Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: “THE RIVER CROSSES RIVERS: Short Plays by Women of Color,” reopens at Castillo Theatre, October 8- November 1

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Miss Ruby Dee, actress and playwright and Elizabeth Van Dyke, producing artistic director and co-founder of Going to the River © Lia Chang

Miss Ruby Dee, actress and playwright with Elizabeth Van Dyke, producing artistic director and co-founder of Going to the River © Lia Chang

Hot off the success of the September 2009 Going To The River run at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Woodie King Jr.’s NEW FEDERAL THEATRE in association with Castillo Theatre, is proud to announce the continuation of the highly praised hit THE RIVER CROSSES RIVERS, which re-opens October 8th and runs through November 1st at the Castillo Theatre, 543 W. 42nd St. (between 10th & 11th Ave) in New York. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7PM and Sunday at 3PM; Saturday Matinees at 2pm on October 24 and October 31; (No performances on October 15th & October 23rd.)

New Federal Theatre producer Woodie King, Jr. © Lia Chang

New Federal Theatre producer Woodie King, Jr. © Lia Chang

The festival highlights short one-act plays by women of color featuring: THE KITCHEN (or 9 1/2 minutes of sub-continental absurdity), by Naveen Bahar Choudhury, directed by Jamie Richards; THE STEP-MOTHER by Ruby Dee, directed by Chuck Patterson; BANANA BEER BATH by Lynn Nottage, directed by Talvin Wilks; RALLY by Bridgette Wimberly, directed by Clinton Turner Davis; HOT METHUSELAH by J.e Franklin, directed by Imani; JESSE by P.J. Gibson, directed by Lydia Fort, and HIS DADDY by Cori Thomas, directed by Stephen Fried.

Mary Hodges and Carmen Delavallade in Ruby Dee’s “The Step Mother”© Gerry Goodstein

Mary Hodges and Carmen Delavallade in Ruby Dee’s “The Step Mother” © Gerry Goodstein

The cast includes: Christopher Burris*, Vinie Burrows*, Carmen Delavallade*, Venida Evans*, Elain Graham*, Andrew Guilarte, Mary Hodges*, Sakina Jaffrey*, Seril James, Yasmin Kazi, Norman Matlock*, John Matthew Montelongo*, John Rankin, David Lindsay Smiling*, Maya Lynne Robinson*, Erin Weems*.

With lighting design by Shirley Prendergast, costume design by June Terry and sound design by Bill Toles.

General Admission is $25. For Tickets go online at or call 866-811-4111. For more information call New Federal Theatre at 212-353-1176 or go online at

THE RIVER CROSSES RIVERS was originally produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre, William Carden (Artistic Director) and Paul Alexander Slee (Executive Director), GOING TO THE RIVER Elizabeth Van Dyke, co-founder and Producing Artistic Director and Jamie Richards, Executive Director.

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Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and a multimedia journalist. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for 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. She is currently working on several botanical portrait commissions for the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation Art Collection and on a book of portraits of her favorite Asian American men in the arts and space.

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