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Lia Chang Photos: Breathe Love Repeat – In Rehearsal with Suzen Murakoshi and Ching Valdes-Aran at Under St. Mark’s

Suzen Murakoshi’s Breathe Love Repeat: a near-life experience played at Under St. Marks, during the 2012 Frigid New York Festival in February 2012.

Suzen Murakoshi in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Suzen Murakoshi in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

 Ching Valdes-Aran and Suzen Murakoshi in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Ching Valdes-Aran and Suzen Murakoshi in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

 Ching Valdes-Aran and Suzen Murakoshi in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Ching Valdes-Aran and Suzen Murakoshi in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

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 Ching Valdes-Aran in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Suzen Murakoshi and Ching Valdes-Aran in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. 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.

Suzen Murakoshi and Ching Valdes-Aran in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Suzen Murakoshi and Ching Valdes-Aran in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Suzen Murakoshi and Ching Valdes-Aran in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Suzen Murakoshi and Ching Valdes-Aran in rehearsal for Breathe Love Repeat at Under St. Mark’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Ching Valdes-Aran is an actor, director, playwright and painter. Broadway: The Wild Party (Virginia Theatre), Shakespeare On Broadway (Lady Macbeth, Lady Capulet, Duke Senior; Belasco Theatre). Major roles: The House Of Bernarda Alba (NAATCO); Mother Courage (Ma-Yi Theatre); Medea (Pan Asian Rep.); Empress Of China (Cincinnati Playhouse); Philoktetes (Shatterhand Co., Berliner Fiestpiele); Clytemnestra (Iphigenia At Aulis, Yale Rep.); Olan (The Good Earth, Bristol Riverside); Imelda Marcos (Dogeaters, Public Theatre/La Jolla Playhouse). Other theaters: Macbeth/Julius Caesar (Delacorte Theater); Homebody/Kabul (NYTW); Jocasta (Oedipus, Wilma Theatre) La Mama E.T.C., HERE Arts Center, The Foundry, DiverseCity, Immigrant Theater, Womens’Project, Arena Stage, A.C.T., Edinburgh Festival, London International Festival, Amore Theater (Greece). Film/TV credits: Across The Universe; Sex &The City ; “Filthy Gorgeous,” “Law & Order CI,” “Rescue Me,” etc. Directing credits: La Mama E.T.C., Penumbra Theatre, Immigrant Theatre, Ma-Yi Theater, Terre de Scene (France); member of Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. She was a resident director at La Mama E.T.C. from 1989-1996. Ms. Valdes-Aran was honored with a 2004 Fox Fellowship from the William & Eva Fox Foundation and the 2004 Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatist. Other Awards include: The Spenser Cherashore Award, Asian Cultural Council Artist Fellow, MA-YI’s Artistic Achievement Award, MAP Rockefeller Grant, U.S. Congressional Award and a Lucille Lortel nomination for best actress (Dogeaters, directed by Michael Grief, The Public Theatre). Her other passion is painting. Some of her work was shown in a group show at the ORENSANTZ FOUNDATION in June 2004.

For more information, visit www.breatheloverepeat.com.
Related Articles
Suzen Murakoshi is a “Samurai Super Daughter” in her solo show BREATHE LOVE REPEAT
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
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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