Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Jennifer Lim, Ruy Iskandar, Francis Jue, Jodi Long, Jo Mei and Donald Li Set for Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Co-production with Manhattan Theatre Club of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Opens September 22

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Jennifer Lim Photo by Lia Chang

Jennifer Lim Photo by Lia Chang

Goodman Theatre is presenting The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig directed by Eric Ting, a world premiere co-production with Manhattan Theatre Club,  September 13 – October 12 (opening night is September 22) in the Owen Theatre, 170 N Dearborn Street Chicago, IL 60601.

Both the Chicago and New York runs of the play feature Jennifer Lim (Chinglish at the Goodman and on Broadway) as Sunny, a young woman who leaves her family behind for the promise of a new life under the bright neon lights of Shenzhen; Ruy Iskandar (Pete/Ran Feng/DJ Happy); Francis Jue (Old Lao/Gao Chen/Mr. Destiny); Jodi Long (Artemis/Wang Ha) Jo Mei (Ming-Ming/Qing Shu/Xiao Li); and Donald Li (James Lin/Li Han)


Unwanted from the moment she’s born, Sunny is determined to escape her life in rural China and forge a new identity in the city. As naïve as she is ambitious, Sunny views her new job in a grueling factory as a stepping stone to untold opportunities. When fate casts her as a company spokeswoman at a sham PR event, her bright outlook starts to unravel in a series of harrowing and darkly comic events, as she begins to question a system enriching itself by destroying its own people.

Previously presented in workshop productions—first at the Goodman in New Stages (Fall 2012) and the following year at the National Theatre in London, where it was critically hailed as “hard-hitting and bruisingly funny” (Time Out London)—The World of Extreme Happiness is a provocative examination of individuals struggling to shape their destinies amid China’s economic transformation.

The design team includes Mimi Lien (set), Mihail Fiksel (sound), Jenny Mannis (costumes) and Tyler Micoleau (lighting). Kim Osgood is the production stage manager. Following the Goodman run, The World of Extreme Happiness begins previews at Manhattan Theatre Club on February 3, 2015 for a February 24 opening night at New York City Center – Stage I.

Subscriptions, starting at $90, are now on sale and individual tickets ($10 – $40 for The World of Extreme Happiness); call 312.443.3800 or visit www.GoodmanTheatre.org.

About Goodman Theatre
Goodman Theatre is world-renowned for the quality and scope of its artistic programming and its commitment to improving life in the community. Artistic Director Robert Falls’ and Executive Director Roche Schulfer’s leadership has earned unparalleled artistic distinction and experienced unprecedented success. Together, they have staged more than 80 world premieres, earning numerous awards—including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992) and the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined (2009)—and produced more than 25 new work commissions. Founded in 1925 and housed in a state-of- the-art two-theater complex in the downtown Chicago Theatre District, the Goodman is Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for- profit producing theater, named “Best Regional Theatre” by Time magazine and “top dog of the Chicago theater scene” by Frommer’s. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of the Women’s Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman’s young professionals auxiliary group.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
J.P. Chan’s A Picture of You, starring Jo Mei, Andy Pang, Jodi Long, Teyonah Parris and Lucas Dixon, opens on September 12 in Pasadena and Honolulu
Francis Jue, Bryan Cranston, Olympia Dukakis, Paul Daigneault, All The Way, The Jungle Book, The Flick, Tribes, Hairspray Among 32nd Annual Elliot Norton Award Winners
10 minutes with Sullivan & Son’s Jodi Long, Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker
Signature’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, starring Cole Horibe, Phoebe Strole and Francis Jue, extends through April 6, 2014 
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu 
TCG’s SPARK Leadership Program Class of 2014: Victor Maog, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr, Snehal Desai, Deena Selenow, Jacob G. Padrón, Jr., Karena Fiorenza Ingersoll, Kelvin Dinkins, LaTeshia Dezelle Ellerson, Lisa Portes
Video: Jeremy Lin Pranks Visitors at Madame Tussauds San Francisco
Sept. 5 – Oct. 5: Nicole Ari Parker, Esau Pritchett, Thom Sesma, Everett Quinton and More Set for Antony and Cleopatra at McCarter Theatre
Eric Sharp Makes Playwrighting Debut with Mu Performing Arts’ World Premiere of Middle Brother at The Southern Theater, September 11-28, 2014
Sept. 17: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang Talks with A Chinaman’s Chance’s Author Eric Liu at 92nd Street Y
Sept. 30 – Nov. 2: André de Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kevin Mambo, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Kyle Beltran & More Set for THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE at The Public 
Oct. 8 – 12: 2014 National Asian American Theater Conference & Festival Lineup
Oct. 10-12: Dan Kwong’s WHAT? NO PING-PONG BALLS? with Kenny Endo at Interact Theatre Company as part of 2014 National Asian American Theater Festival and Conference
David Henry Hwang and Lynn Nottage Appointed to the Playwriting Faculty of Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
Photos: Meshach Taylor Celebrates 67th Birthday with Arlene and Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Dennis Franz, Ernie Hudson, John Heard, Keith Szarabajka, Stuart Gordon, Shadoe Stevens and More
Dinner with André De Shields at Chez Josephine
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
Photos: Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Julia Alvarez, Jeffrey Katzenberg Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama 
Golden Globe Winner James Shigeta, Veteran of Film and TV, Dies at 85; Excerpts of 2007 A/P/A Institute Q & A with Sukhdev Sandhu
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
Photos and Video: Ben Vereen Performs at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Photos and Video: Obba Babatunde and cast members from the original cast of Dreamgirls perform at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Photos & Video: The Wiz’s André De Shields Sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
Ruby Dee, Actress and Activist, 1922 – 2014
Bryan Cranston, Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller, Lena Hall, Sophie Okonedo, Kenny Leon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, All The Way, A Raisin in the Sun, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and More Take Home 2014 Tony Awards
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan 
David Henry Hwang and Lynn Nottage Appointed to the Playwriting Faculty of Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program
Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang Receives $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards 
Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre 
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party 
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

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 liachangpr@gmail.com

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