Tony Award winner BD Wong (M. Butterfly), last seen at La Jolla Playhouse in Herringbone, stars as “Cheng Ying” in The Orphan of Zhao, adapted by James Fenton, and directed by Carey Perloff, through August 3 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive La Jolla, CA. The Orphan of Zhao is a co-production between La Jolla Playhouse and American Conservatory Theatre.
Preview performances for The Orphan of Zhao began on July 8, and the production officially opened on July 11. Tickets are available by calling Playhouse Patron Services at (858) 550-1010 or at LaJollaPlayhouse.org.
The Orphan of Zhao is a classic Chinese legend that has its roots in the fourth century BCE. It’s 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. The London Guardian praised Fenton’s adaptation as “haunting. [A] drama hewn out of a myth that speaks across the centuries.”
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 Daniel Ostling, Scenic Designer; Linda Cho (Playhouse’s Chaplin), Costume Designer; Lap Chi Chu (Playhouse’s Ruined), Lighting Designer; Jake Rodriguez, Sound Designer; Byron Au Yong, Original Music; Stephen Buescher, Movement Director; Jonathan Rider, Fight Director and Michael Paller, Dramaturg.
The nationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating some of the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Twenty-five Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, earning 35 Tony Awards, including the currently-running hit Jersey Boys, as well as Big River, The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations, Memphis, Bonnie & Clyde, Chaplin, Peter and the Starcatcher and Hands on a Hardbody. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-art theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.
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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
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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