Celebrating International Women’s Voices Day: Dramatists Guild Foundation Presents Reading of Christine Toy Johnson’s THE NEW DEAL on January 20

Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson
Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson
Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

Dramatists Guild Foundation is celebrating women playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters as part of International Women’s Voices Day, in partnership with the National New Play Network and New Play Exchange.

On Saturday, January 20th, DGF will stream presentations by DGF Music Hall patrons  Christine Toy Johnson, Lisa DeSpain and Ariana Johns.

The reading of Christine Toy Johnson’s first play, The New Deal, will feature Delphi Borich, Thom Sesma, James Chen, Stephen Gordon, Ron Domingo, Cat Brindisi, Rin Allen and the playwright.

Christine Toy Johnson’s inspiration for The New Deal was her mother’s family restaurant. Originally developed in 2006 at the Roundabout as the inaugural project of Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Different Voices” initiative, The New Deal has been reworked for a fresh audience.

You can attend in person at the DGF, 356 W. 40 Street, 2nd floor from 5 -7 pm, or tune in to Facebook Live. Click here on Saturday to join the stream.
Can’t make the entire stream? Here is a breakdown of each performance:

3pm ET – Selections form “That Hell Bound Train” and “Like, I Care” by Lisa DeSpain
5pm ET – “The New Deal” by Christine Toy Johnson
7pm ET – Selections from “BUZZ, Son of a Bee” and “Stroll w/ Troll” by Ariana Johns (music by Darryl Curry)

Dramatists Guild’s “Friday Night Footlights” series: Johnson And Cronin’s New Musical TILL SOON, ANNE, Featuring Jaygee Macapugay, Devin Ilaw, Wade McCollum, Cat Brindisi and David Darrow on January 5 

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

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.

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Dramatists Guild’s “Friday Night Footlights” series: Johnson And Cronin’s New Musical TILL SOON, ANNE, Featuring Jaygee Macapugay, Devin Ilaw, Wade McCollum, Cat Brindisi and David Darrow on January 5

Christine Toy Johnson and Bobby Cronin
Christine Toy Johnson and Bobby Cronin
Christine Toy Johnson and Bobby Cronin

An invitation-only sneak peak of TILL SOON, ANNE (book and lyrics by Christine Toy Johnson, music by Bobby Cronin) will take place as part of the Dramatists Guild’s “Friday Night Footlights” series on January 5, 2018 at 6 pm at the Dramatists Guild (Mary Rodgers Room), 1501 Broadway, on the 7th floor in New York. RSVP at aasongwriters@gmail.com. 

Johnson and Cronin, along with Wade McCollum (ERNEST SHACKLETON LOVES YOU), Jaygee Macapugay (SCHOOL OF ROCK), Devin Ilaw (MISS SAIGON), Cat Brindisi (THE PASSAGE) and David Darrow (book/music/lyrics writer of THE PASSAGE) will be singing songs from the show with William Demaniow at the piano and David Darrow on guitar.

Developed in independent residencies at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, TILL SOON, ANNE tells the story of a young woman in the final stages of brain cancer who throws her family and closest friends a perfect final weekend, determined to celebrate the life we’re given and the art of letting go.

More about the authors at www.christinetoyjohnson.com and www.bobbycronin.com

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Guthrie’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE Featuring Randy Harrison, Erin Mackey, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi and More, Ends Run on August 20

Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson
The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson

The Guthrie Theater is presenting Sunday in the Park with George starring “Queer as Folk” star Randy Harrison (Guthrie: The Glass Menagerie) who will play French pointillist painter George Seurat, a role originated by Mandy Patinkin in the 1984 Broadway production, and Broadway vet Erin Mackey (Guthrie: South Pacific) who will play Seurat’s lover and model, Dot, a role originated by Bernadette Peters.

Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a book by James Lapine, and directed by Joseph Haj, Sunday in the Park with George will play through August 20, 2017 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Tickets are on sale through the Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at guthrietheater.org.

Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Inspired by Georges Seurat’s 1884 painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Sunday in the Park with George merges past and present into a poignant and sophisticated exploration of what it takes, and what it costs, to be an artist. George is an obsessive painter who risks it all, including his relationship with his lover Dot, to complete his latest masterpiece. A century later, George’s great-grandson is working as an artist in New York City. In search of inspiration, he soon discovers that the answer to his future is painted clearly in his past.

The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson
The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson

Rounding out the cast are Sasha Andreev (Guthrie: The Two Gentlemen of Verona) as Franz / Alex, Christian Bardin (Guthrie: The Crucible, The Primrose Path) as Celeste #2 / a Photographer, Cat Brindisi (Guthrie: The Parchman Hour, South Pacific) as Celeste #1 / Betty, David Darrow (Guthrie: The Royal Family, The Parchman Hour) as Soldier / Dennis, Emily Gunyou Halaas (Guthrie: Sense and Sensibility, Uncle Vanya) as Nurse / Mrs. / Harriet Pawling, Christine Toy Johnson (Guthrie: South Pacific) as Old Lady / Blair Daniels, Benjamin Lohrberg (Guthrie: South Pacific) as the Soldier’s Companion, Ann Michels (Guthrie: The Cocoanuts, My Fair Lady) as Yvonne / Naomi Eisen, Justin Lee Miller (Guthrie: debut) as Boatman / Lee Randolph, Paul Nakauchi (Guthrie: debut) as Jules / Bob Greenberg, Britta Ollmann (Guthrie: debut) as Frieda / Elaine, T. Mychael Rambo (Guthrie: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Burial at Thebes) as Mr. / Charles Redmond and Max Wojtanowicz (Guthrie: debut) as Louis / Billy Webster. In addition, young actors Maia Hernandez and Natalie Tran will share the role of Louise / Bather.

The creative team for Sunday in the Park with George includes Joseph Haj (Director), Mark Hartman (Music Director / Conductor), Christopher Windom(Choreographer), Jan Chambers (Scenic Designer), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Designer), Jane Cox (Lighting Designer), Caite Hevner (Projection Designer), Elisheba Ittoop (Sound Designer), Jill Walmsley Zager (Vocal Coach), Carla Steen (Dramaturg), Victor Zupanc (Musical Contractor), Greg Theisen (Orchestrations), Chris A. Code (Stage Manager), Justin Hossle (Assistant Stage Manager), Jane Heer (Assistant Stage Manager) and Addie A. Gorlin (Assistant Director).

THE GUTHRIE THEATER (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training, dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature and to cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Under the leadership of Haj, the Guthrie produces a mix of classic and contemporary plays on three stages, and continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms, full-service restaurants and dramatic public lobbies.

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

Photos: Randy Harrison, Erin Mackey, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi and More in Guthrie’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE through August 20

Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson
The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson

The Guthrie Theater is presenting Sunday in the Park with George starring “Queer as Folk” star Randy Harrison (Guthrie: The Glass Menagerie) who will play French pointillist painter George Seurat, a role originated by Mandy Patinkin in the 1984 Broadway production, and Broadway vet Erin Mackey (Guthrie: South Pacific) who will play Seurat’s lover and model, Dot, a role originated by Bernadette Peters.

Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a book by James Lapine, and directed by Joseph Haj, Sunday in the Park with George will play through August 20, 2017 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Tickets are on sale now through the Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at guthrietheater.org.

Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Inspired by Georges Seurat’s 1884 painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Sunday in the Park with George merges past and present into a poignant and sophisticated exploration of what it takes, and what it costs, to be an artist. George is an obsessive painter who risks it all, including his relationship with his lover Dot, to complete his latest masterpiece. A century later, George’s great-grandson is working as an artist in New York City. In search of inspiration, he soon discovers that the answer to his future is painted clearly in his past.

The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson
The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by T Charles Erickson

Rounding out the cast are Sasha Andreev (Guthrie: The Two Gentlemen of Verona) as Franz / Alex, Christian Bardin (Guthrie: The Crucible, The Primrose Path) as Celeste #2 / a Photographer, Cat Brindisi (Guthrie: The Parchman Hour, South Pacific) as Celeste #1 / Betty, David Darrow (Guthrie: The Royal Family, The Parchman Hour) as Soldier / Dennis, Emily Gunyou Halaas (Guthrie: Sense and Sensibility, Uncle Vanya) as Nurse / Mrs. / Harriet Pawling, Christine Toy Johnson (Guthrie: South Pacific) as Old Lady / Blair Daniels, Benjamin Lohrberg (Guthrie: South Pacific) as the Soldier’s Companion, Ann Michels (Guthrie: The Cocoanuts, My Fair Lady) as Yvonne / Naomi Eisen, Justin Lee Miller (Guthrie: debut) as Boatman / Lee Randolph, Paul Nakauchi (Guthrie: debut) as Jules / Bob Greenberg, Britta Ollmann (Guthrie: debut) as Frieda / Elaine, T. Mychael Rambo (Guthrie: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Burial at Thebes) as Mr. / Charles Redmond and Max Wojtanowicz (Guthrie: debut) as Louis / Billy Webster. In addition, young actors Maia Hernandez and Natalie Tran will share the role of Louise / Bather.

The creative team for Sunday in the Park with George includes Joseph Haj (Director), Mark Hartman (Music Director / Conductor), Christopher Windom(Choreographer), Jan Chambers (Scenic Designer), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Designer), Jane Cox (Lighting Designer), Caite Hevner (Projection Designer), Elisheba Ittoop (Sound Designer), Jill Walmsley Zager (Vocal Coach), Carla Steen (Dramaturg), Victor Zupanc (Musical Contractor), Greg Theisen (Orchestrations), Chris A. Code (Stage Manager), Justin Hossle (Assistant Stage Manager), Jane Heer (Assistant Stage Manager) and Addie A. Gorlin (Assistant Director).

RELATED EVENTS:
All events will be held at the Guthrie Theater (818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis) unless otherwise noted.

Post-Play Discussions
The best conversations happen after hours. Stay late on these dates for a discussion with the artists who bring the show to life.

Sunday, June 25 at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 2 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 22 at 1 p.m.

How’d They Do That? Workshop
Learn from Guthrie artists and staff how a production is created – from literary background to set and costume design to the staging of the play.
Saturday, July 8 at 9 a.m.

ACCESS DATES:

ASL Performances
Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m.
Friday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Audio Described Performances
Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m.

Open Captioned Performances
Saturday, July 8 at 1 p.m.
Wednesday, July 12 at 1 p.m.
Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.

If you have specific program questions or need an accommodation, contact the Accessibility Office by phone at 612.225.6390(voice) or 612.225.6391 (TTY) or email at accessibility@guthrietheater.org.

THE GUTHRIE THEATER (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training, dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature and to cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Under the leadership of Haj, the Guthrie produces a mix of classic and contemporary plays on three stages, and continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms, full-service restaurants and dramatic public lobbies.

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

Multimedia: Baayork Lee Accepts The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award At The 71st Annual Tony Awards

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Congratulations to director, actress and choreographer Baayork Lee who received the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her outstanding dedication to social service in the global theatre landscape at the American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d’Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The award was presented to Ms. Lee by Jonathan Groff and Brian d’Arcy James.

Baayork Lee accepts the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. Photo: NAAP/Facebook
Baayork Lee accepts the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. Photo: NAAP/Facebook

Baayork Lee’s speech:
“Thank you everyone. Thank you American Theatre Wing and Broadway League. This is the journey of a five-year-old in the middle of the St. James Theatre and saying to her mother, ‘This is it. This is where I want to be.’ But you can’t do it without mentors or role models and a pupil, I had so many special ones. Ms. Syvilla Fort, my first mentor, Yuriko and Maria Tallchief, my role models. Eleven Broadway shows later, Michael Bennett and Bob Avian, Tommy Tune, Graciela Daniele and Roman Terleckyj. In Japan, Mori Shibuya, in South Africa, Professor Jimmie Earl Perry and Juan Datoy.

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

With their guidance and example, I along with Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam started our nonprofit National Asian Artists Project because we saw the need to put the spotlight on the Asian American Artists. NAAP, as we call it, showcases their work through performance, educational programming and community outreach. Our programs include productions of classic musicals, the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus and Senior Sing-a-longs. Thanks to Freddie Gershon- mentor and Alice Hum – role model and principal of P.S. 124 Yung Wing Elementary School, we started an award-winning after school theater club.

The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook
The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook

National Asian Artists Project will continue our mission to make a difference and I hope you all will join me. Your loving pupil, Princess Ying Yaowalak.”

President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization Ted Chapin, Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award Honoree Baayork Lee, and Chair of the American Theatre Wing David Henry Hwang at the Tony Nominee Luncheon, held at the Rainbow Room in NYC on May 23, 2017 Credit: Shevett Studios
President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization Ted Chapin, Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award Honoree Baayork Lee, and Chair of the American Theatre Wing David Henry Hwang at the Tony Nominee Luncheon, held at the Rainbow Room in NYC on May 23, 2017
Credit: Shevett Studios
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Lee  received the Award for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.

“Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.

Baayork was dressed by designer Malan Breton throughout the Tony Awards season. Below are photos from Baayork’s whirlwind Tony journey from the 1st press junket on May 3rd at the Sofitel Hotel and the Designed To Celebrate: A Toast To The 2017 Tony Awards Creative Arts Nominees at The Lamb’s Club at the Chatwal NY on June 1st.

71st Annual Tony Awards rehearsalat Radio City Musical Hall on June 11th.

71st Annual Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Musical Hall on June 11th.

Baayork Lee is the co-founder of National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), which is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals who work to showcase the work of Asian-American theater artists through performance, educational programming and community outreach.

Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP's Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang
Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP’s Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Through NAAP, Lee orchestrates her vision of educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent. The organization has produced productions of musical theatre staples like Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, Oliver! and Honor with all Asian-American casts. By turning a spot light onto the high-caliber talent of theatre artists of Asian descent, NAAP asserts, given the opportunity, the theater and its audiences will embrace diverse American voices who strive to claim both new and classic American works as their own.

Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Lee has made it a large part of her mission to educate aspiring artists in musical theatre. She created musical theater schools in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School (PS124) in Chinatown, NY.

Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett's choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist
Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett’s choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist

Lee, an Asian American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, director and author, was born in New York City’s Chinatown to an Indian mother and Chinese father, made her Broadway debut at the age of five as “Princess Ying Yaowalak” in the 1951 original production of The King and I. Her dream was to become a ballerina and she appeared in George Balanchine’s production of The Nutcracker, but this dream was dashed when she achieved her full height of just four feet, ten inches. In 1958, she returned to Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Other Broadway appearances were in Bravo Giovanni; Mr. PresidentHere’s LoveGolden BoyA Joyful NoiseHenry, Sweet HenryPromises, PromisesSeesaw and Michael Bennett’s 1976 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Chorus Line, in which she originated the role of “Connie,” and served as his assistant choreographer.

Lee worked with Bennett in several productions and over the years went from being his dance partner, to being his assistant. She would later supervise all major productions of A Chorus Line, choreographing many national and international companies, most recently in Klagenfurt, Austria; Santiago, Chile; the Hollywood Bowl; and Pace University in New York City. She is the co-author of the book, On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line, published in 1990.

Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Her directing and choreography credits also include: The King and I (national tour), Bombay Dreams (national tour), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (New York City Opera), Barnum (Australia), Carmen Jones (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Porgy and Bess (European tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (European tour), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has also choreographed Miss Saigon (Kansas City Starlight), Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival), Animal Crackers, South Pacific, Coconuts, Camelot, and Damn Yankees, all at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the 2014 Paul Robeson Award from Actors Equity Association, the Asian Woman Warrior Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbia College, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association Achievement in Arts Award, and the Dynamic Achiever Award from OCA Westchester.

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang, Baayork Lee, Eva Noblezada, Linda Cho, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Douglas Thompson, Richard Thomas, Laura Linney and More at Tony Honors Special Honorees of 2017 Cocktail Party Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award 

NAAP Broadway Community Chorus -An Evening of Jerry Herman with Special Guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 

Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72

Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature 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.

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Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Baayork Lee and Lori Tan Chinn
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to director, actress and choreographer Baayork Lee who will receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her outstanding dedication to social service in the global theatre landscape at the American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, at Radio City Music Hall  on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Lee will be presented the Award for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.

Baayork Lee and Lori Tan Chinn
Baayork Lee and Lori Tan Chinn

“Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.

The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook
The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook

Baayork Lee is the Founder of National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), which is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals who work to showcase the work of Asian-American theater artists through performance, educational programming and community outreach.

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Through NAAP, Lee orchestrates her vision of educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent. The organization has produced productions of musical theatre staples like Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, Oliver! and Honor with all Asian-American casts. By turning a spot light onto the high-caliber talent of theatre artists of Asian descent, NAAP asserts, given the opportunity, the theater and its audiences will embrace diverse American voices who strive to claim both new and classic American works as their own.

Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP's Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang
Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP’s Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Lee has made it a large part of her mission to educate aspiring artists in musical theatre. She created musical theater schools in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School (PS124) in Chinatown, NY.

Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett's choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist
Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett’s choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist

Lee, an Asian American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, director and author, was born in New York City’s Chinatown to an Indian mother and Chinese father, made her Broadway debut at the age of five as “Princess Ying Yaowalak” in the 1951 original production of The King and I. Her dream was to become a ballerina and she appeared in George Balanchine’s production of The Nutcracker, but this dream was dashed when she achieved her full height of just four feet, ten inches. In 1958, she returned to Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Other Broadway appearances were in Bravo Giovanni; Mr. PresidentHere’s LoveGolden BoyA Joyful NoiseHenry, Sweet HenryPromises, PromisesSeesaw and Michael Bennett’s 1976 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Chorus Line, in which she originated the role of “Connie,” and served as his assistant choreographer.

Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

 

Lee worked with Bennett in several productions and over the years went from being his dance partner, to being his assistant. She would later supervise all major productions of A Chorus Line, choreographing many national and international companies, most recently in Klagenfurt, Austria; Santiago, Chile; the Hollywood Bowl; and Pace University in New York City. She is the co-author of the book, On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line, published in 1990.

Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Her directing and choreography credits also include: The King and I (national tour), Bombay Dreams (national tour), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (New York City Opera), Barnum (Australia), Carmen Jones (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Porgy and Bess (European tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (European tour), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has also choreographed Miss Saigon (Kansas City Starlight), Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival), Animal Crackers, South Pacific, Coconuts, Camelot, and Damn Yankees, all at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the 2014 Paul Robeson Award from Actors Equity Association, the Asian Woman Warrior Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbia College, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association Achievement in Arts Award, and the Dynamic Achiever Award from OCA Westchester.

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Or stream the Tony Awards live across platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service. (Live stream is available in select markets. Visit CBS.com/allaccess for details.) The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72
Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature 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.

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Randy Harrison, Erin Mackey, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi and More Set for Guthrie’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, June 17 – August 20

Director Joseph Haj and Christine Toy Johnson (Old Lady). Photo courtesy of Facebook
Randy Harrison and Erin Mackey. Photo courtesy of Facebook
Randy Harrison and Erin Mackey. Photo courtesy of Facebook

The Guthrie Theater is presenting Sunday in the Park with George starring “Queer as Folk” star Randy Harrison (Guthrie: The Glass Menagerie) who will play French pointillist painter George Seurat, a role originated by Mandy Patinkin in the 1984 Broadway production, and Broadway vet Erin Mackey (Guthrie: South Pacific) who will play Seurat’s lover and model, Dot, a role originated by Bernadette Peters.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a book by James Lapine, and directed by Joseph Haj, Sunday in the Park with George will play June 17 – August 20, 2017 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Single tickets start at $15 for preview performances and are on sale now through the Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at guthrietheater.org.

Director Joseph Haj and Christine Toy Johnson (Old Lady). Photo courtesy of Facebook
Director Joseph Haj and Christine Toy Johnson (Old Lady). Photo courtesy of Facebook

Inspired by Georges Seurat’s 1884 painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Sunday in the Park with George merges past and present into a poignant and sophisticated exploration of what it takes, and what it costs, to be an artist. George is an obsessive painter who risks it all, including his relationship with his lover Dot, to complete his latest masterpiece. A century later, George’s great-grandson is working as an artist in New York City. In search of inspiration, he soon discovers that the answer to his future is painted clearly in his past.

Rounding out the cast are Sasha Andreev (Guthrie: The Two Gentlemen of Verona) as Franz / Alex, Christian Bardin (Guthrie: The Crucible, The Primrose Path) as Celeste #2 / a Photographer, Cat Brindisi (Guthrie: The Parchman Hour, South Pacific) as Celeste #1 / Betty, David Darrow (Guthrie: The Royal Family, The Parchman Hour) as Soldier / Dennis, Emily Gunyou Halaas (Guthrie: Sense and Sensibility, Uncle Vanya) as Nurse / Mrs. / Harriet Pawling, Christine Toy Johnson (Guthrie: South Pacific) as Old Lady / Blair Daniels, Benjamin Lohrberg (Guthrie: South Pacific) as the Soldier’s Companion, Ann Michels (Guthrie: The Cocoanuts, My Fair Lady) as Yvonne / Naomi Eisen, Justin Lee Miller (Guthrie: debut) as Boatman / Lee Randolph, Paul Nakauchi (Guthrie: debut) as Jules / Bob Greenberg, Britta Ollmann (Guthrie: debut) as Frieda / Elaine, T. Mychael Rambo (Guthrie: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Burial at Thebes) as Mr. / Charles Redmond and Max Wojtanowicz (Guthrie: debut) as Louis / Billy Webster. In addition, young actors Maia Hernandez and Natalie Tran will share the role of Louise / Bather.

The creative team for Sunday in the Park with George includes Joseph Haj (Director), Mark Hartman (Music Director / Conductor), Christopher Windom(Choreographer), Jan Chambers (Scenic Designer), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Designer), Jane Cox (Lighting Designer), Caite Hevner (Projection Designer), Elisheba Ittoop (Sound Designer), Jill Walmsley Zager (Vocal Coach), Carla Steen (Dramaturg), Victor Zupanc (Musical Contractor), Greg Theisen (Orchestrations), Chris A. Code (Stage Manager), Justin Hossle (Assistant Stage Manager), Jane Heer (Assistant Stage Manager) and Addie A. Gorlin (Assistant Director).

Randy Harrison (George) made his Guthrie debut in the 2006-07 season production of The Glass Menagerie, in which he played a young Tom Wingfield. He is perhaps best-known for his role as Justin Taylor in the Showtime series “Queer as Folk.” Most recently, Harrison starred as the Emcee in the national tour of Cabaret and as Boq in the Broadway production of Wicked. Off-Broadway he has performed at The Public Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, Primary Stages and Red Bull Theatre; regionally he has performed at Yale Repertory Theater and Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., among others. His film credits include Such Good People (2014) and Bang Bang You’re Dead (2002).

Erin Mackey (Dot) made her Guthrie debut in last summer’s South Pacific, and most recently appeared in In Transit on Broadway. Additional Broadway credits include Amazing Grace, Chaplin, Anything Goes, Sondheim on Sondheim and Wicked (also Chicago and Los Angeles companies). Regional and Off-Broadway productions include Sweeney Todd (with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, also aired on PBS), Lady Be Good (NY City Center Encores!), South Pacific (Paper Mill Playhouse and Music Theater Wichita), The Light in the Piazza (South Coast Repertory), Phantom (PCLO), I Remember Mama (York Theater), A Taste of Things to Come (Bucks County Playhouse).

Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson
Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

Christine Toy Johnson (Old Lady / Blair Daniels) is an award-winning actor, writer, director and advocate for inclusion.

Her plays and musicals have been developed/produced at such places as the Roundabout Theatre Company, the O’Neill Theater Center, the Barrow Group, Village Theatre, Prospect Theater Company, Weston Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre Company, InterAct Theater Company, and the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, and have been published by Indie Theater Now. An anthology of her work was inducted into the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010.

As a performer, she has been breaking the color barrier in non-traditionally cast roles for over 25 years, and has been featured extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, in film, television, and concerts worldwide. Highlights include: Broadway – THE MUSIC MAN, GREASE!, CHU CHEM; National Tours – BOMBAY DREAMS, FLOWER DRUM SONG, CATS. Off-Broadway: MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (cast album), PACIFIC OVERTURES, BALANCING ACT (cast album), PHILIP GOES FORTH (Mint Theatre), GENESIS (NYSF) etc; Television – nearly 100 appearances including THE AMERICANS (recurring), LAW AND ORDER: SVU (recurring), MR. ROBOT, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT, MADAM SECRETARY, THE BLACKLIST, BRAINDEAD, MOZART IN THE JUNGLE, 30 ROCK, UGLY BETTY, NUNSENSE, NUNSENSE II, 2 years on ONE LIFE TO LIVE etc.

She is a proud member of the Councils of both the Dramatists Guild and Actors’ Equity Association and received the Rosetta LeNoire Award for “outstanding contributions to the universality of the human spirit” from Actors’ Equity Association in 2013. For more, please visit www.christinetoyjohnson.com.

Paul Nakauchi
Paul Nakauchi

Paul Nakauchi (Jules / Bob Greenberg) has worked in many facets of the entertainment industry., including theater, voice overs, television and film. He began his career in the ensemble of the King and I with the legendary Yul Brynner. He was in the 1996 revival with Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips and two years, later he ascended to the throne of the “King” on London’s West End starring opposite Elaine Paige, and most recently finished a year and a half run of the 2016 Tony award winning revival directed by Bart Sher as the Kralahome starring with Ken Watanabe and Tony award winners, Kelli O’Hara, and Ruthie Ann Miles. His other theater credits include the First National Tour of Miss Saigon, as well as the world premier of Allegiance the musical dramatizing the interment of Japanese Americans during WWII at the Old Globe in San Diego, where he played Tatsuo Kimura, fictional father of Star Trek’s George Takei. He has voiced numerous animated characters including, Wong in Marvel’s “Dr Strange,” Hutch in Lionsgate’s “Alpha and Omega,” “Savatte in “Star Wars, the Clone Wars,” as well as numerous video games, such as “Game of Thrones,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria,” and Blizzard’s most recent release, “Overwatch” in which his voice enhabits the samurai Hanzo. His TV credits include “ER,” “Star Trek, Deep Space 9.” Hulu’s “Deadbeat,” and his film credits include “The Great Raid,” He recently completed filming Adam Wingard’s adaptation of the anime series “Death Note,” where he plays the role of Watari.

Sunday in the Park with George begins June 17 and continues through August 20, 2017 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Single tickets start at $15 for preview performances and are now on sale through the Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at guthrietheater.org.

RELATED EVENTS:
All events will be held at the Guthrie Theater (818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis) unless otherwise noted.

Post-Play Discussions
The best conversations happen after hours. Stay late on these dates for a discussion with the artists who bring the show to life.

Sunday, June 25 at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 2 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 22 at 1 p.m.

How’d They Do That? Workshop
Learn from Guthrie artists and staff how a production is created – from literary background to set and costume design to the staging of the play.
Saturday, July 8 at 9 a.m.

ACCESS DATES:

ASL Performances
Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m.
Friday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Audio Described Performances
Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m.

Open Captioned Performances
Saturday, July 8 at 1 p.m.
Wednesday, July 12 at 1 p.m.
Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.

If you have specific program questions or need an accommodation, contact the Accessibility Office by phone at 612.225.6390(voice) or 612.225.6391 (TTY) or email at accessibility@guthrietheater.org.

THE GUTHRIE THEATER (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training, dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature and to cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Under the leadership of Haj, the Guthrie produces a mix of classic and contemporary plays on three stages, and continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms, full-service restaurants and dramatic public lobbies.

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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Christine Toy Johnson, Jeffrey Omura, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Kate Burton and More Elected to Actors’ Equity’s National Council 

Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union representing more than 51,000 professional theatre Actors and Stage Managers, has announced the results of its 2017 National Council election. One (1) National Officer seat and fifteen (15) Councillor seats across all three regions and representing three (3) categories (Principal Actor, Chorus Actor and Stage Manager) were filled.

Eastern Regional Vice President Melissa Robinette was elected to serve the final year of a three-year term as 1st Vice President (Principal).

Equity Members elected to regional Councillor seats will serve three-year terms.

In the Eastern Region, there were five (5) Councillor vacancies in the Principal Actor category. One seat was filled by incumbent Christine Toy Johnson. Also elected in the Principal Actor category were Kellie Overbey, Claire Karpen, Carson D. Elrod and Jeffrey Omura. Filling the two (2) Chorus Actor seats were Nikka Graff Lanzarone and Manoel Felciano. Incumbent Stage Manager Councillor Lisa Dawn Cave was re-elected, while the other vacant Stage Manager seat will be filled by Erin Maureen Koster.

In the Central Region, Non-Councillor Central Regional Board Member Wydetta Carter was elected as a Councillor in the Principal Actor category.

In the Western Region, Kate Burton and Barbara Callander were elected as Principal Councillors. Incumbents Heather Lee and Vernon Willet were both re-elected as Principal Councillors. Michael A. Shepperd was elected to the one available Chorus seat in the region.

ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its Members by negotiating wages, working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. #EquityWorks.

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

Baayork Lee to be Honored with 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to director, actress and choreographer Baayork Lee who will receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her outstanding dedication to social service in the global theatre landscape.

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Lee will be presented the Award for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

“Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Baayork Lee is the Founder of National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), which is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals who work to showcase the work of Asian-American theater artists through performance, educational programming and community outreach.

Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Through NAAP, Lee orchestrates her vision of educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent. The organization has produced productions of musical theatre staples like Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, Oliver! and Honor with all Asian-American casts. By turning a spot light onto the high-caliber talent of theatre artists of Asian descent, NAAP asserts, given the opportunity, the theater and its audiences will embrace diverse American voices who strive to claim both new and classic American works as their own.

Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP's Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang
Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP’s Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Lee has made it a large part of her mission to educate aspiring artists in musical theatre. She created musical theater schools in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School (PS124) in Chinatown, NY.

Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett's choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist
Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett’s choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist

Lee, an Asian American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, director and author, was born in New York City’s Chinatown to an Indian mother and Chinese father, made her Broadway debut at the age of five as “Princess Ying Yaowalak” in the 1951 original production of The King and I. Her dream was to become a ballerina and she appeared in George Balanchine’s production of The Nutcracker, but this dream was dashed when she achieved her full height of just four feet, ten inches. In 1958, she returned to Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Other Broadway appearances were in Bravo Giovanni; Mr. PresidentHere’s LoveGolden BoyA Joyful NoiseHenry, Sweet HenryPromises, PromisesSeesaw and Michael Bennett’s 1976 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Chorus Line, in which she originated the role of “Connie,” and served as his assistant choreographer.

Lee worked with Bennett in several productions and over the years went from being his dance partner, to being his assistant. She would later supervise all major productions of A Chorus Line, choreographing many national and international companies, most recently in Klagenfurt, Austria; Santiago, Chile; the Hollywood Bowl; and Pace University in New York City. She is the co-author of the book, On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line, published in 1990.

Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Her directing and choreography credits also include: The King and I (national tour), Bombay Dreams (national tour), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (New York City Opera), Barnum (Australia), Carmen Jones (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Porgy and Bess (European tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (European tour), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has also choreographed Miss Saigon (Kansas City Starlight), Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival), Animal Crackers, South Pacific, Coconuts, Camelot, and Damn Yankees, all at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the 2014 Paul Robeson Award from Actors Equity Association, the Asian Woman Warrior Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbia College, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association Achievement in Arts Award, and the Dynamic Achiever Award from OCA Westchester.

Lori Tan Chinn, Orville Mendoza and 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award recipient Baayork Lee at the Actors Equity Association in New York on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Lori Tan Chinn, Orville Mendoza and 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award recipient Baayork Lee at the Actors Equity Association in New York on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Or stream the Tony Awards live across platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service. (Live stream is available in select markets. Visit CBS.com/allaccess for details.) The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
The Nominations for the 2017 Tony Awards will be announced live, by Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski and 2016 Tony Nominee Christopher Jackson, on May 2, 2017, from The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, in a webcast on TonyAwards.com.
For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72
Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature 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.

Christine Toy Johnson, Rebecca Miyako Hirota, Margaret Ivey, Rin Allen, Damian Baldet, Andy Paterson, Michael Sharon, Tina Stafford and More Set for JANE EYRE at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson
Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson
Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s production of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, adapted by Polly Teale and directed by Cincinnati Playhouse Associate Artist and Director KJ Sanchez, is currently in previews 
at the Robert S. Marx Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. Opening night is March 16th, with performances continuing through April 8th.

The production combines Victorian-era costumes and romance with inventive staging to bring new creativity and vitality to the classic story, considered one of the most widely read novels in the English language.

The cast features Rin Allen (Bertha); Damian Baldet (Brocklehurst / St. John Rivers); Richard Buchanan (Ensemble); George Bull (Ensemble); Rebecca Miyako Hirota (Helen Burns/Adele/Mary Rivers); Margaret Ivey 
(Jane Eyre); Christine Toy Johnson (Bessie / Blanche Ingram / Grace Poole); Andy Patterson, (Richard Mason); Michael Sharon (Rochester); Tina Stafford (Mrs. Reed / Mrs. Fairfax)

The creative team includes KJ Sanchez (Director); Peter Kyle (Movement Director); Kris Stone (Set Designer); Rachel Healy (Costume Designer); Brian J. Lilienthal (Lighting Designer); Jane Shaw (Sound Designer/Composer); Stefphanie Klapper (Casting Director); Andrea L. Shell (Stage Manager); Jenifer Morrow (Second Stage Manager); Brooke Redler (Second Stage Manager)

Published in 1847, JANE EYRE is a rare classic that moves through time and continues to capture audiences. Poor and plain but with a fiery spirit, Jane overcomes a troubled childhood to land a position as a governess at a mysterious estate, where she falls for the enigmatic master and finds her love returned. When the past threatens her newfound happiness, Jane decides to forge her own path, which enables her to be true to herself and follow her heart. The unconventional heroine, played by Margaret Ivey, will cast a spell on fans of the classic novel and on newcomers drawn to her story.

Prices for Jane Eyre start at $35; they vary depending on seat location and performance day and are subject to change. Tickets for teens and students are $30. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show. Plus, Sunday is College Night, with tickets to all 7:00 p.m. performances just $10.The Playhouse is fully accessible. For the performance schedule and to purchase tickets, call the box office at 513-421- 3888 or 800-582-3208 toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana; or 513-345-2248 – TDD access (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or visit the Playhouse website at www.cincyplay.com

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.