Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Playwright Edgar Mendoza awarded Kennedy Center’s inaugural Paul Stephen Lim Asian-American Playwriting Award for his play Blue Note Run

Edgar Mendoza, playwright

Edgar Mendoza, playwright

In April, playwright Edgar Mendoza, a 2009-2010 Dramatist Guild Fellow, received the Kennedy Center’s inaugural Paul Stephen Lim Asian-American Playwriting Award for his play Blue Note Run.

Supported by the University of Kansas Endowment Association, this award is given to the outstanding full-length or one-act play on any subject written by an Asian-American student, in honor of Paul Stephen Lim’s outstanding career as a teacher, playwright and passionate advocate for new voices in the American Theatre. Mendoza received a cash award of $2,500, membership in the Dramatists Guild of America, and a Lark Play Development Center residency at New York Stage & Film this summer. In addition, Blue Note Run was a semi-finalist for the 2010 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

Mendoza’s other plays, Old Man Nature, Dead Love Triangle, Amnestia, Like, Tito Roy, Lion Plaza and All The Earth, have received staged readings and workshop productions in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and San Jose.

Mendoza graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, with an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing, where he was a two-time recipient of the Shubert Foundation Fellowship. His screenplay, The Unifying Theory, was awarded the $10,000 prize in the 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Competition, and he also won the opportunity to attend the American Film Institute-Sloan Film Summit in Hollywood.

Prior to graduate school, he received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Edgar served as a constituent representative for United States Senator Barbara Boxer, and as district representative for California State

About the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
Developed by Roger L. Stevens, Kennedy Center Founding Chairman, the KCACTF is dedicated to encouraging, recognizing, and celebrating the finest and most diverse work produced in college and university theater programs. The eight regional festivals and the national festival provide an opportunity for college and university theater departments to present their work, especially new or student-written work, and to receive outside assessment. Since its establishment in 1969, the KCACTF has reached more than 18 million theatergoers, students, and teachers nationwide. For more than 35 years, the Kennedy Center has provided quality arts educational experiences through performances, residencies, workshops, conferences, career development programs, symposia, and on-line and print resources. For more information about the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, please visit

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Lia Chang  Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

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

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.

Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER 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, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, 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 She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
A night out with Gordana Rashovich, Flora Goforth in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
André De Shields Set for World Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Indiana Rep, 3/22-4/10
Photos: De Shields, McClendon, Elisa, Glasco, Nemser, Phillips, Thompson at The Sovereign State of Boogedy Boogedy Reading
Photos of Lion Dancers in Los Angeles Chinatown
Photos: A.B. Cruz III and Lillian Kimura Receive 2011 AALDEF Justice in Action Awards
Photos of Lion Dancers in Los Angeles Chinatown
Photos: Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington in San Marino
Photos:The Working Theater’s Off-Broadway production of HONEY BROWN EYES by Stefanie Zadravec at The Clurman
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet,Tracee Chimo opening night of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon
Multimedia: Exclusive photos and video of Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas -In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Photo Call: BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.


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