The Unbleached American is a play based on the life of Ernest Hogan, an African-American who made a small fortune in the 1900s writing the first “coon song”.
Michael Aman wrote the book and lyrics for Becoming Tennessee (Richard Rodgers Award finalist 2009). He co-wrote the book for the musical The Piper (with Grammy winning composer Marcus Hummon) – Actors Bridge, Nashville, 2010. He wrote the book and co-write the lyrics for Secrets of Songwriting (O’Neill Cabaret and Performance Conference 2009). He co-wrote the book and lyrics for The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde (2005 NYMF). He also co-wrote the book for Let Me Sing! A Musical Evolution (George Street Playhouse; Charlotte Repertory Theatre). Michael currently teaches theatre and film at John Jay College and advanced screenwriting at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has a Ph.D. in Theatre.
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Founded in 1985, The Working Theater’s mission is to produce plays for and about working people. “We believe that theater should not be a privilege or a luxury, but a staple,” says Mark Plesent. “We want working people who may not be able to afford commercial theater or who feel that it does not resonate with their lives and experience, to make play-going a regular part of their cultural activities.” Over the years, the company has commissioned and produced more than 70 world premieres of culturally diverse new plays; garnered widespread recognition and critical acclaim for writing, acting, directing as well as their pioneering efforts in audience development.
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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 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.