M. BUTTERFLY Back on Broadway: A Conversation with David Henry Hwang and Julie Taymor at Asia Society on November 3

David Henry Hwang and Julie Taymor in front of the Cort Theatre on the opening night of M. BUTTERFLY on October 26, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

On Friday, November 3, 2017, Asia Society is presenting A Conversation with Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang and director Julie Taymor at Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. $20 members; $22 students/seniors; $25 nonmembers BUY TICKETS »

David Henry Hwang and Julie Taymor in front of the Cort Theatre on the opening night of M. BUTTERFLY on October 26, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang and Julie Taymor in front of the Cort Theatre on the opening night of M. BUTTERFLY on October 26, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The revival of Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play M. Butterfly  opened on October 26th at the Cort Theatre starring Academy Award nominee Clive Owen and Jin Ha, helmed by the visionary Julie Taymor (The Lion King). Based on real-life scandal, M. Butterfly delves into a world of love, espionage, and deception. David Henry Hwang and Julie Taymor come together to discuss their artistic collaboration and the new vision they have developed in recognition of the wider issues that make the production contemporary, nearly 30 years after its original Broadway debut in 1988.

David Henry Hwang, Jin Ha, Julie Taymor and Clive Owen at the M. BUTTERFLY opening night party at the Red Eye Grill in New York on October 26, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Jin Ha, Julie Taymor and Clive Owen at the M. BUTTERFLY opening night party at the Red Eye Grill in New York on October 26, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside the Opening Night Party of the Broadway Revival of David Henry Hwang’s M. BUTTERFLY with Clive Owen, Jin Ha and More

Speaker Bios

David Henry Hwang
David Henry Hwang’s work includes the plays M. ButterflyChinglishYellow FaceKung FuGolden ChildThe Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, and the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is America’s most-produced living opera librettist, who has worked with composers Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, and Bright Sheng, among others. Hwang is a Tony© Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is currently a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. Hwang won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels, the 2012 Inge, the 2012 Steinberg “Mimi”, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist, and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Awards. He heads the MFA playwriting program at Columbia University School of the Arts, and was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre. From 1994-2000, he sat by appointment of President Bill Clinton on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. David Henry Hwang serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center and was recently elected Chair of the American Theatre Wing.

Julie Taymor
As a Tony®, Emmy®, and Grammy® winning and Oscar® nominated filmmaker, Julie Taymor has changed the face of Broadway with her innovative direction.

Her Broadway adaptation of The Lion King debuted in 1997. An instant sensation, it received 11 Tony® Award nominations, with Julie receiving awards for Best Director and Costume Designer. She was the first woman in theatrical history to receive the award for Best Direction of a Musical. In addition to her Tony® Awards, she also received awards for her puppet, costume, and mask designs. The Lion King has gone on to become the most successful stage musical of all time; 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. The show has played over 100 cities in 19 countries, and it’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any entertainment title in box office history.

Her credits also include the play Grounded, starring Anne Hathaway, at the Public Theater and a cinematic version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed during her critically acclaimed, sold-out stage production at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn. Also, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; The Green Bird; and Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, which earned five Tony Award nominations including one for her direction. Operas include Oedipus Rex, with Jessye Norman; The Flying DutchmanSalomeDie Zauberflote (in repertory at the Met); The Magic Flute (the abridged English version, which inaugurated a PBS series entitled “Great Performances at the Met”); and Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel. Film credits include Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; Frida starring Salma Hayek; Across the Universe; and The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren. Taymor is a recipient of the 1991 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, as well as a 2015 inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater, the recipient of the 2015 Shakespeare Theatre Company’s William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, and a 2017 Disney Legends Award honoree. She is currently directing M BUTTERFLY starring Clive Owen on Broadway.

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M. BUTTERFLY Back on Broadway: A Conversation with David Henry Hwang and Julie Taymor at Asia Society on November 3

(l) Julie Taymor, photo by Marco Grob (r) David Henry Hwang, photo by Gregory Costanzo
 (l) Julie Taymor, photo by Marco Grob (r) David Henry Hwang, photo by Gregory Costanzo
(l) Julie Taymor, photo by Marco Grob (r) David Henry Hwang, photo by Gregory Costanzo

On Friday, November 3, 2017, Asia Society is presenting A Conversation with Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang and director Julie Taymor at Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. $20 members; $22 students/seniors; $25 nonmembers BUY TICKETS »

Hwang’s The revival of Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play M. Butterfly  is currently in previews at the Cort Theatre starring Academy Award nominee Clive Owen and directed by the visionary Julie Taymor (The Lion King). Based on real-life scandal, M. Butterfly delves into a world of love, espionage, and deception. David Henry Hwang and Julie Taymor come together to discuss their artistic collaboration and the new vision they have developed in recognition of the wider issues that make the production contemporary, nearly 30 years after its original Broadway debut in 1988.

Speaker Bios

David Henry Hwang
David Henry Hwang’s work includes the plays M. ButterflyChinglishYellow FaceKung FuGolden ChildThe Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, and the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is America’s most-produced living opera librettist, who has worked with composers Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, and Bright Sheng, among others. Hwang is a Tony© Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is currently a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. Hwang won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels, the 2012 Inge, the 2012 Steinberg “Mimi”, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist, and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Awards. He heads the MFA playwriting program at Columbia University School of the Arts, and was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre. From 1994-2000, he sat by appointment of President Bill Clinton on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. David Henry Hwang serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center and was recently elected Chair of the American Theatre Wing.

Julie Taymor
As a Tony®, Emmy®, and Grammy® winning and Oscar® nominated filmmaker, Julie Taymor has changed the face of Broadway with her innovative direction.

Her Broadway adaptation of The Lion King debuted in 1997. An instant sensation, it received 11 Tony® Award nominations, with Julie receiving awards for Best Director and Costume Designer. She was the first woman in theatrical history to receive the award for Best Direction of a Musical. In addition to her Tony® Awards, she also received awards for her puppet, costume, and mask designs. The Lion King has gone on to become the most successful stage musical of all time; 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. The show has played over 100 cities in 19 countries, and it’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any entertainment title in box office history.

Her credits also include the play Grounded, starring Anne Hathaway, at the Public Theater and a cinematic version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed during her critically acclaimed, sold-out stage production at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn. Also, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; The Green Bird; and Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, which earned five Tony Award nominations including one for her direction. Operas include Oedipus Rex, with Jessye Norman; The Flying DutchmanSalomeDie Zauberflote (in repertory at the Met); The Magic Flute (the abridged English version, which inaugurated a PBS series entitled “Great Performances at the Met”); and Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel. Film credits include Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; Frida starring Salma Hayek; Across the Universe; and The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren. Taymor is a recipient of the 1991 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, as well as a 2015 inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater, the recipient of the 2015 Shakespeare Theatre Company’s William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, and a 2017 Disney Legends Award honoree. She is currently directing M BUTTERFLY starring Clive Owen on Broadway.

Clive Owen and Jin Ha Star in Broadway Revival of David Henry Hwang’s M. BUTTERFLY, Opens October 26 

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Clive Owen and Jin Ha Star in Broadway Revival of David Henry Hwang’s M. BUTTERFLY, Opens October 26

The first Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play, M. BUTTERFLY is currently in previews at the Cort Theatre (138 W 48th Street), and will open on Broadway on October 26, 2017. Click here for tickets.

Directed by Tony Award winner Julie Taymor, M. BUTTERFLY stars Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Clive Owen as Rene Gallimard and Broadway newcomer Jin Ha in the role of Song Liling.

The cast also features Murray Bartlett, Michael Countryman, Enid Graham, Clea Alsip, Emmanuel Brown, Celeste Den, Jess Fry, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kristen Faith Oei, Thomas Michael Hammond, Jake Manabat, Erica Sweany, John Leonard Thompson, Scott Weber and Erica Wong.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang’s modern classic, M. BUTTERFLY, charts the scandalous romance between a married French diplomat and a mysterious Chinese opera singer – a remarkable love story of international espionage and personal betrayal. Their 20-year relationship pushed and blurred the boundaries between male and female, east and west – while redefining the nature of love and the devastating cost of deceit.

For the Tony Award-winning play’s first Broadway return, Hwang will introduce new material inspired by the real-life love affair between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Chinese opera singer Shi Pei Pu that has come to light since the play’s 1988 premiere.

M. BUTTERFLY will feature original music by Academy Award winnerElliot Goldenthal, choreography by Ma Cong, scenic design by Paul Steinberg, costume design by Constance Hoffman, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Will Pickens, wig and hair design by Dave Bova, makeup design by Judy Chin, and casting by Telsey + Company/Will Cantler, CSA & Adam Caldwell, CSA.

M. BUTTERFLY is produced by Nelle Nugent,Steve Traxler, Kenneth Teaton, Benjamin Feldman, Doug Morris, Suzanne Gilad & Larry Rogowsky, Jim Kierstead, Hunter Arnold, Spencer Ross, JAM Theatricals, and in association with Alix L. Ritchie, Storyboard Entertainment, Jeffrey Sosnick and Kades-Reese .

Clive Owen is appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association.

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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Bobby Cannavale, Becky Ann Baker, David Costabile and More Open in THE HAIRY APE at Park Avenue Armory Tonight

Bobby Cannavale. Photo by Lia Chang
Bobby Cannavale. Photo by Lia Chang
Bobby Cannavale. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale (The Big Knife, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, Trust, Mauritius, “Boardwalk Empire”) leads the cast as Yank in the Park Avenue Armory’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s iconic American drama The Hairy Ape, directed by Oliver Award-winner Richard Jones which began previews on March 25th at the Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue at 67th Street in New York, and runs through April 22, 2017. Press opening is tonight.

Alongside Bobby Cannavale, the cast features David Costabile (Translations, Manhattan Theatre Club; Titanic, Broadway; “Billions”) in the role of Paddy, Becky Ann Baker (All My Sons, Broadway; Good People, Manhattan Theatre Club; “Girls” ) as Mildred’s Aunt, and Catherine Combs (Gloria, Vineyard Theatre; Smokefall, Goodman Theatre) as Mildred. The cast also includes Chris Bannow, Tommy Bracco, Emmanuel Brown, Nic Bruder, Phil Hill, Cosmo Jarvis, Mark Junek, Henry Stram, Jamar Williams, Isadora Wolfe, and Amos Wolff.

Activating the industrial-scale architecture of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, the production brings new dimension to the classic work, which follows a laborer on his journey from the bowels of an ocean liner to the New York of the Roaring Twenties.

The staging adds a fresh and inventive approach by placing the action on a stage that revolves around the audience like the conveyor belt of a large machine, serving as a metaphor for the struggle between the working man and the industrial complex found at the heart of the play.

Jones’ acclaimed production was mounted at the Old Vic in London in the fall of 2015 as a proscenium stage presentation and is being radically reimagined for the Armory’s space.

“The Armory’s Drill Hall is unlike a traditional theater with a fixed stage and seating. It allows for dramatic changes to the relationship between audiences and art, adding thrilling new layers to the experience of classic works,” said Rebecca Robertson, Executive Producer and President of Park Avenue Armory. “The Hairy Ape holds deep relevancy to our current moment. Under the visionary direction of Richard Jones, it also extends our program of groundbreaking productions that challenge artists to transform the Drill Hall and provide audiences with unprecedented experiences, as has been realized in previous stagings from Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth to Douglas Gordon and Hélène Grimaud’s tears become…streams become… to Peter Sellars’ St. Matthew Passion.”

Written in 1922 by Nobel Prize-winner Eugene O’Neill, The Hairy Ape is a searing social commentary on the divide and friction between the rich and poor in the Gilded Age. The story follows the journey of Yank, played by Bobby Cannavale, a laborer who revels in his status as the strongest stoker on a transatlantic ocean liner. When Yank is deemed a “filthy beast” by the daughter of a rich steel merchant, he experiences an awakening of consciousness that leads him on a journey through the worlds of both the disenfranchised working class and wealthy society of New York.

The Hairy Ape features a design by Stewart Laing that animates the Drill Hall’s attributes-including the industrial character of its interiors and vaulted iron metalwork ceiling-as both physical and metaphorical elements of the action. The audience, on sulphur yellow seating, is placed within a monumentally scaled ring-shaped stage that revolves around them as they follow Yank from the stokehole of a transatlantic ocean liner to the wealthy neighborhoods of New York society.

“O’Neill’s story of capitalism and inequality has as much resonance in contemporary discourse as it did when it premiered nearly a century ago, during a surge of industrialization and the kind of social disruption it wrought,” said Pierre Audi, Artistic Director of Park Avenue Armory. “We are pleased to produce a bold reimaging of this work, inviting Richard and a visionary creative team to reinvent the production from its original Old Vic commission in a new design concept that utilizes the Armory’s space like never before and with a phenomenally talented cast. It is thrilling to have a visionary director working in the Armory to make epic theater.”

Park Avenue Armory’s dynamic platforms-from the Wade Thompson Drill Hall to array of exquisite historic period rooms-enable the creation of new artworks and experiences for New York audiences that could not be realized in traditional concert halls, theaters, and museum galleries. The Hairy Ape is featured as part of the Armory’s 2017 season.

Performances: March 30 – April 22
Opening Night: Thursday, March 30 at 7:00pm
Schedule: Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm; Friday at 8:00pm; Saturday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm; Sunday at 3:00pm; Wednesday at 2:00pm and 7:30pm (April 12 and 19). Tickets start at $30 for previews/$60 for performances and can be purchased at armoryonpark.org / (212) 933-5812.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS:
As part of its Interrogations of Form: Conversation Series, the Armory will host two programs in its historic period rooms focused on The Hairy Ape. These conversations feature artists and scholars exploring the realization of Armory productions and their resonances today, encouraging active discussion on a range of themes and complex issues.

A ‘Hairy Ape’ for the 21st Century: Artist Talk
Friday, March 31 at 6:00pm
The Hairy Ape director Richard Jones, Bobby Cannavale, and Robert M. Dowling (Eugene O’Neill scholar and Professor of English, Central Connecticut State University) discuss the challenges of presenting Eugene O’Neill’s play nearly 100 years after its first production by The Provincetown Players in 1922.

The Hairy Ape & New York City: Class vs. Identity
Friday, April 14 at 6:00pm
Catherine Combs, Chief Historian at the New York Historical Society Valerie Paley, and Annan Professor in English and Professor of Theater at Princeton University Jill S. Dolan discuss The Hairy Ape’s opposing forces of class and identity, issues that continue to entangle the social fabric of New York City today.

ARMORY AFTER HOURS
Audiences also have the opportunity stay at the Armory following evening performances for libations with fellow attendees-and often the evening’s artists- at a special bar in one of our historic period rooms.

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