Sept. 5-8: Puppets, Projections and Politics Collide in Rehana Lew Mirza’s LONELY LEELA at Here

Posted by Lia Chang

Desipina & Co. – a fusion arts company focusing in film and theatre, dedicated to promoting cross-pollinations of artistic, political and cultural dialogues – in conjunction with Ma-Yi Writers Lab, will present a workshop of LONELY LEELA, a new play by Rehana Lew Mirza (TCG Future Leader Fellow, Lark/IAAC Playwright in Residence). The play is an “Alice in Wonderland” inspired multi-media, puppet adventure where malicious codes and white knight bloggers meet in a shifting world of everything’s at your fingertips but you can’t quite find what you’re looking for.

Performances for LONELY LEELA are Wednesday, September 5 to Saturday, September 8 at 7:00pm, at HERE (145 6th Avenue, enter on Dominick, 1 block south of Spring Street) in New York.

Directed by Robert Ross Parker (co-Artistic Director of the Obie Award-winning Vampire Cowboys), LONELY LEELA features a cast that includes: Quinlan Corbett (YOUR BOYFRIEND MAY BE IMAGINARY), Andrew Guilarte (INVASION), Anna Kull (MILK), Maria-Christina Oliveras (BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON), Matt Park (WE IN SILENCE HEAR A WHISPER), Lipica Shah (DOV & ALI), and David Shih (CRANE STORY).

LONELY LEELA is produced by Ying Le for Desipina & Co. and has a design team that includes Jason Simms (set), Jake Witlen (video and lighting), Spica Wobbe (puppets), Ien DeNio (sound and music), Dax Valdes (choreographer), Jenny Fisher (costumes) and stage management by John Nehlich.

This production is a part of the Sublet Series@HERE, HERE’s curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support. LONELY LEELA is an Equity approved showcase.

Tickets are $15 general admission. For Tickets & Information at: here.orgor desipina.org or call 212-352-3101.

For more information on LONELY LEELA, please visit www.desipina.org. Follow the production on Twitter @Desipina.

Rehana Lew Mirza’s full-length plays include BARRIERS (HERE; Asian American Theater Company, SF); THE GOOD MUSLIM (Theater Row);RADIO DIARIES OF HANK, YANK, & PRANK; PARTICLES OF PAKISTAN (E.S.T. Sloan Commission); if it’s sad i don’t want to see it (O’Neill semi-Finalist) and LONELY LEELA. She was the 2010 IAAC playwright in residence at The Lark Development Center, a 2008-2010 TCG Future Leader fellow with New Georges, a Leopold Schepp scholar, a 2G Resident Artist, LMCC artist grantee, John Golden Award winner, Princess Grace finalist, and a Sundance Feature Film Lab finalist. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Desipina & Co.

Robert Ross Parker is the co-artistic director of the Obie winning Vampire Cowboys with Qui Nguyen. For Vampire Cowboys he has directedVampire Cowboy Trilogy, A Beginner’s Guide to Deicide, Living Dead in Denmark, Men of Steel, Fight Girl/Battle World, Soul Samurai, Alice in Slasherland, and The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G. For the VC Saturday Night Saloon series he wrote Jimmy Starshooter Must Get Laid, and Radio Monster Theatre: The Further Adventures of Henry and Victor. Other recent directing credits include Goodbye Cruel World (also adapter, Roundtable Ensemble) Hamlet{solo} (Edinburgh Fringe and Solo Nova at PS 122), and numerous projects for Ensemble Studio Theatre where he is a member. As an actor, Robert played the title role in The Flying Machine’s Frankenstein at Soho Rep, and on tour, and played the March Hare in their production of Alice in Wonderland. He is the former editor ofThe Dramatist, the Journal of the Dramatists Guild of America. MFA Ohio University.

Quinlan Corbett: Recent theatre credits include: American Jornalero(INTAR Theatre Co.), Larry Kunofsky’s Your Boyfriend May Be Imaginary(Theatre Under St Marks!), The Civilian’s Let me Ascertain You: Occupy Wall St Cabaret at Joe’s Pub, The world premiere of Mac Wellman’s 3 2′s Or Afar (Dixon Place). Regional: A site specific play by Jason Grote at MASSMoCA (coming to NYC later this September!), The Little Dog Laughedand The Plays The Thing both at Intiman Theater, Othello and Twelfth Night at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. Film: Kill Your Darlings(opposite Dane Dehaan and Jack Huston, upcoming), Frayed. Training: MFA, University of Washington. Quinlan is also a fervent classical guitarist.

Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte was last seen in the world premiere of a new musical THE CONSEQUENCES at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Cape Cod. Off-Broadway: The Play Company’s Obie award winning play INVASION (SoHo Rep/The Flea), Marat, Sade (Classical Theater of Harlem), The Winters Tale with David Strathairn (Classic Stage Company). Other NYC credits: Another Life (Irondale Theater), Jackson Heights 3am(Theater 167/Queens Theater in the Park), starred in the original musicalBakwas Bumbug at The Wild Project, Pulitzer finalist, Rajiv Joseph’s THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX (New York Innovative Theater Awards nom. for outstanding ensemble), Pulitzer finalist, Rollin Jones’ world premiere ofThe Jammer (NY Fringe Fest), KINGDOM OF LOST SONGS (Lincoln Center Directors Lab/HERE) among others. TV: “Turks” (CBS Pilot), “Early Editio” (CBS), “THE WORKPLACE” (PBS), “NURSE JACKIE” (SHOWTIME PILOT), “LAW AND ORDER:SVU” (NBC). Education: BFA, Acting, DePaul Theater School. MFA, Acting, Yale.

Anna Kull: Recent shows include The Germ Project and Milk (New Georges); Dream Acts (Dream Act Union); User 927 (Reverie Productions); BRINK! and Roanoke (Humana Festival/Actors Theatre of Louisville). Anna has workshopped new plays with Abingdon, EST, Lark, Ma-Yi, New Georges, Orchard Project, terraNOVA Collective and Working Theater. Anna was in the Apprentice Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville and is on staff at Lark Play Development Center. BA from Vassar College.

Maria-Christina Oliveras Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Broadway: Here Lies Love (Public, Spring 2013), Reading Under the Influence (DR2), BBAJ (Public), Night Sky (BPAC), The Really Big Once(Target Margin). Selected Regional: Williamstown, Huntington, Baltimore Centerstage, Denver Center, Westport Country Playhouse, Hangar, Colorado Shakes. Countless new works with the Lark, 2g, New Georges, P73, Working Theater, Atlantic, New Dramatists, NYTW, EST, NYSF/Public, Primary Stages, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights’ Realm, Partial Comfort (of which she is a member), among others. Film: ICECLUTTER,VAMPERIFICA. TV: “NYC 22,” “Damages,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Law & Order: SVU”. B.A.-Yale University; MFA-NTC/Denver Center.


Matt Park has been seen on-stage at The Present Company, LaMAMA Playwriting Lab, Chashama, the Ohio Theatre, The Public Theatre, Joe’s Pub, The People’s Improv Theatre, UCB, and Arlene’s Grocery in NYC. Matt has a BFA in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and studied improv and sketch writing at the Magnet Theater. He wrote the music for Radio Deluxembourg, which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Lipica Shah: Currently based in New York, she thrives on collaborative work in all facets of the industry. Recent theatrical credits include the premieres of Veil’d: A Fairytale, Bakwas Bumbug, Dov and Ali, and 167 Tongues; Film: Let’s Be Out, The Sun Is Shining (Best Actress Nomination, 2012 NY Indian Film Festival), ArbitrageFirst KissShark Suit: The Musical; Television: “White Collar,” “Onion Sportsdome,” “Pokémon”. BFA: NYU-Tisch School of the Arts.www.LipicaShah.com.

LONELY LEELA and Desipina & Co. programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Asian Women’s Giving Circle, the Nancy Quinn Fund (a project of ART/NY), Off Broadway Angels, and Dramatists Guild Fund.

Founded in 2004 by Sung Rno in connection with the TCG/NEA residency program, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab is the largest resident company of Asian American playwrights ever assembled. Currently led by Co-Directors Michael Lew and Rehana Mirza, the Lab is a professional peer-based workshop in permanent residence with the OBIE Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company, designed to nurture and showcase Asian American playwrights in New York City.

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Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.