‘Fast Company’ Knows How to Play the Game

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COSTA MESA — Carla Ching’s “Fast Company,” a theatrical crime caper, is the first of the four world premieres on the Julianne Argyros stage during South Coast Repertory’s 50th season. The show runs from Oct. 6 to  27.

From left: Nelson Lee, Jackie Chung, Emily Kuroda and Lawrence Kao star in South Coast Repertory's 2013 world premiere production of “Fast Company” by Carla Ching. (Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR)

From left: Nelson Lee, Jackie Chung, Emily Kuroda and Lawrence Kao star in South Coast Repertory’s 2013 world premiere production of “Fast Company” by Carla Ching. (Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR)

Mable Kwan (played by Emily Kuroda) is the best grifter who ever lived. She’s a tough cookie who raised her kids to be just like her. Son Francis (Lawrence Kao) is the top roper around and “H” (Nelson Lee) is the number one fixer. But daughter Blue (Jackie Chung) is the one who surprises them all by putting together the score of the decade.

In the end, the question becomes: will the entire family get in on the action or will one of them walk away with it all? “Fast Company” is a skewed look at family and ambition, and Ching keeps the audience guessing about who’s on top and who’s getting conned.

Ching says the “Fast Company” staged reading in April at SCR’s Pacific Playwrights Festival helped her craft a thrilling story.

“I spent a long time building each of these characters,” she said. “I think the one thing I love the most is that they’re all dreamers — trying to make the big time. I could say that this play is about grifts, game theory and magic. And it is. But at its essence, it’s about family.”

Director Bart DeLorenzo and his design team bring style and speed to a game theory-inspired set design that uses many video projections and automation.

The design and creative team includes Keith Mitchell, scenic design; Ann Closs-Farley, costume design; Tom Ontiveros, lighting; John Ballinger, composer/ sound design; Jason Thompson, projections designer; Kelly L. Miller, dramaturg; and Jenny Butler, stage manager.

Ching also is part of SCR’s CrossRoads Commissioning Project. Through this new initiative, SCR commissioned eight playwrights, locally and nationally, to create new works inspired by residencies that explore the diversity of Orange County. CrossRoads is made possible by a grant from the Time Warner Foundation.

“Fast Company” is supported by The Edgerton Foundation and Funded in part by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project.

Showtimes: Sunday, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27, at 2 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24, at 7:45 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 18 and 25, at 7:45 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 12, 19 and 26, at 2 and 7:45 p.m.

SCR is located at 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. To order tickets, call (714) 708-5555 or go online to www.scr.org.

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