Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Vicky Shen’s “Adultolescence” screens at the Ray Stark Family Theatre at USC School of Cinematic Arts on June 6

USC film school graduate, Vicky Shen, humbles the “Tiger Mom” controversy with her new film Adultolescence, which she wrote, produced, co-directed with Zoe Bui and starred in. Check out Adultolescence, which recently played at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, at the free screening on Monday, June 6 at the Ray Stark Family Theatre at USC School of Cinematic Arts, The screening will be followed by a Q&A.

Adultolescence tells the story of Lea May (Vicky Shen), a Chinese-American artist suffering from post-college career ennui, who returns home to live with her parents (Jeanne Sakata as Mrs. May and Michael Yama as Mr. May) after having been disowned by her strict, immigrant mother.

Clementine Ngo Anh portrays the ten year old Lea May in Adultolescence

Clementine Ngo Anh portrays the ten year old Lea May in Adultolescence


Ms. Shen used the story of stagnation for one twenty-something to reveal larger themes of the economics of emotions for post-grads, boomeranged back home after college. The film also blends the dual identity of American-born children of immigrant parents.

“This film’s greatest asset is demystifying the TIGER MOM debate by revealing that there is no unifying rulebook when it comes to Asian parenting and garnering an interesting portrayal of an Asian mother by humanizing the individual, rather than making her a stereotype,” said Ms. Shen.

Vicky Shen

Vicky Shen

Vicky Shen received a B.A. in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her advanced student film, The Killing Seasons, which she wrote, directed and acted in, garnered awards at several film festivals, including the Tampere International Short Film Festival, and was a finalist at the DGA Student Awards. Her screenplay Untitled Hours Project was a semi-finalist at the Sundance Institute and Steven Spielberg’s Chesterfield Writer’s Project. She is also an honoree of the mentorship program, Project:Involve at Film Independent ( home of the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival), where Adultolescence was mentored by Kayo Hatta (Picture Bride/Winner of Sundance Audience Award) and Lee Zlotoff (Spitfire Grill/Winner of Sundance Audience Award; Creator of “MacGyver”).
Jeanne Sakata

Jeanne Sakata

Jeanne Sakata, an actor and playwright residing in Los Angeles, most recently performed as Natsuko in Velina Hasu Houston’s CALLIGRAPHY with Playwrights’ Arena/LATC, and as Po Mama in East West Players’ production of Kenneth Lin’s Po Boy Tango, a role she originally created under Chay Yew’s direction at Chicago’s Northlight Theatre. An LA Ovation Award Winner for Best Lead Actress for her portrayal of Master Hua in Chay Yew’s RED at East West Players, Jeanne also starred as Maria Callas in EWP’s Master Class. She has performed with The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, American Conservatory Theater, Intiman Theatre, Berkeley Rep, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage and Arizona Theatre Company. A member of LA’s renowned classical theatre group The Antaeus Company, she is a veteran of over 30 Los Angeles stage productions with such companies as the East West Players, the Theatre @ Boston Court, Playwrights’ Arena, L.A. Theatre Works, the Odyssey Theatre, Cornerstone Theatre, and many others. Screen credits include guest starring and recurring roles on TYLER PERRY’S “Meet the Browns”, “Desperate Housewives”, “ER,” Threat Matrix,” “Line of Fire,” “Presidio Med,” “American Family,” “NUMB3RS,” John Ridley’s “I Got You,” the movies of the week The Reading Room, Hiroshima, Consensual Relations, and the feature films XXX2: State of the Union and American Fusion.

In recent years, Jeanne made her playwriting debut with her solo show Hold These Truths (formerly Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi), based on the true story of college student Gordon Hirabayashi, who, during WWII, defied and legally challenged government orders to mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast without trial or hearing. Check out the Hold These Truths website www.dawnslight.info

Adultolescence Screening Information
RSVP by clicking the following link http://cinema.usc.edu/Adultolescence

Monday, June 6, 2011
7p.m.
THE RAY STARK FAMILY THEATRE
SCA 108, George Lucas Building
USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex
900 W. 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007

The Adultolescence official website

Other articles by Lia Chang
Photos:Alexander McQueen:Savage Beauty Extends at Met through 8/7, Met Mondays w/ McQueen begin 6/6
Photos: Willie Reale, Frances McDormand, Lewis Black, Bela Fleck, Renee Goldsberry, Duncan Sheik, Lisa Benavides, Abigail Washburn, Tim Blake Nelson at The 52nd Street Project Benefit
Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show
Artwork by Asia Flores on display in Mercy High School Annual Art & Soul Art Exhibition in SF
Photos of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop
Photos: Samrat Chakrabarti, Soham Mehta and Shiva Shankar Bajpai at the New York Indian Film Festival
André De Shields stars in Chicago Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Victory Gardens 5/14-6/12
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
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
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

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. 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.

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