. Other Broadway credits include: Tuptim in Lincoln Center’s The King and I (Grammy nom); Celeste 1 in Sunday in the Park with George; Mamma Mia!. National Tour: Gabrielle in R&H’s Cinderella. TV: “Nightcap” (PopTV/Lionsgate). Other: Mwe in KPOP! (Off-Broadway); Carnegie Hall; Vocals in The Greatest Showman (Fox); Luisa in Fantasticks (Pasadena Playhouse); Maid Marian in Hood (Dallas Theatre Center); Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.

Established in 1945 by Clarence Derwent, distinguished actor and president of Equity from 1946-1952, the award is the oldest on Broadway. Past recipients include Nina Arianda, Annaleigh Ashford, Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Allison Janney, Frances Sternhagen, Michael Urie, Christopher Walken, Fritz Weaver and in 2014, Whitney Bashor and Steven Boyer.

The Actors’ Equity Foundation, a philanthropic and humanitarian nonprofit organization, was created in 1962 to aid and assists the members of the acting profession and to promote the theatre arts. It is separate from Actors’ Equity Association and is funded by estate bequests and individual donations.

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KPOP, “School Girls,” ‘Cost of Living,” and “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” Take Top Honors at Lortel Awards

Jason Tam as Epic, the leader of the boy band F8, in KPOP. (© Ben Arons)

Laura Benanti and Jeremy Shamos hosted the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards at the NYU Skirball Center last night.

The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)
The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)

KPOP presented by Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective, was named Outstanding Musical and scored acting wins for Ashley Park (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical) and Jason Tam (Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical).

Jason Tam as Epic, the leader of the boy band F8, in KPOP. (© Ben Arons)
Jason Tam as Epic, the leader of the boy band F8, in KPOP. (© Ben Arons)

KPOP, an immersive musical set in a Korean pop music factory where stars are made—or broken, recently received the 2018 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, a Studio Production Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Other nominations include: a Drama League Nomination for Outstanding Production of a Broadway of Off-Broadway Musical;  2018 Off Broadway Alliance for Best Unique Theatrical Experience; and 7 2018 Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actress in a Musical – Ashley Park, Outstanding Director of a Musical – Teddy Bergman, Outstanding Music – Helen Park, Max Vernon, Outstanding Lyrics – Helen Park, Max Vernon, Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical – Will Pickens, Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical – Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew. 

Ashley Park in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.
Ashley Park in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.

KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”), features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon, immersive design by Woodshed Collective, direction by Teddy Bergman, and choreograph by Jennifer Weber.

KPOP’s James Seol, Ashley Park, Jason Tam, Vanessa Kai Among 9 2018 Lucille Lortel Nods, including Outstanding Musical 

Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole, and Paige Gilbert in SCHOOL GIRLS. Joan Marcus
Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole, and Paige Gilbert in SCHOOL GIRLS. Joan Marcus

There was a tie in the Outstanding Play category with MCC Theater’s production of Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, also winning in the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play category for Mirirai Sithole, and Pulitzer Prize winning playCost of Living by Martyna Majokproduced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival, taking home Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Award for Gregg Mozgala.

Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” Receives 2018 Drama Desk Ensemble Award and Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Off Broadway Alliance Nominations 

Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus
Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus

Signature Theatre’s revival of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train won Outstanding Revival, with Sean Carvajal winning the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play.

Sean Carvajal and Edi Gathegi of “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” to Receive Special 2018 Drama Desk Award 

Congrats to all the winners.

Outstanding Solo Show
Harry Clarke
Produced by Vineyard Theatre in association with Audible
Written by David Cale, performed by Billy Crudup

Outstanding Director
Anne Kauffman, Mary Jane

Outstanding Choreographer
Sonya Tayeh, The Lucky Ones

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Carrie Coon, Mary Jane

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Damon Daunno, The Lucky Ones

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Tiffany Mann, Jerry Springer – The Opera

Outstanding Scenic Design
Louisa Thompson, In The Blood

Outstanding Costume Design
Dede M. Ayite, Bella: An American Tall Tale

The company of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE. Photo by Joan Marcus
The company of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Lighting Design
Alan C. Edwards, Harry Clarke

Outstanding Sound Design
Leah Gelpe, Mary Jane

Outstanding Projection Design
Hannah Wasileski, Pipeline

Honorary Awards
Lifetime Achievement Award
Eve Ensler

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee
Michael Friedman

Outstanding Body of Work
WP Theater

2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced including KPOP, “Bella: An American Tall Tale,” “Mary Jane,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Pipeline,” “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” and “Pacific Overtures” 

KPOP by Jason Kim, Helen Park, Max Vernon, and Woodshed Collective and GUN & POWDER by Ross Baum and Angelica Chéri Receive 2018 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater

Chatting with VIETGONE Star James Seol 

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

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KPOP’s James Seol, Ashley Park, Jason Tam, Vanessa Kai Among 9 2018 Lucille Lortel Nods, including Outstanding Musical

The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)

KPOP presented by Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective, has scored 9 nominations for 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards.

The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)
The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)

KPOP, an immersive musical set in a Korean pop music factory where stars are made—or broken, recently received the 2018 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, a Studio Production Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

John Yi, Joomin Hwang, Jason Tam, Jiho Kang, Jinwoo Jung. Photo: Ben Arons.
John Yi, Joomin Hwang, Jason Tam, Jiho Kang, Jinwoo Jung. Photo: Ben Arons.

Nominated for Outstanding Musical, KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”), features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon, immersive design by Woodshed Collective, direction by Teddy Bergman, and choreograph by Jennifer Weber, who was also nominated.

Ashley Park in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.
Ashley Park in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.

KPOP tells the story of solo legend MwE, epic boy band F8, glamorous girl group SpecialK, and the label behind the pop madness, JTM Entertainment.

James Seol plays JTM’s brand manager for its American transition. Photo: Ben Arons/Ars Nova
James Seol plays JTM’s brand manager for its American transition. Photo: Ben Arons/Ars Nova

KPOP received 4 acting nominations including James Seol (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical), Ashley Park (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical),  Jason Tam (Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical), and Vanessa Kai (Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical).

Chatting with VIETGONE Star James Seol 

Jason Tam as Epic, the leader of the boy band F8, in KPOP. (© Ben Arons)
Jason Tam as Epic, the leader of the boy band F8, in KPOP. (© Ben Arons)
Vanessa Kai in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.
Vanessa Kai in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.

The nods in the design categories include Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Outstanding Scenic Design), Tricia Barsamian (Outstanding Costume Design), and Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew Outstanding Lighting Design).

Katie Lee Hill, Deborah Kim, Sun Hye Park, Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Susannah Kim in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.
Katie Lee Hill, Deborah Kim, Sun Hye Park, Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Susannah Kim in KPOP. Photo: Ben Arons.
KPOP company. Photo: Ben Arons.
KPOP company. Photo: Ben Arons.

The predominantly Asian and Asian American cast of 18 includes Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung,Vanessa Kai, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Amanda Morton, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with GeorgeThe King and I), Sun Hye Park ,James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian WaySmall Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/ThenLysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour). Marina Kondo joined the KPOP cast as Mwe during the extension.

KPOP cast members Jinwoo Jung, Deborah Kim, Ashley Park, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
KPOP cast members Jinwoo Jung, Deborah Kim, Ashley Park, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Ma-Yi Theater's Executive Director Jorge Ortoll, Deborah Kim, Jinwoo Jung, Susannah Kim, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Ma-Yi Theater’s Executive Director Jorge Ortoll, Deborah Kim, Jinwoo Jung, Susannah Kim, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Laura Benanti and Jason Jones, who appear together on TBS’s The Detour, will host the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on Sunday, May 6, at the NYU Skirball Center.

Click here for all the nominees.

2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced including KPOP, “Bella: An American Tall Tale,” “Mary Jane,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Pipeline,” “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” and “Pacific Overtures” 

KPOP by Jason Kim, Helen Park, Max Vernon, and Woodshed Collective and GUN & POWDER by Ross Baum and Angelica Chéri Receive 2018 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater

Photos: KPOP Performance Benefits Ma-Yi Theater Company

James Saito is flanked by Ma-Yi's Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Ortoll. Photo by Lia Chang
James Saito is flanked by Ma-Yi’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Ortoll. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced including KPOP, “Bella: An American Tall Tale,” “Mary Jane,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Pipeline,” “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,” “Pacific Overtures,”  and “Jesus Hopped the A Train”

The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)

Laura Benanti and Jeremy Shamos will host the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on Sunday, May 6, at the NYU Skirball Center.

The 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards, will posthumously elect composer Michael Friedman onto the Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Friedman was a Lucille Lortel Award winner for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Friedman died September 9, 2017, at the age of 41 following complications due to HIV/AIDS. His other works include This Beautiful City, Saved, The Fortress of Solitude, and Pretty Filthy.

The evening will also honor Tony-winning playwright and performer Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and longstanding Off-Broadway company WP Theater for their Outstanding Body of Work.

Ensler recently performed at Manhattan Theatre Club Off-Broadway in an adaptation of her memoir, In the Body of the World. The monologue play, written and performed by Ensler, details her experiences working with women in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and being diagnosed with uterine cancer.

MaameYaa Boafo and Zainab Jah. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
MaameYaa Boafo and Zainab Jah. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Outstanding Play
Cost of Living
Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival
Written by Martyna Majok

Miles for Mary
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte, Michael Dalto, Lila Neugebauer, and Stephanie Wright Thompson

Karen Pittman (foreground) and Namir Smallwood (background). Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Karen Pittman (foreground) and Namir Smallwood (background). Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Pipeline
Produced by Lincoln Center Theater
Written by Dominique Morisseau

Dominique Morisseau’s PIPELINE at Lincoln Center Theater 

School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
Produced by MCC Theater
Written by Jocelyn Bioh

MCC’s SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY by Jocelyn Bioh at The Lucille Lortel Theatre

Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” Receives 2018 Drama Desk Ensemble Award and Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Off Broadway Alliance Nominations 

The Treasurer
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Max Posner

The company of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE. Photo by Joan Marcus
The company of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Musical
Bella: An American Tall Tale
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Book, music, and lyrics by Kirsten Childs

Ashley D. Kelley, Paolo Montalban, Kenita R. Miller, Britton Smith, Yurel Echezarreta and More in BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE at Playwright’s Horizons 

Kirsten Childs’ BELLA Nominated for Drama League Award, Drama Desk Award, Chita Rivera Award and 6 Lortel Awards 

Desperate Measures
Produced by The York Theatre Company in association with Cecilia Lin and Hu Guo
Book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music by David Friedman

Hundred Days
Produced by New York Theatre Workshop
By the Bengsons and Sarah Gancher

Jerry Springer – The Opera
Produced by The New Group
Music and lyrics by Richard Thomas, book and additional lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas

The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)
The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)

KPOP
Produced by Ars Nova in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company and Woodshed Collective
Conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim, book by Jason Kim, music and lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon, immersive design by Woodshed Collective

KPOP’s James Seol, Ashley Park, Jason Tam, Vanessa Kai Among 9 2018 Lucille Lortel Nods, including Outstanding Musical 

KPOP by Jason Kim, Helen Park, Max Vernon, and Woodshed Collective and GUN & POWDER by Ross Baum and Angelica Chéri Receive 2018 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater

Photos: KPOP Performance Benefits Ma-Yi Theater Company

Outstanding Revival
Fucking A
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Suzan-Lori Parks

In The Blood
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Suzan-Lori Parks

Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

The Government Inspector
Produced by Red Bull Theater
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from Revizor by Nikolai Gogol

Torch Song
Produced by Second Stage Theater in association with Richie Jackson
Written by Harvey Fierstein

Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus
Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus

Outstanding Solo Show
Harry Clarke
Produced by Vineyard Theatre in association with Audible
Written by David Cale, performed by Billy Crudup

Who’s Holiday!
Produced by Whoville Theatrical, Scott and Jenny Beck, Jason Shaw, Ken Fakler, Drew Desky/Dane Levens, Darren Bagert
Written by Matthew Lombardo, performed by Lesli Margherita

Outstanding Director
Lileana Blain-Cruz, Pipeline
Michael Greif, The Low Road
Anne Kauffman, Mary Jane
Lila Neugebauer, Miles for Mary
Leigh Silverman, Harry Clarke

Outstanding Choreographer
Camille A. Brown, Bella: An American Tall Tale
Bill Castellino, Desperate Measures
Byron Easley, X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation
Sonya Tayeh, The Lucky Ones
Jennifer Weber, KPOP

Chukwudi Iwuji and Crystal A. Dickinson. © Joan Marcus
Chukwudi Iwuji and Crystal A. Dickinson. © Joan Marcus

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Sean Carvajal, Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train
Peter Friedman, The Treasurer
Chukwudi Iwuji, The Low Road
Namir Smallwood, Pipeline
Michael Urie, Torch Song

Sean Carvajal, Edi Gathegi, Ricardo Chavira, Stephanie DiMaggio, Erick Betancourt End Extended Run in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ JESUS HOPPED THE A TRAIN 

Quincy Tyler Bernstine. Photo by Lia Chang
Quincy Tyler Bernstine. Photo by Lia Chang

 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Quincy Tyler Bernstine, The Amateurs
MaameYaa Boafo, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
Carrie Coon, Mary Jane
Cristin Milioti, After the Blast
Karen Pittman, Pipeline

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Marc Bovino, Miles for Mary
Edi Gathegi, Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train
Gregg Mozgala, Cost of Living
Paul Sparks, Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo: Homelife and The Zoo Story
John Tufts, Pride and Prejudice

Carrie Coon, Liza Colón-Zayas, Danaya Esperanza, Susan Pourfar, Brenda Wehle Set for Amy Herzog’s MARY JANE at New York Theatre Workshop

From left: Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole and Paige Gilbert in 'School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play' Photo: Joan Marcus
From left: Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole and Paige Gilbert in ‘School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play’ Photo: Joan Marcus

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Vanessa Aspillaga, Amy and the Orphans
Quincy Tyler Bernstine, As You Like It
Liza Colón-Zayas, Mary Jane
Mirirai Sithole, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
Katy Sullivan, Cost of Living

Chatting with VIETGONE Star James Seol 

Chatting with Steven Eng – 2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for “Pacific Overtures”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Abigail Bengson, Hundred Days
Ashley D. Kelley, Bella: An American Tall Tale
Julia Knitel, A Letter to Harvey Milk
Lauren Molina, Desperate Measures
Ashley Park, KPOP

Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Sean Patrick Doyle, Jerry Springer – The Opera
Brandon Gill, Bella: An American Tall Tale
Paolo Montalban, Bella: An American Tall Tale
Thom Sesma, Pacific Overtures
Jason Tam, KPOP

Jason Tam as Epic, the leader of the boy band F8, in KPOP. (© Ben Arons)
Jason Tam as Epic, the leader of the boy band F8, in KPOP. (© Ben Arons)

Lucille Lortel Nominee Thom Sesma Talks Asian American Representation in the Performing Arts and all things Sondheim 

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Vanessa Kai, KPOP
Tiffany Mann, Jerry Springer – The OperaQuincy Tyler Bernstine
Maryann Plunkett, The Lucky Ones
Myra Lucretia Taylor, The Lucky Ones
Adina Verson, The Lucky Ones

Outstanding Scenic Design
Gabriel Hainer Evansohn, KPOP
Anna Fleischle, Hangmen
Laura Jellinek, Mary Jane
Amy Rubin, Miles for Mary
Louisa Thompson, In The Blood

Outstanding Costume Design
Dede M. Ayite, Bella: An American Tall Tale
Dede M. Ayite, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
Tricia Barsamian, KPOP
Tilly Grimes, The Government Inspector
Emily Rebholz, The Low Road

Outstanding Lighting Design
Alan C. Edwards, Harry Clarke
Bradley King, The Treasurer
Ben Stanton, The Low Road
Japhy Weideman, Mary Jane
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, KPOP

Outstanding Sound Design
Mikhail Fiksel, The Treasurer
Leah Gelpe, Mary Jane
Bray Poor, The Last Match
Bray Poor, Office Hour
Brandon Wolcott, After the Blast

Outstanding Projection Design
Lucy Mackinnon, After the Blast
Alexander V. Nichols, Ernest Shackleton Loves Me
Brad Peterson, The Stone Witch
Hannah Wasileski, Pipeline
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Relevance

Productions with multiple nominations
KPOP (9)
Bella: An American Tall Tale (6)
Mary Jane (6)
The Lucky Ones (5)
Pipeline (5)
Jerry Springer – The Opera (4)
The Low Road (4)
Miles for Mary (4)
School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (4)
The Treasurer (4)
After the Blast (3)
Cost of Living (3)
Desperate Measures (3)
Harry Clarke (3)
Jesus Hopped The “A” Train (3)
Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (2)
The Government Inspector (2)
Hundred Days (2)
In the Blood (2)
Pacific Overtures (2)
Torch Song (2)

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Photos: KPOP Performance Benefits Ma-Yi Theater Company; Extends to October 21

KPOP cast members Jinwoo Jung, Deborah Kim, Ashley Park, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

In response to overwhelming demand and critical acclaim, Ars Nova “one of NYC’s most adventurous Off Broadway companies” (New York Times), in association with “the foremost incubator of new Asian American theater in the country” (Obie awardMa-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective, “the exceptional theater company” that turns “spaces into intimate vortexes of wonder” (Gothamist) extends the world premiere of KPOP until October 21.

James Saito is flanked by Ma-Yi's Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Ortoll. Photo by Lia Chang
KPOP cast member James Saito is flanked by Ma-Yi’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Ortoll. Photo by Lia Chang

On October 3rd, I attended a special performance of KPOP to benefit Ma-Yi Theater. Check out who came out to support Ma-Yi Theater’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña,  Executive Director Jorge Ortoll and the Obie Award winning theater company.

KPOP cast members Jinwoo Jung, Deborah Kim, Ashley Park, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
KPOP cast members Jinwoo Jung, Deborah Kim, Ashley Park, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and James Seol. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang and KPOP cast member James Seol. Photo by Garth Kravits

KPOP is a high-octane immersive event that gives audiences a backstage pass to a K-pop music factory. A limited number of $25 rush tickets will be available to audiences under 30 years of age (valid ID required). The production, which opened on September 22, must end on October 21.

New York‘s Sara Holdren calls KPOP “A delicious spectacle,” and “expansive, catchy, and cunning,” while Time Out New York’s Adam Feldman “defies you not to enjoy KPOP!” and declares “tiny bubble of pleasure keep floating up and bursting all around us. Pop! Pop! Pop! We’re sold.”

Ma-Yi Theater's Executive Director Jorge Ortoll, Deborah Kim, Jinwoo Jung, Susannah Kim, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Ma-Yi Theater’s Executive Director Jorge Ortoll, Deborah Kim, Jinwoo Jung, Susannah Kim, Jiho Kang and Joomin Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Brantley in The New York Times highlights “the eye-popping visuals throughout (right down to the ads on the walls). And Ms. Park and Mr. Vernon’s pastiche fusion musical numbers, choreographed with slashing wit by Jennifer Weber, are as synthetically sweet and perversely addictive as the real thing.”

The predominantly Asian and Asian American cast of 18 includes Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung,Vanessa Kai, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Amanda Morton, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with GeorgeThe King and I), Sun Hye Park ,James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian WaySmall Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/ThenLysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour). Marina Kondo joins the KPOP cast as Mwe during the extension.

KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”) and features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon (The View UpStairs), an immersive design by Woodshed Collective, choreography by Bessie-nominee Jennifer Weber (The Hip Hop Nutcracker, TruTV’s “Face Off”) and is directed by Teddy Bergman (Empire Travel Agency).

Cindy Cheung, KPOP cast member David Shih and Ed Lin. Photo by Lia Chang
Cindy Cheung, KPOP cast member David Shih and Ed Lin. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Production Design), Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design),Will Pickens (Sound Design), Phillip Gulley (Projection and Video Design), Sujin Kim-Ramsey (Music Director), Helen Park & Max Vernon (Orchestration, Vocal Arrangements, Music Production) and Lizzy Lee (Production Stage Manager).

Ma-Yi's Executive Director Jorge Ortoll with Ching Valdes-Aran and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
Ma-Yi’s Executive Director Jorge Ortoll with Ching Valdes-Aran and guests. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances of KPOP will now play through October 21 at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. Monday–Wednesday at 7pm; Thursday–Saturday at 8pm; Friday and Saturday at 3pm.

Ma-Yi's Executive Director Jorge Ortoll and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
Ma-Yi’s Executive Director Jorge Ortoll and guests. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets are $75 general/$125 premium and  during the October 9–21 extension period and can be purchased by visiting arsnovanyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101. A limited number of $25 rush tickets will also be available to audiences under 30 years of age (valid ID required) at the box office 30 minutes prior to curtain for each performance, no advance sales.

About Ars Nova
Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support cross-pollination and outside-the-box thinking to encourage innovative work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: “Best New American Theatre Work” OBIE Award-winner & New York Times’ “Best of 2016” Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special (now on international tour); Outstanding Musical Lortel Award-winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; the New York Times’ and New York Post’s “Best of 2015” Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl (now touring the US after a return engagement Off Broadway); Time Out New York’s “Best of 2014,” JACUZZI by The Debate Society; the Tony award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (now on Broadway); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Alex Timbers; audience favorite Dixie’s Tupperware Partyby Kris Andersson; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It’s Pink, by Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s and Thomas Kail’s first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme, by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda.

About Ma-Yi Theater Company
Ma-Yi Theater Company recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with Hansol Jung’s Among the Dead, Nandita Shenoy’s Washer/Dryer and A. Rey Pamatmat’s House Rules. The company won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for its critically-acclaimed production of The Wong Kids in The Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO!, which recently made its international premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 28th season, MA-YI is a Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.

Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s Bike America, Qui Nguyen’s The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G andSoul Samurai (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew’s Microcrisis and the revival of Ralph B. Peña’s Flipzoids. Other productions include: Rescue Me by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap and The Children of Vonderly and The Romance of Magno Rubio. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American playwrights for its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 OBIE Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”

Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña.

About Woodshed Collective
Woodshed Collective is one of the country’s premier immersive theater companies. Since 2008, the company has presented large scale theatrical events including: Twelve Ophelias performed in McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Confidence Man adapted from Melville’s novel and performed on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River and The Tenant adapted from the novel and film and performed in a five story 19th Century Parish House on the Upper West Side.

Most recently, the company presented the critically acclaimed Empire Travel Agency, a grail quest crisscrossing Lower Manhattan, where groups of four audience members at a time hunted for the secret to the essential vibrancy of New York. Driven by the belief in the combined power of stories and architecture to break down the barriers of everyday life, Woodshed’s shows aim to create genuine awe.

About A.R.T./New York
The A.R.T./New York Theatres are a project of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York), which provide state-of-the-art, accessible venues at subsidized rental rates, plus free access to top-line technical equipment, so that the city’s small and emerging theater companies can continue to experiment, grow and produce new works. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York is the leading service and advocacy organization for New York City’s 375+ nonprofit theaters, with a mission to assist member theaters in managing their companies effectively so that they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well. We accomplish this through a comprehensive roster of real estate, financial, educational and community-building programs, as well as research, advocacy and field-wide initiatives that seek to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the industry. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has received numerous honors, including an Obie Award, an Innovative Theatre Award, a New York City Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. For more information, please visit art-newyork.org.

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 award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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 lia@liachang.com

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KPOP at A.R.T./New York Theatres Extends through October 21

The world premiere of KPOP presented by Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective opened last night to rave reviews at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. Due to popular demand, the high-octane immersive event which gives you a backstage pass to a K-pop music factory has been extended through October 22.

Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung, Vanessa Kai, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I), Amanda Morton, Sun Hye Park, James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Small Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour).

KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”) and features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon (The View UpStairs), an immersive design by Woodshed Collective, choreography by Bessie-nominee Jennifer Weber (The Hip Hop Nutcracker, TruTV’s “Face Off”) and is directed by Teddy Bergman (Empire Travel Agency).

The creative team includes Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Production Design), Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design), Will Pickens(Sound Design), Phillip Gulley (Projection and Video Design), Sujin Kim-Ramsey (Music Director), Helen Park & Max Vernon (Orchestration, Vocal Arrangements, Music Production) and LIzzy Lee (Production Stage Manager).

Click here to learn more about the artists.

Tickets, priced at $45 general/$75 premium, can be purchased by visiting arsnovanyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101.


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 Examiner.comJade 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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Don’t Miss Out – KPOP VIP Night to Benefit Ma-Yi Theater Company on October 3

The highly anticipated world premiere of KPOP presented by Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective is currently in previews and will open on Friday, September 22 at 8pm at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. The high-octane immersive event  gives you a backstage pass to a K-pop music factory and has performances through October 7 .

Tickets for most of the run are already sold-out but Ma-Yi Theater released a LIMITED block of tickets for the benefit on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.  Tickets, priced at $45 general/$75 premium, can be purchased by visiting arsnovanyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101.

Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung, Vanessa Kaihave, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I), Amanda Morton, Sun Hye Park, James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Small Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour).

KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”) and features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon (The View UpStairs), an immersive design by Woodshed Collective, choreography by Bessie-nominee Jennifer Weber (The Hip Hop Nutcracker, TruTV’s “Face Off”) and is directed by Teddy Bergman (Empire Travel Agency).

The creative team includes Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Production Design), Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design), Will Pickens(Sound Design), Phillip Gulley (Projection and Video Design), Sujin Kim-Ramsey (Music Director), Helen Park & Max Vernon (Orchestration, Vocal Arrangements, Music Production) and LIzzy Lee (Production Stage Manager).

Click here to learn more about the artists.

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 Examiner.comJade 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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Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective is Presenting KPOP Featuring  James Saito, Ashley Park, Jason Tam, Deborah S. Craig, David Shih, Katie Lee Hill, James Seol and More, September 5-October 7

Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective is presenting the world premiere of KPOP, a high-octane immersive event that gives you a backstage pass to a K-pop music factory,  September 5-October 7 at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street in Manhattan.

Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Deborah S. Craig (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung, Vanessa Kaihave, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I), Sun Hye Park, James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Small Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour).

KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”) and features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon (The View UpStairs), an immersive design by Woodshed Collective, choreography by Bessie-nominee Jennifer Weber (The Hip Hop Nutcracker, TruTV’s “Face Off”) and is directed by Teddy Bergman (Empire Travel Agency).

The creative team includes Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Production Design), Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design), Will Pickens(Sound Design), Phillip Gulley (Projection and Video Design), Sujin Kim-Ramsey (Music Director), Helen Park & Max Vernon (Orchestration, Vocal Arrangements, Music Production) and LIzzy Lee (Production Stage Manager).

Opening night is Friday, September 22 at 8pm. Tickets, priced at $45 general/$75 premium, can be purchased by visiting arsnovanyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101.

Ars Nova’s Ticket Initiative, generously supported in part by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, underwrites the cost of tickets for all performances, allowing the company to make theater accessible to the next generation of theater-goers. Through that initiative, $25 tickets are available with code KPOPSICLE for performances September 5-9 and $35 tickets are available with code LOLLIPOP for performances September 11-16.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Teddy Bergman (Director) is a New York based director, producer and actor. As the Artistic Director of acclaimed immersive theater company Woodshed Collective, he has co-conceived and directed many productions including: Twelve Ophelias, The Confidence Man, The Tenant and most recently Empire Travel Agency. His work as a director has also been seen at Ars Nova, Portland Center Stage, Columbia University, Primary Stages, The Vineyard Arts Project, Space on Ryder Farm, Clubbed Thumb and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. As an actor he is currently appearing in a major role in the Amazon Studios Original Series Good Girls Revolt. He was in the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award Winning play Peter And The Starcatcher. His film work includes Wolves (upcoming), Listen Up Philip, Fading Gigolo, Hairbrained, Julie and Julia, Little Big League and Honeymoon in Vegas. Other TV work includes: The Affair, Law and Order: SVU, As The World Turns and Submissions Only in addition to National and International Commercials. Other theater credits include: Philip Goes Forth (The Mint), Sex Lives of Our Parents (2nd Stage), Peter and the Starcatcher (NYTW), Seven Minutes in Heaven (HERE), Hell House (St. Ann’s), I.E. (The Flea) and regionally at Bay Street, Williamstown, Huntington and La Jolla.

Jason Kim (Co-Conceiver, Book) is a Korean-born dramatist based in New York City. His work has been presented at The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi, Keen Company, Naked Angels, The Flea, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Spoleto Festival, Opera America and others. He is an IFP Marcie Bloom Fellow in Film, a Screenwriters Colony Fellow, a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans and a Mark Campbell Chair Librettist Fellow in American Opera Project’s Composers & The Voice. He is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Ars Nova’s Uncharted. He is currently Lincoln Center Theater’s Resident Writer. In television, he has written for HBO’s Girls and Fox’s Gracepoint and has adapted The Middlesteins for Showtime. He is currently the Consulting Producer for Love on Netflix. BA Columbia University, MFA New School for Drama. waytooserious.com.

Helen Park (Composer, Orchestration) is a composer, arranger and performer. She wrote music for a full-length musical The Large Life of Alice Liddell which received a reading at NYU. She also wrote a one-act Latin musical comedy, Last Resort, which received readings at NYU and was performed at The Duplex theater. Helen wrote the one-act musical Baked Goods with lyrics by Christyn Budzyna and book by Charlie Cohen, which was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Sound Bites Festival and was selected winner for the 2017 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest. Helen has worked as music assistant to composer Tom Kitt on Broadway’s If/Then, The Spongebob Musical and Freaky Friday. Currently, Helen is at work on the musical KPOP, an adaptation of the screenplay 50 First Dates and an original musical. Helen’s music has been featured at Ars Nova, The Duplex, NYMF, BMI Smoker, Joe’s Pub and 54 Below among others. Helen is an alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, and is a member of BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop (Advanced). helenparkmusic.com

Max Vernon (Composer, Orchestration) is a composer/lyricist, playwright and performer. His work has been performed and developed at Ars Nova, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Wondrous Strange, Humana Festival 2016), Lincoln Center (LC Originals), Keen Company, Disney Creative Entertainment, Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Two River Theater (NJ), Goodspeed Opera House and Pride Films and Plays (Chicago), among others. He has received the Jonathan Larson Grant and JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation, NYFA Fellowship for Music, as well as New York Stage and Film’s Founders Award. He is a former Dramatist Guild Theater Fellow, member of Ars Nova’s Uncharted and The Civilians’ R&D Group. Other residencies include Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony and Berkeley Rep’s The Ground Floor. His musicals include The View UpStairs, KPOP, WIRED, 30 Million, Co-Op, Show & Tell and Nincest (book and lyrics by Jen Silverman) MFA: NYU, Musical Theatre Writing. maxvernon.com.

Jennifer Weber (Choreographer) “Outstanding Emerging Choreographer” New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) nominee, Jennifer Weber is the artistic director of the award-winning, theatrical hip-hop dance company, Decadancetheatre. Based in Brooklyn, NY, the company has toured across the US, UK, Russia and France performing at venues including Jacob’s Pillow, The Apollo Theater, The Kennedy Center, London’s Southbank Center, The Everyman in Liverpool, New York City Center, Bumbershoot in Seattle, The Stanislavsky Music Theatre in Moscow and The Music Center in Los Angeles. She has choreographed for American Express, Uber, Ulta, L’Oreal Matrix, Reebok, Bloomberg, Philosophy, Marc Jacobs, CK2 and UK TV show, Blue Peter. Weber was the creative director for the 2016 tour of Lifetime’s Bring it! Live and choreographed the 16/17 tour of PBS’s Odd Squad Live. Weber and The Deca Crew were featured on Season 2 of TruTV’s theatrical competition series Fake Off. She is the director and choreographer for The Hip Hop Nutcracker, currently touring the US. jenniferwebernyc.com.

Julia Abueva (Sonoma) West End: Miss Saigon (Kim u/s). Other stage appearances include: Cinderella (Newport Performing Arts Theater); Pangdemonium! Singapore premieres of next to normal and Spring Awakening and the Philippine Repertory Theater production of The Fantasticks. NY Workshops: Tiananmen (dir. Stafford Arima). Upcoming: Stella’s Last Weekend (opp. Nat Wolff). All my love and gratitude to my family, Mama, “Dadday”, At and Kuy. And to the best-Margrit and Matt for the endless support and believing in me. @julia.abueva.

Cathy Ang (Jin Hee) is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut! New York Theater: Riot Antigone – New Work (Ismene), Spring Awakening (Wendla), Void – Reading (Joan), The Secret Garden (Mary Lennox), A Little Night Music (Fredrika), The Meanest Birthday Girl – New Work (Gertrude), Royal Fables – Reading & Production (Sleeping Beauty), Once On This Island (Little Timoune), Beatsville – Reading & Production (Betty). Education: NYU Steinhardt. Voice: Jeremy Aye. Unending gratitude and love to her pamilya!!!

Deborah S. Craig (Vocal Coach) Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park). Off-Broadway premieres: Ma-Yi, Red Bull Theatre, Second Stage, Soho Rep., NAATCO and Project 400. Other new work: La Jolla Playhouse, New Dramatists, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public, Center Theatre Group, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage, Target Margin, New York Theatre Workshop, The Civilians, South Coast Rep, Chalk Rep and IAMA Theatre Company. TV: Transparent (Amazon), The Blacklist (NBC), Hart of Dixie (CW), Six Degrees (ABC), Workaholics (Comedy Central), Better Things (FX), Bajillion Dollar Properties (Seeso), Son of Zorn (Fox), Almost There (DirectTV) and Dog With a Blog (Disney).

Katie Lee Hill (Tiny D) previously appeared in Sky-Pony’s The Wildness at Ars Nova with PlayCo! More theater highlights: Nerds (Broadway); The Rose Tattoo starring Marissa Tomei (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Poster Boy (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Film Chinois (off-Broadway, Pan Asian Rep). TV: Succession (HBO). Developmental: Vineyard Theatre, Sundance Theatre Lab, NYMF. Her band is: baby chemist. Thanks to Ars Nova, Ma-Yi, Woodshed, the creative team and HRB for this pop-portunity. Love to her family and Travis. katieleehill.com.

Joomin Hwang (Timmy X) is thrilled to make his Off-Broadway debut. He was born and raised in South Korea. Until he came to the U.S, he appeared many of theater productions in South Korea. He recently finished his featured film: Sushi Tushi starring with Eddie Mekka (Carmine / Laverne & Shirley). NYC Theater Credits: Han u/s in Green Card: A New Musical (St. Clements) and Graffiti Pete in In The Heights (Axelrod Performing Arts Center). Dance Theater: The Choreographer’s Canvas 2016 (NYC), Break Out (World Tour), Bibop (World Tour), Sachoom (World Tour). Concerts: Eternal Light NYC premiere (Carnegie Hall), The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins (Carnegie Hall), New York Chamber Choirs. BFA, Vocal Performance in University of Wisconsin. Special thanks to my family and Megumi, my wife, I love you. joominhwang.com. @joominhwang.

JINWOO JUNG (Oracle) first wants to thank the team and the audience for making great production happen. Born and raised in Korea, after finishing degree in law, Jinwoo decided to follow his dream to be an Actor/Singer and went to USC, MFA Acting (Class of 2016). He was in The Christians (Mark Taper Forum), played Jean Michel in La Cage aux Folles (East West Players) and has worked on various TV/Film/VO/commercials.

Vanessa Kai (Ruby). Off Broadway: Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage Theater Uptown), The Architecture of Becoming (Women’s Project). Regional: The Christians (Riverside Theatre), Brownsville Song (B-Side for Tray) (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Far East (Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Debut by Connecticut Critics Circle) and An Infinite Ache (Stamford TheatreWorks). Select Film/TV: The Blacklist, Gotham, The Mysteries of Laura, Orange Is The New Black, The Leftovers, Off The Rails, Old Acquaintance Be Forgot. vanessakai.com

JIHO KANG (Lex) is excited to make his theatrical debut with Ars Nova‘s upcoming production of KPOP. Jiho spent last summer singing on Superstar K 2016, a singing competition on South Korea’s MNET. He currently writes music and performs every chance he gets. He is originally from Seattle, WA and graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Applied Mathematics. More information on jihokang.com.

DEBORAH KIM (XO) discovered her passion for dance during her undergraduate years at NYU. Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to choreograph and perform for The Neighbors Dance Team and Epic Motion, and has been featured in live performance and commercial work for Calvin Klein, ABC Family and MSG-TV. Deborah has also published her poetry on KoreanAmericanStory.org, and recently played her first lead role as an actor in the short film Babo.

SUSANNAH KIM (Mina) is thrilled to be here from Los Angeles to make her Off Broadway debut in KPOP! Her previous credits include Urinetown (Little Sally), Company (Kathy), A Piece of My Heart (Leeann) and last summer’s MTV VMAs “Truth” campaign. She also hosts multiple shows for AfterbuzzTV. She’s grateful for this opportunity and feels fortunate for the support of her cats, family and friends. @susannah_kim

Ashley Park (MwE) was seen earlier this year in Broadway’s critically-acclaimed revival of Sunday in the Park with George. Other Broadway: ‘Tuptim’ in Lincoln Center’s The King and I (Grammy nomination); Mamma Mia! National Tour: R&H’s Cinderella (Gabrielle). This summer she played ‘Maid Marian’ in world premiere of Hood (Dallas Theatre Center). This winter, she will be originating the role of ‘Gretchen Wieners’ in Tina Fey’s much anticipated Mean Girls musical. TV: Nightcap (PopTV/Lionsgate). Proud University of Michigan Graduate. @ashleyparklady

SUN HYE PARK (Callie) graduated from MFA Acting at Columbia University in May. Originally from Korea, Sun Hye received her BFA in Acting from Korea National University of Arts. Favorite credits include Hamyul/Hamlet, Picture Bride, Macbeth, Miss Julie and The Phantom Lady. She’d love to thank her family and friends for their love and support. She especially thanks God for the opportunity to have this amazing show.

James Saito (Moon) Broadway: Golden Child, The King And I. National Tour: Flower Drum Song. NY Theater includes: Lincoln Center (Mitzi Newhouse), Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout, Vineyard. Regional Theaters include: Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Long Wharf, Mark Taper Forum, Old Globe. Film and TV include: Big Eyes, Life Of Pi, While We’re Young, Hawaii Five-O, House Of Cards, Madam Secretary, The Deuce, Blue Bloods, Too Big To Fail, Eli Stone. OBIE for performance: Durango.

James Seol (Jerry) Broadway: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way (Roundabout Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: Small Mouth Sounds (Signature Theatre), Around the World in 80 Days (Davenport Theatre). Regional: Four Immigrants, Tokyo Fish Story (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mame (Goodspeed Musicals), Zombie: The American (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), Hamlet (Hartford Stage), The Orphan of Zhao (American Conservatory Theater/La Jolla Playhouse). He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Virginia.

David Shih (Plastic Surgeon) Previously with Ma-Yi: Bike America. Off-Broadway: Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage), Awake and Sing! (The Public/NAATCO), The World of Extreme Happiness (MTC), Crane Story (Playwrights Realm), Dojoji (Pan Asian Rep), Sake with the Haiku Geisha (Gotham Stage). Regional: Tiger Style! (La Jolla), The King and I (Maltz Jupiter). TV/Film: The Path, Madam Secretary, The Blacklist, Mozart in the Jungle, Unforgettable, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Saving Face.

Jason Tam (Epic) Broadway: IF/THEN (David); Lysistrata Jones (Xander, Astaire Award nomination); A Chorus Line (Paul); Les Misérables (Gavroche). Off-Broadway: Marry Me A Little; Lysistrata Jones. Tour: Les Misérables. NY/Workshop: KPOP; Nobody Loves You; Allegiance; The Last Goodbye; US; Clueless; The Black Suits; The Nightingale; The Yellow Wood. Regional: Hollywood Bowl; Guthrie Theater; Sacramento Music Circus; Sharon Playhouse; Casa Mañana. TV: Do No Harm; Guilty; Hawaii 5-0; One Life to Live; Beyond the Break. Film: Every Little Step (documentary). BFA, NYU Tisch.

John Yi (Bobo) Off-Broadway and original cast debut. NY: Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Vocalist), Oliver! (Signature Theatre, choreo: Baayork Lee), KPOP (2014 workshop), Grateful (Symphony Space). Tour/regional: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (first national tour, Topher & Jean-Michel u/s), Miss Saigon (international tour with Pittsburgh CLO), Queen Mother (Goodspeed Opera House, dir: Lynne Taylor-Corbett), City of Angels (Heritage Theatre Festival). BFA: Elon University. Proud Teach For America Alum (HOU ’11, 7th grade reading). Rep: CLEAR Talent Group. @mrjohnyi.

Ebony Williams (Jenn) is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway Debut! Training: Boston Ballet School, Boston Conservatory. Company: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Movie: Adjustment Bureau. TV: So You Think You Can Dance, SNL, 30 Rock and Americas Got Talent. Music Video: Single Ladies (matching Beyonce), Lemonade and Formation World Tour.

Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support cross-pollination and outside-the-box thinking to encourage innovative work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from The New York Drama Critics’ Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: “Best New American Theatre Work” OBIE Award-winner & New York Times’ “Best of 2016” Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppardwith Lightning Rod Special (now on international tour); Outstanding Musical Lortel Award-winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; The New York Times’ and New York Post’s “Best of 2015” Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl (now touring the US after a return engagement Off Broadway); Time Out New York’s “Best of 2014,” JACUZZI by The Debate Society; the Tony award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (now on Broadway); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Alex Timbers; audience favorite Dixie’s Tupperware Party by Kris Andersson; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It’s Pink, by Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s and Thomas Kail’s first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme, by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda.

Ma-Yi Theater Company recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with Hansol Jung’s Among the Dead, Nandita Shenoy’s Washer/Dryer and A. Rey Pamatmat’s House Rules. The company won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for its critically-acclaimed production of The Wong Kids in The Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO!, which recently made its international premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 28th season, MA-YI is a Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.

Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s Bike America, Qui Nguyen’s The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G and Soul Samurai (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew’s Microcrisis and the revival of Ralph B. Peña’s Flipzoids. Other productions include: Rescue Me by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap and The Children of Vonderly and The Romance of Magno Rubio. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American Playwrightsfor its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 OBIE Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”

Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña.

Woodshed Collective is one of the country’s premier immersive theater companies. Since 2008, the company has presented large scale theatrical events including: Twelve Ophelias performed in McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Confidence Man adapted from Melville’s novel and performed on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River and The Tenant adapted from the novel and film and performed in a five story 19th Century Parish House on the Upper West Side.

Most recently, the company presented the critically acclaimed Empire Travel Agency, a grail quest crisscrossing Lower Manhattan, where groups of four audience members at a time hunted for the secret to the essential vibrancy of New York. Driven by the belief in The Combined power of stories and architecture to break down the barriers of everyday life, Woodshed’s shows aim to create genuine awe.

The A.R.T./New York Theatres are a project of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York), which provide state-of-the-art, accessible venues at subsidized rental rates, plus free access to top-line technical equipment, so that the city’s small and emerging theater companies can continue to experiment, grow and produce new works. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York is the leading service and advocacy organization for New York City’s 375+ nonprofit theaters, with a mission to assist member theaters in managing their companies effectively so that they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well. We accomplish this through a comprehensive roster of real estate, financial, educational and community-building programs, as well as research, advocacy and field-wide initiatives that seek to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the industry. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has received numerous honors, including an Obie Award, an Innovative Theatre Award, a New York City Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. For more information, visit art-newyork.org.

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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 Examiner.comJade 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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