East West Players (EWP), the nation's largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work and the longest-running professional theatre of color in the country, has partnered with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) and USC Center for Japanese Religions & Culture (CJRC) for the world premiere of TEA, WITH MUSIC.
Book and lyrics for TEA, WITH MUSIC are by acclaimed playwright Velina Hasu Houston, music by Nathan Wang and choreographed by Giovanni Ortega. This production is directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera. The musical features Joan Almedilla (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables), Tiffany-Marie Austin (Miss Saigon, A Little Night Music), Yumi Iwama (Our Town, South Pacific), Jennie Kwan (TV’s California Dreams, Avenue Q), and Janet Song (Twelfth Night, Medea).
Founded in 1971, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the United States. The JACCC is the preeminent presenter of Japanese and Japanese American, and Asian American performing and visual arts nationally. Their mission is to present, perpetuate, transmit and promote Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture to diverse audiences, and to provide a center to enhance community programs. The JACCC also provides office space to a wide variety of nonprofit cultural, educational and community-based organizations in Los Angeles.
"The Japanese American Cultural Community Center (JACCC) fully values a partnership with other arts groups that present quality works of art for the community. We share much in common - and we can only wish the greatest success for EWP in this production of Tea, With Music!" says Bill Watanabe, Interim Executive Director of the JACCC.
The Center for Japanese Religions and Culture was established at USC in September 2011. The Center’s mission is to promote the study of Japanese religions and culture at USC and in the broader intellectual community of Japan Studies. The CJRC will foster this area of study by funding faculty-led research projects; planning conferences, colloquia, and workshops; providing faculty and graduate student research support awards; and by building our capacity to host visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows in the near future. CJRC is the first research center for Japanese religions on the West Coast of the United States, and only the second such center in the country.
"We are honored to be associated with one of the most important plays on the post-war Japanese-American experience, Tea With Music by Velina Hasu-Houston,” says Duncan Williams, Director of the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. “We are excited about this collaboration with East West Players to celebrate one of our faculty affiliates' major works, this time as a musical production. The struggles overcome by the war brides depicted in the play are one of the many stories that represent the fabric of the U.S. - Japan relationship today."
Generous support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for East West Players. Additional funding for TEA, WITH MUSIC is provided by the James Irvine Foundation, the California Community Foundation, Shubert Foundation, The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.
All performances of TEA, WITH MUSIC will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Previews run from November 8-10 at 8pm, and November 11th at 2pm. TEA, WITH MUSIC opens November 14th and closes on Sunday, December 9, 2012. Opening night will be accompanied by a pre-performance cocktail reception and a post-show reception with the cast and creative team. Performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. The Pay-What-You-Can Performance will be held Wednesday, November 21st at 8 pm. The post-show discussion will be held on Sunday, December 2nd.
General Tickets range from $31-$41. Preview tickets are $21 general admission, $16 for students. Opening night tickets are $65 for all seats. Tickets are currently on sale. For ticket purchases or more information, please call East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org. Senior, student and group discounts are available. Dates and details are subject to change.
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