Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi, Thom Sesma, Manna Nichols, Steven Eng, Ariel Estrada, Lori Tan Chinn at Leviathan Lab’s Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories curator Robert Lee and director BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

Ghost Stories curator Robert Lee and director BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

Leviathan lab_photo by lia chang

Leviathan Lab, in collaboration with The Performance Project @ University Settlement presented GHOST STORIES, two evenings of staged readings of three original new short musicals inspired by Asian ghost stories, at University Settlement Speyer Hall, 184 Eldridge Street at Rivington Street in New York to sold-out houses, November 21-22, 2014.

“I’m so very proud of the work Leviathan did in this inaugural project for our New Musicals Initiative, supporting the work and development process of writers/composers Sam Chanse, Yan Li, Katie Baldwin Eng, Jason Purdy, and Bob Kelly,” said Ariel Estrada, Executive Director of Leviathan Lab. “Under the guidance of project Leader Robert Lee, director BD Wong, music director Andrew Wheeler and Leviathan Lab Dramaturg-in-Residence Donatella Galella, the writers and composers took the containing structure of Asian ghost stories, and used it to facilitate the writers/composers creation of creepy, funny, quirky short musicals that reflect true horrors of our time. It was a wonderful, unusual theatre experience, and important part of an artist’s process, beautifully and expertly performed by Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi, Thom Sesma, Steven Eng, and Manna Nichols.”

Ghost Stories Musical Director Andrew Wheeler, Director BD Wong, Curator Robert Lee and Leviathan Lab Executive Director Ariel Estrada. Photo by Lia Chang

Ghost Stories Musical Director Andrew Wheeler, Director BD Wong, Curator Robert Lee and Leviathan Lab Executive Director Ariel Estrada. Photo by Lia Chang

quietus
Music by Jeff Tang, Words by Katie Baldwin Eng
with Brooke Ishibashi, Steven Eng and Thom Sesma

the puzzling disappearance of jinxing villa
Music by Yan Li, Words and Music by Yan Li and Jason Purdy
Productions designed by Jason Purdy, Jeremy Smith, Percussionist
with Cindy Cheung, Manna Nichols and Thom Sesma

lobsters live forever
Music by Bob Kelly, Words by Sam Chanse
Loosely adapted from and inspired by the Inuit Tale of Skeleton Woman, and Chinese and Tibetan Stories of Hungry Ghosts
with Cindy Cheung and Brooke Ishibashi

Top Row: Thom Sesma, Cindy Cheung, Jeff Tang, Yan Li; Second Row: Manna Nichols, Sam Chanse; Bottom Row: Steven Eng, Brooke Ishibashi, Katie Baldwin Eng, Bob Kelly. Photo by Lia Chang

Top Row: Thom Sesma, Cindy Cheung, Jeff Tang, Yan Li; Second Row: Manna Nichols, Sam Chanse; Bottom Row: Steven Eng, Brooke Ishibashi, Katie Baldwin Eng, Bob Kelly. Photo by Lia Chang

The musical readings were curated by bookwriter/lyricist Robert Lee (TAKEAWAY, HEADING EAST; faculty, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program) and directed by Tony Award-winner BD Wong (Broadway: M. BUTTERFLY; Law & Order: SVU, Oz, Jurassic World). With musical director Andrew Wheeler on piano, percussionist Jeremy Smith and stage manager Kelly Clark.

BD Wong and Robert Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong and Robert Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

Leviathan Lab’s GHOST STORIES is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and by the Artists-in Residency Program at University Settlement.

Top Row: Jeremy Smith, Andrew Wheeler, Thom Sesma, Sam Chanse, Yan Li, Jeff Tang; Second Row: Manna Nichols, Brooke Ishibashi, BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Bob Kelly; Bottom Row: Ariel Estrada, Robert Lee, Steven Eng, Kelly Stark, Katie Baldwin Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

Top Row: Jeremy Smith, Andrew Wheeler, Thom Sesma, Sam Chanse, Yan Li, Jeff Tang; Second Row: Manna Nichols, Brooke Ishibashi, BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Bob Kelly; Bottom Row: Ariel Estrada, Robert Lee, Steven Eng, Kelly Stark, Katie Baldwin Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

About Leviathan Lab
Founded in 2009, Leviathan Lab is a creative studio that invests in the advancement of Asian American performing artists. Leviathan was founded with the goals of expanding the reach of Asian American artistic voices, and telling our stories to communities who haven’t yet had the joy of experiencing them. Our projects – online, on film, and on stage – strive to show Asian Americans in innovative and dynamic ways: sexy, powerful, vital, and fun. Leviathan’s projects include readings and main stage productions of classical theatre, new plays, and musical theatre, community-based and children’s theatre, and productions for film and online.
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Click here to contribute to Leviathan Lab’s Fall Fundraiser Indiegogo campaign.

M Butterfly reunion- BD Wong and Lori Tan Chinn appeared together in the Broadway production. Photo by Lia Chang

M Butterfly reunion- BD Wong and Lori Tan Chinn appeared together in the Broadway production. Photo by Lia Chang

About The Performance Project @ University Settlement
The Performance Project @ University Settlement provides established, emerging and young artists and local audiences with opportunities to connect and enrich each other’s lives. Our aim is to encourage greater participation in the live arts and to help cultivate diverse creative communities on the Lower East Side.

BD Wong is flanked by his pals award winning sound designer Mark Bennett and award winning composer and music director Wayne Barker. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong is flanked by his pals award winning sound designer Mark Bennett and award winning composer and music director Wayne Barker. Photo by Lia Chang

Other Related Articles
Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014
Nov. 21-22: Leviathan Lab in collaboration with The Performance Project @ University Settlement presents BD Wong helmed GHOST STORIES featuring Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi, Thom Sesma, Manna Nichols and Steven Eng
Dec. 8: Tony Winner BD Wong, Raymond J. Lee, Pearl Sun, Marc delaCruz, Thom Sesma, Arielle Jacobs, Cindy Cheung, Daniel J. Edwards, Kamala Sankaram, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Christine Toy Johnson & More Set for The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Projects’ “Arriving In Asian America”
Nicole Ari Parker, Esau Pritchett, Thom Sesma, Everett Quinton and More Set for Antony and Cleopatra at McCarter Theatre through October 5, 2014
The Orphan of Zhao starring BD Wong, Sab Shimono, Julyana Soelistyo, Stan Egi, Orville Mendoza, Paolo Montalban and More at La Jolla Playhouse through August 3, 2014
Tina Chilip, Jojo Gonzalez, Marcus Ho and More in Leviathan Lab’s Twelfth Night Production Photos 
Photos: Leviathan Lab’s Twelfth Night at the Arclight through 11/19
Tina Chilip and Jojo Gonzalez Star in Leviathan Lab’s Dynamic Hong Kong Re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Featuring an All-Asian American Cast, at the Arclight in NY, 11/3-11/19
Photos of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop
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

BD Wong, Lia Chang and Robert Lee. Photo by GK

BD Wong, Lia Chang and Robert Lee. Photo by GK

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Ann Harada Ends Run on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ on December 14; Set for World Premiere of ‘Brooklynite’ at The Vineyard in January 2015
Dec. 6: Master Class with Broadway Legend Baayork Lee to Benefit National Asian Artists Project, Inc. (NAAP)
Q & A with Danny Ramm, Co-writer of Joe Mantegna Helmed ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor; Airs January 21, 2015
NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Q & A with Playwright Camille Darby, 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Playwrighting Fellow
Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Photos: Ma-Yi Theater Company Presents Carlos Celdran’s LIVIN’ LA VIDA IMELDA and Han Ong’s CHAIRS AND A LONG TABLE at the Clurman Theater at Theatre Row
Ralph B. Peña and Leigh Silverman Among Six Mid-Career Directors Selected for Sundance Institute’s Theatre Directors Retreat in Arles, France
Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015
2014 AUDELCO Nominations Announced; Ceremony at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on November 17
Opening Night Photos: Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks at The Public Theater
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee
Photos: André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Jose Llana, Kevin Mambo, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Kyle Beltran, Kim Brockington and More at The Fortress of Solitude 
Geoffrey Holder, Artist, Actor, Dancer, Choreographer, Two-Time Tony Award-winning Director and Costume Designer for The Wiz, Dies at 84; Son Pens Intimate Account of Last Days
Photos: Art Salon with Artist Yang Chihung and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang at New-York Historical Society
Celebrating my Mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
Photos: Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion on View through April 19, 2015 at New York Historical Society
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
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 
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
Joe Mantegna to Helm ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor
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 
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
Crafting a Career
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 starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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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