Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: New Works by Ken Lin and Don Nguyen Featured at 14th Annual Ojai Playwrights Conference, August 12-13

Jeanne Sakata

Jeanne Sakata

Jeanne Sakata, Jodi Long, Trieu Tran, Samantha Quan and Joy Osmanski are featured in the 14th Annual Ojai Playwrights Conference workshop production of Don Nguyen’s RED FLAMBOYANT on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 9:00 PM, Zalk Theatre at Besant Hill, 8585 Ojai Santa Paula Rd., Ojai. Tickets are $25 and are available online at

Don Nguyen’s RED FLAMBOYANT tells the story of Mrs. Hue, who lives in present day Viet Nam with a small group of women, all suffering from a mysterious health condition. It affects their minds, their emotions and their dreams. When bricks smash the windows of her small house, the locals fear they will be infected by this mystery condition. Mrs. Hue is forced to seek help from a stubborn government official to protect and support her group. Unlikely heroes emerge both in this world and the next as these poor women reach new heights of courage.

Playwright Don Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam, grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and currently resides in New York City. Don served as the Artistic Director of the Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha from 1999-2003. Nguyen’s full-length plays include Red Flamboyant, Sound: A Sign Language Play, The Man from Saigon, and Three to Beam Up (The Shelterbelt Theatre, Nebraska Arts Grant recipient). His play The Harlequin Maneuvre was published in The Best of the Strawberry One-Act Festival and subsequently produced in New York and Canada. Don writes for The Living Newspaper and is a member of the New York Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, The Civilians R&D Group, and Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab.

On Saturday, August 13, check out the workshop of FALLOW by Ken Lin at 4:00 PM, Zalk Theatre at Besant Hill, 8585 Ojai Santa Paula Rd., Ojai. Tickets are $25 and are available online at

Ken Lin’s deeply moving drama FALLOW tells the story of Aaron Hayes, a well-heeled young American man who drops out of his Ivy-League education when matters of the heart become too overwhelming. He takes a job as a beekeeper which turns into a journey through the heartland of America as a migrant farm worker. His epic journey ends in the fields of California where he is mistaken as a Mexican laborer. Tracing a path of discovery, longing, hope, and grief, the play reveals both Aaron’s transformation as he travels from farm to farm and that of his mother as she journeys in a gypsy cab to find her son.

Kenneth Lin’s plays include Fallow, Intelligence-Slave, Po Boy Tango (TCG Edgerton New Play Prize), said Saïd (Kendeda Winner, L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Princess Grace Award), Warrior Class, Life On Paper, Agency and Genius in Love. They have been seen at theaters throughout the country, including the Alliance Theatre, Northlight Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Marin Theater Company and East West Players.

Tickets are available online at

THE OJAI PLAYWRIGHTS CONFERENCE is an annual event fully centered around playwrights and the development of their new plays. The OPC was founded on the belief that gathering a community of world-class theatre artists together in a place of extraordinary beauty and creative focus can lead to a collaborative process that enables these artists to qualitatively rework and refine their dramatic vision.

Every summer, theatre professionals and enthusiastic audiences from Southern California converge in the magical Ojai Valley to participate in the development of new plays for the American theatre. Under the direction of Artistic Director/Producer Robert Egan, carefully selected playwrights from diverse backgrounds join together for an intensive two-week, in residence workshop. This process culminates in OPC’s popular public performance series –known as the OPC Summer New Works Festival.

In addition to the presentation of new play workshops, prominent artists from the theatre community appear in engaging public performances for an exchange of ideas on a range of cultural and artistic subjects in the “Intersection Series.” The Ojai Playwrights Conference is also committed to nurturing the writing talents of Southern California youth. Through its Youth Workshop, junior high and high school students participate in a mentoring program with visiting theatre professionals and create their own dramatic works, which are performed during the Festival.

Other Articles by Lia Chang
H I R O S H I M A in Benefit Concert for Japan on 9/21 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in NYMu Performing Arts 2011-2012 20th Anniversary Season: Four Destinies, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Into the Woods, & Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert
Dr. Bobby Fong, BD Wong & Tammy Duckworth to Receive Awards at National OCA Convention in NY on 8/6
Photos: On the town with Rick Shiomi, Co-Editor of “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, in D.C. & NY
Ed Lin, Tina Chen, Ron Nakahara and Cindy Cheung Star in The Potential Wives of Norman Mao which screens during the 2011 AAIFF at Clearview Chelsea on August 12 & 13
2011 Asian American International Film Festival Kicks Off w/ John Sayles’ AMIGO on 8/10; AAIFF’11 Lineup, 8/10-14
David Henry Hwang to Receive 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award
Rick Shiomi Checks out Performing Arts Playwrights Series in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection of Library of Congress; Attends “Asian American Plays for a New Generation” Book Signing in NY on 7/29 Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug! on View Through August 2
David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish is Broadway Bound this Fall; Goodman Theatre Photo Feature Chinglish in Rehearsal
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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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. 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 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,, 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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