Hansol Jung’s Wild Goose Dreams at The Public Theater

Hansol  Jung

HANSOL JUNG A member of The Ma-Yi Writers Lab

Our Friends at The Public Theater have announced a coproduction with La Jolla Playhouse of WILD GOOSE DREAMS by Hansol Jung, a Lab Member and playwright of Ma-Yi’s recent production of AMONG THE DEAD.

Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (VioletChinglishThe Outer Space) directs this strikingly original play with music, about two people from two cultures forced to choose between family and freedom.

October 30 – December 9, 2018, 

Martinson Hall, The Public Theater

After its initial run in Public Studio, Hansol Jung’s fascinating and unforgettable new play WILD GOOSE DREAMS returns to The Public in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where it had a critically-acclaimed run last season.

Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible?

“Hansol Jung’s play is smart and vivid. A rare and strange bird.” – San Diego Tribune

‘Wild Goose Dreams’ Is About Making Connections


Yunjin Kim and James Kyson in La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere production of “Wild Goose Dreams,” by Hansol Jung, directed by Leigh Silverman, running in the Mandell Weiss Forum Sept. 5 through Oct. 1, 2017


PLAYBILL: Ma-Yi’s New Season to Open With Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady


Shannon Tyo in The Chinese Lady at Barrington Stage Company /photo Eloy Garcia

For its 2018–2019 season, Ma-Yi Theater Company has teamed up with Barrington Stage Company to co-present Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady. The play, which is based on the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant who was subsequently made a carnival attraction, will wrap up its world-premiere engagement at BSC August 11 before transferring Off-Broadway this fall.The Chinese Lady will run in repertory at Theatre Row with Ma-Yi’s production of Sesar, by Orlando Pabotoy. The Chinese Lady will be directed by the company’s producing artistic director, Ralph B. Peña, who directed the original engagement. Shannon Tyo (Bright Half Life) and Daniel K. Isaac (Billions) will reprise their roles; performances will run November 7–November 18.
 Obie_Awards_2018_20_HR.jpg Ralph B. Peña Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Ralph B. Peña, Producing Artistic Director, Ma-Yi Theater Company Obie_Awards_2018_20_HR.jpg Ralph B. Peña Joseph Marzullo/WENN




Ma-Yi’s 2018-2019 SEASON LINEUP


(November 7-18, 2018) by Lloyd Suh, directed by Ralph B. Peña, a co-production with Barrington Stage Company
Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant. It is a tale of dark poetic whimsy, a piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman; Afong Moy reflects on life in 1834 and beyond, as she is brought to the United States from China and put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady.”   TICKETS



(October 20 – November 1, 2018) Written by Orlando Pabotoy, Directed by Richard Feldman, AT THEATRE ROW
After watching an excerpt of “Julius Caesar” on The Cosby Show, a 14-year Filipino boy locks himself in the only family bathroom to dive head-first into the world of ancient Rome, determined to make sense of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. The boy’s father, a former town mayor now exiled because of his democratic beliefs, joins his son in the bathroom. Using his own political experience, a father helps his son understand Caesar’s story, and real-life lessons about power, life, and loss..   TICKETS



Suicide Forest

(February 27 – March 26, 2019)  In association with The Bushwick Starr, Written by Kristine Haruna Lee, Directed by Aya Ogawa, a co-production with The Bushwick StarrIn 1990’s Japan, a salaryman desperately searches for his self-worth, while a lonely teenage girl grapples with her sexuality in a nightmarish, male-defined society. When the two find an awkward companionship in each other, they expose their darkest desires fueled by masochism and shame and must now confront life and death as the notorious Suicide Forest looms over their imagination. Performed by a Japanese heritage cast, Suicide Forest is a bilingual play that breaks through the silence and submissiveness often associated with Japanese and Japanese American identity, examining the role of community and the inner struggles of emotional, psychic and social suicide through the playwright’s lived stories and inner landscape.


Fruiting Bodies 

(April 5 – May 9, 2019) Written by Sam Chanse, Directed by Shelley Butler
Two sisters go into the woods to find their missing father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom hunting expedition. Deep in the forest they encounter a mysterious boy — who bears a striking resemblance to the dad’s estranged son, the sisters’ younger brother. With limited visibility, a forest that keeps turning itself around, and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes, will they ever be able to find the road — or one another?


Ma-Yi offers business and cultural organizations and student groups the opportunity of purchasing and entire performance or group purchases of 15 or more at a discount. For more information on booking a specific performance date contact Charlie Read, Ma-Yi Communications Director at 212-971-4862 x104 or email and let us help you plan your special night at the theater.





Clarence Coo

Labbie Clarence Coo participated in JAW FESTIVAL where he presented “an unusual, yet entirely understandable, preference for jays, sparrows and warblers over humans with “The Birds of Empathy.””

The 20th annual event gave playwrights venue to fine-tune works at The Armory, along with  Meghan Brown,  Emily Feldman and Matthew Paul Olmos. JAW Festival was spurred on by a partnership with the New York Theater Workshop and eventually plays became part of the regular Portland Center Stage lineup. The Festival BIG WEEKEND took place Friday through Sunday, July 27-29, at The Armory.

more from From DramaWatch Weekly: time to JAW:

“And in a small bit of research into this year’s playwrights, I did come across this simple exchange that I liked from an interview Clarence Coo did with Ma-Yi Theatre, where his JAW submission Birds of Empathy previously was workshopped in 2015:”

“Why do you write plays?

Clarence Coo: To increase the amount of empathy in the world.”



Damon Chua

Damon Chua

Labbie Damon Chua‘s play THE EMPEROR’S NIGHTINGALE is part of

PANASIAN REPERTORY’s new season announcements.

“Launching our new Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Initiative
and reaching out to the younger generation”


Clarence is a winner of 2017 The Whiting Award, established by the Whiting Foundation in 1985, which bestow $50,000 on emerging writers, based on the criteria of early-career achievement and the promise of superior literary work to come.


Kyoung Park_sq

Kyoung Park

Kyoung Park’s Pillow Talk will be featured at CONFESTS, CAATA’s  Consortium of Asian-American Theaters and Artists “Radical Acts Festival” in Victory Gardens in Chicago. Read this THEATER FEATURE INTERVIEW  ‘Pillowtalk’ a love story for post-marriage equality world by Catey Sullivan.


Following a successful New York City World Premiere this January, which received a rave review from the New York Times, PILLOWTALK will tour to Chicago and perform on Friday, Aug. 17th and Saturday, Aug. 18th at 8pm.



Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza do “double time” as Resident Playwrights at Ma-Yi and La Jolla Playhouse


Ma-Yi’s Melon Funded Resident Playwrights Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza were awarded playwrights in residence at La Jolla Playhouse this season. Even before the recent closing of Ma-Yi’s highly acclaimed production of TEENAGE DICK at The Public Theater, the couple left to work on the trilogy “The Colonialism Project” (co-commissioned by the theater), as well as a new musical called “Bhangin’ It.”

“’The Colonialism Project’ is an ambitious time-spanning trilogy about colonialism and its aftermath. Through three interconnected full-length plays that together comprise an epic evening of theater, this work seeks to trace the scars of colonialism across nations and centuries, from British Raj in India, to plantation labor in the Caribbean, to the ripple effects of colonialism in America today.” The pair’s musical project, “B hangin’ It,” has a book by Mirza and Lew, with music and lyrics by Sam Willmott.


Rehana Lew Mirza

Rehana Lew Mirza

Rehana was recently selected for the 2018 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony At Goodspeed where a total of 38 established and emerging composers, lyricists, and librettists converged on the Goodspeed campus from mid-January through mid-February 2018 to participate in the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals.

Rehana’s play, “Ladybits“, about an aspiring comedian who finds solace within a group of other female comedians feeling marginalized in an industry-and world-dominated by men, was part of Local Theater Company‘s Boulder New Play Festival April 20-22, 2018.

watch the video: by HOWLROUND : Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew at Ma Yi Theater Company, New York, NY — National Playwright Residency

Carla Ching_sq


Atlantic Theater Company announced Ma-Yi Writers Lab Member Carla Ching’s play NOMAD MOTEL was commissioned through the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and will play May 22 – May 23, 2019 at The Atlantic Theater Company “In the not-so-sunny side of California, Alix bounces between motel rooms, taking care of her brothers for her mostly MIA mother. Her classmate Mason is a budding songwriter trying to keep off the radar of his absent father in Hong Kong. Together, they must learn to scrape by without giving up their dreams. “

On television, Carla has written on USA’s Graceland, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead and is currently writing on Amazon’s I Love Dick.



Both Carla and Labbie, Kimber Lee were chosen to participate in Summer Residency (Ground Floor) Lab at Berkeley to work on projects in June 2018. Artists are selected based on a combination of existing relationships with Berkeley Rep and an application process. Interaction with other artists, staff, board and, when appropriate, the public are highly encouraged to identify where the project is in its development path, and to move it to the next stage, whatever that stage may be.

During the Residency “Toast Talk “Kimber Lee was featured in this humorous piece by The Daily Californian.


 Jon Kern_sq

Lab Member Jon Kern’s play BROKEN, directed by Carolyn Cantor, played at The Cape Cod Theater Project in late July.

“There’s a lot scientist Davis Musler, PhD, would like to change about his college-age daughter Amée. Foremost, he wants to restore her ability to walk. But Amée would just like to chill on her break with Dad’s grad student Olu, without feeling like a perpetual patient and science experiment, and without getting caught. BROKEN is a funny, acerbic clash over how others perceive us, how we define ourselves and how we claim our bodies.”

Jon has written for TV and theater, including THE SIMPSONS where he was a staff writer for four seasons. His plays include Modern Terrorism, or They Who Want to Kill Us and How We Learn to Love Them (Second Stage Theatre; CATF), We in Silence Hear a Whisper (Red Fern Theatre Co.), and Hate the Loser Inside (2013 Marathon at Ensemble Studio Theatre). Awards: 2010-2011 Van Lier Fellowship from New Dramatists, 2012 Laurents/Hatcher Prize


Jon is married to Labbie, Samantha Chanse, whose play, FRUITING BODIES will be part of Ma-Yi’s Mainstage 2018-2019 Season at Theater Row in April 2019, Directed by Shelley Buttler. The play recently had a June 2018 workshop at New Dramatists.

Sam’s “The Opportunities of Extinction” played at Broken Nose Theater in Milwakee and Cherry Lane Theater Mentor’s Project in NYC, and a production of her play “Trigger” with Leviathan Lab, and a residency at SPACE on Ryder Farms in 2017.




As anticipated, the Sundance Theatre Lab in Morocco was amazing, and productive. It was also completely exhausting — in the good, “I did so much work while also learning about a whole new culture/country” way.It’s a good thing I had another residency right afterward so I could recover from that one.

As announced while I was on the other side of the ocean, I will be a Working Farm resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm for summer 2018. I’m working on a whole new piece that’s all kinds of ambitious, which I hope to tell you more about when more of it is done. With all the large cast pieces I’ve done before (Out of Joint, A Spare Me, A Power Play; Or, What’s-its-name), this one breaks even more boundaries, so wish me luck.


Ma-Yi Receives NEA $15,000 Grant for Deepa Purohit’s Elyria


Deepa Purohit

New YorkNational Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this category is an Arts Work Grant of $15,000 to Ma-Yi Theater Company to support the development of Elyria,” a play with music by Ma-Yi Writers Lab member Deepa Purohit and director Stephen Brown-Fried. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Ma-Yi in New York City, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

The Chinese Lady Opens July 26th at Barrington Stage


THE CHINESE LADY, by Lloyd Suh, will close at Barrington Stage on August 11th, and move to Manhattan as a Ma-Yi Main Stage Production in repertory with Sesar, by Orlando Pabatoy, in Mid October 2018.

 by Lia Chang

Ma-Yi’s Writers Lab member, Lloyd Suh‘s THE CHINESE LADY previewed July 20th with an opening on July 26th in a coproduction between Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, MA. Directed by Ma-Yi Artistic Director, Ralph B. Pena, The Chinese Lady will move to Manhattan as a Ma-Yi Main Stage production in Late October through November, in tandem with a production of Sesar, by Orlando Pabotoy.

Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in the Berkshires (Pittsfield, MA) under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, is presenting the World Premiere of The Chinese Lady starring Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung.”

Directed by Ralph Peña (Producing Artistic Director, Ma-Yi Theater Company), and presented in a co-production with the Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Chinese Lady begins previews Friday, July 20 on the St. Germain Stage, Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Opening night is Wednesday, July 25, and performances will run through Saturday, August 11.




The Chinese Lady focuses on the life of Afong Moy, who in 1834 at 14 years of age, is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing  portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Q & A with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, Stars of Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY- by Lia Chang

Moy is played by Shannon Tyo whose Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Beeat Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”


Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). “According To My Mother” is currently in development to become a digital series on First Look Media’s new platform, TOPIC. Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA.

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.

NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).


Lloyd Suh, Playwright: THE CHINESE LADY

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, 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, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is 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 currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-win

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

The Chinese Lady will close at Barrington Stage on August 11th, and move to Manhattan as a Ma-Yi Main Stage Production in repertory with Sesar by Orlando Pabatoy in Mid October 2018.

 by Lia Chang

Ma-Yi to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


Deepa Purohit

New YorkNational Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this category is an Arts Work Grant of $15,000 to Ma-Yi Theater Company to support the development of Elyria,” a play with music by Ma-Yi Writers Lab member Deepa Purohit and director Stephen Brown-Fried. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Ma-Yi in New York City, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

Ma-Yi’s Mike Lew on his play, Teenage Dick, Shakespeare and Adaptation

Mike Lew, Ma-Yi Resident Playwright, Co-Director of Ma-yi Writers Lab and Playwright: Teenage Dick

On Adaptation and Shakespeare


In 2012 my actor friend Gregg Mozgala came at me with a crazy idea. He was starting a new company called The Apothetae – a theater that examines the disabled experience – and wanted to kick things off by commissioning me to write a new play – an adaptation of Richard III set in high school called Teenage Dick. I mean the title alone! How could I refuse?

I immediately said yes, then did no writing for a year. But I couldn’t stand the thought of that title going to somebody else so I hurried up and finished a draft. In 2013 we did the first-ever staged reading (starring Gregg and Shannon DeVido) with Ma-Yi Theater. Five years later Gregg and Shannon are now starring in the world premiere with Ma-Yi Theater at the Public.The journey had me thinking a lot about adaptation, and also about Shakespeare,

As a living playwright writing new plays, it’s hard not to envy how many “production slots” go to Shakespeare. The guy’s been dead for over 400 years but on some level we’re competing for limited resources and he is decidedly winning. This is not to throw shade at Shakespeare himself, nor at the Public (home to Shakespeare in the Park, the Shakespeare Mobile Unit, and the Public Shakespeare Initiative).
This is to say that Gregg’s proposal brought me a great deal of trepidation: why adapt Richard III as opposed to just doing another production of the original? And I think the answer to that is that if we’re to examine the disabled experience we have to both acknowledge and in some way disrupt our forebears. I’ve grown to realize Teenage Dick is part of a whole subclass of new plays that use existing works as a jumping-off point to say something entirely new, but more importantly to break up the canon and make more room for marginalized groups. I’m thinking particularly of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon (which re-appropriates Black stock characters from melodrama to redefine our contemporary understanding of Blackness), or David Adjmi’s 3C (which subverts the gay stereotypes from Three’s Company and the golden age of sitcoms), or Jiehae Park’s Peerless (which uses Macbeth’s Shakespearean ambition as a pointed critique of the stereotypes around Asian overachievement).
A sneak peek of rehearsals with Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Director of Teenage Dick, and playwright, Michael Lew.
Enter Code MAYIPRE for $45 Tickets to TEENAGE DICK


In these plays adaptation is a subversive act. By undermining the dominant stereotypes of a marginalized group we seek to re-center that group so that they are the tellers of their own stories.In my case Teenage Dick is meant to take the most famous disabled character of all time and challenge Shakespeare’s conception that Richard’s disability makes him inherently evil. Teenage Dick attempts to explode that old conception as well as its condescending modern-day cousin: that all disabled people are a metaphor for transcendence. (For a good year, Gregg kept sending me clip after clip of high school sports teams smugly including a disabled classmate on their team in a blatant attempt at demonstrative inclusivity.) It’s my hope that Teenage Dick takes all the drama and stakes of murderous monarchal succession and by cramming that into high school (which can also be life-or-death) we approach a contemporary resonance that a straightforward production of Richard III could never provide. But that is not the sole purpose of this adaptation. It’s also my hope that by exploding tired tropes about disability – those from Shakespeare’s time as well as our own – that this play will say something entirely new.
Ma-Yi Theater is also saying something new and radical by producing this play. By having an Asian-American theater partnering with the Public, the production itself seeks to make more room for an underserved group. And though this play isn’t thematically about Asian-American issues, in showcasing an Asian-American writer’s work alongside a strong contingent of Asian-American actors and designers, we hope to collectively challenge any preconceptions around what an Asian-American play looks like.
The world needs new narratives right now. We need new ways of seeing each other – fresh perspectives and new ways of taking each other in. So no offense to Shakespeare, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to have this particular and unique band of players making its way to the stage.
Enter Code MAYIPRE for $45 Tickets to TEENAGE DICK


 Support CAATA’s “Revolutionary Acts” and Make Jorge Smile again!


A Request from former Executive Director of Ma-Yi and Current Board Member and Senior Advisor, Jorge Z. Ortoll:

Dear Ma-Yi Family, Friends and Patrons:


Jorge Z. Ortoll is a co-founder of The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA), an organization that supports the vibrant, growing and changing field of Asian American theater.

I’m reaching out to ask for your generous support for The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA), an organization that has increased visibility of Asian American theater in the United States. In the world of the arts there is a great distortion between the demographic realities and cultural representation in the USA today, and by joining the CAATA crowd-funding campaign  you’re helping in decreasing this divide.

Since 2004, CAATA has led the “revolution” towards a stronger and more sustainable Asian American theater presence that is an integral part of national culture. Through our network of organizations and artists we collaborate to inspire learning and sharing of knowledge and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable artistic ecology.

I am proud to be one of the seven founders of CAATA working in the steering committee of the First National Asian American Theater Conference in Los Angeles in June 2006 and as one of three members of the executive committee that organized the First National Asian American Theater Festival (CONFEST) held in New York City from June 11 to 24, 2007.

This August CONFEST is scheduled with six days of performances, including Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab Member, Kyoung Park‘s play, PILLOWTALK, along with panel discussions breakout sessions, new play readings, parties, networking and more. We need your help to continue.
ConFest 2018 | Chicago presents Kyoung’s Pacific Beat’s PILLOWTALK: Queers the intersections of race, gender, and class—Written and directed by Ma-Yi Labbie Kyoung H. Park, Performed by JP Moraga and Basit Shittu, Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln Ave,  Chicago
I hope you’ll make me smile by being a part of this important movement by attending CONFEST 2018 or by making a contribution. And Please spread the word.

Yours, Jorge


Labbie Clarence Coo’s “Chapters of a Floating Life” Free Reading May 7, 2018

“Chapters of a Floating Life”

In search of Chinese identity and lonliness in 1940s New York, May 7, 2018 at China Institute, Written by Clarence Coo, Directed by Kareem Fahmy


Labbie Clarence Coo’s “Chapters of a Floating Life” Free Reading May 7, 2018



Fault Line Theatre reads Chapters of a Floating Life by Playwright and 2017 Whiting Award Recipient Clarence Cooz
Monday, May 7, 5:30 – 8:30PM (Doors Open at 5:00 PMEvent Fee: FREE
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

It’s the Second World War and two couples from China are trying to make ends meet in New York City. One husband and wife live uptown, obsessed with a past of poetry, painting, and gardens. The other two face the day-to-day reality of keeping a Chinatown restaurant in business. Their worlds, once separated by class and education, converge when the two women find each other in Central Park and fall under the spell of the Chinese language. Performed By, Cleo Gray, Kenneth Lee, KK Moggie, David Shih, Stefani Kuo (stage directions)

Clarence Coo, a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, is a recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award, and a whopping $50,000 cash prize. The Whiting Awards annually identify “exceptional new writers who have yet to make their mark in the literary culture” and aim to provide them with funds to afford “a first opportunity to devote themselves fully to writing.”


Coo received the 2012 Yale Drama Series Prize. His plays include The Birds of Empathy, Beautiful Province (Belle Province), People Sitting in Darkness, and The God of Wine. His work has been developed at the Atlantic Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He has received fellowships from the Dramatists Guild, the Rita Goldberg Playwrights Workshop at the Lark, NYFA, and the Playwrights Realm. He received his MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University. Currently, he is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and the manager of academic administration of Columbia’s MFA Writing Program.

Labbie Clarence Coo’s “Chapters of a Floating Life” Free Reading 5:30, May 7, 2018



Writers Lab Seeks New Members, Apply by June 1, 2018

The Ma-Yi Writers Lab is now reviewing applications for new members for the 2018-2020 Seasons. We accept new members on a biennial basis; to be considered please submit all application materials to mayilab@gmail.com by June 1st, 2018. We will accept email submissions only.
A Photo of Our Writers

The Ma-Yi Writers Lab is the largest resident company of Asian-American playwrights ever assembled. Founded in 2004 by Sung Rno in connection with the NEA/TCG Playwright’s Residency program and currently led by Mike Lew and A. Rey Pamatmat, the Lab has fast become home to some of the country’s most exciting emerging writers. We are a professional peer-based workshop in permanent residence with the Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company, designed to nurture and showcase Asian-American playwrights in New York City. The Lab is a community resource, brain trust and place of artistic growth for its members.

Plays that were born in the Lab have gone on to workshops and productions within Ma-Yi as well as with the Atlantic, the Public, LCT3, Second Stage, EST, the Humana Festival, the Huntington, the Magic, South Coast Rep, The Taper, Victory Gardens, Woolly Mammoth, Yale Rep, Sundance, the O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, and many more. Recent Labbie achievements include two Mellon NPRP fellowships, a Van Lier fellowship, three Hodder fellowships, two Lark Venturous fellowships, two Whiting Awards, a Glickman Award, three Audible commissions, and seven New Dramatists residencies.

If accepted for Lab membership, we ask you to:

To apply to the Lab, please submit:

Finalists will be asked to interview in late July 2018. New members will begin meeting in September of 2018. For more about the Lab, please visit http://ma-yitheatre.org/about-the-lab/

Leah Nanako Winkler Is Awarded the 2018 Yale Drama Series Prize and More


Writer’s Lab Member, Leah Nanako Winkler  has been awarded this year’s Yale Drama Series Prize for her new play “God Said This.” She will receive $10,000, her play will have a private staged reading at Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theater on Oct. 30, and it will be published by the Yale University Press.

God_placeholder-663x1024“God Said This” is an ensemble piece that tells the story of a mixed-race family reunited by its matriarch’s cancer treatment. Two sisters, Hiro, who lives in New York, and Sophie, a born-again Christian, along with their father, a recovering alcoholic, attempt to reconcile when Hiro returns to Kentucky after years of being away. A fifth character, John, a classmate of Hiro’s, is also confronting the issue of mortality and he is anxious about the legacy he will leave behind.” It will premiere Off-Broadway at Primary Stages in 2019 and recently received the 2018 Yale Drama Series Prize.  

Ayad Akhtarhis year’s judge and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, chose Ms. Nanako Winkler’s play from over 1,600 submissions.“God Said This” is recently played the Humana Festival in Louisville and previews in January 2019 Off Broadway at Primary Stages in New York.


Satomi Blair, left, and Curran Connor in “Kentucky,” another play by Ms. Nanako Winkler, at Ensemble Studio Theater in 2016 Credit Jody Christopherson

Theater Mu Performing Arts’  and MIXED BLOOD 2017-18 season Kicked off with Leah Nanako Winkler’s “Two Mile Hollow,” a parody containing a dysfunctional family.-An NYC workshop production of Two Mile Hollow April 26th- 28th as part of WP Theater’s Pipeline Festival. Details and tickets here! 

“Two Mile Hollow” received a simultaneous world premiere in the 2016-2017 season with Artists At Play LA, Theater Mu/Mixed Blood in Minneapolis, First Floor Theater in Chicago and Ferocious Lotus in San Francisco. WP Theater (formerly known as Women’s Project Theater) is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of female-identified and trans theater artists at every stage in their careers.

Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab Member Damon Chua‘s “The Princess Nightingale” follows in April 2018, a new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Nightingale” set in eighteenth century China.


Recently, Leah was awarded the first-ever Mark O’Donnell Prize from The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons.  She is also currently one of the inaugural recipients of a commission from Audible’s Emerging Playwrights Fund and was named the 2017-2019 Jerome New York Fellow at the Lark. The New York Times calls her a “distinctive new voice.”


On Stage
The Labbies
Ma-Yi Theater Company 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 309 New York, NY 10018 212.971.4862 info [at] ma-yitheatre.org