Jason Ma, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee and More in NAAP’s INTO THE WOODS Rehearsal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee, Cindy Cheung, Jason Ma, David Shih,Virginia Wing and More Set for NAAP’s INTO THE WOODS on October 20

National Asian Artists Project (NAAP) and Prospect Theater Company are proud to partner for a third year to present a special one-night-only concert reading of Into the Woods on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30pm at The TimesCenter (242 W. 41st Street).

The cast of Into The Woods features Viveca C. (Miss Saigon, Broadway) as Cinderella; Alex Chester (How the Grinch Stole Christmas, MSG) as Little Red Riding Hood; Cindy Cheung (“Thirteen Reasons Why,” High Maintenance) as the Baker’s Wife; Karl Josef Co (CSC’s Pacific Overtures) as Cinderella’s Prince; Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes, Broadway) as Rapunzel’s Prince; Lydia Gaston (The King and I, Broadway) as Jack’s Mother; Ann Harada (Broadway: Avenue Q, Cinderella) as the Witch; Kennedy Kanagawa (Dinner with Georgette, NYTW) as Jack; Raymond J. Lee (Broadway: Groundhog Day, Honeymoon in Vegas) as The Baker; and Jason Ma (writer / composer, Gold Mountain) as the Mysterious Man. Other cast members include: Rona Figueroa, Kimbirdlee Fadner, Rebecca Lee Lerman, Colin Miyamoto, David Shih, Laura Yen Solito, Virginia Wing, and Xiaoqing Zhang. The Associate Director is Cassey Kivnick, and the Assistant Musical Director is Griffin Strout. Julie Miller is the line producer.

Directed by Steven Eng and music directed by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, NAAP brings a new and unique voice to interpret a modern classic. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning book and score interweave favorite storybook characters, creating a timeless yet relevant piece on the power of story and the nature of family.

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

“NAAP is excited to bring together a remarkable ensemble of some of NYC’s finest actors — joining with the celebrated NAAP Broadway Community Chorus and the award-winning NAAP Kids — for a single night, to perform this rich, poignant, and very fun piece of theater,” said director Steven Eng. “Prospect is honored to continue our fruitful partnership with NAAP, bringing to life one of the great modern classics of American musical theater,” said Prospect’s Producing Artistic Director, Cara Reichel.

For tickets ($25 – $55) and more information, please visit http://www.NAAProject.org or www.ProspectTheater.org or call 212-352-3101.

 

N. Riantiarno’s TIME BOMB – Inaugural Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival

David Henry Hwang, Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Cobina Gillitt, Tangga Bhuana, N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, N. Riantiarno and Corin Asmara. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, N. Riantiarno and Corin Asmara. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night I attended a reading of Time Bomb by N. Riantiarno (Indonesia), the first play of three featured in the Inaugural Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival, organized by Dean Carol Becker and David Henry Hwang, at the Flexible Performance Space, Lenfest Center for the Arts in New York.

Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, the cast includes Jorja Brown, Debbie Christine*, Karl Josef Co*, Kim Fischer*, Sevan Greene*, Megan Masako Haley, Katie Lee Hill*,Frank Licari, Paolo Montalban*, Aaron L. Morishita*, and Kate Rigg*.

Sitting: Katie Lee Hill, Megan Masako Haley, Paolo Montalban, David Henry Hwang. Standing: Kate Rigg, Karl Josef, Kim Fischer, Aaron L. Morishita, Debbie Christine, Jorja Brown, Debbie Christine, Frank Licari, Sevan Greene, Enrico de Trizio, Cobina Gillitt and N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang
Sitting: Katie Lee Hill, Megan Masako Haley, Paolo Montalban, David Henry Hwang. Standing: Kate Rigg, Karl Josef, Kim Fischer, Aaron L. Morishita, Debbie Christine, Jorja Brown, Debbie Christine, Frank Licari, Sevan Greene, Enrico de Trizio, Cobina Gillitt and N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang

*Appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Cobina Gillitt, N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Cobina Gillitt, N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang

Dramaturg: Cobina Gillitt
Consultant: Jason Williamson
Music Director: Enrico de Trizio
Stage Manager: Daniel Vaughn
Associate Stage Manager: Tzipora Reman

Time Bomb was translated from Indonesian by Barbara Hatley.

Playwright N. Riantiarno meets actors Aaron L. Morishita, Megan Masako Haley, Debbie Christine, Jorja Brown, Frank Licari, Sevan Greene, Paolo Montalban. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright N. Riantiarno meets actors Aaron L. Morishita, Megan Masako Haley, Debbie Christine, Jorja Brown, Frank Licari, Sevan Greene, Paolo Montalban. Photo by Lia Chang

This is a story about those who are marginalized. A story of those living under bridges and in foul sewers, who can only stare up at the moon and speculate on their fortunes, daydreaming about the luxurious lives stowed away behind bright shop windows. When the state comes to raze their small riverside town in order to develop the land, these villagers—forgotten, abused, oppressed—find their bodies and spirits in danger of being buried underneath the demolished rubble.

Playwright N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang

Born in Cirebon, Indonesia, in 1949, N. Riantiarno founded Teater Koma in Jakarta in 1977. His over-140 stage and television productions include The Cockroach Opera Trilogy; Sorry.Sorry.Sorry; Succession; Sampek Engtay; The Primadonna Opera; Burisrawa The Corporate Mogul; Semar Protests; Constipated Opera; The Republic of Bagong; The Republic of Togog; The Republic of Petruk; Metaphore of Love; and the Siejinkwie tetralogy. He is the author of the novels Evening Romance; Red Mirror; Clear Mirror; Love Mirror; and Primadonna.

Setting: A fetid slum under a bridge along a Jakarta canal. On a higher level and visible throughout the play, five diners of apparent wealth are seated at a table at a fine restaurant. Statue-like, they eat their sumptuous meals without speaking.

Standing: Kate Rigg, Karl Josef Co, Kim Fischer, Katie Lee Hill, Aaron L. Morishita, Jorja Brown, Frank Licari, Sevan Greene, Enrico de Trizio. Photo by Lia Chang
Standing: Kate Rigg, Karl Josef Co, Kim Fischer, Katie Lee Hill, Aaron L. Morishita, Jorja Brown, Frank Licari, Sevan Greene, Enrico de Trizio. Photo by Lia Chang

The other plays in the Festival by living international playwrights that were not originally written in English include Shaitan Lake by Rinat Tashminov (Russia) and Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali? by Raeda Taha (Palestine).

Click here for other events in the Festival.

Rachel Cooper, David Henry Hwang, Rangga Bhuana, N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang
Rachel Cooper, David Henry Hwang, Rangga Bhuana, N. Riantiarno. Photo by Lia Chang

The goal of the festival is to expand contemporary American understanding of theatre beyond that of English-speaking countries, and to present new theatrical voices to US audiences.

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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

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International Play Reading Festival: TIME BOMB at Lenfest Center for the Arts on June 15

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang

Tonight, I am going to a reading of Time Bomb by N. Riantiarno (Indonesia), the first play of three featured in the Inaugural Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival, organized by Dean Carol Becker and David Henry Hwang, at the Flexible Performance Space, Lenfest Center for the Arts, 615 W. 129 St. in New York at 7pm.

The other plays in the Festival by living international playwrights that were not originally written in English include Shaitan Lake by Rinat Tashminov (Russia) and Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali? by Raeda Taha (Palestine).

The goal of the festival is to expand contemporary American understanding of theatre beyond that of English-speaking countries, and to present new theatrical voices to US audiences.

Time Bomb was translated from Indonesian by Barbara Hatley and will be helmed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar.

The cast includes Jorja Brown, Debbie Christine*, Karl Josef Co*, Kim Fischer*, Sevan Greene*, Megan Masako Haley, Katie Lee Hill*,Frank Licari, Paolo Montalban*, Aaron L. Morishita*, and Kate Rigg*

*Appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

Dramaturg: Cobina Gillitt
Consultant: Jason Williamson
Music Director: Enrico de Trizio
Stage Manager: Daniel Vaughn
Associate Stage Manager: Tzipora Reman

This is a story about those who are marginalized. A story of those living under bridges and in foul sewers, who can only stare up at the moon and speculate on their fortunes, daydreaming about the luxurious lives stowed away behind bright shop windows. When the state comes to raze their small riverside town in order to develop the land, these villagers—forgotten, abused, oppressed—find their bodies and spirits in danger of being buried underneath the demolished rubble.

Born in Cirebon, Indonesia, in 1949, N. Riantiarno founded Teater Koma in Jakarta in 1977. His over-140 stage and television productions include The Cockroach Opera Trilogy; Sorry.Sorry.Sorry; Succession; Sampek Engtay; The Primadonna Opera; Burisrawa The Corporate Mogul; Semar Protests; Constipated Opera; The Republic of Bagong; The Republic of Togog; The Republic of Petruk; Metaphore of Love; and the Siejinkwie tetralogy. He is the author of the novels Evening Romance; Red Mirror; Clear Mirror; Love Mirror; and Primadonna.

Time Bomb
List of Characters
Jumini, woman who has lost her husband and child
Roima, good-looking young gangster
Julini, transvestite, Roima’s girlfriend
Kumis, security guard
Bleki, security guard
Abung, mad philosopher who lives in a tree
Tarsih, pretty and popular prostitute
Kasijah, prostitute
Turkana, Jumini’s companion and admirer
Tibal, young villager newly arrived in the city
Tuminah, Tibal’s sister
Sawil and Bilun, pair of dreamers & schemers
Subdistrict Head, government bureaucrat
Secretary, subdistrict head’s secretary
Singer
Prostitute 1
Prostitute 2
Other Prostitutes
Diners
Beggars
Guards

Setting: A fetid slum under a bridge along a Jakarta canal. On a higher level and visible throughout the play, five diners of apparent wealth are seated at a table at a fine restaurant. Statue-like, they eat their sumptuous meals without speaking.

Click here for other events in the Festival.

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

Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to Steven Eng on his first Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for his role as Kayama Yesaemon in the Classic Stage Company’s revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, directed and designed by Tony Award winner John Doyle.

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of “Pacific Overtures” by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

The production has garnered other nods including a Lortel nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Thom Sesma, Outer Critics Circle and The Drama League  Outstanding Revival nods and Drama Desk Award nominations in the categories of Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Orchestrations for Jonathan Tunick and Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical for Dan Moses Schreier.

2018 Lucille Lortel nominees Thom Sesma, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
2018 Lucille Lortel nominees Thom Sesma, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

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

CSC’s “Pacific Overtures” Nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Lortel Awards 

PACIFIC OVERTURES - Steven Eng, Orville Mendoza, Thom Sesma, Kimberly Immanuel, Megan Masako Haley, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co. Photo by Lia Chang
PACIFIC OVERTURES – Steven Eng, Orville Mendoza, Thom Sesma, Kimberly Immanuel, Megan Masako Haley, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. Eng is an actor, singer, director, teacher, producer, and co-founder of the National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders and professionals who recognize the need to bridge the work of artists of Asian descent to the many communities the work can serve, from underserved primary school students to seasoned arts patrons. He co-founded the organization with Baayork Lee and Nina Zoie Lam to address what they felt was a significant lack of opportunity for professional Asian-American theater artists to practice their craft and contribute on a broader level to the diversity of the American theater. NAAP seeks to showcase the work of professional theater artists of Asian descent through performance, education and outreach. For more information about NAAP, visit www.NAAProject.org.

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

I caught up with Steven at the 50th Birthday Bash for Classic Stage Company honoring John Doyle and Lynn Angelson.

Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How did you learn about the nomination and what was your reaction?
Steven: I must have been looking at Playbill.com right when the announcement happened, because I hadn’t heard anything. I saw that the nominations were announced, so I read it to see if there were friends who had been nominated. That’s when I saw my name. It was crazy and surreal to read it and not have heard anything. Sure enough, within a couple of hours, I was notified and receiving congratulations from friends and colleagues.

(L–R) Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley (background), and Ann Harada in a scene from the Classic Stage Company’s production of “Pacific Overtures.” (Joan Marcus)
(L–R) Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley (background), and Ann Harada in a scene from the Classic Stage Company’s production of “Pacific Overtures.” (Joan Marcus)

Lia: What is Kayama’s journey?
Steven: Kayama is a minor samurai who is quickly promoted through the ranks of the Japanese ruling class when American warships appear demanding Japan open its doors to international trade. Through unexpected circumstances and luck (bad or good is up to the audience), he evolves from a traditional Japanese samurai into a westernized bureaucrat.

George Takei, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, Steven Eng, Marc Oka, Thom Sesma, Austin Ku, Megan Masako Haley Holmes, Kimberly Immanuel, Orville Mendoza and Marc de la Cruz at the sitzprobe at Carroll Music in New York on March 31, 2017. Photo: Karl Josef Co/Facebook
George Takei, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, Steven Eng, Marc Oka, Thom Sesma, Austin Ku, Megan Masako Haley Holmes, Kimberly Immanuel, Orville Mendoza and Marc de la Cruz at the sitzprobe at Carroll Music in New York on March 31, 2017. Photo: Karl Josef Co/Facebook

Lia: What did it mean to you to work with this cast and creative team?
Steven: Pacific Overtures was a project of a lifetime for me because of both the piece and the people involved. Firstly, Sondheim’s work has always been among the most influential to me in my career, inspiring and driving me to seek work that challenges and teaches me about humanity, and Pacific Overtures has been my favorite of all his works. So to have him watch the show several times and have his input is beyond what I could ever have imagined. Having John Weidman at rehearsals changing his smart and fascinating book was also an unbelievable privilege, and all of us guided by the brilliant director John Doyle was thrilling. And my cast, what can I say except that they were among the most generous and talented actors with whom I’ve ever shared a stage, and I felt the responsibility of bringing the very best I could to match the high level of their work.

Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh, John Doyle and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh, John Doyle and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: This is a very diverse season for theater and the nominated shows. Have you seen a difference for you in casting over the years in the industry?
Steven: I can’t really say I’ve noticed a substantial difference in casting for me personally. I will say, though, that seasons of diversity are becoming more frequent, and this is certainly one of them. I’m not ready, just yet, to say that diversity is a regular occurrence. The unfortunate but truthful question is, diverse for whom? Even with diverse seasons and casts, there are still underrepresented groups.

Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel onstage after the GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Last October, NAAP and Prospect Theater Company produced a staged concert of Gold Mountain, a new musical written by Jason Ma, that you were featured in. You were delightful. It was such a celebration of the Asian American actor on stage. What was your experience? 
Steven: Thank you for that generous compliment! I think Jason Ma is so remarkably talented and it’s just a matter of time until someone with the influence and resources will invest in him and his work. Gold Mountain was such a gift, and to play that role was great fun as well as scary. It was so important to me to do justice to this character and the traditions he represented.

Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Eric Bondoc and Steven Eng in GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Eric Bondoc and Steven Eng in GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What did it feel like to be in the room of Lortel nominees recently, more specifically with all of your fellow Asian American colleagues?
Steven: It was quite special to be there, and among all those fine theater artists. And to see the wonderful Asian faces of not just colleagues, but friends who were also being recognized was so rewarding. While we all have our own paths that lead us there, we do share a common understanding of some similar challenges.

Lia: Where do you teach?
Steven: I teach at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in undergraduate drama in two specific studios: the New Studio on Broadway and the Atlantic Theater Company. I also teach at HB Studios. I teach voice and speech, which means spoken voice (not singing), text, articulation and accents/dialects.

Baayork Lee and Steven Eng.
Baayork Lee and Steven Eng.

Lia: What’s next for you?
Steven: I’m working on a couple of directing projects now that will occupy me for the summer and early fall. One is a brand new musical that’s being written by Jonathan and Kimbirdlee Fadner, based on the old Chinese legend of the Monkey King. I think it’s a great piece that takes a centuries-old story and gives it some fun modern twists, with great music and fun storytelling. And of course I’m finishing my classes as well as auditioning for my next acting gig. That never ends.

I’d also like to mention that National Asian Artists Project (NAAP) is still going strong. While I’m not ready to divulge specific upcoming projects, there are things in the works as we continue to try create opportunities for actors of Asian-descent to practice their craft. In just a year, we’ll be celebrating a decade of operation, and I’m still excited about all the things that are in store.

The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Steven Eng has been acting professionally as a member of Actors Equity since 1995. His work onstage has included New York City and all across the United States in some of the country’s most respected theaters. He was most recently seen Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company in the NYC revival of Pacific Overtures, directed by John Doyle with reworking by original creators John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, with new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. He’s also performed on London’s West End and in Germany and Cambodia. He has played leading roles from Shakespeare to Sondheim and continually enjoys the challenge of creating roles in new works, most recently Maltby & Shire’s Waterfall. Career highlights have included productions of Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2, Richard II, As You Like It, King John, Miss Saigon, Paint Your Wagon, Honor, and numerous developing works. He’s done some film (released as well as to-be-released), TV (cop shows, soap operas, kid shows), commercials (beer, anyone?), voiceovers, industrials, and is always grateful to be challenged in new mediums. Steven is also a tenor, having sung in both large concert halls as well as intimate cabaret venues. He holds an MFA in Classical Acting from the George Washington University’s Academy for Classical Acting (Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC). He also holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from Southern Methodist University with a minor in music (vocal performance).

2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced including KPOP, “Bella: An American Tall Tale,” “Mary Jane,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Pipeline,” “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” and “Pacific Overtures” 
KPOP’s James Seol, Ashley Park, Jason Tam, Vanessa Kai Among 9 2018 Lucille Lortel Nods, including Outstanding Musical

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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

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CSC’s “Pacific Overtures” Nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Lortel Awards

Some of the Drama League nominated cast of Classic Stage Company's PACIFIC OVERTURES - Steven Eng, Orville Mendoza, Thom Sesma, Kimmy Immanuel, Megan Masako Haley, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co. Photo by Lia Chang

Classic Stage Company’s revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, directed and designed by Tony Award winner John Doyle, has received 2018 Drama Desk Award nominations in the categories of Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Orchestrations for Jonathan Tunick and Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical for Dan Moses Schreier.

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

The cast of Pacific Overtures features Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, Ann Harada, Kimberly Immanuel, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh, Orville Mendoza, Marc Oka, Thom Sesma, and George Takei.

PACIFIC OVERTURES - Steven Eng, Orville Mendoza, Thom Sesma, Kimberly Immanuel, Megan Masako Haley, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co. Photo by Lia Chang
PACIFIC OVERTURES – Steven Eng, Orville Mendoza, Thom Sesma, Kimberly Immanuel, Megan Masako Haley, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co. Photo by Lia Chang

2018 Lucille Lortel nods include Outstanding Lead Actor for Steven Eng and Outstanding Featured Actor for Thom Sesma.

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

2018 Lucille Lortel nominees Thom Sesma, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
2018 Lucille Lortel nominees Thom Sesma, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

The production has also been nominated for Outstanding Revival by the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama League.

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of “Pacific Overtures” by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

In the ground-breaking Pacific Overtures, Commodore Matthew Perry sails to Japan in 1853 on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. The musical tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East. With Pacific Overtures, which first premiered on Broadway in 1976 (directed by Hal Prince), John Doyle continues his highly-acclaimed and award-winning exploration of Sondheim’s work, having directed the legendary composer’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, and Passion at CSC.

Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
CSC's PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook
CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook

The production received a 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award nomination for Best Revival.

Arrivals: John Doyle and Lynn Angelson Feted at Classic Stage Company’s 50th Birthday Celebration

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominees Announced; “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Mlima’s Tale,” “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” and “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” Among Nominated

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

SKELETON CREW, PACIFIC OVERTURES, TURN ME LOOSE and More Among 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award Nominees

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.

John Doyle and Lynn Angelson Feted at Classic Stage Company’s 50th Birthday Celebration

Lynn Angelson and John Doyle. Photo by Lia Chang
John Doyle. Photo by Lia Chang
John Doyle. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night, Classic Stage Company marked its 50th birthday with a gala celebration at Bohemian National Hall on the Upper East Side, recognizing Artistic Director John Doyle and Board Chair Lynn Angelson. The evening featured special guest performances from Doyle’s New York career including Cynthia Erivo, Judy Kuhn, and Donna McKechnie.

Lynn Angelson and John Doyle. Photo by Lia Chang
Lynn Angelson and John Doyle. Photo by Lia Chang

A handpicked company of artists who have worked with John Doyle on past productions, the Doylies, including 2018 Lortel nominees Thom Sesma and Steven Eng (Pacific Overtures), Quincy Tyler Bernstine (As You Like It), along with George Abud, Keith Buterbaugh, Karl Josef Co, Matthew Deming, Ben Diskant, David Michael Garry, Megan Masako Haley, Lee Harrington, Amy Justman, Emily Mechler, Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh, Megan Loomis, Jane Pfitsch, Leenya Rideout, Fred Rose, Bruce Sabath, Antoine L. Smith, Rema Webb, Elisa Winter, Jessica Tyler Wright, and Katrina Yaukey, also performed.

2018 Lucille Lortel nominees Thom Sesma, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
2018 Lucille Lortel nominees Thom Sesma, Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Cynthia Erivo and Patti LuPone served as honorary co-chairs; with Barbara H. Marks as the event chair. The evening also featured a live auction hosted by actor Will Roland.

Fred Rose, Orville Mendoza, George Abud, Katrina Yaukey, Jane Pfitsch, Thom Sesma, Karl Josef Co, Emily Mechler, Bruce Sabath. 2nd row: Lee Harrington, Leenya Rideout, Phoenix Best, Benjamin Diskant, Rema Webb, Keith Buterbaugh, Amy Justman, Megan Loomis, Matthew Deming, Megan Masako Haley, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessica Tyler Wright, David Michael Garry, Elisa Winter. Photo by Lia Chang
1st row: Fred Rose, Orville Mendoza, George Abud, Katrina Yaukey, Jane Pfitsch, Thom Sesma, Karl Josef Co, Emily Mechler, Bruce Sabath. 2nd row: Lee Harrington, Leenya Rideout, Phoenix Best, Benjamin Diskant, Rema Webb, Keith Buterbaugh, Amy Justman, Megan Loomis, Matthew Deming, Megan Masako Haley, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessica Tyler Wright, David Michael Garry, Elisa Winter. Photo by Lia Chang
Some of the Drama League nominated cast of Classic Stage Company's PACIFIC OVERTURES - Steven Eng, Orville Mendoza, Thom Sesma, Kimberly Immanuel, Megan Masako Haley, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co. Photo by Lia Chang
Some of the Drama League nominated cast of Classic Stage Company’s PACIFIC OVERTURES – Steven Eng, Orville Mendoza, Thom Sesma, Kimberly Immanuel, Megan Masako Haley, Kelvin Moon Loh, Karl Josef Co. Photo by Lia Chang
Genevieve Angelson and Lynn Angelson. Photo by Lia Chang
Genevieve Angelson and Lynn Angelson. Photo by Lia Chang
Amy Justman, John Doyle, Barbara Walsh and Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Amy Justman, John Doyle, Barbara Walsh and Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh, John Doyle and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh, John Doyle and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
George Abud and Quincy Tyler Bernstine. Photo by Lia Chang
George Abud and Quincy Tyler Bernstine. Photo by Lia Chang
David Michael Garry, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang
Three Sweeneys – David Michael Garry, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang
Akron Watson, Rema Webb and Phoenix Best. Photo by Lia Chang
Akron Watson, Rema Webb and Phoenix Best. Photo by Lia Chang

Since 1967, Classic Stage Company, CSC, has been committed to re-imagining classic stories for contemporary audiences. the company has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally recognized education programs. Productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

Kimberly Immanuel and Megan Masako Haley. Photo by Lia Chang
Kimberly Immanuel and Megan Masako Haley. Photo by Lia Chang
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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Lia Chang, Virginia Wing, Patricia Cancio, and Karl Josef Co in Willow Martin’s THE LATE SHIFT in NJ Rep’s All About Eve Festival of the Arts Theatre Brut Session 6 on October 8

The cast of Willow Martin's THE LATE SHIFT - Virginia Wing, Patricia Cancio, Lia Chang and Karl Josef Co. Photo by director Nick Corley

I am delighted to be appearing inThe Late Shift, a new short play by Willow Martin with Virginia Wing, Patricia Cancio, and Karl Josef Co, on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 2:00PM in the All About Eve Festival of the Arts Theatre Brut Session 6, presented by New Jersey Repertory Company at West End Arts Center, 132 West End Avenue, Long Branch, NJ. Nick Corley directs.

Playwright Willow Martin, Patricia Cancio, Virginia Wing, director Nick Corley and Lia Chang (not pictured Karl Josef Co).
Playwright Willow Martin, Patricia Cancio, Virginia Wing, director Nick Corley and Lia Chang (not pictured Karl Josef Co).

Synopsis: Three women condemned to work the late shift in a toy factory in Shenzhen, China, bemoan their fate. The youngest of whom arrives late because she attended a protest rally picketing against inhumane labor conditions. When she arrives, excited and enthusiastic about the prospects for change, she is confronted by their tyrannical boss, and the three band together in an act of defiance.

The cast of Willow Martin's THE LATE SHIFT - Virginia Wing, Patricia Cancio, Lia Chang and Karl Josef Co. Photo by director Nick Corley
The cast of Willow Martin’s THE LATE SHIFT – Virginia Wing, Patricia Cancio, Lia Chang and Karl Josef Co. Photo by director Nick Corley
Willow Martin
Willow Martin

Willow Martin is a senior Creative Writing Major at Red Bank Regional High School. She lives in Little Silver, NJ. In addition to plays, she enjoys writing poetry and short stories, many of which have earned regional and national accolades from  Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (the highest of which being a National Silver Medal). The Late Shift is the first play Martin has written to be produced by a professional company. Martin’s writing style has been influenced by both her studies and extracurricular activities. But most importantly, the brilliant Dr. Gretna Wilkinson is to thank for igniting and kindling Martin’s passion for the arts.

TheJournalny.com: RBR Senior’s Play Selected for Performance by New Jersey Repertory Company

http://www.thejournalnj.com

The other short plays in Theatre Brut’s Session 6 bill include Michael Tucker’s Pittsburgh, directed by Jill Eikenberry and starring Eleanor Handley and Michael Satow; Nancy Cooper Frank’s Eviction, directed by Sydnie Grosberg Ronga and starring Wendy Peace, Cara Ganski, and Hunter Hoffman; and Marisa Smith’s Cubs Win!, directed by Melody Brooks and starring Carol Todd, Susan Barrett, Anja Lee, and Amie Bermowitz.

The week-long fundraising festival includes 28 short plays (performed Oct 1, 6, 7, 8), refreshments, live music, art and photography exhibits, and poetry readings. Prices vary depending on the event. A Festival Pass can be purchased to attend all the events. For additional information call 732-229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org.

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

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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Lia Chang, Virginia Wing, Patricia Cancio and Karl Josef Co Set for Willow Martin’s THE LATE SHIFT in All About Eve Festival of the Arts Theatre Brut Session 6 on October 8

Playwright Willow Martin, Patricia Cancio, Virginia Wing, director Nick Corley and Lia Chang (not pictured Karl Josef Co).

I am delighted to be appearing inThe Late Shift, a new short play by Willow Martin with Virginia Wing, Patricia Cancio, and Karl Josef Co, on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 2:00PM in the All About Eve Festival of the Arts Theatre Brut Session 6, presented by New Jersey Repertory Company at West End Arts Center, 132 West End Avenue, Long Branch, NJ. Nick Corley directs.

Playwright Willow Martin, Patricia Cancio, Virginia Wing, director Nick Corley and Lia Chang (not pictured Karl Josef Co).
Playwright Willow Martin, Patricia Cancio, Virginia Wing, director Nick Corley and Lia Chang (not pictured Karl Josef Co).
Karl Josef Co
Karl Josef Co

Synopsis: Three women condemned to work the late shift in a toy factory in Shenzhen, China, bemoan their fate. The youngest of whom arrives late because she attended a protest rally picketing against inhumane labor conditions. When she arrives, excited and enthusiastic about the prospects for change, she is confronted by their tyrannical boss, and the three band together in an act of defiance.

Willow Martin
Willow Martin

Willow Martin is a senior Creative Writing Major at Red Bank Regional High School. She lives in Little Silver, NJ. In addition to plays, she enjoys writing poetry and short stories, many of which have earned regional and national accolades from  Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (the highest of which being a National Silver Medal). The Late Shift is the first play Martin has written to be produced by a professional company. Martin’s writing style has been influenced by both her studies and extracurricular activities. But most importantly, the brilliant Dr. Gretna Wilkinson is to thank for igniting and kindling Martin’s passion for the arts.

TheJournalny.com: RBR Senior’s Play Selected for Performance by New Jersey Repertory Company

http://www.thejournalnj.com

The other short plays in Theatre Brut’s Session 6 bill include Michael Tucker’s Pittsburgh, directed by Jill Eikenberry and starring Eleanor Handley and Michael Satow; Nancy Cooper Frank’s Eviction, directed by Sydnie Grosberg Ronga and starring Wendy Peace, Cara Ganski, and Hunter Hoffman; and Marisa Smith’s Cubs Win!, directed by Melody Brooks and starring Carol Todd, Susan Barrett, Anja Lee, and Amie Bermowitz.

Pittsburgh: A young couple’s life changes when he gets a big promotion but the changes are not necessarily what they were hoping for.  Pittsburgh deals with the tenuous nature of trust, the unconscious pull to play traditional male and female roles and the mystery and delicacy of love.

Michael Tucker is an actor, author and playwright. His first play, The M Spot debuted at NJ Rep in 2015 and his second play, Assisted Living, was chosen to be a part of the 2017 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference in Connecticut. Writer of three memoirs and a novel, After Annie, Tucker has acted in theater, television and films over the last fifty years.

Eviction: A too-good-to-be-true apartment, a control-freak landlord, a sketchy super … This is the story of the first ever eviction, as told by Eve to her daughter.

Nancy Cooper Frank’s plays include: Anna and the Blackbird (The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series); The Plumber (San Francisco Fringe, Best of Fringe Award; Arundel Theatre Trail, UK); Daniil Kharms: A Life in One Act and Several Dozen Eggs (Virago Theatre Co. New Works Series; Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayLab). Nancy is a two-time winner in the Onstage Female Playwrights project. Her current project is The Trouble with Catherine, about the bumpy friendship between Catherine the Great and Catherine Dashkova, who helped her seize the throne and became the first female director of a national science academy. Nancy lives in San Francisco. nancycooperfrank.com

Cubs Win!: The Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series after 108 years, but there are some devastating consequences for the women in one Chicago book group … and for one man.

Marisa Smith is an award-winning playwright. Full-length plays include: Saving Kitty (W.H.A.T, NJ Rep and the Nora Theater Company; Eliot Norton award for Jennifer Coolidge Best Actress and Clauder winner), and Mad Love (Northern Stage, NJ Rep, O’Neill finalist, Clauder winner, and Kilroy list). Mad Love is also an audio drama produced by Wondery called The Defenestrator. Next spring Marisa’s comedy Sex and Other Disturbances will be produced by Portland Stage in Maine, directed by award-winning Australian film and theater director, Nadia Tass. Marisa’s10-Minute plays have been produced in the Boston Marathon of 10- Minute Plays, Barrington Stage and in many other theaters around the country and include Heideman finalist Total Expression. Screenplays: Second Wind and Surprise Engagement for producer/director Andrew Silver starring English actors June Brown, Harriet Walter and Tamzin Merchant, and Tamzin Outhwaite. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Marisa is also the co-Publisher and owner of Smith and Kraus Publishers.

The week-long fundraising festival includes 28 short plays (performed Oct 1, 6, 7, 8), refreshments, live music, art and photography exhibits, and poetry readings. Prices vary depending on the event. A Festival Pass can be purchased to attend all the events. For additional information call 732-229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org.

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

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com

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CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES Featuring George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and More, Ends Extended Run on June 18

CSC's PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

Final week to catch Classic Stage Company’s new production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, directed and designed by Tony Award winner at CSC (136 East 13th Street), which ends its extended run   Sunday, June 18th. The production recently received a 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award nomination for Best Revival.

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of “Pacific Overtures” by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

The cast of Pacific Overtures features Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, Ann Harada, Kimberly Immanuel, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh, Orville Mendoza, Marc Oka, Thom Sesma, and George Takei.

Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

In the ground-breaking Pacific Overtures, Commodore Matthew Perry sails to Japan in 1853 on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. The musical tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East. With Pacific Overtures, which first premiered on Broadway in 1976 (directed by Hal Prince), John Doyle continues his highly-acclaimed and award-winning exploration of Sondheim’s work, having directed the legendary composer’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, and Passion at CSC.

Americantheatre.com: John Doyle Directs His Favorite Sondheim Show

Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

Costume design is by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical supervision by Rob Bermanand musical direction by Greg Jarrett.

George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus

The remaining performances for Pacific Overtures are Thursday at 7 pm; Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundas at 3 pm. Regular price tickets are $70 and Prime seats are $125. For tickets, visit classicstage.org, call (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111, or in person at the box office (136 East 13th Street).

CSC's PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook
CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook

CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY (CSC). Now in its 49th Season, CSC is committed to re-imagining classic stories for contemporary audiences. The company has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally recognized education programs. Productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

SKELETON CREW, PACIFIC OVERTURES, TURN ME LOOSE and More Among 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award Nominees

George Takei’s ALLEGIANCE Set for LA Premiere, February 21-April 1, 2018

George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh and More Set for CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES, April 6-May 27

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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