Because you can always use more Theatre.
Artists at Play is a new theatre-producing collective comprised of Peter J. Kuo, Julia Cho, Stefanie Wong Lau, and Marie-Reine Velez. The group unofficially began when Peter first directed Julia in the 2008 production of Letters to a Student Revolutionary. The following year, the production was picked up for an encore run in Downtown Los Angeles by AddWord productions with Stefanie Wong Lau as the marketing director. Peter, Julia, and Stefanie continued to successfully collaborate on several productions. When it came time to round out this current team of artists/arts administrators, it was easy to include Marie-Reine Velez due to her experience in production, marketing and programming. Having already collaborated on different projects in various configurations, these four are now looking forward to continued growth collectively as Artists at Play.
Peter J. Kuo has directed for East West Players, USC Master of Professional Writing Program, and Metamorphosis Theatre Company. After stints as Membership Coordinator of LA Stage Alliance and later PR/Marketing Manager at East West Players, he is currently the Communications Associate at South Coast Repertory. Julia Cho is an actor who has performed/toured with East West Players, hereandnow theatre company, Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, Will & Company, and sketch comedy group OPM. Stefanie Wong Lau has worked in marketing, public relations, audience development, fundraising and event planning for East West Players, Ford Amphitheatre, Center Theatre Group and Cold Tofu Improv. She has taken part in the first National Asian American Theatre Conference, the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, and a Theatre LA (now LA Stage Alliance) conference. Marie-Reine Velez, a theatre and music events producer since 2005, has worked with TeAda Productions, Center Theatre Group, and co-founded the Eagle Rock Indie Rock Bowling Night at All Star Lanes. She currently works for Visions and Voices: The USC Arts and Humanities Initiative.
Artists at Play aims to create and curate quality theatre in Los Angeles. The goal is to present theatrical productions missing from the local landscape that tells the stories of underrepresented communities. In order to provide new creative opportunities for directors, designers, actors and producers, Artists at Play plans to present Los Angeles and West Coast premieres of plays and theatrical projects that speak to different communities and demographics, focusing on the kind of work that often gets overlooked in bigger theatres. With an emphasis on—but not limited to—Asian American theatre, Artists at Play seeks to bring new narratives to the stage that can challenge, engage and broaden the theatrical experience. By committing to change the face of the Los Angeles theatre scene, Artists at Play will expand its season over the next few years with new productions and play development projects. Overall, audience experience is the priority, to entertain, cultivate and engage.
The Los Angeles premiere of Ching Chong Chinaman, Lauren Yee's biting new comedy recently published by Samuel French and presented across the nation, will be presented by Artists at Play as its inaugural production at The Actors Company's theater November 3 – 20, 2011.
Turning every cliché about Asian American identity on its head, Ching Chong Chinaman introduces us to the all-American Wong family: Ed the patriarch loves to golf, mom Grace wants another child, Desdemona obsesses over early admission into Princeton, while her brother Upton is focused on World of Warcraft superstardom. To free up more time for training, Upton acquires an indentured servant from China. Life in the Wong household is turned upside down with the arrival of Jinqiang (“Ching Chong”) who harbors his own American dreams! Winner of the 2007 Yale Playwrights Festival, East Bay Express Top 10 play of 2009 and City Pages Top 10 play of 2009.
Lauren Yee has been a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell Colony fellow, and a member of the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group. She has been a finalist for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Heideman Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the PEN USA Literary Award for Drama, the PONY Fellowship and the Wasserstein Prize.
Featured in the cast will be Artists at Play founding member Julia Cho as well as Elizabeth Ho, Stephen Hu, Ken Narasaki, Helen H. Ota are Scott Keiji Takeda. Understudies include Sue Chan, Quincy Surasmith, Wanru Tseng and Kurt Yamamoto.
The production will be directed by Artist at Play founding member Peter J. Kuo who directed an all-Asian-American production of Songs for a New World with Yes and... Productions and 20th anniversary commemorative performance of Letters to a Student Revolutionary at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy with Addword Productions and Metamorphosis Theatre Company.
The production team is comprised of Chika Shimizu (set design), Rachel Stivers (costume design), Jose Lopez (lighting design), Dennis Yen (sound design), Ken Takemoto (property master), Rodney To (tap choreographer) and TBD (stage manager).
TICKETS for Ching Chong Chinaman are $12 to $30 and can be purchased online at bit.ly/AAPCCC or at the performance venue one hour prior to performance time.
LOCATION Ching Chong Chinaman will be presented at the The Actors Company at 916a N. Formosa Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90046.
ABOUT ARTISTS AT PLAY: Artists at Play (AAP) is a collective of creative professionals who have come together to curate quality theatre in Los Angeles. Our aim is to present theatrical productions missing from the local landscape that tells the stories of communities underrepresented in Los Angeles theatre. The audience experience is our priority, and we strive to make theatre accessible to everyone.
Ching Chong Chinaman
by Lauren Yee
directed by Peter J. Kuo
CREATIVE TEAM: Chika Shimizu (set design), Rachel Stivers (costume design), Jose Lopez (lighting design), Dennis Yen (sound design), Ken Takemoto (property master), Rodney To (tap choreographer) TBD (stage manager).
CAST: Sue Chan (u/s Desdemona), Julia Cho (Desdemona), Elizabeth Ho (Chinese Woman), Stephen Hu (Chinese Man), Ken Narasaki (Ed), Helen H. Ota (Grace), Quincy Surasmith (u/s Upton), Scott Keiji Takeda (Upton), Wanru Tseng (u/s Grace & Chinese Woman), Kurt Yamamoto (u/s Ed)
SYNOPSIS: Ching Chong Chinaman introduces us to the all-American Wong family: Ed the patriarch loves to golf, mom Grace wants another child, Desdemona obsesses over early admission into Princeton, while her brother Upton is focused on World of Warcraft superstardom. To free up more time for training, Upton acquires an indentured servant from China. Life in the Wong household is turned upside down with the arrival of Jinqiang (“Ching Chong”) who harbors his own American dreams!
TICKETS : $12 for previews, $30 for opening night, $20 for general public, $15 for students with valid I.D., $12 for groups of 10+
BOX OFFICE: Tickets may be purchase at the venues one hour prior to performance time or online at bit.ly/AAPCCC.
LOCATION: The Actors Company at 916a N. Formosa Ave. in West Hollywood at the Santa Monica exit off the the Hollywood (101) Freeway.
Preview - Thursday, November 3 at 8 p.m.
Opening - Friday, November 4 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 6 at 3 p.m.
Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 12 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 13 at 3 p.m.
Friday, November 18 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 20 at 3 p.m.
If you would rather not receive future communications from AAP, let us know by replying to this email.
Artists at Play, 2949 N. Bristol Street #49P, Santa Ana, CA 92706, United States.