Choose from Three Lab Member Readings Today at 3PM!
Coincidence or popularity? Three members of The Ma-Yi Writers Labs’ plays are being read today,
all on this Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 at 3PM.
Look out for a full production by Leviathan Lab in February 2018.
Lauren Yee’s THE GREAT LEAP World Premier 2018
Writer’s Lab Member, Lauren Yee has had a busy year of productions of her plays and several major honors and awards including winner of the prestigious Kesselring Prize; the 2016 Francesca Primus Prize. Her works include “King of the Yees”, “In a Word” and “The Hatmaker’s Wife,” which had a production at San Diego’s Moxie Theatre before landing off-Broadway.
Her latest play, THE GREAP LEAP is about an American college basketball team that travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989. The drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. “For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Yee’s unexpected and touching story is inspired by events in her own father’s life.”
The world premiere of THE GREAP LEAP takes place at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company Colorado New Play Summit, supporting playwrights and developing new work, and is produced in association with Seattle Repertory Theatre.
THE GREAP LEAP is featured at Old Globe’s annual Powers new-play festival The director is Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, founder and former artistic director of Moxie.
Atlantic Theater Company continues its 2017-2018 Off-Broadway season with Lauren Yee’s THE GREAP LEAP later in 2018.
The play was developed in San Franciscos ACT American Conservatory Theater inaugural New Strands Residency program where three playwrights/plays from New York City’s acclaimed Ma-Yi Theater Company participated, including The Man from Saigon by Labbie Don Nguyen, and Snowflakes, or Rare White People byLabbie Dustin Chinn.
Zhu Yi’s “A Deal World Premier at Urban Stages
The World Premiere of Writers Lab Member Zhu Yi’s A DEAL, directed by John Giampietro. This limited engagement at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street), begins performances on November 15, opens on Monday, November 20 and will run through December 10, 2017.
“Like many new upper-middle-class Chinese families, Mr. and Mrs. Li are proud to give their only daughter a life they could only dream of (an Ivy League degree in art and an apartment in Manhattan), until they realize she’s turning into a dangerous stranger.
A DEAL is a dark comedy that features a Chinese family’s home buying journey in New York in winter 2015, a time of increased real estate property ownership by overseas Chinese and a sharp decline in the value of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar. It reveals the ideological conflicts between the East and the West in contemporary society by tracking a little stream of the global cash flow. “
This is the first Off-Broadway production for international known playwright Zhu Yi and A DEAL will simultaneously tour China in Mandarin.
REVIEW HERE Theater Pizzazz
Writers Lab Member, Susan Soon He Stanton’s Today Is My Birthday will debut off-Broadway through December 28th. Page 73 is presenting the world premiere, directed by Kip Fagan, at the New Ohio Theater.
Tickets for the play are available here.
“Today Is My Birthday is a comedy following Emily, a would-be writer, who retreats home to O’ahu after Manhattan finally gets the best of her. When she stumbles into a gig as an actor on a shock-jock radio dating show, she finds herself strangely determined to turn fantasy into reality. The story is told through phone calls, voicemails, and live radio spots.”
Today is My Birthday was just at the TYPHOON Festival in London a few days ago. Earlier this year, The Lark and the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation selected Susan as a recipient of the inaugural Venturous Playwrights Fellowship. including a two-year residence at the Lark, and an award of $50,000 over the two-year fellowship, in addition to a production subsidy grant of up to $50,000 to support a production of this play. The play is also on this year’s Kilroys List.
This great interview of Susan by THE BROOKLYN RAIL delves into her philosophy and details the creation of Today is My Birthday.
Susans NYC production of Solstice Party just closed in November. She is the winner of the eighth annual prize from Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers for her play we, the invisibles about a playwright, working a survival job at a luxury hotel, who begins interviewing her fellow employees, which premieres at Actors Theatre of Louisville‘s 42nd Humana Festival of New American Plays (Feb. 28-April 8, 2018).
Mashuq Mushtaq Deen’s “Draw The Circle” opens in D.C. and NYC
We are proud to announce that Ma-Yi Lab Member, Mashuq Deen’s DRAW THE CIRCLE starts December 1-24, 2017, in Washington D.C. Produced by Mosaic Theater Company, The production is written and starring Deen and directed by longtime friend of Ma-Yi, Chay Yew, and opens at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lab II.
The play premiered at PlayMakers Repertory Theatre in Chapel Hill, NC in August 2016, and is slated for InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia in June 2018 and New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in January/February 2018.
SYNOPSIS: “Gender transition can be a test for any household-but when Mashuq Deen comes out to his conservative Muslim family, traditional values and Western ideals collide in an hilarious and moving immigration journey unlike any other. Told entirely from the point of view of family and friends, yet performed by Deen himself, Draw the Circle is a moving story about survival, transition, and unconditional love.”
Deen, who is transgender, said title for the play is taken from a poem heard when visiting a Unitarian Universalist church:
He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, rebel, thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him in!
Ma-Yi specifically promotes the works of Asian American writers, but supports and strives towards diversity and equality in everything we do, which is why we’re proud to be affiliated with Deen. Deen’s Draw the Circle is told entirely from the point of view of family and friends, yet performed by Deen himself, this unique show compassionately brings to life the often ignored struggle that a family goes through when their child transitions from one gender to another.
The story’s framework is simple yet striking, and more than a novelty: it’s an apt, big-hearted way to puzzle together many pieces of Deen’s journey. “Draw the Circle” does not sugarcoat his despair or incidents of violence, yet it rather amazingly reaches back to retrieve people who easily could have been cut out for life.
DRAW THE CIRCLE is a singular theatrical experience. It concludes overwhelmingly, rendering transgender issues unignorable in today’s divisive political climate. It’s also uplifting – in a different way than the usual holiday-season play, but on a much deeper, more meaningful level.
If you believe theater can teach us something important about who we are as gendered beings—or even if you just have a hunch that America cannot be great if driven by hate—Draw the Circle is an epochal inquiry into identity…and some of the most pressing questions of our time.