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

The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chatting with VIETGONE Star James Seol 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for all the nominees.

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

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

Photos: KPOP Performance Benefits Ma-Yi Theater Company

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

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

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

The cast of KPOP (© Ben Arons)

KPOP by Jason Kim, Helen Park, Max Vernon, and Woodshed Collective and Gun & Powder by Ross Baum and Angelica Chéri are the winners of the 2018 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater. Each musical received a Studio Production Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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

KPOP is an immersive musical set in a Korean pop music factory where stars are made—or broken. It tells the story of solo legend MwE, epic boy band F8, glamorous girl group SpecialK, and the label behind the pop madness, JTM Entertainment.

Photos: KPOP Performance Benefits Ma-Yi Theater Company

Gun & Powder is inspired by the true story of creator Angelica Chéri’s great-great-aunts, Mary and Martha Clarke, African-American twins who passed for white and were notorious outlaws. Set in Post-Emancipation Texas, the musical follows Mary and Martha’s journey of defying racial boundaries and seizing what rightfully belongs to them, until a little romance shakes everything up.

Richard Rodgers, who was elected to the Academy in 1955, endowed these awards in 1978 to nurture talented composers and playwrights by enabling their musicals to be produced in New York City. Former award recipients include Maury Yeston, for Nine; Jonathan Larson, for Rent; Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal for Juan Darien; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty for Lucky Stiff; Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley for Violet; Scott Frankel, Michael Korie, and Doug Wright for Grey Gardens; and Dave Malloy for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. The Richard Rodgers Awards are the Academy’s only awards for which applications are accepted. Application forms may be downloaded from the academy’s website here.

The members of this year’s jury were David Lang (chairman), Mindi Dickstein, Sheldon Harnick, Richard Maltby, Jr., and John Weidman.

Jason Kim
Jason Kim

KPOP
JASON KIM
Jason Kim (book) is a Korean-born dramatist based in New York City. His immersive musical KPOP recently had a critically acclaimed sold-out run at Ars Nova Theater. His play The Model American opened the Nikos Stage at the 2017 Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is an IFP—Marcie Bloom Fellow in Film, a Screenwriters Colony Fellow, a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans, an Opera Genesis Fellow, and a Librettist Fellow in American Opera Project’s Composers & The Voice. He is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Ars Nova’s Uncharted. He is currently Lincoln Center Theater 3’s Resident Writer. In television, he has written for HBO’s “Girls” and Fox’s “Gracepoint” and has adapted “The Middlesteins” for Showtime. Most recently, he was a Consulting Producer for “Love” on Netflix. B.A. Columbia University, M.F.A. New School for Drama. Acclaimed Beyoncé historian. www.waytooserious.com

Helen Park
Helen Park

HELEN PARK
Helen Park (music & lyrics) is a composer and arranger. Her recent works include KPOP (music and lyrics), The Large Life of Alice Liddell (music), and Last Resort (music). Her original musical Baked Goods (lyrics by Christyn Budzyna and book by Charlie Cohen) was selected winner for the 2017 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest. She is currently writing original songs for Over The Moon, an animated musical film feature for Netflix and Pearl Studio. Helen is an alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop (Advanced). helenparkmusic.com

Max Vernon
Max Vernon

MAX VERNON
Max Vernon (music & lyrics) is a composer/lyricist, playwright, performer, and brooch enthusiast. Described by the New Yorker as “equal parts bohemia and Broadway,” Max is a 2017 Out100 Honoree, and recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant, New York Stage and Film’s Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation. He has been a Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, and an artist in residence at Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat and the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony. His musical, The View UpStairs, ran 105 performances Off-Broadway and was nominated for 2 Lortel Awards, 3 Drama Desk Awards, 4 Audelco Awards, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical. It will have 7 new productions around the world in 2017-2019; original cast recording on Broadway Records. His next musical, KPOP, recently concluded a sold-out, extended run at Ars Nova this past October. www.maxvernon.com.

WOODSHED COLLECTIVE
Woodshed Collective (co-conceiver and immersive design) is one of the country’s premier immersive theater companies. Work includes Twelve Ophelias, The Confidence Man, The Tenant, and recently the critically acclaimed Empire Travel Agency and the hit immersive musical KPOP. Driven by the belief in the combined power of stories and architecture to break down the barriers of everyday life, Woodshed’s shows aim to create genuine awe. Woodshed is led by Teddy Bergman (Artistic Director), Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Director of Production), Meg Kelly (Managing Director), and Amy Ashton (Producer), and is comprised of artists Teddy Bergman, Gabriel Hainer Evansohn, Carl Faber, Katie Fleming, Mikhael Tara Garver, Will Irons, Jocelyn Kuritsky, Will Pickens, Jason Platt, and Stephen Squibb. www.woodshedcollective.com

Ross Baum and Angelica Chéri. Photo credit: Liz Barnett
Ross Baum and Angelica Chéri. Photo credit: Liz Barnett

Gun & Powder
ROSS BAUM
Ross Baum, Angelica Chéri
Ross Baum (music) is a composer, performer, and music arranger. Gun & Powder was developed at the Signature Theatre’s 2017 Sigworks Musical Theatre Lab with public presentations in Lincoln Center’s Broadway’s Future Songbook Series and the Drama League’s 2018 DirectorFest. Other musical works include Crowndation: I Will Not Lie To David (National Black Theatre), Anne Frank: My Secret Life, and A Letter To Auntie Rosa (Diverging Elements Theatre Company). He has had residencies at Goodspeed Opera House and Two River Theater, and was selected as winner of NY City Center’s 2014 Sondheim Remix contest and Disney/NMI’s 2018 New Voices Project. As the founder and music director of RANGE a cappella, he has provided vocal arrangements for Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, Billboard, Playbill, and the E! Network. Ross is a proud graduate of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Syracuse University’s Musical Theatre Program, and is a current member of the BMI Workshop. www.rossbaum.net

ANGELICA CHÉRI
Angelica Chéri (book & lyrics) is a playwright, bookwriter/lyricist, screenwriter, and poet. The plays of her Prophet’s Cycle Trilogy include The Seeds of Abraham (Signature Theatre, Billie Holiday Theatre), The Sting of White Roses (North Carolina Black Repertory Company) and Crowndation: I Will Not Lie to David (National Black Theatre-I AM SOUL Residency). Her play Berta, Berta will have its World Premiere this year at CATF. Angelica has written for the 48 Hours in Harlem Festival and won an Obie Award for co-producing the Fire This Time Festival. She and Ross Baum have developed Gun & Powder at Goodspeed Opera, Two River Theater, the Tisch Center for New Musicals, and the SigWorks Lab, with public presentations in the Broadway’s Future Songbook concert series at Lincoln Center and in the Drama League’s DirectorFest. Angelica received her BA in Theatre from UCLA, MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University, and MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU. www.angelicacheri.com

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Edward MacDowell, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, and Edith Wharton. The Academy’s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.

In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to learn more about the artists.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to learn more about the artists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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