Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: In Rehearsal with Director Bartlett Sher and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan

Paolo Montalban and Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Paolo Montalban and Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

On Sunday, March 11, 2012, Shinsai: Theaters for Japan, will be performed at 3pm and 8pm at the Great Hall at Cooper Union, Seventh Street at Third Avenue in New York.

Director Bartlett Sher (far right) and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan in the Lincoln Center rehearsal hall on Friday, March 9, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Bartlett Sher (far right) and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan in the Lincoln Center rehearsal hall on Friday, March 9, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

Shinsai: Theaters for Japan, a two performance benefit to raise funds that will go directly to Japanese theater artists devastated by last year’s great earthquake (Shinsai), will feature Michi Barall, Cindy Cheung, Lisa Emery, Joel de la Fuente, Angel Desai, Ann Harada, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Ikeda, Paul Juhn, Peter Kim, Li Jun Li, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Patti LuPone, Paolo Montalban, Olivia Oguma, Jeffrey Omura, Jay O. Sanders, Jon Norman Schneider, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, Adria Vitlar, Jade Wu, Johnny Wu, James Yaegashi and Stacey Yen, under the direction of Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher.

Sab Shimono, Jade Wu, Jon Norman Schneider, Thom Sesma, Michi Barall and Angela Lin in Wind from Northwest by Kumiko Shinohara. Photo by Lia Chang

Sab Shimono, Jade Wu, Jon Norman Schneider, Thom Sesma, Michi Barall and Angela Lin in Wind from Northwest by Kumiko Shinohara. Photo by Lia Chang

Patti LuPone and Henry Stram will appear in the 8pm performance only. Jay O. Sanders and Mary Beth Hurt will appear in the 3pm performance only. Richard Thomas will appear in both the 3pm and 8pm performances.

Jay O. Sanders, Mary Beth Hurt and Richard Thomas A Few Stout Individuals by John Guare. Photo by Lia Chang

Jay O. Sanders, Mary Beth Hurt and Richard Thomas in A Few Stout Individuals by John Guare. Photo by Lia Chang

Edward Albee. Photo by Lia Chang

Edward Albee. Photo by Lia Chang

This stellar lineup will perform a series of ten minute plays and musical numbers by an eclectic group of award-winning American and Japanese writers and composers including Edward Albee, Shoki Kokami, Oriza Hirata, Richard Greenberg, John Guare, Kumiko Shinohara, John Kander, Fred Ebb & Joseph Stein, Tony Kushner & Jeanine Tesori, Nen Ishihara, Toshiki Okada, Toshiro Suzue and Yoji Sakate. Playwrights Philip Kan Gotanda, Richard Greenberg, Suzan-Lori-Parks, Naomi Iizuka and Doug Wright will contribute original work to the benefit which will also feature a segment from the 1976 musical Pacific Overtures revised especially for the occasion by its creators librettist John Weidman and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim.

John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim's Four Black Dragons/Next, a revised segment from Pacific Overtures. Photo by Lia Chang

John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim’s Four Black Dragons/Next, a revised segment from Pacific Overtures. Photo by Lia Chang

The New York performances of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan will be just one of many presentations taking place on March 11, the first anniversary of the quake, at regional theatres throughout the United States. All proceeds from the performances that day around the country, will be sent from the Dramatists Guild Fund to the Japan Playwrights Association, who will in turn distribute the monies to those members of Japan’s theatre community who were stricken by the earthquake.

Musical director Paul Gemignani (seated far left) rehearses with the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan in the Lincoln Center rehearsal hall on Friday, March 9, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

Musical director Paul Gemignani (seated far left) rehearses with the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan in the Lincoln Center rehearsal hall on Friday, March 9, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

New York City’s leading theatre companies, including Atlantic Theater Company, Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, The Play Company, Playwrights Horizons and The Public Theater, have joined forces to present Shinsai: Theaters for Japan.

Playwright Philip Kan Gotanda contributed Child is Father to Man for the Shinsai: Theaters for Japan Benefit.  Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Philip Kan Gotanda contributed Child is Father to Man for the Shinsai: Theaters for Japan Benefit. Photo by Lia Chang

Shinsai (SHEEN-sigh) means great quake in Japanese. The genesis of the event began shortly after the disaster when actor James Yaegashi, whose family is from a nearby area, called friends in New York theatre to say “We as a theatre community have to do something to help our fellow artists on the other side of the world.” This galvanized the various theatre professionals to whom Yaegashi reached out who in turn joined forces with the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Cooper Union, Dramatists Guild Fund, Japan Playwrights Association, Japan Society, The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and Theatre Communications Group to present this nation-wide effort.

Lisa Emery and James Yaegashi in Where Were We by Richard Greenberg. Photo by Lia Chang

Lisa Emery and James Yaegashi in Where Were We by Richard Greenberg. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets to Shinsai: Theaters for Japan, priced at $25 for each performance are available at the Public Theater box office (425 Lafayette Street), by phone at (212) 967-7555 or by visiting www.publictheater.org.

Jennifer Lim, Stacey Yen and Mary Beth Hurt in The Length of This Play Has the Half Life of Uranium, a "forever" play for Japan on 3.11 by Suzan-Lori Parks. Photo by Lia Chang

Jennifer Lim, Stacey Yen and Mary Beth Hurt in The Length of This Play Has the Half Life of Uranium, a “forever” play for Japan on 3.11 by Suzan-Lori Parks. Photo by Lia Chang

For additional information: visit www.tcg.org/shinsai. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/SHINSAI-Theaters-for-Japan/286171358070366

James Yaegashi, Pacific Overtures' librettist John Weidman, director Bartlett Sher and musical director Paul Gemignani. Photo by Lia Chang

James Yaegashi, Pacific Overtures’ librettist John Weidman, director Bartlett Sher and musical director Paul Gemignani. Photo by Lia Chang

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Thom Sesma, Patti LuPone, Cindy Cheung, Jennifer Lim, Sab Shimono, James Yaegashi and more set for Shinsai: Theaters for Japan Benefit on March 11 at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York
Multimedia: Exclusive photos and video of Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas -In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
The SFIAAFF30 Kicks Off with World Premiere of White Frog Featuring Booboo Stewart, Harry Shum, Jr., Joan Chen, Kelly Hu and BD Wong, at the Castro Theater on March 8
Tony award-winning actor BD Wong stars in NBC’s Awake; video preview and interview
David Henry Hwang to Receive 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award
Chinglish Playwright David Henry Hwang Moderates “RepresentAsian: The Changing Face of New York Theater” at Pope Auditorium at Fordham University
Photos & Video: Celebrate Chinese New Year with David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Media Advisory on Jeremy Lin News Coverage
Gary Wilmes & Scott Shepherd Set for Elevator Repair Service’s GATZ at The Public, March 14-May 6, 2012
Orville Mendoza Joins the Broadway Cast of Peter and the Starcatcher, Previews Begin March 28 at the Brooks Atkinson
Photos: Laila Robins, Sean Dugan, C.J. Wilson, Peter Francis James, Bill Irwin and Tricia Paoluccio at Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque
Pan Asian Rep’s 35th Anniversary Gala on March 19 honors Daniel Dae Kim and Dr. Patrica E. Taylor; New Season includes Stella Rising, BAUDELAIRE: La Mort
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
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
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
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: © 2000-2012 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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