Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Suzen Murakoshi is a “Samurai Super Daughter” in her solo show BREATHE LOVE REPEAT

Lia Chang, Karen Tsen Lee, Suzen Murakoshi and Libby Bush at Yaffa on St. Marks Place in New York after a performance of Breathe Love Repeat. Photo by Jessica Minczeski

Lia Chang, Karen Tsen Lee, Suzen Murakoshi and Libby Bush at Yaffa on St. Marks Place in New York after a performance of Breathe Love Repeat. Photo by Jessica Minczeski

Last Friday, I headed to the East Village to see Suzen Murakoshi in her solo show Breathe Love Repeat: a near-life experience at Under St. Marks, which is part of the eclectic lineup of the 2012 Frigid New York Festival. For Ms. Murakoshi, the audience was a familiar and friendly one, including Baayork Lee (from her A Chorus Line days) and Larry Lee, executive director of the New York Asian Women’s Center; Libby Bush of Landslide Management; actresses Karen Lee and Geneva Carr (Hand to God); and “Playmaking” author Daniel Sklar.

Helmed by longtime collaborator Obie award-winning actress Ching Valdes-Aran, Breathe Love Repeat: a near-life experience, written by and starring Ms. Murakoshi, is an intimate tribute to her beloved mother focusing on the last days before her mother succumbed to cancer. The Hawaii native seamlessly transports us to the mountains of Japan as she snowboards during a trip with her mother in 2009; to her homebase of New York where she receives the news about the cancer; then to the islands of Hawaii, where she returns to take care of her mother. Ms. Murakoshi transforms into a “Samurai Super Daughter” as she struggles with her mother’s love at the crossroads between East and West. While attempting to affirm life between this world and the next,she stands her ground with the nurses at the hospice who insist upon administering morphine for her mother’s pain (she refuses), and takes her mother home, granting her wishes to take her last breath there. The show ends with a slideshow of priceless images of her mother and her family during her lifetime.

The remaining performance schedule for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) is Monday, February 27 at 7:30pm, Friday, March 2 at 10:30pm and Sunday, March 4 at 7pm. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students/seniors) and are available online at www.smarttix.com

Suzen Murakoshi

Suzen Murakoshi


Suzen Murakoshi is a veteran of Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theatres. Her favorite roles include “Juliet” in Romeo and Juliet at the Cleveland Playhouse and “Connie” in A Chorus Line on Broadway. Together with Obie award winner, Ching Valdes-Aran, Ms. Murakoshi has performed her own past work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she was short-listed for Best Actor for her role as “Helen” in Slippery When Wet (SWW). She has appeared in the films Bill Murray’s Quick Change, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street and Mario Van Peebles’ New Jack City.
Suzen Murakoshi and longtime collaborator Ching Valdes-Aran on the set of Slippery When Wet at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York, in 1994. Photo by Lia Chang

Suzen Murakoshi and longtime collaborator Ching Valdes-Aran on the set of Slippery When Wet at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York, in 1994. Photo by Lia Chang


Ms. Murakoshi received an MFA from the NYC New School of Drama in Playwriting and Acting. She also attended Oxford University, Balliol College, with the British American Drama Academy. Her work has been produced at the Penumbra Theatre in Minneapolis, MN to critical acclaim.

Other produced plays include Slippery When Wet at La MaMa Experimental Theatre, Sisters at Circle in the Square Downtown, NYC. Her short play, Dunno, Gotta Go was accepted and given a reading at the Edward Albee Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, 2004.

Ms. Murakoshi has worked with the 52nd Street Project in New York City for many years as a writer, actor and director. While there, she co-wrote short plays with ‘Genius Award” fellow, Willie Reale as well as having been directed as an actor by Oscar winner Frances McDormand.

Suzen Murakoshi with her stage manager Jessica Minczeski. Photo by Lia Chang

Suzen Murakoshi with her stage manager Jessica Minczeski. Photo by Lia Chang


In 2007, Ms. Murakoshi was awarded a Mayoral Proclamation from Michael Bloomberg and the City of New York for her work with the Kids Project where she is the Artistic Director. The Kids Project performs free shows for the NYC area with a target audience of 90,000 children and adults annually.

Breathe Love Repeat, a near-life experience, has performances at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) on Monday, February 27 at 7:30pm, Friday, March 2 at 10:30pm and Sunday, March 4 at 7pm. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students/seniors) and are available online at www.smarttix.com.

For more information, visit www.breatheloverepeat.com.

Related Articles
Suzen Murakoshi’s Breathe Love Repeat: a near-life experience, directed by Ching Valdes-Aran, at 2012 Frigid New York Festival at Under St. Marks
Suzen Murakoshi’s Breathe Love Repeat: a near-life experience, at 2012 Frigid New York Festival at Under St. Marks
Suzen Murakoshi’s Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience, at 30th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, 8/11-8/20/11
Snowboarder Suzen Murakoshi to Debut Tale of Unconditional Love at Calgary Fringe Festival, 7/29-8/5/11

Other Articles by Lia Chang
Photos: A night out at Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque
Photos: Working Theater’s Production of Rob Ackerman’s CALL ME WALDO at Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex through March 11, 2012
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
Linsanity: Sport Illustrated Cover Guy New York Knicks Starting Point Guard Jeremy Lin
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
broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: SPEAK UP CONNIE In Rehearsal
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Photos & Video: Celebrate Chinese New Year with David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish
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
Multimedia: Exclusive photos and video of Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas -In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


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

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@backstagepasswithliachang.com.

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