Multimedia: Sneak Peek of CTG’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER

Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

I got a sneak peek of the world premiere of David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori’s (music and additional lyrics) “Soft Power” at the New 42 Street Studios in New York today, where the cast performed a selection of songs from the new piece.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Lia Chang

Check out video excerpts and photos below from the press preview.

This play with a musical will be produced by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre in association with East West Players from May 3 through June 10, 2018. Directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton, the opening of “Soft Power” is set for May 16. Following its run at the Ahmanson, “Soft Power” will play San Francisco’s Curran from June 20 through July 8, 2018.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Lia Chang
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Kai Harada, orchestrations by Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSA and Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) and Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home”). “Soft Power” rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

As original as it is topical, “Soft Power” overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. “Soft Power” is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as “The King and I” as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as “Soft Power.”

“Soft Power” is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater. “Soft Power” is produced in association with East West Players.

Hwang returns to Center Theatre Group where he premiered Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellow Face” and his Tony-nominated revival of “Flower Drum Song.” Hwang’s other work includes the plays “M. Butterfly,” “Chinglish,” “Kung Fu,” “Golden Child,” “The Dance and the Railroad” and “FOB,” and the Broadway musicals “Aida” (co-author, Ahmanson 2001-2002 season) and Disney’s “Tarzan.” He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist and a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (“M. Butterfly”) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Tesori’s Broadway credits include “Fun Home” (2015 Tony Award winner which played at the Ahmanson in 2017), “Violet,” “Caroline, or Change” (also at the Ahmanson), “Shrek The Musical,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (also at the Ahmanson), “Twelfth Night” (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s “A Free Man of Color.” Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on “Mother Courage” starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include “A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck” (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me” (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Conrad Ricamora. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Conrad Ricamora. Photo by Lia Chang
Francis Jue, Paul HeeSang Miller, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang
Francis Jue, Paul HeeSang Miller, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Daniel May and Billy Bustamante. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Daniel May and Billy Bustamante. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May and Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May and Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang, Leigh Silverman, Michael Ritchie and Sam Pinkleton. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang, Leigh Silverman, Michael Ritchie and Sam Pinkleton. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets for “Soft Power” are available through Center Theatre Group or East West Players. To purchase Center Theatre Group tickets: call (213) 972-4400, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or go to the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. To purchase tickets through East West Players: call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org. Tickets range from $30 – $130 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

SOFT POWER costume designs by Anita Yavich.
SOFT POWER costume designs by Anita Yavich.
Kristen Faith Oei, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Hoche, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Geena Quinto, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May, Lia Chang. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Faith Oei, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Hoche, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Geena Quinto, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May, Lia Chang. Photo by Lia Chang

Single Tickets Now Available for the Bay Area Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at the Curran 

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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Single Tickets Now Available for the Bay Area Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at the Curran

Single tickets are now available for SOFT POWER, the play featuring a musical by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics). SOFT POWER will make its Bay Area premiere at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) June 20 – July 8, 2018. SOFT POWER is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater and will perform at the Curran following its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets for SOFT POWER range in price from $29-$175 and are available by calling 415-358-1220 or visiting SFCURRAN.com/soft-power.

M. Butterfly, Flower Drum Song) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home). Directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet) and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812), SOFT POWER rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.
David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May(Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, “How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.
Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.

The creative team includes scenic design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, costume design by Drama Desk Award winner Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada, orchestrations by Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSAand Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.
Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.

As original as it is topical, SOFT POWER overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. SOFT POWER is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as The King and I as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as SOFT POWER.

Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, and he co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop star Prince. Hwang is currently a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair,” and his screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (M. Butterfly) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Tesori returns to Curran, where in January 2017, Fun Home was the first performance following the theater’s extensive renovation. Broadway credits include Fun Home (2015 Tony Award winner), Violet, Caroline, or Change, Shrek The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on Mother Courage starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

#CURRAN2018
Curran’s 2018 season, #CURRAN2018, includes the reigning Tony Award-winning musical, DEAR EVAN HANSEN; the pre-Broadway engagement of HEAD OVER HEELS, the Bay Area premiere of SOFT POWER by Tony Award-winners David Henry Hwang(Play and Lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (Music); and the return of Taylor Mac in TAYLOR MAC’S HOLIDAY SAUCE. Throughout the season, Curran’s popular series of provocative, topical and entertaining one-night-only events, SHOW & TELL, will continue with an all-star lineup from the White House to the Great White Way. SHOW & TELL’s lineup features Former FBI Director James Comey (Monday, April 23) and former White House photographer Pete Souza (Thursday, May 10) to the writers and creative minds behind SOFT POWER, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori (Thursday, May 17) and Broadway legend Patti LuPone (Wednesday, June 13).

Season subscriptions- including tickets to all four #CURRAN2018 productions, as well as tickets to one complimentary SHOW & TELL event of the buyer’s choosing-range in price from $116-$744 and are available now by visiting SFCURRAN.com/soft-power or calling 415-358-1220. As this is the first time the new Curran is offering a season subscription, buyers will have the rare opportunity to select their exact seat locations. Buyers will also get preferred access to all additional special programming, fee-free exchanges on subscription tickets, and a free membership to the Curran Club with additional perks including invitations to member-only events, special offers, and exclusive discounts.

Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora,Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings Set for World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER 

Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora,Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings Set for World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

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

The cast has been announced for the upcoming world premiere of “Soft Power” by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics). This play with a musical will be produced by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre in association with East West Players from May 3 through June 10, 2018. Directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton, the opening of “Soft Power” is set for May 16. Following its run at the Ahmanson, “Soft Power” will play San Francisco’s Curran from June 20 through July 8, 2018.

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.
David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.
Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.
Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.
Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.
Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.

The creative team includes scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design byKai Harada, orchestrations by Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSA and Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) and Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home”). “Soft Power” rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

As original as it is topical, “Soft Power” overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. “Soft Power” is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as “The King and I” as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as “Soft Power.”

“Soft Power” is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater. “Soft Power” is produced in association with East West Players.

Hwang returns to Center Theatre Group where he premiered Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellow Face” and his Tony-nominated revival of “Flower Drum Song.” Hwang’s other work includes the plays “M. Butterfly,” “Chinglish,” “Kung Fu,” “Golden Child,” “The Dance and the Railroad” and “FOB,” and the Broadway musicals “Aida” (co-author, Ahmanson 2001-2002 season) and Disney’s “Tarzan.” He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist and a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (“M. Butterfly”) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Tesori’s Broadway credits include “Fun Home” (2015 Tony Award winner which played at the Ahmanson in 2017), “Violet,” “Caroline, or Change” (also at the Ahmanson), “Shrek The Musical,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (also at the Ahmanson), “Twelfth Night” (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s “A Free Man of Color.” Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on “Mother Courage” starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include “A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck” (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me” (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 season the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Air Lines is the official airline sponsor.

Tickets for “Soft Power” are available through Center Theatre Group or East West Players. To purchase Center Theatre Group tickets: call (213) 972-4400, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or go to the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. To purchase tickets through East West Players: call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org. Tickets range from $30 – $130 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

 

 

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Hansol Jung’s WILD GOOSE DREAMS Nominated for Three 2017 Craig Noel Awards including Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play for Francis Jue, Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Sound Design; Full List of Nominees

Yunjin Kim and Francis Jue in La Jolla Playhouse's production of WILD GOOSE DREAMS by Hansol Jung. Photo by Jim Carmody

La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere production of Wild Goose Dreams, by Hansol Jung, directed by Leigh Silverman, has received three 2017 Craig Noel Award nominations including Outstanding New Play for Jung, Outstanding  Featured Performance in a Play, Male, for Francis Jue and Outstanding Sound Design for Joanna Lynne Staub.

The cast of WILD GOOSE DREAMS. Photo by Jim Carmody
The cast of WILD GOOSE DREAMS. Photo by Jim Carmody

The cast features Yunjin Kim as “Yoo Nanhee,” James Kyson as “Gook Minsung” and Francis Jue as “Father,” along with Carolyn Agan as “Woman/Chorus,” Julian Cihi as “Man/Chorus,” Rona Figueroa as “Wife/Chorus,” Samantha Wang as “Hyonjin/Chorus,” and UC San Diego M.F.A. students DeLeon Dallas, Kyle Hester and Kimberly Monks as “Chorus.”

Yunjin Kim and Francis Jue in La Jolla Playhouse's production of WILD GOOSE DREAMS by Hansol Jung. Photo by Jim Carmody
Yunjin Kim and Francis Jue in La Jolla Playhouse’s production of WILD GOOSE DREAMS by Hansol Jung. Photo by Jim Carmody

In Wild Goose Dreams, a North Korean defector who has left her family behind and a lonely South Korean father start an unlikely online romance as they each attempt to allay their fears and alienation in this inventive, lyrical and darkly humorous piece.

The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle has announced the nominations for its The 16th annual Craig Noel Awards for Theatrical Excellence, presented by The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, will be handed out in a ceremony on Feb. 12, 2018, at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego.

Named for the late founding artistic director of San Diego’s longest-established theater, The Old Globe, the Craig Noel Awards honor the top achievements in San Diego professional theater. Winners will be announced at the ceremony. To receive an invitation via email or for more information, contact Critics Circle president Pam Kragen at pam.kragen@sdcriticscircle.org.

The Craig Noel Awards are presented free to the public thanks to the generous support of our donors, who include Denise and Lon Bevers, Audrey Geisel of the Dr. Seuss Foundation, Dea and Osborn Hurston, Stanley D. Cohen, Harvey and Sheryl White, Jay and Julie Sarno, Larry Alldredge and Dawn Moore, Ralph Johnson, Yolanda Braunagel, Bill & Judy Garrett, Mike Napoli & Performing Arts LIVE, Arthur and Marilyn Neumann and Trina Kaplan.

The 2017 Craig Noel Nominations:

Outstanding Dramatic Production

“Blue Door” – Moxie Theatre

“Awake and Sing” – New Village Arts

“Ballast” – Diversionary Theatre

“The Ballad of Emmett Till” – ion theatre

“Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3” – Intrepid Theatre

Outstanding New Musical

“Freaky Friday” – La Jolla Playhouse

“Benny & Joon” – The Old Globe

“SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical” – La Jolla Playhouse

“Tarrytown” – Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company

Festival of Christmas:  “North of Normal”– Lamb’s Players Theatre

Outstanding Resident Musical

“On the 20th Century” –  Cygnet Theatre

“Shockheaded Peter” – Cygnet Theatre

“Guys and Dolls” – The Old Globe

“Billy Elliot” – San Diego Musical Theatre & California Ballet

“In The Heights” – Moonlight Stage Productions

“Spring Awakening” – OnStage Playhouse

Outstanding New Play

Hershey Felder – ”Our Great Tchaikovsky,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Will Cooper – “Margin of Error,” The Roustabouts Theatre Co.

Georgette Kelly – “Ballast,” Diversionary Theatre

Mat Smart – “Kill Local,” La Jolla Playhouse

Hansol Jung – “Wild Goose Dreams,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Touring Production

“The Old Man and The Old Moon” – PigPen Theatre Co. at The Old Globe

“An American in Paris” – Broadway/San Diego

“The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” – The Old Globe

“Matilda the Musical” – Broadway San Diego

“Flight” – Curbside (Long Beach) at San Diego International Fringe Festival

Outstanding Ensemble

“Awake and Sing” –New Village Arts

“Ballast” – Diversionary Theatre

“The Ballad of Emmett Till” –  ion theatre

“A Piece of My Heart” – OnStage Playhouse

“Tarrytown” – Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company

Outstanding Solo Performance

Hershey Felder – “Our Great Tchaikovsky,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Linda Libby – “An Iliad,” New Village Arts

Shana Wride – “2.5 Minute Ride,” Diversionary Theatre

James Lecesne – “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” The Old Globe

Claudio Raygoza – “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll,” ion theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male

David S. Humphrey – “The Music Man,” Welk Resort Theatre

Paul Swenson Eddy – “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” Intrepid Theatre &  New Village Arts

Richard Bermudez – “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” Welk Resort Theatre

Bryce Pinkham – “Benny and Joon,” The Old Globe

Tom Zohar – “Tarrytown,” Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Female

Heidi Blickenstaff – “Freaky Friday,” La Jolla Playhouse

Hannah Elless – “Benny and Joon,” The Old Globe

LaChanze – “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” La Jolla Playhouse

Minka Wiltz – “Black Pearl Sings,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Kay McNellen – “Tarrytown,” Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female

Veronica J. Kuehn – “Guys and Dolls,” The Old Globe

Joy Yandell – “Billy Elliot,” San Diego Musical Theatre & City Ballet

Cashae Monya – “Cabaret,” ion theatre

Caitlyn Calfas – “In the Heights,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Katie Sapper – “Damn Yankees,” San Diego Musical Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Male

Michael Cusimano – “On the 20th Century,” Cygnet Theatre

Steve Gouveia – “Shockheaded Peter,” Cygnet Theatre

Randall Hickman – “The Little Mermaid,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Rudy Martinez  – “In the Heights,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Bryan Banville – “Tarrytown,” Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Female

Jessica John – “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” New Fortune Theatre Company

Milena Phillips – “Having Our Say,” New Village Arts

Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson – “Having Our Say,” New Village Arts

DeAnna Driscoll – “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” Cygnet Theatre

Jacque Wilke – “Ironbound,” Moxie Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Male

Vimel Sephus – “Blue Door,” Moxie Theatre

Cortez L. Johnson – “The Ballad of Emmett Till,” ion theatre

Steven Lone – “Roz and Ray,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Caleb Foote – “Hand to God,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Robert Malave – “Falling,” InnerMission Productions

Outstanding  Featured Performance in a Play, Female

Sandy Campbell – “Beau Jest,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

Amanda Schaar – “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” New Fortune Theatre Company

Annie Hinton – “Well,” Diversionary Theatre

Candy Buckley – “Kill Local,” La Jolla Playhouse

Jennifer Paredes – “Into the Beautiful North,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding  Featured Performance in a Play, Male

Omri Schein – “Beau Jest,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

Andrew Ableson – “The Illusion,” North Coast Repertory Theatre

Francis Jue  – “Wild Goose Dreams,” La Jolla Playhouse

Tom Stephenson – “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3,” Intrepid Theatre

David McBean – “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Scenic Design

Sean Fanning – “On the 20th Century,” Cygnet Theatre

Tim Mackabee – “Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood!,” The Old Globe

Mike Buckley – “The Explorers Club,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

Charles Murdock Lucas – “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” Cygnet Theatre

Marty Burnett – “Of Mice and Men,” North Coast Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design

Joanna Lynne Staub – “Wild Goose Dreams,” La Jolla Playhouse

Matt Lescault-Wood – “Roz & Ray,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Kevin Anthenill – “Homos, or Everyone in America,” Diversionary Theatre

Gareth Owen – “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” La Jolla Playhouse

Melanie Chen – “At the Old Place,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Costume Design

Jennifer Brawn Gittings – “The Revolutionists,” Moxie Theatre

Shirley Pierson – “Shockheaded Peter,” Cygnet Theatre

Jeanne Reith – “The Explorers Club,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

Renetta Lloyd – “Sunset Boulevard,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Jennifer Brawn Gittings – “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design

A.J. Paulin – “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” New Fortune Theatre Company

Sherrice Mojgani – “Blue Door,” Moxie Theatre

Stephen Strawbridge – “Hamlet,” The Old Globe

Conor Mulligan – “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” Cygnet Theatre

Jennifer Edwards – “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” Welk Resort Theatre

Outstanding Projection Design

Christopher Ash – “Our Great Tchaikovsky,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Michael McKeon – “Silent Sky,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

Victoria Petrovich – “Black Pearl Sings!,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Sean Nieuwenhuis – “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” La Jolla Playhouse

Blake McCarty – “On the 20th Century,” Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Direction of a Play

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg – “Blue Door,” Moxie Theatre

Yolanda Marie Franklin & Claudio Raygoza – “The Ballad of Emmett Till,” ion theatre

Christy Yael-Cox – “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3,” Intrepid Theatre

Richard Baird – “Of Mice and Men,” North Coast Repertory Theatre

Samantha Ginn – “Falling,” InnerMission Productions

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

Sean Murray – “On the 20th Century,” Cygnet Theatre

Rob Lutfy – “Shockheaded Peter,” Cygnet Theatre

Josh Rhodes –“Guys and Dolls,” The Old Globe

James Vasquez – “In the Heights,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Claudio Raygoza – “Cabaret,” ion theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction

Terry O’Donnell – “On the 20th Century,” Cygnet Theatre

Patrick Marion – “Shockheaded Peter,” Cygnet Theatre

Elan McMahan – “In the Heights,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Morgan Carberry – “Cabaret” – ion theatre

Jon Lorenz – Festival of Christmas: North of Normal,” Lambs Players Theatre

Outstanding Choreography

Jill Gorrie – “Damn Yankees,” San Diego Musical Theatre

Josh Rhodes  –  “Guys and Dolls,” The Old Globe

Javier Velasco – “Evita,” San Diego Repertory Theatre

Carlos Mendoza – “In the Heights,” Moonlight Stage Productions

Ray Limon – “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” Welk Resort Theatre

Special Award categories that will be announced from the Stage:

Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Small Theater

Actor of the Year, Male and Female

Outstanding Young Artist – Sandra Ellis-Troy Award

Outstanding Special Event

Founded in 1983 and re-established in 2002, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle is an independent, nonprofit organization of print and online theater critics dedicated to open and honest dialogue about theater in San Diego County and to honoring artistic excellence. The members of our organization are professional critics writing for daily newspapers, magazines, entertainment trade publications and websites in San Diego County. The organization’s major event is an awards program held each February, honoring the previous year’s finest in theater production, direction, acting, playwriting, scoring and technical achievements. The event is presented free of charge to the theatrical community,Lucas thanks to the gracious support of private underwriters. In 2002, the awards were renamed in honor of Craig Noel, longtime artistic director at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre and the founding father of San Diego’s theater community, who passed away in 2010.

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: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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Francis Jue, Ned Eisenberg, Jennifer Lim, Daniel K. Isaac, Jeena Yi, Joe Ngo and Tobias C. Wong Set for Readings at Lauren Yee’s Kesselring Prize Ceremony on November 5

Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren

Actors Francis Jue, Ned Eisenberg, Jennifer Lim, Daniel K. Isaac, Jeena Yi, Joe Ngo and Tobias C. Wong are set for a reading of plays by Lauren Yee when the rising young playwright receives the 2017 Kesselring Prize on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 4 pm at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). Ms. Yee earned the Kesselring for her play THE GREAT LEAP, to be produced this season by Denver Center, Seattle Rep and Atlantic Theater Company. The Prize includes a $25,000 award and the opportunity for Ms. Yee to reside for two weeks in the historic clubhouse of the National Arts Club in order to develop her work.

David Henry Hwang - Photo by Lia Chang, and Lauren Yee
David Henry Hwang – Photo by Lia Chang, and Lauren Yee

Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang will present Ms. Yee with the prize at an awards ceremony at the National Arts Club on Sunday, November 5 at 4 p.m. The evening will include readings of select scenes from Ms. Yee’s plays. A gala reception in the NAC parlors and dining room follows the awards presentation. For further information and to reserve seat for the awards ceremony and readings, visit Kesselring@thenationalartsclub.org.

The readings will feature selections from Yee’s plays KING OF THE YEES, THE GREAT LEAP and CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND.

Also present at the awards presentation as a guest speaker on Sunday: actress Regina Taylor.

Established in 1980 by Charlotte Kesselring – widow of playwright Joseph Kesselring – to honor and support young writers who are not as yet nationally recognized, and provide them with an honorarium and indirect support towards development of their work. Past recipients include Lucas Hnath (now on Broadway with A DOLL’S HOUSE PART 2), Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Nicky Silver and last year’s honoree, Lindsey Ferrentino, whose play UGLY LIES THE BONE was produced this year at the National Theatre in London.

Each year, the National Arts Club invites theaters across the country to nominate an emerging playwright for the Kesselring Prize who is poised for a higher national profile through his or her growing body-of-work. Atlantic Theater Company nominated Ms. Yee.

Her previous works include IN A WORD, a finalist for the ATCA/Steinberg Award; THE HATMAKER’S WIFE, which was an Outer Critics Circle nominee for its John Gassner Award for best play by a new American playwright; and KING OF THE YEES, which premiered last season at The Goodman Theatre.

The 2017 Kesselring Prize Jury that selected Ms. Yee consisted of: famed playwright John Guare; Dramaturg of Lincoln Center Theater, Anne Cattaneo; and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The Kesselring Prize Artistic Director is Michael Parva.

www.nationalartsclub.org

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

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

Lia Chang is an 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

Final Chance to See Yunjin Kim, Francis Jue, James Kyson,  Rona Figueroa and More in La Jolla Playhouse’s World Premiere of Hansol Jung’s WILD GOOSE DREAMS

The cast of WILD GOOSE DREAMS. Photo by Jim Carmody

La Jolla Playhouse is presenting the world-premiere production of Wild Goose Dreams, by Hansol Jung, directed by Leigh Silverman, in the Mandell Weiss Forum through October 1. Performances at 2pm and 7pm.  Click on LaJollaPlayhouse.org for tickets.

The cast of WILD GOOSE DREAMS. Photo by Jim Carmody
The cast of WILD GOOSE DREAMS. Photo by Jim Carmody

The cast features Yunjin Kim (TV’s “Lost”; Berkeley Rep’s The Woman Warrior) as “Yoo Nanhee,” James Kyson (TV’s “Heroes,” “Hawaii 5-0”) as “Gook Minsung” and Francis Jue (Broadway’s Pacific Overtures; Obie Award winner for Yellow Face, “Madame Secretary”) as “Father,” along with Carolyn Agan (San Diego Musical Theatre’s Ragtime) as “Woman/Chorus,” Julian Cihi (Broadway’s Doctor Zhivago) as “Man/Chorus,” Rona Figueroa (Broadway’s Miss Saigon) as “Wife/Chorus,” Samantha Wang (DNA New Work Series’ Akeelah and the Bee) as “Hyonjin/Chorus,” and UC San Diego M.F.A. students DeLeon Dallas, Kyle Hester and Kimberly Monks as “Chorus.”

The creative team includes Paul Castles, Composer; Jongbin Jung, Korean Music Composer; Charity Wicks, Music Supervisor; Yasmine Lee, Choreographer; Wilson Chin (Kill Local, Hollywood), Scenic Designer; Tony Award winner Linda Cho (Limelight, The Orphan of Zhao), Costume Designer; Keith Parham (Tribes), Lighting Designer; Joanna Lynne Staub, Sound Designer; Gabriel Greene, Dramaturg; and Melanie J. Lisby, Stage Manager.

In Wild Goose Dreams, a North Korean defector who has left her family behind and a lonely South Korean father start an unlikely online romance as they each attempt to allay their fears and alienation in this inventive, lyrical and darkly humorous piece.

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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Yunjin Kim, Francis Jue, James Kyson,  Rona Figueroa and More Set for La Jolla Playhouse’s World Premiere of Hansol Jung’s WILD GOOSE DREAMS, September 5 – October 1

La Jolla Playhouse is presenting the world-premiere production of Wild Goose Dreams, by Hansol Jung, directed by Leigh Silverman, running September 5 – October 1 (press opening: Sunday, September 10) in the Mandell Weiss Forum.

The cast will feature Yunjin Kim (TV’s “Lost”; Berkeley Rep’s The Woman Warrior) as “Yoo Nanhee,” James Kyson (TV’s “Heroes,” “Hawaii 5-0”) as “Gook Minsung” and Francis Jue (Broadway’s Pacific Overtures; Obie Award winner for Yellow Face, “Madame Secretary”) as “Father,” along with Carolyn Agan (San Diego Musical Theatre’s Ragtime) as “Woman/Chorus,” Julian Cihi (Broadway’s Doctor Zhivago) as “Man/Chorus,” Rona Figueroa (Broadway’s Miss Saigon) as “Wife/Chorus,” Samantha Wang (DNA New Work Series’ Akeelah and the Bee) as “Hyonjin/Chorus,” and UC San Diego M.F.A. students DeLeon Dallas, Kyle Hester and Kimberly Monks as “Chorus.”

The creative team includes Paul Castles, Composer; Jongbin Jung, Korean Music Composer; Charity Wicks, Music Supervisor; Yasmine Lee, Choreographer; Wilson Chin (Kill Local, Hollywood), Scenic Designer; Tony Award winner Linda Cho (Limelight, The Orphan of Zhao), Costume Designer; Keith Parham (Tribes), Lighting Designer; Joanna Lynne Staub, Sound Designer; Gabriel Greene, Dramaturg; and Melanie J. Lisby, Stage Manager.

“Hansol Jung’s exquisite new play brings together two strangers bound by their shared loneliness in a hauntingly beautiful piece that shifts between the tangible and the ethereal, the literal and the metaphorical. Award-winning director Leigh Silverman makes her Playhouse debut mounting this brand new work with an extraordinary cast and creative team,” said La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

In Wild Goose Dreams, a North Korean defector who has left her family behind and a lonely South Korean father start an unlikely online romance as they each attempt to allay their fears and alienation in this inventive, lyrical and darkly humorous piece.

Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Plays include Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville); Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theater Company); No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre, Chicago and Boise Contemporary Theatre) and Wolf Play. Commissions from Playwrights Horizons, Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant with Ma-Yi Theatre and a translation of Romeo and Juliet for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her work has been developed at the Royal Court (London), NYTW, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, O’Neill Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab, Lark Play Development Center, Salt Lake Acting Company, Boston Court Theatre, Asia Society New York and Seven Devils Playwright Conference. She is the recipient of the 2016 P73 Playwright Fellowship at Page 73 Productions, Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellowship at the Lark, 2050 Fellowship at NYTW, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court. Her plays have received the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award (Among the Dead), Honorable Mention from the 2014 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Competition (Cardboard Piano), and was named 2014 finalist for the Ruby Prize (No More Sad Things). She has translated over thirty English musicals into Korean, including Evita, Dracula, Spamalot and The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, while working on several award winning musical theatre productions as director, lyricist and translator in Seoul, South Korea. Ms. Jung holds a Playwriting M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theater Writers Lab.

Leigh Silverman is a two-time Obie Award winner, directed the Encores! and Broadway productions of Violet and earned a Tony Award nomination. Other Broadway credits include David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, Lisa Kron’s Well, as well as Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party for Encores!. Over thirty world premieres including: All the Ways to Say I Love You (MCC); Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb); The Way We Get By (Second Stage); American Hero (Second Stage and Williamstown Theatre Festival); Kung Fu (Signature Theatre); The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons); No Place to Go (Public Theater); The Madrid (MTC); Golden Child (Signature Theatre); In The Wake (Center Theatre Group/Berkeley Rep and Public Theater, Obie Award, Lortel nomination); Go Back to Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons, Obie Award); From Up Here (MTC, Drama Desk nomination); Yellow Face (Pulitzer finalist, Center Theatre Group/Public Theater); Coraline (MCC/True Love); Hunting and Gathering (Primary Stages); Oedipus at Palm Springs (NYTW); Blue Door (Playwrights Horizons/Seattle Rep); Well (Public Theater/Huntington Theatre/ACT).

Carolyn Agan (Woman/Chorus) won the 2016 Craig Noel Award for Ragtime at San Diego Musical Theatre. Other credits include the national tour of The Phantom Tollbooth, Olive in The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, Belle in A Christmas Carol (’10-’15), Freedom’s Song, 1776, Liberty Smith and Parade (Ford’s Theatre), Hello, Dolly! (Signature/Ford’s Theatre), Two Gents: A Rock Opera (Shakespeare Theatre), Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (Olney Theatre), Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Bold Girls, The Hostage (Keegan Theatre). Ms. Agan serves as Director of Education at San Diego Musical Theatre and is an associated teaching artist with La Jolla Playhouse and The Old Globe.

Julian Cihi (Man/Chorus) has appeared on Broadway in Doctor Zhivago and Off-Broadway as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at Classic Stage Company. Other credits include The Importance of Being Earnest; A Month in the Country (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Roger in RENT; Orlando in As You Like It (Toho Productions; Japan), directed by Michael Mayer. TV: “The Mysteries of Laura” (NBC); “Mr. Robot”(USA); “High Maintenance” (HBO); “Gypsy” (Netflix). Born and raised in Tokyo and currently living in New York City, Mr. Cihi earned his B.A. from Brown University and M.F.A. from NYU Tisch Graduate Acting.

DeLeon Dallas (Chorus) is a third-year M.F.A. actor at UC San Diego, where credits include La Bete, Native Son, Streamers, Strange Men, Damascus. Regional: Honky (San Diego Repertory); Brothers Size (Ubuntu). Film credits: Honky (PBS). He holds a B.A. in Sports Management from Concordia University, Nebraska. He was also chosen for the summer 2017 Guthrie Experience for actors in training. Mr. Dallas collaborated closely with the Guthrie Theater and other actors in his class from different training programs to devise a new works called Incurable: A Fool’s Tale.

Rona Figueroa (Wife/Chorus) appeared on Broadway as Kim in Miss Saigon, Eponine in Les Miserables, as well as in Nine and Lennon. Off-Broadway credits include Daisy in Dogeaters (Public Theater) and Grusha in Caucasian Chalk Circle (Vineyard Theater). Regional: Lady Thiang in The King and I (Chicago Lyric Opera), Misaki in I Sing the Rising Sea (Virginia Stage Company), Mimi in Rent (Vermont Theater), Luciana in Boys From Syracuse (Center Stage), Mary Magdelene in Jesus Christ Superstar (NSMT) and We Will Rock You (Vegas). Film/TV credits: Dragonheart, A New Beginning, Slow Jam King, “Mysteries of Laura,” “Eye Candy,” “Gossip Girl,” “Royal Pains”. Rock band: Quasilulu, albums on iTunes.

Kyle Hester’s (Chorus) regional credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); Annie Get Your Gun (Dutch Apple Theatre); The Jazz Funeral of Stella Brooks (Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival). LA: Macbeth (Harold Clurman Lab Theatre); Twelfth Night (LA New Court Theatre); Henry VI, Part 1 (The Production Company). UC San Diego: Strange Men, Streamers, Native Son, Angels in America: Perestroika, Go. Please. Go., La Bête. Film: Praxis, Finale. TV: “The Temp Agency”. Training: M.F.A. from UCSD (2018), B.F.A. from NYU Tisch.

Francis Jue (Father) was featured in La Jolla Playhouse’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. On Broadway he has appeared in Pacific Overtures, Thoroughly Modern Millie and M. Butterfly. Favorite theatre credits include Yellow Face (Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards; Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations), In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (AriZoni Award), Miss Saigon (Elliot Norton Award), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Drama-Logue Award), Cabaret (Bay Area Critics Circle Award), Falsettoland, tokyo fish story, Kung Fu, King of the Yees and Paper Dolls. Film and TV credits include Joyful Noise, and recurring roles on “Madam Secretary” and “Law & Order: SVU”.

Yunjin Kim (Yoo Nanhee) has appeared on the popular television series “Lost,” “Two Sisters” and “Mistresses”. Her theater credits include Yachiyo in Ballad of Yachiyo at Seattle Repertory Theatre; Fa Mu Lan in The Woman Warrior at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Diana in Junk Bonds at Capital Repertory Company, Jing Mei Woo in The Joy Luck Club at Long Wharf Theatre and Huoy in The Survivor at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Her Korean film and TV credits include Shiri, The Legend of Gingko, Rush! (Japanese film), Iron Palm, Yesterday, Ardor, Diary of June, Seven Days, Harmony, Heartbeat, The Neighbors, Ode to My Father, House of the Disappeared, Beautiful Vacation, Wedding Dress, With Love.

James Kyson’s (Gook Minsung) theater credits include Blood (The Complex); Hair (Knightsbridge). His television appearances include: “Preacher,” “Elementary,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “NCIS: LA,” “Justified,” “Hawaii 5-0,” and series regular on “Heroes”. He also voiced the History Channel’s WWII in HD, Ken Burns’ “National Parks,” “Adventure Time” and HBO’s “Animals”. His film credits include Walk to Vegas, Shutter.

Kimberly Monks (Chorus) is a third-year M.F.A. actor at UC San Diego, where credits include: La Bete, Native Son, Taming of the Shrew, Are You There and Damascus. She received a B.A. in Religion: Youth Leadership from Vanguard University of Southern California. Ms. Monks was also chosen for the summer 2017 Guthrie Experience for actors in training. She collaborated closely with the Guthrie Theater and other actors from different training programs to devise a new works called Incurable: A Fool’s Tale.

Samantha Wang (Hyonjin/Chorus) appeared in the Playhouse’s DNA New Work Series reading of Akeelah and the Bee. Other credits include: Vanessa in In the Heights (UC San Diego), Betty-Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Underworld Voice in The Odyssey (The Old Globe), Emma in Lego Friends Live Holiday Show (Legoland California), Sara Crewe in A Little Princess (San Diego Junior Theatre). Ms. Wang is currently working towards a B.A. in Political Science: Public Law and a B.A. in Communications at the University of California, San Diego.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist commissions and residencies. Currently led by Artistic Director and 2017 Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff. La Jolla Playhouse has had 28 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 38 Tony Awards, among them the currently-running, Tony Award-nominated hit Come From Away, along with Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who’s Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page To Stage Program. LaJollaPlayhouse.org.

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

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

Lia Chang is an 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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KING OF THE YEES at the Douglas Featuring Chicago Castmembers Francis Jue, Stephenie Soohyun Park, Daniel Smith, Angela Lin and Rammel Chan, Opens July 16

Francis Jue (Larry) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in the world premiere of King of the Yees, written by Lauren Yee and directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. Photo by Liz Lauren

Center Theatre Group is presenting the world premiere production of “King of the Yees” by Lauren Yee. Directed by Joshua Kahan Brody and produced in association with Goodman Theatre, “King of the Yees” began previews July 9, opens July 16 and continues through August 6, 2017, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren

The cast includes, in alphabetical order, Rammel Chan, Francis Jue, Angela Lin, Stephenie Soohyun Park and Daniel Smith.

Francis Jue (Larry) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in the world premiere of King of the Yees, written by Lauren Yee and directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in the world premiere of King of the Yees, written by Lauren Yee and directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. Photo by Liz Lauren

The creative team includes set design by William Boles, costume design by Izumi Inaba, lighting design by Heather Gilbert, sound design by Mikhail Fiksel, projections by Mike Tutaj, casting by Adam Belcuore, CSA and Erica Sartini-Combs, and dramaturgy by Tanya Palmer. David S. Franklin is the production stage manager.

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

Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Angela Lin (Actor 2) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Angela Lin (Actor 2) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES at the Goodman. Photo by Liz Lauren

Lauren Yee’s plays include “Cambodian Rock Band” (South Coast Repertory’s Pacific Playwrights Festival), “Ching Chong China Man” (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and Mu Performing Arts), “The Great Leap” (Denver Center for the Performing Art’s New Play Summit), “The Hatmaker’s Wife” (Playwrights Realm and Moxie), “Hookman” (Encore Theatre, Company One and Steep Theatre), “in a word” (San Francisco Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theatre, Strawdog Theatre Company and Lesser America), “Samsara” (Victory Gardens Theater, Single Carrot Theatre and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright Conference) and “The Tiger Among Us” (MAP Fund and Mu Performing Arts). Yee is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and has received commissions from the Denver Center of the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3, Mixed Blood Theatre, Portland Center Stage, South Coast Repertory and Trinity Repertory Company. She received her B.A. from Yale University and MFA from UCSD.

Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Daniel Smith (Actor 1) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Daniel Smith (Actor 1) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES at the Goodman. Photo by Liz Lauren

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Daniel Smith (Actor 1), Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Daniel Smith (Actor 1), Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES at the Goodman. Photo by Liz Lauren

Tickets for “King of the Yees” are available by calling (213) 628-2772, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, at the Center Theatre Group Box Office at the Ahmanson Theatre or at the Kirk Douglas Theatre Box Office two hours prior to performance. Tickets range from $25 – $70 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232. Ample free parking and restaurants are adjacent.

Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES at the Goodman. Photo by Liz Lauren
Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES at The Goodman. Photo by Liz Lauren

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

Francis Jue, Stephenie Soohyun Park, Daniel Smith, Angela Lin and Rammel Chan in World Premiere of KING OF THE YEES by Lauren Yee at Goodman Theatre, Opens April 12

Francis Jue (Larry) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in the world premiere of King of the Yees, written by Lauren Yee and directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. Photo by Liz Lauren

Explore the vivid history of America’s largest Chinatown through the eyes of a new generation in Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees – a Goodman Theatre-commissioned world premiere that was developed in the 2015 New Stages Festival. Yee’s longtime collaborator Joshua Kahan Brody directs her offbeat and electric joy ride about living in the contemporary world while honoring one’s rich ancestral heritage-and the conflict that ensues. The production will debut at A Contemporary Theatre and Canada’s National Arts Centre later this year.

Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in the world premiere of King of the Yees, written by Lauren Yee and directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in the world premiere of King of the Yees, written by Lauren Yee and directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. Photo by Liz Lauren

The affable Larry Yee (Francis Jue) remains a driving force in the San Francisco Chinese American community as the head of the Yee Fung Toy family association-a seemingly obsolescent men’s club dedicated to the preservation of the Yee line. His daughter Lauren (Stephenie Soohyun Park), however, is dismissive of its patriarchal culture, despite her father’s dedication. When Larry suddenly goes missing, Lauren’s desperate search drops her into a foreign but familiar world where she will have to embrace the past in order to get her father back. Daniel Smith, Angela Lin and Rammel Chan round out the cast, appearing in a variety of roles throughout the two-act play.

The design team includes William Boles (set), Izumi Inaba (costumes), Heather Gilbert (lighting), Mikhail Fiksel (sound) and Mike Tutaj (projections). Tanya Palmer is the dramaturg and Donald E. Claxon is the production stage manager.

Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Angela Lin (Actor 2) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Angela Lin (Actor 2) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren

King of the Yees, produced in association with Center Theatre Group is currently in previews (press night is April 9 and opening night is April 12) in the Owen Theatre. Performances are scheduled through April 30. Tickets ($10-$40; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Yees, the box office (170 N. Dearborn) or by phone at 312.443.3800.

Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Daniel Smith (Actor 1) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Daniel Smith (Actor 1) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Daniel Smith (Actor 1), Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Daniel Smith (Actor 1), Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Rammel Chan (Actor 3) and Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) in in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Stephenie Soohyun Park (Lauren) and Francis Jue (Larry) in Lauren Yee’s KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren

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.