Tony Award–winner BD Wong is currently starring in the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)’s U.S. premiere of James Fenton’s acclaimed adaptation of The Orphan of Zhao, a classic Chinese legend that has its roots in the fourth century BCE, at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco) through June 29, 2014. Tickets ($20–$120) are on sale now and may be purchased online at act-sf.org or by calling 415.749.2228.
Helmed by A.C.T.’s artistic director Carey Perloff, The Orphan of Zhao is an epic story of self-sacrifice and revenge. In the aftermath of a political coup, a country doctor is forced to sacrifice his own son in order to save the last heir of a noble and massacred clan. Often described as the Chinese Hamlet, this enduring tale was the first Chinese play to be translated in the West nearly 300 years ago and has inspired countless operas, plays, and movies.
What the critics are saying:
“A juicy revenge tale! A heartfelt performance by San Francisco native and Tony-winner BD Wong”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Epic and engrossing. . . the show grabbed me, shook me and left me thinking about what I had experienced for a long time after the final fade.”
—Bay Area News Group
4.5 stars out of 5! “Grips the audience from beginning to end thanks to a brilliant cast, thoughtful scenic and costume design, and haunting melodies performed on stage.”—StarkInsider.com
“A revenge drama from 13th century China that’s one part “House of Cards,” one part “Game of Thrones” and one part Yuan Opera.”—Edge San Francisco
“Stylish and absorbing. . . the cast, headed by BD Wong in a strong and moving performance as Doctor Cheng Ying, is excellent”—Piedmont Post
“Haunting . . . [a] drama hewn out of a myth that speaks across the centuries”—The Guardian
“An emotionally piercing marvel”—The Times of London
BD Wong received the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theater World, Clarence Derwent, and Tony Awards for his Broadway debut in M. Butterfly-an unprecedented achievement. His television credits include “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “All-American Girl,” “Oz,” “And the Band Played On,” and “Awake”. On film, Wong can be seen in Jurassic Park, The Freshman, Father of the Bride, Seven Years in Tibet, Executive Decision, The Salton Sea, Stay, and Mulan. On Broadway, Wong has performed in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Pacific Overtures. Regional theater credits include, Herringbone (Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse). Upcoming projects include Focus (Warner Bros.), “The Normal Heart” (HBO), and Jurassic World (Universal). He is also the author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Following Foo…” (Harper Entertainment). Wong is a San Francisco native.
Carey Perloff is celebrating her 21st year as artistic director of A.C.T., and is known for championing innovative productions of classics and new writing for the theater. Perloff has directed a wide range of work at A.C.T., most recently including Elektra, Endgame and Play, Scorched, The Homecoming, Tosca Cafe (cocreated with Val Caniparoli and recently toured Canada), A.C.T.-commissioned translations/adaptations of Hecuba, The Misanthrope, and her own play The Colossus of Rhodes (Susan Smith Blackburn Award finalist). Her latest play, Higher, won the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award and received its world premiere in 2012. Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York, which won numerous OBIE awards under her leadership. A recipient of the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2007 Artistic Achievement Award, Perloff received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford. She will provide oversight and input throughout the project, disseminate the research findings to the theater community at large, organize the final convening, and formulate and oversee implementation for any next steps identified by the research.
The creative team for The Orphan of Zhao includes scenic designer Daniel Ostling (Major Barbara and Stuck Elevator at A.C.T.), costume designer Linda Cho (2014 Tony Award winner for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder; Two Gentlemen of Verona at The Old Globe), lighting designer Lap Chi Chu (Romeo and Juliet at California Shakespeare Theater; Other Desert Cities at the Mark Taper Forum), sound designer Jake Rodriguez (Rock ‘N’ Roll and Blackbird at A.C.T.), composer Byron Au Yong (Stuck Elevator at A.C.T.), with movement by Stephen Buescher (Head of Movement and Physical Theater at A.C.T.’s M.F.A. Program).
A.C.T. will offer numerous InterACT events—many of which are presented free of charge—in association with The Suit that will give patrons opportunities to get closer to the action while making a whole night out of their evening at the theater. Visit act-sf.org/interact to learn more about subscribing to these events throughout the season:
The Orphan of Zhao is a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, with performances, July 8-August 3, 2014.
A.C.T.’s production of The Orphan of Zhao is sponsored by BNY Mellon Wealth Management, National Endowment for the Arts, and United Airlines. The Orphan of Zhao is made possible by executive producers Jo S. Hurley; Jack and Susy Wadsworth; Nola Yee; producers Marcia and Jim Levy; Robina and John Riccitiello; Dr. and Mrs. Gideon Sorokin; Laney and Pasha Thornton; Aaron Vermut and Adriana Lopez Vermut; and associate producers Richard Davis and Bill Lowell; Marcia and Geoffrey Green; Betty Hoener; Sue Yung Li and Dale Ikeda; Merrill Randol Sherwin; Beverly and Loring Wyllie; with additional support by Hafner Vineyard; Pause Wine Bar; and Piazza Market Catering.A.C.T. would like to acknowledge its 2013–14 company sponsors Frannie Fleishhacker; Priscilla and Keith Geeslin; Mr. and Mrs. John Goldman; Ambassador James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen; Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation; Burt and Deedee McMurtry; Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock; Patti and Rusty Rueff; Ms. Kathleen Scutchfield; Mary and Steven Swig; Jeff and Laurie Ubben.
A.C.T. subscribers enjoy incredible savings, unparalleled access, exclusive benefits, and personalized customer service. Subscribers save as much as 33 percent off single-ticket prices. Full-time students, educators, and administrators with valid ID save up to 50 percent off select packages. Senior discounts are available for certain series. A.C.T.’s competitive subscriber benefits include free ticket exchanges up to the day of scheduled tickets, priority seating, ticket insurance, access to convenient prepaid parking one block away from the theater, and discounts for neighborhood restaurants. http://www.act-sf.org/subscribe 415.749.2250.
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Other articles on BD Wong:
A.C.T.’s Production Photos of The Orphan of Zhao starring BD Wong, Sab Shimono, Julyana Soelistyo, Stan Egi, Orville Mendoza, Paolo Montalban and More through June 29
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong Leads Cast of A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
May 19: The Orphan of Zhao’s BD Wong and A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff in Conversation at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
In Rehearsal with BD Wong at Dixon Place for Live Concert Recording of Herringbone
BD Wong Creates Kickstarter Campaign for his Live Concert Recording of HERRINGBONE, to be performed May 21-22 as a Benefit for Dixon Place
BD Wong to Star in Live Concert Recording of HERRINGBONE for Two Nights Only as a Benefit for Dixon Place, May 21-22
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, Jennifer Lim and Leigh Silverman at WNYC’s The Greene Space
Photos: BD Wong, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tom Viola at “Passing It On: An Evening of Mentorship to Benefit Rosie’s Theater Kids”
Photos: BD Wong in Rehearsal for “Passing It On: An Evening of Mentorship to Benefit Rosie’s Theater Kids”
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
Cindy Cheung Debuts SPEAK UP CONNIE…Her Solo Show, directed by BD Wong at Stage Left Studio, January 17-25, 2012
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
OCA Awards Gala Photos: David Henry Hwang, Tamlyn Tomita, BD Wong, Dr. Bobby Fong & Tammy Duckworth
Dr. Bobby Fong, BD Wong and Tammy Duckworth to Receive Awards at National OCA Convention in NY on 8/6
Photo Preview of BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society, 5/24-26
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Multimedia: BD Wong, Anastasia Barzee, Clarke Thorell, Cindy Cheung and Orville Mendoza at Rattlestick Playwrights Theaters’ Musical Mix ‘n’ Mingle
BD Wong, Anastasia Barzee, Cindy Cheung and Orville Mendoza in Rattlestick’s Musical Mix ‘n’ Mingle
BD Wong Stars in the La Jolla Playhouse Production of Herringbone, August 1-30
David Henry Hwang, Kathryn Layng and BD Wong at the Asian American Writers Workshop Literary Awards
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 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 firstname.lastname@example.org