Artists at Play presents the Los Angeles premiere of the irreverent comedy “Ching Chong Chinaman,” written by Lauren Yee and directed by Peter J. Kuo.
Recently published by Samuel French and presented across the nation, “Ching Chong Chinaman” introduces us to the all-American Wong family while turning every cliché about Asian American identity on its head. Life in the Wong household is turned upside down with the arrival of an indentured servant from China, Jinqiang (“Ching Chong”), who harbors his own American dreams.
Opening on Nov. 4 and running through Nov. 20 at The Actors Company, 916A N. Formosa Ave., Los Angeles, this show is the inaugural production for new theater-producing collective Artists at Play.
“Lauren Yee introduces a new generation of writing to the American theatre scene,” says director Kuo. “I’m very excited to have this opportunity to tackle Lauren’s provocative play and bring to life her fresh perspective on issues of multicultural identity.”
Yee has been a Dramatists Guild fellow, MacDowell Colony fellow, and member of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group. She has been a finalist for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Heideman Award, Jerome Fellowship, PEN USA Literary Award for Drama, PONY Fellowship, and Wasserstein Prize.
“Ching Chong Chinaman” won the 2007 Yale Playwrights Festival and was named one of the top 10 plays of 2009 by East Bay Express and City Pages. It has previously been produced in New York, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Berkeley.
Emphasizing but not limited to Asian American theater, Artists at Play seeks to bring new narratives to the stage that will challenge, engage and broaden the theatrical experience. The collective was founded by Kuo, Julia Cho, Stefanie Wong Lau and Marie-Reine Velez earlier this year. Having already collaborated on different projects in various configurations, these four are looking forward to continued growth collectively.
The cast includes Cho (last seen on NBC’s “Whitney”) as well as Elizabeth Ho (“The Chinese Massacre [Annotated],” Circle X Theatre), Steve Hu (“Richard III,” Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum), Ken Narasaki (“No-No Boy”), Helen H. Ota (Cold Tofu Improv) and Scott Keiji Takeda (“Mysterious Skin,” East West Players). Understudies include Sue Chan, Quincy Surasmith, Wanru Tseng and Kurt Yamamoto.
The creative team consists of Chika Shimizu, set designer; Rachel Stivers, costume designer; José López, lighting designer; Dennis Yen, sound designer; Ken Takemoto, property master; Rodney To, choreographer; and Amelia Worfolk, stage manager.
Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. General admission is $20; opening night (including a post-show reception) is $30 per patron. Discount and group rates are available. Tickets may be purchased at http://bit.ly/AAPCCC.
(Source: BWW News Desk)