East West Players (EWP), the nation’s largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work and the longest-running professional theater of color in the country, concludes its 48th anniversary season, “Making Light,” with “Beijing Spring.”
The sung-through musical commemorates the events of the Tiananmen Square uprising in Beijing in 1989. For weeks, the world’s eyes were on China as the youth fought for democracy against the hardliners of the Chinese Communist Party. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the uprising. “Beijing Spring” is a compelling reminder that the battle for freedom and human rights has yet to be won for many.
“It is hard to believe that it has been 25 years since the Tiananmen Square uprising,” says Tim Dang, producing artistic director of East West Players and lyricist/director of the production. “With current events happening in the Ukraine and previous events with the Arab Spring, the struggle for a better life is a story that continues to be told. Sometimes, we take for granted the rights that we have here in America. This musical is dedicated to those all around the world who fought for a better life.”
The music is by Joel Iwataki. Noriko Olling Wright is the musical director, and Marcus Choi is the choreographer. The design team includes scenic designer Christopher Scott Murillo, lighting designer Guido Girardi, costume designer Yuheng Dai, sound and projection designer Nick Drashner, and prop master Junmei Fu. China consultant is Damien Lu. Stage manager is Ondina V. Dominguez.
The cast features: Daniel May as Xian, Radmar Agana Jao as Ba, Marc Oka as Yeh Yeh, Nicole Santiago-Barredo as Qiao, DT Matias as Niu, Jaime Barcelon as Peishi, Reuben Uy as Da, and Cailan Rose as Ling. The ensemble includes Carissa Dizon, Jay Gamboa, Belle Hengsathorn, Jonathan Kim, Jason Ko, and Nancy Lam.
Generous support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for East West Players.
All performances will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St. (between First and Temple streets) in Little Tokyo.
Previews are Thursday, May 15, through Saturday, May 17, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. All preview seats are $26 general, $21 for students.
Opening night sponsored by Edison International for “Beijing Spring” is Wednesday, May 21, at 8 p.m. and includes a 7 p.m. pre-performance cocktail reception, and a post-show reception with the cast and creative team. For ticket availability, call the theater. A post-show discussion takes place immediately after the performance on Sunday, June 1.
Regular performance run through June 15: Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling (213) 625-7000. Regular tickets range from $31-$51. Student, senior, and group discounts available; call for more information. Dates, prices and details are subject to change.
For tickets, schedule, and additional information, visit www.eastwestplayers.org.