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  • David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad at Signature Theatre

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Playwrights Edward Albee and David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

    New York City

    The Dance and the Railroad is extended through March 24, 2013.

    Click on the title link above to go to the full story.

    Tony award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) celebrated Signature Theatre’s revival of The Dance and The Railroad starring Ruy Iskandar as Ma and Yuekun Wu as Lone, and directed by May Adrales, which opened February 25, 2013.

    Renowned playwright and multiple Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") was among Hwang's honored guests to attend the opening night performance. The play is at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street in New York. 

    Ruy Iskandar, David Henry Hwang and Yuekun Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

    The Dance and The Railroad premiered as part of a commission by the New Federal Theatre in 1981, and had its professional debut on July 16, 1981 Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. It was directed by John Lone, with Lone and Tzi Ma in the cast. The Dance and The Railroad is set on a California mountaintop in 1867 near the Transcontinental Railroad where two Chinese workers struggle through poverty and hunger to reconnect with the traditions of their homeland. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for a 1982 Drama Desk Award. The Dance and The Railroad follows the twice-extended Golden Childas the second production in the Residency One: David Henry Hwang Series.

    Ruy Iskandar, David Henry Hwang and Yuekun Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

    The design team includes Mimi Lien (Scenic Design), Jennifer Moeller (Costume Design), Jiyoun Chang (Lighting Design), Broken Chord Collective (Sound Design), Huang Ruo (Music), Qian Yi (Chinese Opera Consultant), Leah Loukas (Wig Design) and Grace Zandarski (Vocal Coach). Casting by TELSEY + COMPANY, William Cantler CSA. Cole P. Bonenberger is Production Stage Manager.

    May Adrales and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia...

  • Mar. 21: Dian Kobayashi, Emily Kuroda, Sharon Omi, and Jeanne Sakata in A Cage of Fireflies Reading at Tateuchi Democracy Forum

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Los Angeles

    East West Players, in association with the Japanese American National Museum, presents a Writers Gallery reading of A Cage of Fireflies by Daniel Akiyama. A Cage of Fireflies is his first full-length play which was developed at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab.

    The reading of A Cage of Fireflies stars Dian Kobayashi, Emily Kuroda, Sharon Omi, and Jeanne Sakata, on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM, at Tateuchi Democracy Forum, National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 North Central Avenue in L.A.

    Phyllis S. K. Look directs, with assistant director/stage manager David Johann Kim. Admission is free. Click here to RSVP. Click here or the blue headline above to the full story.A Cage of Fireflies tells the story of three elderly sisters of the kibei generation: sent as children to be raised in Okinawa, then returned to live and work in Hawai‘i. Two of the sisters confine themselves to their Honolulu apartment where they enact the rituals of daily life and dream of one day returning to Okinawa. The third, charged with running their family’s orchid nursery, embraces the modern world and disrupts her family’s fragile traditions. As long-hidden hopes, resentments and regrets surface, the sisters must confront the nature of their love for each other. A Cage of Fireflies, which recently premiered at Kumu Kahua Theatre in Honolulu to critical acclaim and a sold-out, extended run (1/24/13-3/3/13), explores the tug-of-war between progress and preservation, the selfish and the selfless.

    Tateuchi Democracy Forum, National Center for the Preservation of Democracy111 North Central AvenueLos Angeles CA 90012Admission is FREE!Click here to RSVP.

    Daniel Akiyama

    ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:Daniel Akiyama was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. A Cage of Fireflies, his first full-length play, was developed at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and was a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National...

  • Memories of Sweet Caroline, and of Oakland's Chinatown by Ben Fong-Torres

    Posted by Admin

    Berkeley, California 

    Memories of Sweet Caroline,

    and of Oakland’s Chinatown 

    by Ben Fong-Torres

     

    Caroline Chin was a neighbor and classmate of mine when we grew up in Chinatown, Oakland, in the ‘50s. We went to Lincoln Elementary, Westlake Jr High, and Chinese school together.

    She went on to become a teacher, an administrator and, finally, principal at (full circle) Lincoln School, in the early 2000’s, just before retiring. Under her leadership, it became a California Distinguished School, and would go on to become a National Blue Ribbon School. At her various stops, she encouraged kids and teachers alike to "work hard; learn a lot."

    A large, overflow crowd--maybe 750 or 800--learned a lot about Caroline Chin Yee, who passed away last month, at her services at the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley.

    Caroline had what appeared to have been a full and perfectly balanced life. She and her husband since 1968, Gary Yee, were devoted to their church – and to traveling the world. She even combined globetrotting with teaching, once in Zhongshan; another time, in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She had wonderful siblings, two children, grandkids and in-laws. One niece, Terri Lee, introduced herself as “the oldest of her nieces. So I’m guessing I was her favorite.” 

    She and others, family and friends, told of Caroline’s dedication to them, and to children in general, and to the wider community.

    Caroline passed away on February 21; her memorial was on March 16. The family took time to plan a service, and a reception, that would chronicle her marvelous life, her achievements and the people she touched. Even with the passage of time, there was a palpable sense of shock from this loss.

    I had seen Caroline here and there in recent years. Just last October, she attended an informal  Westlake Jr. High reunion in Oakland’s Chinatown and consented to say a few words to a filmmaker (AsianConnections founder Suzanne Joe Kai) for her documentary about me,...

  • Mar. 8-24: Kurt Kwan, Sara Ochs, Eric Sharp and More Set for Mu Performing Arts production of R.A. Shiomi’s Yellow Fever in Guthrie’s Dowling Studio

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Minneapolis, MN

    Mu Performing Arts production of Yellow Fever, written by R.A. Shiomi, will be performed in Guthrie’s Dowling Studio from March 8-24, 2013 and directed by Rick Shiomi. The play is a groundbreaking noir comedy in the Asian American theatrical canon told through the eyes of Sam Shikaze, a nisei (second generation Japanese) Canadian detective that explores themes of political deception and cultural assimilation.

    Sara Ochs and Kurt Kwan in R.A. Shiomi’s Yellow Fever

    Yellow Fever premiered in San Francisco in 1982 and was produced Off-Broadway to critical acclaim by Pan Asian Repertory Theater later that same year. The New York Times‘ Mel Gussow called the show, “…so captivating that it makes one eager for further adventures of the inimitable Sam Shikaze,” and named it a “New York Times Critic’s Pick.” Edith Oliver of The New Yorker observed, “Yellow Fever is a funny mystery-a real mystery that is, that parodies private eye movies and also tucks in quite a lot of social comment without ever breaking its own comic mood.”

    Yellow Fever features Mu favorites including Kurt Kwan (Sam Shikaze), Sara Ochs (Nancy Wing), and Eric Sharp (Captain Kadota). Guthrie audiences may remember Kwan from his starring roles in Mu’s Dowling Studio productions ofCowboy Vs. Samurai and Yellow Face as well as recent appearances with Ten Thousand Things Theater. Ochs and Sharp were both featured in Mu’s recent smash hit Into the Woods. Ochs was seen in Company at Theater Latté Da this fall and Sharp performed in Frank Theatre’s The Way of Water.

    The cast also features Wade Vaughn (Jameson), Jeannie Lander (Rosie), Alex Galick (Chuck Chan) and Brandon Ewald (Mackenzie). Vaughn and Walking Shadow Theatre Company were recognized with a 2012 Ivey Award for their production of Compleat Female Stage Beauty.

    Set in Vancouver’s Little Tokyo, Yellow Fever follows 1970s detective Sam Shikaze as he attempts to solve the disappearance of the...

  • SF State University celebrates its new President Leslie E. Wong

    Posted by Admin

    New President Leslie E. Wong SF State University Photo: CA State University

     

     San Francisco

    A week-long celebration begins March 9 to 15, 2013 to commemorate the investiture of San Francisco State University's 13th President, Leslie E. Wong.

    The formal investiture of President Wong will take place Thursday March 14, at 2pm in McKenna Theatre on campus.

    A celebration dinner honoring President Wong's investiture, and the induction of alumni into the SF State Alumni Hall of Fame will take place on Friday March 15 at the historic Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco.

    The celebration dinner will be emceed by author and former senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine Ben Fong-Torres, also a San Francisco State Hall of Famer.

    After a nationwide search, the California State University Board of Trustees named Dr. Leslie E. Wong, as president of San Francisco State University last May, 2012. Dr. Wong, was the head of Northern Michigan University since 2004. San Francisco State University has a campus of nearly 30,000 students.

    Dr. Wong is a native of Oakland, California. His mother is of Mexican descent from a family of farm workers. His father is Chinese American, and was an executive of the National Dollar Store.

    The full schedule of week-long events are listed at presidentialinvestiture.sfsu.edu

    http://presidentialinvestiture.sfsu.edu/content/leslie-e-wong-phd-13th-president-san-francisco-state-university

     

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