Peer Gynt and The Norwegian Hapa Band Rocks On Thru 2/11
Opening to a full house on January 21, Peer Gynt and The Norwegian Hapa Band follows a modern day Peer (Matt Park) across the globe as he chases and runs away from women, lies cheats and steals to make his fortune, and searches for true meaning. Written by Ma-Yi Writers Lab Member, Michi Barall, the play departs humorously from Ibsen’s six hour classic verse dram, but carries many of the themes of the original through live original music performed and sung by a talented cast. GET TICKETS
Theatre Pizzazz credits the show and crew with a big thumbs up:
Matt Park is transfixing and electrifying in the title role of Peer, a true rock star complete with guitar skills. Also co-composer, he audaciously leads the company through the ups and the downs as Peer’s stories gallop apace. Park’s physical commitment and range matches his fiery and imaginative inner life. Playing all of the women Peer finds himself in trouble with, Angel Desai is dynamic and vibrant, not to mention a killer violinist. Mia Katigbak is commanding and quite a force as Peer’s mother, among other roles, and steps in to tickle the ivories. Rocky Vega fills Solvay, the love of Peer’s life, with breathtaking vitality. Her voice blends styling likened to Regina Spektor and Charlotte Martin, and she’s a talented pianist. The chemistry between Peer and Solvay is just heart-wrenching. Paul Lieber, sharing the composer hat with Park, is always in the moment, whether bandleader, guitarist, or a smorgasbord of acting roles. On drums and mandolin, along with dance captaining and taking on a variety of wacky characters, Titus Tompkins is a knockout. Last but certainly not least, Uton Onyejekwe goes cross-gender as a youthful and warm Helga. This performance beautifully contrasts his strong-willed other roles, in addition to the band’s bassist.
Announcing the 2016 – 2017 Season!
We’re thrilled to feature two women playwrights in our 2016 – 2017 Season. In keeping with our commitment to produce the works generated by our playwrights, both are members of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Among the Dead will be Hansol’s first production in New York City. There will be plenty more, trust me, but we’re so honored she’s making her debut at Ma-Yi. Hers is a voice that every theater lover will want to hear.
We’ve loved Michi’s writing since she premiered her play Rescue Me with Ma-Yi Theater Company in 2010. Michi conjures worlds that you want to spend time in and explore. With MATT PARK IS PEER GYNT WITH THE NORWEGIAN HAPA BAND she mines Ibsen’s classic to astonishing and devastating effect.
Ralph B. Peña
Producing Artistic Director
A world-premiere play, Among the Dead by Hansol Jung; a new musical by Michi Barall, Paul Lieber, and Matt Park, PEER GYNT & THE NORWEGIAN HAPA BAND; and the special presentation of the hit play The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! by Lloyd Suh in Manila comprise the season to be produced by Ma-Yi Theater Company during their 2016-2017 season, it is announced by the company’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Z. Ortoll.
November will bring the world-premiere of Hansol Jung’s newest play, Among the Dead, directed by Ralph B. Peña. In Among the Dead, Ana is an ex-daughter, summoned to Korea to retrieve her suddenly dead father’s ashes. Luke is an American soldier, sent to Myanmar to survive a world war he probably shouldn’t have volunteered for. Number Four is a Korean comfort woman, camping out on a bridge in Seoul, waiting for Luke. Jesus is a bellboy. Three wars of three eras folded into one hotel room, Among the Dead is a dark comedy about a family broken apart by betrayed promises, and finding each other through spam, journals, and Jesus. Mostly Jesus.
Performances will run at HERE Arts Center, November 5 – 26th, 2016.
Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Plays include Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville), No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre, Chicago and Boise Contemporary Theatre), Wolf Play, and Wild Goose Dreams. Commissions from Playwrights Horizons, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant with Ma-Yi Theatre and a translation of Romeo and Juliet for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her work has been developed at the Royal Court (London), New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, O’Neill Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab, Lark Play Development Center, Salt Lake Acting Company, Boston Court Theatre, Bushwick Starr, Asia Society New York, and Seven Devils Playwright Conference. She is the recipient of the Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellowship at the Lark, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court (London). Her plays have received the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award (Among the Dead), Honorable Mention from the 2014 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Competition (Cardboard Piano), and was named 2014 finalist for the Ruby Prize (No More Sad Things). She has translated over thirty English musicals into Korean, including Evita, Dracula, Spamalot, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, while working on several award winning musical theatre productions as director, lyricist and translator in Seoul, South Korea. Jung holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab.
The New Year will begin with the world-premiere of PEER GYNT & THE NORWEGIAN HAPA BAND, with Music by Paul Lieber and Matt Park, Lyrics by Michi Barall, Paul Lieber, Matt Park, and Jack Tamburri Based on Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen.
MATT PARK IS PEER GYNT WITH THE NORWEGIAN HAPA BAND centers on Peer, a brash young man on a journey to discover his ultimate self in this rock music odyssey about risk, reinvention and going roundabout. Ma-Yi Theater Company’s remaking of Ibsen’s classic verse drama asks what it means when we sacrifice everything to be most fully ourselves. Written by Michi Barall and
Directed and Originally Conceived by Jack Tamburri. Music by Paul Lieber and Matt Park. Additional Lyrics from the translation by William and Charles Archer. Orchestrations by Chad Raines.
Michi Barall is a NYC based playwright, actor and academic. Her dance-theatre piece, Rescue Me, directed by Loy Arcenas, was produced by Ma-Yi in 2010. Other works include How We Became Nomads, a puppet spectacular about Chingis Khan; Garba Griha: Womb House; and On the Line. As an actor Michi has, among others, appeared in new plays by Julia Cho, Philip Kan Gotanda, A.R. Gurney, John Guare, Naomi Iizuka, Han Ong, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick, Charles Mee, Sarah Schulman, Anna Deavere Smith, Diana Son, Dough Wright and Chay Yew. A graduate of Stanford University and NYU’s Grad Acting, Michi is a graduate fellow (ABD) in Theatre/English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
The season will begin in September with Lloyd Sud’s play The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! Directed by Ralph B. Peña, Mr. Suh’s play is presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Ma-Yi Theater Company in association with Tanghalang Pilipino and Philippine Airlines. The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! was previously mounted by Ma-Yi Theater Company and was Co-Created with Children’s Theatre Company in their 2013/14 season.
In this updated reimagination, Violet and Bruce Wong just don’t fit in with the other Earth kids. Sure, they have super powers, they’re just not very good ones. But when an evil beast called the Space Chupacabra appears, intent on universal destruction, The Wong Kids must travel to outer space in order to stop it … if they can only stop bickering. Using a mix of action-driven storytelling, puppetry, and visual magic, The Wong Kids transports its audience into the far reaches of the galaxy. Playing September 15-25, 2016 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.
Lloyd Suh is the author of American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, The Children of Vonderly, Masha No Home and others, produced with Ma-Yi, The Play Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, La Mama ETC, Magic Theatre (SF), ArtsEmerson (MA), Denver Center Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company (MN), East West Players (LA), and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via The Lark, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Theatre Communications Group and Dramatists Guild. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Actors Studio, an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He has served since 2011 as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.
Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s BIKE AMERICA, Qui Nguyen‘s THE INEXPLICABLE REDEMPTION OF AGENT G and SOUL SAMURAI (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew’s MICROCRISIS and the revival of Ralph B. Peña’s FLIPZOIDS. Other productions include: RESCUE ME by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh’s AMERICAN HWANGAP and THE CHILDREN OF VONDERLY and THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American playwrights for its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth, and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 OBIE Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”
Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Z. Ortoll.