Leah Nanako Winkler injects the dysfunctional family genre with brutality, awe and compassion through a parody coupled with moments of disorienting sincerity in “Two Mile Hollow.”
The story of the very white Donnellys is told with an all Asian American cast and presented by Artists at Play (AAP) as part of a series of world premieres across the country, each receiving numerous critical acclaim. AAP’s production of “Two Mile Hollow” runs Oct. 11 to Nov. 4 at The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets are available online at http://bit.ly/AAPTMH.
When the Donnelly’s gather for a weekend in the country to collect their belongings from their recently sold estate, both an internal storm and literal storm brew. As this brood of famous, longing-to-be-famous and kind-of-a-mess-but-totally-white family comes together with their non-white personal assistant, Charlotte, some really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed (over white wine).
“‘Two Mile Hollow’ riffs off of the ‘white people by the water’ plays — think rich white families complaining about rich white problems in a summer house near a body of water,” said producer Nicholas Pilapil. “We’re all very familiar with these plays — theaters nationwide produce them constantly – but what makes this play special is that Leah upends this genre by employing actors of color to portray said white people by the water. As a result, it’s not only a satire, but an exploration of white privilege that is unique, honest, smart and extremely funny.”
Leah Nanako Winkler’s previous plays include “Kentucky” (world premiere with EST and West Coast premiere with East West Players), “Death for Sydney Black” (TerraNova Collective), and “God Said This,” which had its world premiere at the Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival in 2018 and will have its NYC premiere at Primary Stages in 2019.
Winkler is the 2018-2019 Jerome Fellow at the Lark. She was awarded the inaugural Mark O’Donnell Prize from The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons and the 2017 Yale Drama Series Prize.
“Since 2011, Artists at Play has been committed to telling the stories of Asian American communities in Los Angeles and our team for Two Mile Hollow represents this commitment,” said producing artistic leader Stefanie Lau. “We know that representation matters and we work hard to create opportunities for writers, actors and designers of color to aid in visibility.”
The cast includes Jessica Jade Andres (“Kentucky,” East West Players), Parvesh Cheena (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Tim Chiou (“Silicon Valley”), Julia Cho (“This Is Us”) and Emily Kuroda (“Gilmore Girls”), with Eddie Liu (“Broad City”), Rosie Narasaki (“Shameless”) and Rona Par (“General Hospital”).
Director Jeff Liu adapted and directed the Pulitzer-nominated play “Yellow Face” by David Henry Hwang for the YOMYOMF (You Offend Me, You Offend My Family) Network on YouTube. His productions include the L.A. premiere of “Chinglish,” which became the highest-grossing play ever at East West Players, one-acts in all three years of SciFest/LA, “Mexican Day” and “The Chinese Massacre (Annotated)” by Tom Jacobson, as well as the world premieres of “Texas” by Judy Soo Hoo, “Terminus Americana” by Matt Pelfrey, “The Golden Hour” by Philip W. Chung, and “Ixnay” by Paul Kikuchi. He is a member of the O’Neill National Directing Fellowship cohort of 2016.
The creative team includes Justin Huen, scenic design; Ashphord Jacoway, costume design; Martha Carter, lighting design; Howard Ho, sound design and music composition; Michael O’Haram properties design. Nicholas Pilapil is the production manager and Brandon Cheng is the stage manager.
Preview performances Oct. 11-12; regular performances Oct. 13-Nov. 4. Showtimes: Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets: $20-$40 general admission. Purchase online at http://bit.ly/AAPTMH. For more information, email [email protected] or visit http://artistsatplayla.blogspot.com/2018/08/two-mile-hollow.html.
About Artists at Play
Founded in 2011 by Julia Cho, Peter J. Kuo, Stefanie Wong Lau and Marie-Reine Velez, Artists at Play is a collective of Asian American creative professionals who have come together to curate quality theater in Los Angeles. Producing member Nicholas Pilapil joined in 2013 and producing assistant Katherine Chou in 2017.
Artists at Play presents theatrical productions missing from L.A.’s local landscape to tell the stories of communities underrepresented in theater, with a focus on the Asian American experience. Past productions include Lauren Yee’s “Ching Chong Chinaman,” A. Rey Pamatmat’s “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them,” Michael Golamco’s “Cowboy Versus Samurai,” Cho’s “99 Histories,” Madhuri Shekar’s “In Love and Warcraft,” and the world premiere of Carla Ching’s “The Two Kids That Blow Sh*t Up.”
Dedicated to new play development, Artists at Play has also developed new works by Winkler, Boni B. Alvarez, Sanaz Toossi and Alice Tuan, among others.