Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Puppets, Projections and Politics Collide in Rehana Lew Mirza’s LONELY LEELA at Here, September 5-8, 2012

Desipina & Co. – a fusion arts company focusing in film and theatre, dedicated to promoting cross-pollinations of artistic, political and cultural dialogues – in conjunction with Ma-Yi Writers Lab, will present a workshop of LONELY LEELA, a new play by Rehana Lew Mirza (TCG Future Leader Fellow, Lark/IAAC Playwright in Residence). The play is an “Alice in Wonderland” inspired multi-media, puppet adventure where malicious codes and white knight bloggers meet in a shifting world of everything’s at your fingertips but you can’t quite find what you’re looking for.

Performances for LONELY LEELA are Wednesday, September 5 to Saturday, September 8 at 7:00pm, at HERE (145 6th Avenue, enter on Dominick, 1 block south of Spring Street) in New York.

Directed by Robert Ross Parker (co-Artistic Director of the Obie Award-winning Vampire Cowboys), LONELY LEELA features a cast that includes: Quinlan Corbett (YOUR BOYFRIEND MAY BE IMAGINARY), Andrew Guilarte (INVASION), Anna Kull (MILK), Maria-Christina Oliveras (BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON), Matt Park (WE IN SILENCE HEAR A WHISPER), Lipica Shah (DOV & ALI), and David Shih (CRANE STORY).

LONELY LEELA is produced by Ying Le for Desipina & Co. and has a design team that includes Jason Simms (set), Jake Witlen (video and lighting), Spica Wobbe (puppets), Ien DeNio (sound and music), Dax Valdes (choreographer), Jenny Fisher (costumes) and stage management by John Nehlich.

This production is a part of the Sublet Series@HERE, HERE’s curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support. LONELY LEELA is an Equity approved showcase.

Tickets are $15 general admission. For Tickets & Information at: or or call 212-352-3101.

For more information on LONELY LEELA, please visit Follow the production on Twitter @Desipina.

Rehana Lew Mirza’s full-length plays include BARRIERS (HERE; Asian American Theater Company, SF); THE GOOD MUSLIM (Theater Row); RADIO DIARIES OF HANK, YANK, & PRANK; PARTICLES OF PAKISTAN (E.S.T. Sloan Commission); if it’s sad i don’t want to see it (O’Neill semi-Finalist) and LONELY LEELA. She was the 2010 IAAC playwright in residence at The Lark Development Center, a 2008-2010 TCG Future Leader fellow with New Georges, a Leopold Schepp scholar, a 2G Resident Artist, LMCC artist grantee, John Golden Award winner, Princess Grace finalist, and a Sundance Feature Film Lab finalist. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Desipina & Co.

Robert Ross Parker is the co-artistic director of the Obie winning Vampire Cowboys with Qui Nguyen. For Vampire Cowboys he has directed Vampire Cowboy Trilogy, A Beginner’s Guide to Deicide, Living Dead in Denmark, Men of Steel, Fight Girl/Battle World, Soul Samurai, Alice in Slasherland, and The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G. For the VC Saturday Night Saloon series he wrote Jimmy Starshooter Must Get Laid, and Radio Monster Theatre: The Further Adventures of Henry and Victor. Other recent directing credits include Goodbye Cruel World (also adapter, Roundtable Ensemble) Hamlet{solo} (Edinburgh Fringe and Solo Nova at PS 122), and numerous projects for Ensemble Studio Theatre where he is a member. As an actor, Robert played the title role in The Flying Machine’s Frankenstein at Soho Rep, and on tour, and played the March Hare in their production of Alice in Wonderland. He is the former editor of The Dramatist, the Journal of the Dramatists Guild of America. MFA Ohio University.

Quinlan Corbett: Recent theatre credits include: American Jornalero (INTAR Theatre Co.), Larry Kunofsky’s Your Boyfriend May Be Imaginary (Theatre Under St Marks!), The Civilian’s Let me Ascertain You: Occupy Wall St Cabaret at Joe’s Pub, The world premiere of Mac Wellman’s 3 2’s Or Afar (Dixon Place). Regional: A site specific play by Jason Grote at MASSMoCA (coming to NYC later this September!), The Little Dog Laughed and The Plays The Thing both at Intiman Theater, Othello and Twelfth Night at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. Film: Kill Your Darlings (opposite Dane Dehaan and Jack Huston, upcoming), Frayed. Training: MFA, University of Washington. Quinlan is also a fervent classical guitarist.

Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte was last seen in the world premiere of a new musical THE CONSEQUENCES at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Cape Cod. Off-Broadway: The Play Company’s Obie award winning play INVASION (SoHo Rep/The Flea), Marat, Sade (Classical Theater of Harlem), The Winters Tale with David Strathairn (Classic Stage Company). Other NYC credits: Another Life (Irondale Theater), Jackson Heights 3am (Theater 167/Queens Theater in the Park), starred in the original musical Bakwas Bumbug at The Wild Project, Pulitzer finalist, Rajiv Joseph’s THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX (New York Innovative Theater Awards nom. for outstanding ensemble), Pulitzer finalist, Rollin Jones’ world premiere of The Jammer (NY Fringe Fest), KINGDOM OF LOST SONGS (Lincoln Center Directors Lab/HERE) among others. TV: “Turks” (CBS Pilot), “Early Editio” (CBS), “THE WORKPLACE” (PBS), “NURSE JACKIE” (SHOWTIME PILOT), “LAW AND ORDER:SVU” (NBC). Education: BFA, Acting, DePaul Theater School. MFA, Acting, Yale.

Anna Kull: Recent shows include The Germ Project and Milk (New Georges); Dream Acts (Dream Act Union); User 927 (Reverie Productions); BRINK! and Roanoke (Humana Festival/Actors Theatre of Louisville). Anna has workshopped new plays with Abingdon, EST, Lark, Ma-Yi, New Georges, Orchard Project, terraNOVA Collective and Working Theater. Anna was in the Apprentice Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville and is on staff at Lark Play Development Center. BA from Vassar College.

Maria-Christina Oliveras Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Broadway: Here Lies Love (Public, Spring 2013), Reading Under the Influence (DR2), BBAJ (Public), Night Sky (BPAC), The Really Big Once (Target Margin). Selected Regional: Williamstown, Huntington, Baltimore Centerstage, Denver Center, Westport Country Playhouse, Hangar, Colorado Shakes. Countless new works with the Lark, 2g, New Georges, P73, Working Theater, Atlantic, New Dramatists, NYTW, EST, NYSF/Public, Primary Stages, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights’ Realm, Partial Comfort (of which she is a member), among others. Film: ICE, CLUTTER, VAMPERIFICA. TV: “NYC 22,” “Damages,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Law & Order: SVU”. B.A.-Yale University; MFA-NTC/Denver Center.
Matt Park has been seen on-stage at The Present Company, LaMAMA Playwriting Lab, Chashama, the Ohio Theatre, The Public Theatre, Joe’s Pub, The People’s Improv Theatre, UCB, and Arlene’s Grocery in NYC. Matt has a BFA in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and studied improv and sketch writing at the Magnet Theater. He wrote the music for Radio Deluxembourg, which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Lipica Shah: Currently based in New York, she thrives on collaborative work in all facets of the industry. Recent theatrical credits include the premieres of Veil’d: A Fairytale, Bakwas Bumbug, Dov and Ali, and 167 Tongues; Film: Let’s Be Out, The Sun Is Shining (Best Actress Nomination, 2012 NY Indian Film Festival), Arbitrage, First Kiss, Shark Suit: The Musical; Television: “White Collar,” “Onion Sportsdome,” “Pokémon”. BFA: NYU-Tisch School of the

LONELY LEELA and Desipina & Co. programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Asian Women’s Giving Circle, the Nancy Quinn Fund (a project of ART/NY), Off Broadway Angels, and Dramatists Guild Fund.

Founded in 2004 by Sung Rno in connection with the TCG/NEA residency program, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab is the largest resident company of Asian American playwrights ever assembled. Currently led by Co-Directors Michael Lew and Rehana Mirza, the Lab is a professional peer-based workshop in permanent residence with the OBIE Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company, designed to nurture and showcase Asian American playwrights in New York City.

Other Articles by Lia Chang
The Play Company Presents the Off-Broadway Run of Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s INVASION! at The Flea
Photos: Christmas in June w/ Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s “Bakwas Bumbug” at The Wild Project in NY-6/26
Extended through 8/23- “In Rehearsal” Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Featuring Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King Las Vegas
Desipina & Co. Presents Pooja Kumar, Sunkrish Bala, Joe Petrilla, Eileen Rivera, Jon Norman Schneider & Rajeev Varma in Rehana Lew Mirza’s Barriers at HERE, 9/7-18
Theater of the Stars Presents The King and I Starring Ronobir Lahiri, Victoria Mallory, Raul Aranas, Ali Ewoldt, Josh Dela Cruz, Jee Hyun Lim and Raphael Aranas, Helmed by Baayork Lee on Tour through September 11, 2012
World Premiere Screening of Lil Tokyo Reporter Starring Chris Tashima at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, September 14-16, 2012
10 minutes with Sullivan & Son’s Jodi Long, Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker
Illeana Douglas, Kimberly-Rose Wolter and Michael Kang Set for 4 Wedding Planners Screening in Screen Actors Guild Foundation Conversations Series in NY on August 21, 2012
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Multimedia: Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Conversations with Derek Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park of $upercapitalist
Konrad Aderer’s Enemy Alien Screens at Japanese American National Museum in LA on September 8, 2012
Lily Mariye’s Model Minority, Jayshree Janu Kharpade’s Fire in Our Hearts, Eliaichi Kimaro’s A Lot Like You, Vincent Sandoval’s Señorita, and Liang Cheng’s My Spiritual Medicine among AAIFF’12 Award Winners
AAIFF’12: Richard Wong & H.P. Mendoza’s Yes, We’re Open, starring Lynn Chen, Parry Shen, Sheetal Sheth, & Kerry McCrohan, screens at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on August 4, 2012
35th Asian American International Film Festival Line-up in New York
Janet Yang to receive 2012 Asian American Media Award at AAIFF’12 Opening Night Presentation of Shanghai Calling on July 25, 2012
West Coast Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish at Berkeley Rep stars Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge, August 24-October 7, 2012
Three Year Swim Club, Encounter, TEA, Christmas in Hanoi and Chess set for East West Players 47th Anniversary Season
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

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 a

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