One of the hottest tickets this summer at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival was the world premiere of Too Much Memory, a first time collaboration between husband and wife – playwright Keith Reddin (Human Error/ Atlantic Stage 2, Black Snow /Yale Rep, Life and Limb/ Playwrights Horizons), and actress/director Meg Gibson (The Ride Down Mt. Morgan/Public Theater), directed by Ms. Gibson. The production played to sold-out houses and garnered the festival’s Overall Excellence Award for Outstanding Play.
Rising Phoenix Repertory and Piece by Piece Productions are remounting Too Much Memory, a retelling of the classic Greek story of Antigone set firmly in the present, featuring Peter Jay Fernandez as Creon and Laura Heisler as Antigone (Coram Boy, Stunning, Everything Will Be Different), for a limited run from December 2-22, at New York Theatre Workshop’s Fourth Street Theatre, 83 East 4th St. in New York. A project of New York Theatre Workshop’s Jonathan Larson Lab, Too Much Memory is a contemporary collage of mythology and modernity incorporating texts by Richard Nixon, Tom Hayden, Peter Brook, Anne Carson, Pablo Neruda, Susan Sontag, and Hannah Arendt. Opening night is Tuesday, December 9 at 8:30pm.
Mr. Fernandez recently appeared in the Cyrano de Bergerac revival starring Kevin Klein and Jennifer Garner at the Richard Rodgers. Other Broadway credits include Julius Caesar (Belasco), Henry IV at Lincoln Center, Jelly’s Last Jam at the Virginia and The Merchant of Venice at the Richard Rodgers. Off-Broadway, he has appeared in The Pain and the Itch at Playwrights Horizons, Widowers’ Houses at Epic Theatre Ensemble, Once Around the City at Second Stage, Phaedra in Delirium at Classic Stage Company, Thunder Knocking on the Door at Minetta Lane, The God Committee at the Lambs, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Henry VIII and Coriolanus at the Delacorte, Spell #7, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice at the Public, Split Second at Theatre Four. Regionally, he has worked at Arena Stage, Long Wharf, Old Globe, Alliance, Goodman, McCarter, Seattle Rep, Williamstown, Hartford Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse and Trinity Rep.
He may be also familiar to television audiences from his roles on “Hutch”, “Law & Order”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, “New York Undercover”, “Third Watch”, “Cosby”, “Superboy” and the BET/STARZ movie “Funny Valentines” with Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine. He has appeared in the films “The Prosecutors”, “The Egoists”, “Fall Short”, “In Till You Die”, and “On the One”.
Also featured in the cast are most of the rest of the original Fringe Festival cast including Aria Alpert (Four Women and a Waitress), MacLeod Andrews (Somewhere in the Pacific), Martin Moran (Spamalot, Cabaret, The Tricky Part), Seth Numrich (Iphigenia 2.0), Jamel Rodriguez, Ray Anthony Thomas (Kindness, Human Error, Half Nelson), and Wendy vanden Heuvel (Not I, Mud, Resurrection Blues).
Two political forums follow the 5pm performances on Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 21, with featured guests Amy Goodman (Democracy Now), Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation), Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, Michael Ratner (President, Center for Constitutional Rights), JoAnn Wypijewski (columnist – Mother Jones and The Nation), Jared Bernstein (Economic Policy Institute), as well as actress Kathleen Chalfant and noted theatre critic and editor Leonard Jacobs.
The design team includes sets by Ola Maslik; costumes by Clint Ramos; lighting by Joel Moritz; sound by Eric Shim and Brandon Epperson; video by Joe Tekippe and fight direction is by Joseph Travers.
Too Much Memory plays Mondays and Tuesdays at 8:30pm, Fridays at 9:30pm, Saturdays at 5:00pm and 9:30pm, and Sundays at 5pm through December 22 at New York Theatre Workshop’s Fourth Street Theatre, 83 East 4th St. (between Second Ave and Bowery). Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by phoning SmartTix at 212 868-4444 or by visiting http://www.smarttix.com. Tickets may only be purchased at the box office 30 minutes prior to the advertised performance time on the day of the performance. Tickets purchased at the box office may only be purchased with cash. For more information about Too Much Memory, visit www.risingphoenixrep.org.
As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.
Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.