Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: Larry Bryggman, Denise Burse, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tim Hopper, Arliss Howard, Kobi Libii, Mary McCann, Neil Pepe, David Pittu, Steve Rosen, Sheila Tapia, Debra Winger at Atlantic Theatre’s Opening Night of Gabe McKinley’s CQ/CX

Denise Burse and her husband Peter Jay Fernandez. Photo by Lia Chang

Denise Burse and her husband Peter Jay Fernandez. Photo by Lia Chang

At the Peter Norton Space in New York on Wednesday, February 15, the Atlantic Theater Company presented the world premiere of Gabe McKinley’s play CQ/CX directed by David Leveaux. CQ/CX which features David Pittu as Junior, Larry Bryggman as Frank King, Peter Jay Fernandez as Gerald Haynes,Kobi Libii as Jay Bennett, Tim Hopper as Ben, Arliss Howard as Hal Martin, Steve Rosen as Jacob Sherman and Sheila Tapia as Monica Soria, has been extended through March 11, 2012.
Larry Bryggman, Peter Jay Fernandez and David Pittu. Photo by Lia Chang

Larry Bryggman, Peter Jay Fernandez and David Pittu. Photo by Lia Chang

After the show, I headed to the West Bank Café for the opening night party with Denise Burse, and reconnected with Neil Pepe, the artistic director of the Atlantic Theater Company and David Pittu. In the 90’s, Pepe, Pittu and I worked together at Naked Angels in Jeff Weiss’ wild and wacky late night theater soap opera Hot Keys.
Below is my photo coverage of the night.
Atlantic Theater Company Managing Director Jeffory Lawson, actress Mary McCann and Artistic Director Neil Pepe. Photo by Lia Chang

Atlantic Theater Company Managing Director Jeffory Lawson, actress Mary McCann and Artistic Director Neil Pepe. Photo by Lia Chang

CQ/CX playwright Gabe McKinley. Photo by Lia Chang

CQ/CX playwright Gabe McKinley. Photo by Lia Chang

Inspired by the Jason Blair Scandal, Gabe McKinley’s provocative new play CQ/CX, follows the story of Jay, an up and coming black reporter at The New York Times who finds his dreams of becoming a famous journalist come crashing down as he becomes the center of a plagiarism scandal. Drawing on his own experience as a newsman, McKinley weaves a revealing and complex story about the collateral damage of unchecked ambition and compounded lies. CQ/CX raises difficult questions about the state of our media culture, and the meaning and price of journalistic integrity.

Gabe McKinley makes his Atlantic debut with the world premiere of CQ/CX. His critically acclaimed play Extinction was produced Off-Broadway last season, and his other plays include The Kitchen Sink Play, Welcome Home Rock Rogers, Funny and Floodplains. He is the recipient of the 2011 Samuel French/New School for Drama Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and his play The Grave was the winner of the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival.

CQ/CX director David Leveaux. Photo by Lia Chang

CQ/CX director David Leveaux. Photo by Lia Chang


Five-time Tony Award® nominated director David Leveaux returns to Atlantic following staging the U.S. premiere of Through A Glass Darkly at Atlantic last season and the recent acclaimed revival of Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia on Broadway. He received Tony Award® nominations for the Tony Award® winning revival of The Real Thing, the Tony Award® nominated revival of Jumpers and the Broadway productions of Nine, Anna Christie and A Moon for the Misbegotten. He recently staged Backbeat, the story of the Beatles, in Hamburg and the West End.
Peter Jay Fernandez. Photo by Lia Chang

Peter Jay Fernandez. Photo by Lia Chang

Atlantic company member Larry Bryggman recently starred in Atlantic’s critically acclaimed production of Harold Pinter’s The Collection & A Kind of Alaska. A two-time Tony Award® nominee (Proof, Picnic), he also starred on Broadway in Twelve Angry Men and Festen.

Peter Jay Fernandez has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano De Bergerac, Julius Caesar and Henry IV and Off Broadway in Macbeth last season.

Tim Hopper returns to Atlantic where he was last seen in Ethan Coen’s Almost an Evening. He received an Obie Award for his performance in More Stately Mansions Off Broadway and appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter.

Arliss Howard and his wife actress Debra Winger. Photo by Lia Chang

Arliss Howard and his wife actress Debra Winger. Photo by Lia Chang

Stage and screen star Arliss Howard’s feature film credits include Moneyball, The Time Traveler’s Wife and Full Metal Jacket. He appeared on Broadway in the revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Off Broadway in A Number and The Late Henry Moss.

Kobi Libii has appeared Off Broadway in Perfect Harmony and Ohio State Murders and in the Fringe First award-winning European premiere of Rolin Jones’ The Jammer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Atlantic company member David Pittu received Tony Award® nominations for both his recent starring roles in Love Musik and Is He Dead? on Broadway. He returns to Atlantic where he was last seen in the critically acclaimed comedy What’s That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling.

Kobi Libii and Peter Jay Fernandez. Photo by Lia Chang

Kobi Libii and Peter Jay Fernandez. Photo by Lia Chang


Steve Rosen recently starred in the hit musical Peter and the Starcatcher Off Broadway and has appeared in the original Broadway casts of The Farnsworth Invention and Spamalot and the revival of Guys and Dolls.
Steve Rosen, Sheila Tapia and Tim Hopper. Photo by Lia Chang

Steve Rosen, Sheila Tapia and Tim Hopper. Photo by Lia Chang


Sheila Tapia’s Off Broadway credits include ReEntry and Elliot, A Soldiers Fugue and has appeared in the television series “Rubicon” and “Law & Order.”

The design team for CQ/CX features scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Ben Stanton, original music and sound design by David Van Tieghem and projection design by Peter Nigrini and C. Andrew Bauer.

All tickets are $65 and available by calling (212) 279-4200 or visiting www.ticketcentral.com, or at the Atlantic Stage 2 box office at 330 West 16th Street.

Peter Jay Fernandez, David Leveaux and Arliss Howard. Photo by Lia Chang

Peter Jay Fernandez, David Leveaux and Arliss Howard. Photo by Lia Chang


ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is the award-winning Off-Broadway theater that produces great plays simply and truthfully by utilizing an artistic ensemble. Atlantic believes that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process. The plays in the Atlantic repertory, from both new and established playwrights, are boldly interpreted by today’s finest theater artists and resonate with contemporary audiences. Since its inception over 23 years ago, Atlantic has produced more than 125 plays, including: Tony Award winning productions of Spring Awakening (Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik) and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Martin McDonagh); world premieres of Almost an Evening and Offices (Academy Award winner Ethan Coen); The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Martin McDonagh); Romance (David Mamet); Through A Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, adapted by Jenny Worton); Bluebird (Simon Stephens); Blue/Orange (Joe Penhall); Port Authority and Dublin Carol (Conor McPherson); Writer’s Block (Woody Allen); revival of Hobson’s Choice (Harold Brighouse); revivals of American Buffalo and Edmond (David Mamet); Dangerous Corner (J.B. Priestley, adapted and directed by David Mamet); Trumpery and The Cider House Rules (adapted by Peter Parnell); Celebration & The Room, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska and The Hothouse (Harold Pinter); Gabriel (Moira Buffini); Oohrah! (Bekah Brunstetter); Mojo and Parlour Song (Jez Butterworth); New York premieres of Boys’ Life and The Lights (Howard Korder) at Lincoln Center Theater; Distant Fires (Kevin Heelan); The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite and Shaker Heights (Quincy Long); Minutes From The Blue Route (Tom Donaghy); Trafficking in Broken Hearts (Edwin Sánchez); Missing Persons (Craig Lucas). During its history, Atlantic has garnered twelve Tony Awards, nine Lucille Lortel Awards, fourteen Obie Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, and four Drama League Awards. Atlantic also operates The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, which has an undergraduate program in conjunction with NYU, as well as a two-year professional acting program and a six-week intensive workshop every summer. Atlantic for Kids and the Educational Outreach Program partners with schools and teachers throughout the greater metropolitan area coordinating in-school visits of teaching artists and post-theater talkbacks. For more information, visit www.atlantictheater.org.

Related Articles:
Larry Bryggman, Peter Jay Fernandez, Arliss Howard and David Pittu Set for Atlantic Theater Company’s CQ/CX, January 25-March 4, 2012
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Denise Burse, Michael Early, Phillip James Brannon, Malesha Jessie & Ellen Mandel featured in HAPPY BIRTHDAY LANGSTON HUGHES at Cornelia Street Café
Peter Jay Fernandez in Theatre for a New Audience’s Macbeth at The Duke
Denise Burse & Peter Jay Fernandez Featured in INTAR Reading of Andrew Dolan’s The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King
Multimedia: The 52nd Street Project Benefit Photos: Michael Cerveris, James Monroe Inglehart, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Matthew Morrison, Greg Naughton and Kelli O’Hara
Michael Cerveris, Matthew Morrison & Kelli O’Hara sing for 52nd Street Project’s Benefit
Multimedia: Zooman and The Sign Opening Night Party
Peter Jay Fernandez and Laura Heisler Star in Too Much Memory

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Linsanity: Sports Illustrated Cover Guy New York Knicks Starting Point Guard Jeremy Lin
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Photos: Fall Foliage at Devil’s Lake State Park
Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, starring Colman Domingo & Scott Shepherd in The Alice Griffith Jewel Box at The Pershing Square Signature Center through March 11, 2012
Celebrate Chinese New Year w/ David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish
Photos: David Henry Hwang, John C. Whitehead, Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Asia Society Awards Dinner in New York
Photos: “How To Succeed” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rose Hemingway and John Larroquette at Lord & Taylor for Windows Unveiling
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet, Tracee Chimo at Opening Night Party of Neil LaBute’s Break of Noon
Photos and Video: Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas- In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Slideshow – On October 16, 2005, The Virginia Theatre was renamed the August Wilson Theatre
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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Lia Chang and Neil Pepe

Lia Chang and Neil Pepe


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. In 2010, the Library of Congress established The Lia Chang APA Theater Portfolio in the Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian Pacific American Islander Collection.


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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 lia@liachangphotography.com.

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