Stage Biz Review: ‘FRUITING BODIES’


Review: STAGE BIZ/ Jacquelyn Claire – 


FRUITING BODIES, a new play by Sam Chanse, directed by Shelley Butler

“… a call to the wild parts of ourselves that have been starved of oxygen. It’s a hunt to find the elusive, the dangerous, the long buried…The familiar family drama finds a different setting away from the dinner table to the forest floor with it’s mercurial mycology.”







“It’s a thought provoking transformation play where the troubled characters enter the shifting forest, the unknown, and emerge somewhat altered. There are secrets to be revealed, hero’s to be tested and dream fragments to confront. The Ma-Yi Theater Company takes us mushroom hunting into the dark depths of our collective unconscious so we can find our own inner gourmet “morels”.”




“The cast are all outstanding. Thom Sesma as Ben, the patriarchal dinosaur stomping about on a societal cushion of hot air, is a force. He is a charming, arresting, vital actor that brings a divine complexity to Ben.”



Jeffrey Omura plays a trio of characters and is like a ‘Puck’, an ephemeral being that whips up the air, incites change, and is magical and maniacal in equal measure. Omura brings a youthful exuberance to all of his characters but is also capable of plunging into emotional depths that are simply heartbreaking.



Emma Kikue as Vicky the silicon valley, tech obsessed sister, gives us a women on the edge of exploding. Her carefully constructed world has an impossible glitch that she cannot correct. Kikue brings a gentleness and broken bird quality to the role disguised and dressed up as bravado in a backpack. Kimiye Corwin as the volatile, artistic, Mush is sensational as the sister who wishes she could wipe her slate clean of context. She manages to be both laconic and effervescent giving us a woman unable to control the size of her response to outward stimulus. Corwin has an ease on stage that is magnetic.


Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg/ Video Zanni Production with music by Ben Sounds


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In a Northern California forest that seems to keep shape-shifting around them, two sisters go looking for their father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom-hunting expedition.  After encountering a mysterious young boy who bears a striking resemblance to their absent brother, the family searches for the road back, tackling limited visibility and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes. 



GROUP RATES ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THIS SHOW: Call 212-971-4862 to reserve your performance of Fruiting Bodies for your group event, benefit or school, with the possibility of a talk back from the creatives.


Check out brand new footage from our production of Sam Chanse’s FRUITING BODIES directed by Shelley Butler, now playing at Theatre Row through May 19.

Lab Member Sam Chanse’s “Fruiting Bodies” Main Stage in April 2019



Ma-Yi Theater Company presents


by Sam Chanse, directed by Shelley Butler April 23 through May 19, 2019 at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd Street, New York City

In a Northern California forest that seems to keep shape-shifting around them, two sisters go looking for their father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom-hunting expedition.  After encountering a mysterious young boy who bears a striking resemblance to their absent brother, the family searches for the road back, tackling limited visibility and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes. 

Fruiting Bodies, by Lab Member Sam Chanse (The Other Instinct), and directed by Shelley Butler (The Gun Show)


GROUP RATES ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THIS SHOW: Call Charlie @ 212-971-4862 x 104 to reserve your performance of Fruiting Bodies for your group event, benefit or school, with the possibility of a talk back from the creatives.


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Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 PM, Saturday 2:30 PM

HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING! Works from Ma-Yi Writers Lab Members Hansol Jung “Wild Goose Dreams” at The Public Theater and Damon Chua “The Emperor’s Nightingale” at Pan Asian Rep and MORE this year:



The Emperor’s Nightingale
by Damon Chua 
November 25th – December 16th
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre launches its new educational initiative with the New York Premiere of The Emperor’s Nightingale by Ma-Yi Writers Lab Member, Damon Chua, directed by Chongren Fan. This production emphasizes the importance of leadership guided by a moral compass, through the story about two rival teen brothers competing for the throne as an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story.
Through December 16 Wild Goose Dreamsby Hansol Jung at The Public Theater
Our Writer’s Lab Member Hansol Jung‘s fascinating and unforgettable new play “WILD GOOSE DREAMS”  at The Public Theaterin a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where it had a critically-acclaimed run last season, after its initial run in Public Studio. Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet, Chinglish, The Outer Space) directs this strikingly original play with music, about two people from two cultures forced to choose between family and freedom.“HANSOL JUNG is a writer of industrious imagination with a poet’s gift”. – BEN BRANTLEY, The New York Times
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 8:00 PM
Get Tickets to SsingSsing December 9 @8PM
Authentic Korean traditional vocals with rock music, combined with an extravagant visual style and stage manners, SsingSsing is what happens when you cross 1970’s era David Bowie or B-52s with Korean shamanic rock.  SsingSsing have been making waves around the world, bringing glam rock and funk elements together with a wildly charismatic theatrical twist.Presented by the Korean Cultural Center New York, Brooklyn Bowl, and Eulpion Sounds as part of KCCNY’s Korean Culture Day 2018 Program. This performance is supported by the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange as part of Traveling Korean Arts Program, Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11249
Get Tickets to ‘SsingSsing’ December 9 @8PM
“Zombie Asian Moms”
November 29 – December 09, 2018
Get Tickets to ‘Zombie Asian Moms’
La Mama Experimental Theatre Club presents Amerasian punk rock comedy duo Slanty Eyed Mama put a new spin on the haunting lore and digital rice cookers of Asian Moms. This world premiere show features original songs, sketch, standup,  electric violin, video and spoken word. Based on oral history interviews with Asian Moms.
Get Tickets to ‘Zombie Asian Moms’
Next Up at Ma-Yi:
The Buswick Starr production of SUICIDE FOREST in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company running Feb 27 through March 26, 2019
In 1990’s Japan, the journeys of a teenage girl and Salaryman collide as they are confronted with life or death decisions in a world where identity and one’s self-worth is dominated by shame and masochism.Suicide Forest is a bilingual nightmare play that excavates the Japanese American consciousness and examines the struggles of emotional, psychic, and social suicide through the playwright’s lived stories.@suicideforestplay #suicideforestBWS

Lloyd Suh’s “The Chinese Lady” Opens At Theatre Row

photography by Carol Rosegg

On November 10th, 2018, Ma-Yi Theater Company was proud to present the opening of Ma-Yi  Lab Member Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY, at Theater Row. NEW YORK THEATRE GUIDE‘s Nishka Jain writes, “I was so invested in Atong and Afong Moy’s journey that I was left wanting to hear more about their lives, as the playwright moved from their journey to the historical events. I found myself wanting Afong Moy’s personal journey through history more than the history itself. I also found a deep connection with Afong’s experience of being an immigrant with my own, perhaps that is what drew me so close to her, and had me wanting to know more about her struggles as someone who is also from outside.

MA-YI PATRONS RECEIVE TICKETS AT PERCENT DISCOUNT HERE or Limited RUSH tickets are available at Theatre Row Box Office One Hour Before Performance for $22.25.


“Perhaps I should hire a fourteen year old white American girl to come with me to China, and display her in a room with a raised bed, shoes on her feet in the home, eating with a fork! Perhaps I can tour her throughout the country and let the Chinese look at her and study her, put her on display for the education and edification of the Chinese curiosity!”

MA-YI PATRONS RECEIVE TICKETS AT PERCENT DISCOUNT HERE or Limited RUSH tickets are available at Theatre Row Box Office One Hour Before Performance for $22.25.


“Both Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac are amazing in their delivery. They steal your heart with their innocence and portrayal of two extra ordinary human beings as Afong Moy and Atung.
The writing is witty, and engaging. Ralph B. Peña‘s direction is superb, and so is the design team. There is a sense of calm while the storm rages in the story, I wonder if that was because of the music, the lighting design or the writing. But everything feels connected in a surreal sort of a way.

Afong Moy, might not have fulfilled her intention of educating, and connecting the world in her life, but The Chinese Lady sure has the promise and potential do so.

If you see only one show this season, watch The Chinese Lady.”

Nishka Jain  NEW YORK THEATRE GUIDEMA-YI PATRONS RECEIVE TICKETS AT PERCENT DISCOUNT HERE or Limited RUSH tickets are available at Theatre Row Box Office One Hour Before Performance for $22.25.

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“I am the first Chinese American woman. I am the first Chinese woman you have ever seen. I am the first Chinese from nobility, the first educated Chinese, the first high-born, the first with bound feet, the first the first the first. And so you see, this gives me a great responsibility.”







Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan, Jr...; American HwangapThe Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!Jesus in India and others; produced with Ma-Yi, The Play Company, Ensemble Studio Theare, Magic Theatre, Denver Center and more, including internationally at the Cultural Center of The Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA, Mellon Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome, TCG, The Roe Green Award from Cleveland Play House and NYCT’s Helen Merill Award. He is an alum of EST’s 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, and since 2016 as a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.




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.


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.  Select 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).

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Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) 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.

JUNGHYUN GEORGIA LEE (Set and Costume Designer) is a Korean-born, NY-based set and costume designer. She designed for Ma-Yi, Soho Rep, The Play Co., Guthrie Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Playmakers Rep, The Juilliard School, Dallas Theater Center, Indiana Rep, Milwaukee Rep, American Players Theater, Syracuse Stage, Humana Festival, Center Stage (Baltimore), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and National Theater in Seoul, Korea. She is a member of New Neighborhood. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

FABIAN OBISPO (Sound Designer/Composer) MaYi: Teenage Dick, House Rules, The Square, No Foreigners Beyond This Point. Off- Broadway: The Public, MTC, MCC, CSC, Atlantic Theatre Company, Vineyard Theatre, The New Group, NYTW, TFANA, Primary Stages among others. Regional: Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Kennedy Center, ACT, Goodman, Guthrie, OSF, Cleveland Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, Barrington Stage, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, Playmakers Repertory Company and Cincinnati Playhouse to name a few.

OLIVER WASON (Lighting Designer) Previously with Ma-Yi: Among the Dead, House Rules. Recent work: peerless (Yale Rep, Barrington Stage); Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep); Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO); Stones in His Pockets (Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center); Little Shop of Horrors, Bells Are Ringing, A Little Night Music (Berkshire Theater Festival); Dido and Aeneas, Lucia di Lammermoor (Heartbeat Opera); Cosi Fan Tutte (Loft Opera); Empty the House (Curtis). MFA Yale.

GEOFF BORONDA (THE CHINESE LADY, Production Stage Manager; SESAR, Assistant Stage Manager) Credits include: New York: Ain’t No Mo’, Mobile Unit: Romeo & Juliet, Mobile Unit: The Comedy of Errors, Buzzer, Ping Pong, Under the Radar Festival, The Urban Retreat, The Great Immensity, Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater); The Undertaking (The Civilians); generations (Soho Rep). Regional: The Chinese Lady, Typhoid Mary (Barrington Stage Company); Shakespeare in Love, Jazz (Baltimore Center Stage); A View from the Bridge (Center Theatre Group); Hamlet, A Doctor in Spite of Himself (Yale Repertory Theatre); Appropriate (Westport Country Playhouse). Education: MFA Stage Management from the Yale School of Drama.

RACHAEL GASS (SESAR – Production Stage Manager; THE CHINESE LADY – Assistant Stage Manager) Broadway: Cirque Du Soleil Paramour, Motown (2016). Off Broadway credits include Neurosis (DR2), Illyria (The Public), Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (Tony Kiser Theatre), First Daughter Suite (The Public), Signature Plays (Signature Theatre), A Walk in the Woods (Keen Company). BFA from UNCSA.

ALLISON QUEEN (Production Manager) is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma. Most recently she served as Production Manager for the Off-Broadway production The Mad Ones and One Thousand Nights and One Day. She interned with Aurora Productions where she had a chance to assist on many Broadway shows including Anastasia, Six Degrees of Separation, The Present, and Holiday Inn. Allison spent 8 years stage managing professionally before crossing into production management. She would like to thank her family for their never-ending love and support!

ERIN MCCOY (THE CHINESE LADY – Assistant Stage Manager) Ma-Yi Theatre: The Chinese Lady, Broadway: Bernhardt/Hamlet, Off-Broadway: (Manhattan Theater Club): Sugar In Our Wounds (The Public Theater): Ain’t No Mo,Tiny Beautiful Things, Dry Powder, Buzzer, Fidelis, Under the Radar Festival, Public Works Twelfth Night, Shakespeare in the Park The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest (Baltimore Center Stage): Shakespeare in Love, Jazz (Westport County Playhouse): Appropriate. Education: Otterbein University.

JULIANNE BOYD (THE CHINESE LADY -Producing Artistic Director, Barrington Stage Company) co-founded Barrington Stage Company in January 1995. She has directed many productions at BSC. Last summer, Ms. Boyd directed the acclaimed production of Company starring Aaron Tveit. In 2016, she directed two world premieres: Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son, which won the Laurents-Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016 by an emerging playwright, and the musical Broadway Bounty Hunter by Joe Iconis, Jason SweetTooth Williams and Lance Rubin. Other productions include the world premieres of Mark St. Germain’s Best of Enemies, Dancing Lessons and Dr. Ruth, All the Way, and the critically acclaimed revival of Goldman and Sondheim’s Follies. In 1997, she directed BSC’s smash hit production of Cabaret, which won six Boston Theater Critics Awards and transferred to the Hasty Pudding Theatre in Cambridge for an extended run.Boyd conceived and directed the Broadway musical Eubie!, a show based on the music of Eubie Blake which starred Gregory Hines and garnered three Tony nominations. She also coconceived and directed (with Joan Micklin Silver) the award-winning Off Broadway musical revue A…My Name Is Alice (Outer Critics’ Award) and its sequel A…My Name Is Still Alice. Over the past thirty-five years she has worked extensively in New York and regional theatres.

JORGE Z. ORTOLL (Former Executive Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company, Board Member and Senior Advisor) assumed the position of Executive Director for Ma-Yi in 1991, and up through 2004, produced all of its productions and oversaw its steady growth and respect in the industry and communities it serves. He has served as panelist for the Nancy Quinn Fund of the Alliance of Resident Theatres in New York, and has represented the United States in the bi-annual conventions of ITI (International Theater Institute of UNESCO) since 2002. He holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Accounting from Holy Cross College and an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University.

SARAH HANLON (Ma-Yi Theater Production Assistant) is a world traveler performing in shows such as the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, regional productions of Les Miserables, Showboat, Man of La Mancha and her family’s favorite, Pocahontas. Much love to Chris and Mochi. For Mom.

SEAN DALEY (Ma-Yi Theater Production Intern) is a member of LSA (Linguistic Society of America) focusing on South Korean phonetics and phonology and is producing a book on diction in Korean for non-native speakers on stage and in song. He is a performer of Korean contemporary musical theatre. Playwright: Noblesse Oblige (Manhattan Rep), Assistant Director: Family Dynamics (Hudson Guild), Manhattan School of Music, Classical Voice. Current CUNY, B.A. in Linguistics and Theatre.

Production Stage Manager (THE CHINESE LADY)—Geoff Boronda

Asst. Stage Manager (THE CHINESE LADY)—Rachael Gass

Asst. Stage Manager (THE CHINESE LADY) —Erin McCoy

Dramaturge (THE CHINESE LADY)—Rebecca Weiss

Production Manager—Allison Queen

Asst. Production Manager—Christy Perez

Asst. Set/Costume Designer—Aram Kim

Asst. Sound Designer—Jorge Olivo

Master Electrician—Stephen Cornelius

Associate Lighting Designer (SESAR)—Alex deNevers

Assistant Lighting Designer (SESAR)—Xander Coleman

Associate Lighting Designer (THE CHINESE LADY)—Keithlyn B Parkman

Sound Board Operator—German Martinez

Light Board Operator—Gianna Rini

Technical Director—Courtney Kupferschmidt

Props Coordinator—Mackenzie Trowbridge

Wardrobe Supervisor—Bill Nguyen

Run Crew—Miranda Thompson

Run Crew (THE CHINESE LADY) —Emily Lin

Production Associate.—Sarah Hanlon

House Manager—Sean Daley

Promotion and Production Videographer—Jon Burkland, Zanni Productions

 MA-YI PATRONS RECEIVE TICKETS AT PERCENT DISCOUNT HERE or Limited RUSH tickets are available at Theatre Row Box Office One Hour Before Performance for $22.25.

Meet “THE CHINESE LADY” playwright, Lloyd SUH

Suh’s play “THE CHINESE LADY” is the most recent of many Ma-Yi Productions spanning over 20 Years 


Lloyd Suh was one of the founding members of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He would go on to be co-director of the Lab with Qui Ngyuen, the two of them presiding over the expansion of the Lab’s membership to nearly double its original size. 

Ma-Yi Theater produced Lloyd’s play “The Children of Vonderly,” in 1998. It was his first professional production in New York City. Other productions soon followed: “American Hwangap,” co-produced with The Play Company, “Jesus in India,” and “The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” in partnership with the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis.

“The Chinese Lady,” was commissioned by Ma-Yi Theater, and co-produced with Barrington Stage Company. It opened in the Berkshires this summer, receiving rave reviews from local critics.

“I’ve gotten to know Lloyd’s writing over the years, and this play is unlike any he’s written before,” says Ma-Yi Theater’s Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña of “The Chinese Lady.” “This is a deeply felt and beautifully imagined telling of the life of a 14-year old Chinese girl, arriving in America in 1834, to be put on display as she performed her ethnicity. It says a lot about who we are as country.”

Tickets for “THE CHINESE LADY” 11/7 thru 11/18

FREE admission to the museum during the entire month of November with your ticket stub 
The Chinese Lady plays in repertory with “Sesar” by Orlando Pabotoy and tickets are now available for both performances at Theatre Row:

Tickets for “THE CHINESE LADY” 11/7 thru 11/18

Get Tickets for “SESAR” 10/20 thru 11/1, 2018

October Lab Member Updates, Upcoming Performances

Ma-Yi Writers Lab Playwright
Leah Nanako Winkler

Labbie, Leah Nanako Winkler’s “Hot Asian Doctor Husband”  at Theater MU

Theater Mu’s 2018/2019 season will include the world premiere of  Labbie, Leah Nanako Winkler’s Hot Asian Doctor Husband (Aug. 16-Sept. 1 2019), at Mixed Blood Theatre. The comedy is about a biracial woman in pursuit of a hot Asian doctor husband after the sudden death of her Japanese father leaves her questioning her identity. Randy Reyes will direct.



Above from the play “Two Mile Hollow” by Leah Nanako Winkler at Theater Mu in 2018. (Photo by Rich Ryan)


 Labbie Diana Oh’s ” THE INFINITE LOVE PARTY” at the Bushwick Starr January 2009.


Diana Oh

“The Infinite Love Party”  January 11 – February 2, 2019 more HERE

 Also, in February, Ma-Yi Theater Company teams with the Bushwick Starr as Co-Producer of SUICIDE FOREST, by Kristine Haruna Lee and directed by Aya Ogawa.





Labbie Mia Chung’s  NYC professional debut “CATCH AS CATCH CAN”

opens at the New Ohio Theater October 22nd through November 17.


Mia Chung

The Phelans and the Lavecchias grew up together in working class New England, weathering good times and bad. But Tim Phelan’s homecoming this winter sets off a spiraling crisis that strains their hold on each other—and themselves. In Mia Chung’s Catch as Catch Can, six characters are brought to life by three actors playing across gender and generation, capturing father/daughter and mother/son in a family drama that doubles as a theatrical tour de force.. directed by Ken Rus Schmoll. READ MORE

Chung’s plays include You for Me for You and This Exquisite CorpseYou for Me for You had a U.K. premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, a US premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in DC, and multiple productions around the country,

Labbie Mrinalini Kamath is connecting with Seattle and finding inspiration


Mrinalini Kamath


Labbie, Mrinalini Kamath has been the Ma-Yi Theater/ University of Washington Mellon Creative fellow, and that has allowed her to present work at the University of Washington in both January and June of this year. “The Mellon Creative fellowship that Todd London at the UW School of Drama began with Ralph Pena at the Ma-Yi Theater Company, with the blessings of the Mellon Foundation, was my first encounter with theater in Seattle,” she said.

“I was hooked after my first playwriting class,” Kamath said. “The reaction of a live audience was unlike anything I had ever experienced writing fiction.”






Ma-Yi Writers Lab Member

Madhuri Shekar

Dustin Chinn

Dustin Chinn


seduction, skullduggery and swordplay in a mythic 17th Century rebellion by the female bodyguards of an Imperial Harem.


an irreverent satire on colonialism as seen through the transformation of a bowl of noodle soup over two centuries.




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The Lark announced five New York City-based playwrights, have been named as the 2018-19 Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellows. The group spans a wide range of backgrounds and professional experiences and will meet regularly throughout the year to develop new plays.

Labbie, Lauren Yee is among them. Yee recently won the Horton Foote Prize for her play Cambodian Rock Band, developed through The Lark’s Roundtable program.

“The Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop is designed to be a process where a dynamic group of contemporary playwrights can engage with each other around brand new, raw, and challenging work,” said THE CHINESE LADY playwright Lloyd Suh, Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark and a Member and co-founder of THE MA-YI WRITERS LAB. “This cohort of five writers represents such an eclectic range of styles and sensibilities, and yet all five have proven themselves to be rigorous in telling urgent, vital stories in unexpected and imaginative ways. We’re thrilled that they’ll be sharing space with each other and with The Lark over the course of the season.”

Plays substantially developed through the Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop include Teenage Dick by Ma-Yi Lab Co-Director, Mike Lew (The Public Theater).



42nd Milestone Season | Tisa Chang, Artistic Producing Director
Presents a Holiday Special for Families and Children


Damon Chua

Damon Chua

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 Abingdon Theater presents “Hatefuck”

by Lab Member and Ma-Yi Mellon Reisident Playwright, Rehana Lew Mirza 

Abingdon Theatre Co, WP Theatre & Colt Coeur Partner to Present New Play By Rehana Lew Mirza


The world premiere of the 2017 Kilroys List play opens in March 2019: Abingdon Theater Company will team up with WP Theater and Colt Coeur to present  HATEFUCK by Rehana Lew Mirza and directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The four-week limited engagement runs March 3 – 31, 2019 at WP Theater

In this bracingly insightful new play, passions ignite when Layla, an intense literature professor, accuses Imran, a brashly iconoclastic novelist, of trading in anti-Muslim stereotypes. But as their attraction grows into something more, they discover that good sex doesn’t always make good bedfellows. Conflicting cultural identities collide in this thornily clever antidote to a “meet-cute” romance.






Three of our Ma-YI Writers Lab Members joined New Dramatists along with four more playwrights to be in residence through the year 2025. These writers were selected by a seven-person committee of New Dramatists current residents, alumni, and outside theatre professionals from 478 applicants after undergoing a highly competitive nine month review and analysis. They include Julian Christopher, Sarah Gancher, Mike Lew, Vickie Ramirez, Tammy Ryan, Susan Soon He Stanton, and Lauren Yee.

Mike Lew

Mike Lew is co-director of Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He previously served as New Dramatists admin associate. Mike is married to fellow New Dramatists Resident playwright Rehana Lew Mirza  and together they hold a Mellon National Playwrights Residency at Ma-Yi. His play Teenage Dick was produced by Ma-Yi in association with The Public Theater this summer.

Susan Soon He Stanton 

Susan Soon He Stanton’s recent plays include we, the invisibles (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival) Today Is My Birthday (Page 73) and Solstice Party! (Live Source). She is a two-time Sundance Theatre Lab Resident Playwright, and she was awarded the inaugural Venturous Playwright Fellowship and Van Lier Fellowship at The Lark and the Leah Ryan FEWW Prize. She’s also a staff writer for HBO’s ‘Succession’.       READ MORE at New Dramatists

Lauren Yee
This past season, Lauren Yee premiered Cambodian Rock Band (music by Dengue Fever) at South Coast Rep and The Great Leap at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, and Atlantic Theatre. Recent honors: Kesselring Prize, Francesca Primus Prize, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List (Cambodian Rock Band and The Great Leap).The Young Conservatory 2018-19 season begins with Lauren Yee’s Hookman (October 24-27, 2018).  READ MORE

New Dramatists offers an artistic home and developmental laboratory for professional playwrights. Also a resident is Aya Ogawa, playwright of The Bushwick Starr’s upcoming production in association with Ma-Yi of SUICIDE FOREST opening in February 2019.OTHER LABBIES WHO ARE RESIDENTS OR ALUMNI AT NEW DRAMATISTS ARE: Sam Chanse, Carla Ching, Clarence Coo, Mashuq Deen, Jiehae Park, as well as Lloyd Suh, playwright of Ma-Yi’s current season production (in Association with Barrington Stage Company), THE CHINESE LADY.
Tickets for “SESAR” 10/-20 thru 11/1
Tickets for “THE CHINESE LADY” 11/7-11/18

Hansol Jung’s Wild Goose Dreams at The Public Theater


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


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?

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.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

“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.”


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