Two Ma-Yi Shows In Repertory



To open its 26th Season, Ma-Yi Theater presents two exciting and provocative works that respond to our prevailing assumptions about colorblind casting, the much sought after proposition of equality in the arts, the eccentricities of Imelda Marcos, and the laundering and remixing of a dictator’s legacy into an innocuous disco party.

Han Ong’s terrific new play “Chairs and A Long Table,” will make you consider how American Theater wrestles with the ideals of equality and representation. “Livin’ La Vida Imelda” began as a walking tour devised by Carlos Celdran that takes you through the vast cultural complex built by Imelda Marcos in Manila. This tour gave Mr. Celdran the map he needed to take a deep dive into Imelda’s history, and tell her story using architecture. Now Mr. Celdran is working with Ma-Yi Theater on a reimagined, fun-filled theatrical tour de force.

Each play is unique, animated by different events, peopled by distinct characters telling different stories. But together, they represent for me a collective stab at breaking the myths we all create. Myths about post-racial America. Myths about shoes and jewelry. Myths about historical and cultural authenticity. And the myth that we know all about the myths.

Come and play with us.

Ralph B. Pena
Artistic Director


by Han Ong

World Premiere Production
directed by Linsay Firman
October 28 – November 22, 2014
Han Ong’s CHAIRS AND A LONG TABLE follows a group of Asian American actors as they prepare to attend a conference in Los Angeles addressing racial discrimination in the casting of a classic Chinese play.

by Carlos Celdran

U.S. Premiere Production
directed by Ralph B. Pena
October 31 – November 23, 2014
There are lies. There are rumors. Truth is beauty, and all beauty is God. Therefore, if you lie and spread rumors, you are Godless and you are ugly. That’s the truth. Praise be to Ferdie. Is there a better specimen to dissect? Join the internationally celebrated Sherpa of Intramuros, artist, activist, raconteur, and recent jailbird Carlos Celdran, as he takes a scalpel to the interwoven pathologies of Philippine History and Imelda Marcos to get to the bottom of – whatevs. If There Lies Love – Here Lies The Dirt!



The Clurman Theater
Theater Row

410 West 42nd Street
(between 9th and 10th Aves.)
New York, NY 10036

Subway: A/C/E/1/2/3/7/N/R/Q/W to Times Square-42nd Street
Parking: Available at 303 West 46th Street and 360 West 43rd Street.


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Han Ong (Playwright, CHAIRS AND A LONG TABLE) Past Ma-Yi productions: Savage Acts (2004); The Square (2001); Watcher (2001); Middle Finger (adapted from Wedekind’s “Spring Awakening”; 2000). Other theaters: Joseph Papp Public Theater (New York), Berkeley Rep (Berkeley, CA), the Magic Theater (San Francisco), American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA), Almeida Theater (London). He has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, Long Island University and the New School, and has taught playwriting at New York’s 92nd Street Y. He has been the recipient of an NEA Playwriting Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, and a Kesselring Prize honorable mention for his play Swoony Planet. In 1997, he became one of the youngest recipients of a MacArthur Fellowship. He has published two novels, The Disinherited (2004), nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, and Fixer Chao (2001), cited by the New York Times as a “new immigrant classic” and named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Swoony Planet is published in the TCG anthology “Version 3.0: Contemporary Asian-American Plays” and Middle Finger has been published in American Theater magazine.

Carlos Celdran (Playwright, LIVIN’ LA VIDA IMELDA) is a Filipino tour guide, cultural activist, and performing artist. Growing up in Dasmarinas Village, Makati, Philippines, he began his art career at age 14 as a cartoonist for a local Manila newspaper. He enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1991, where he studied and practiced performance art. He continued his career in the performing arts, working as a set designer and/or director. By 2000, Celdran was working as an assistant director of the Heritage Conservation Society, a non-profit organization working towards preserving historical architecture. There he gained experience in directing historical tours, which set the stage for the launch of his own tour company Walk This Way in 2002. In 2005 he became the owner/director of an art exhibition space called The Living Room. Celdran is an activist for HIV/AIDS awareness and reproductive health, organizing and appearing at events in the Philippines.


Linsay Firman (Director, CHAIRS AND A LONG TABLE) is on staff at Ensemble Studio Theatre, where she directed the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s Isaac’s Eye and the NY premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51. Other NYC productions include Rachel Bond’s Anniversary, Garrett M. Brown’s Americana and Jose Rivera’s Flowers all in the EST Marathon, Perdita by Pierre Diennet (Lion Theater), Joy Tomasko’s Unfold Me, Catherine Trieschmann’s Crooked, Heather Lynn MacDonald’s Pink (all at Ariel Tepper’s Summer Play Festival), Anne Washburn’s Apparition (chashama) named one of Time Out New York’s ten best plays of 2003, Howard Barker’s The Power of the Dog and The Possibilities, Joe Orton’s Loot, Peter Rose’s Snatch (Soho Rep). Linsay began working in new play development as the Associate Director of Soho Rep, where she founded and ran Soho Rep’s renowned Writer/Director Lab. She is an alumna of the 2008-2010 Women’s Project Director’s Lab, an Associated Artist of New Georges and holds an MFA in directing from CalArts.

Ralph B. Pena (Director, LIVIN’ LA VIDA IMELDA) is a founding member and the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! (Children’s Theatre Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company; WINNER – Off Broadway Alliance Award), Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Ruth Magraff’s Centaur Battle of San Jacinto, Michael Lew’s Microcrisis (EST/ Youngblood and Ma-Yi Theater Company), and Lloyd Suh’s Children of Vonderly, and Nicky Paraiso’s House/Boy for LaMama ETC, and Dublin Theater Festival. Ralph received an Obie Award for his work on Lonnie Carter’s The Romance of Magno Rubio. In addition to Ma-Yi, his work has also been seen at Long Wharf Theater, Kumu Kahua, Northwest Asian American Theater, ASIA Theater, San Diego Asian American Rep, Round House Theater, NAATCO, Lincoln Center, La Mama ETC, Philadelphia Shakespeare, Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Fox Theater, NYSF/Public Theater, the Odeon Theater in Romania, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He is currently working on a new play about America’s involvement in the Middle East. He is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, The Ensemble Studio Theater, and serves on the board of the Theater Communications Group.


CHAIRS AND A LONG TABLE features Ron Domingo, Julie Fitzpatrick, Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Moses Villarama, & Jeena Yi.

LIVIN’ LA VIDA IMELDA features Carlos Celdran.

Rep designs by Nick Francone (scenic), Yi Zhao (lighting), Becky Bodurtha (costumes), Fabian Obispo (sound – IMELDA), Nick Borisjuk (sound – CHAIRS), and Hannah Wasileski (projections – IMELDA).

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