An epic new play by Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”, The Chinese Lady), directed by Ralph B. Peña (The Chinese LadyAmong The Dead), ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME traces the journey of a Korean family from the wars in Korea to the riots in Los Angeles. Told with great humor, irreverence, and elements of magic, ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME uses traditional Korean fables to examine the thorny legacies of war and trauma.

CONTENT WARNING: War, Violence, Adult Themes, Strong Language
SENSORY WARNING: Fog, Loud Sounds, Flashing Lights
PLEASE NOTE: Proof of vaccination is required upon entry into the theatre. Masks must be worn over your nose and mouth for the duration of the performance.

ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME was commissioned and developed by Ma-Yi Theater Company.


La MaMa, Ellen Stewart Theatre 66 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003

About the Playwright

Daniel K. Isaac | Playwright

Daniel K. Isaac is a queer Korean American actor and writer based in New York City.

Daniel’s writing has been championed by Ma-Yi, National Endowment for the Arts, MTC’s Groundworks Lab, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Barrington Stage, NYTW, Page73’s Interstate73, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, Queens Theatre, The Tank, TheatreC, Leviathan Lab, and Lambda Literary. ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME is his playwriting debut.

As an actor, Daniel has been seen off-Broadway in The Chinese Lady (Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Ma-Yi/The Public); Travel/Turn Step, You Never Touched the Dirt (Clubbed Thumb); The Chinese Lady (Ma-Yi/Barrington Stage), The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon), Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), and Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM).

Daniel’s film and television credits include six seasons as ‘Ben Kim’ on “Billions” (Showtime); “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “The Deuce,” “Crashing,” Too Big To Fail (HBO); The Drummer (opposite Danny Glover); “The Expecting” (Quibi); Money Monster (dir. Jodie Foster); “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND); “Person of Interest” (CBS); and ‘Jeremy’ on “The Other Two” (Comedy Central).

Training: USCD, BADA.

About the Director

Ralph B. Peña | Director

Ralph B. Peña is the Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company in New York. Recent directing projects include The Chinese Lady, Felix Starro, Among The Dead, ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME, and the short film Vancouver. His work has been seen on the stages of The Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Victory Gardens, La Jolla Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, and The Children’s Theater Company, among others. He is the recipient of an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio.

Design Team

  • Se Hyun Oh | Scenic Design
  • Phương Nguyễn | Costume Design
  • Oliver Wason | Scenic Design
  • Fabian Obispo | Sound Design
  • Yee Eun Nam | Projection Design
  • Alyssa K. Howard | Production Stage Manager
  • Skyler Glaser | Assistant Costume Design
  • Rebecca Satzberg | Assistant Sound Design
  • Steven Johnson | Assistant Lighting Design
  • Elizabeth Barrett | Assistant Projection Design
  • Clinton Sherwood | Assistant Director
  • Kai Liebenstein | Assistant Stage Manager
  • Intuitive Production Management | Production Management
  • Betsy Foresman | COVID-19 Compliance Officer

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