Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Photos: Angela Lin and Sharon Leal Star in Pasadena Playhouse’s Critically Acclaimed Production of Diana Son’s ‘Stop Kiss’ through Nov. 30

(l-r) Angela Lin and Sharon Leal in Diana Son's Stop Kiss. Photo by Jim Cox.

(l-r) Angela Lin and Sharon Leal in Diana Son’s Stop Kiss. Photo by Jim Cox.

Angela Lin

Angela Lin

Angela Lin (Broadway’s Chinglish) is currently starring opposite Sharon Leal (Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls, Fox’s “Boston Public,” and Lionsgate’s Addicted) in The Pasadena Playhouse’s critically acclaimed production of Diana Son’s Stop Kiss, the second production of its 2014-2015 Season.

Directed by Pasadena Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Seema Sueko, Stop Kiss also features John Sloan (Fox’s “Happy Hour”), Brandon Scott (ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”), Amanda Carlin (Liar Liar), and Jeff De Serrano (A&E’s “Longmire”). The production began previews on November 4 and will close on Sunday, November 30, 2014.

(l-r) John Sloan and Angela Lin in Diana Son's Stop Kiss. Photo by Jim Cox.

(l-r) John Sloan and Angela Lin in Diana Son’s Stop Kiss. Photo by Jim Cox.

Stop Kiss marks The Playhouse directorial debut of Seema Sueko, who joined The Playhouse staff in January 2014. Stop Kiss tells the story of Sara and Callie, who are walking through New York City’s West Village late at night when they share their first kiss. This leads to a vicious attack by an angry bystander, in which Sara is horribly injured. Throughout Stop Kiss, relationships are explored, formed, and even ended. Diana Son elaborates on the depths of human emotion and compassion.

 Brandon Scott, Sharon Leal, Angela Lin, John Sloan, Jeff De Serrano and Amanda Carlin at the Opening Night of STOP KISS at The Pasadena Playhouse on November 9, 2014. Photography By Earl E. Gibson III.

Brandon Scott, Sharon Leal, Angela Lin, director Seema Sueko, John Sloan, Jeff De Serrano and Amanda Carlin at the Opening Night of STOP KISS at The Pasadena Playhouse on November 9, 2014. Photography By Earl E. Gibson III.

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“CRITIC’S CHOICE! I can’t remember when a love story has moved me more.” –Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

“WOW! Prepare to be riveted from start to finish!” – Stage Scene LA

“GO! Sueko has created an affecting production.” – LA Weekly

Diana Son

Diana Son

I have a special affinity for playwright Diana Son, having witnessed the powerful original Off-Broadway production of Stop Kiss at The Public Theater, starring Sandra Oh and Jessica Hecht, which received the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production. I was fortunate to have appeared in an Off-Broadway production of Son’s R.A.W. (‘Cause I’m a Woman) at The Ohio Theater in New York. Son’s other plays include Satellites, BOY, and others. Stop Kiss and Satellites premiered at the Public Theater in NYC. She is the recipient of the Berilla Kerr Award for playwriting, the NEA/TCG Residency grant at the Mark Taper Forum and a Brooks Atkinson Fellowship at the Royal National Theatre in London. Her works have been produced at La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth and others. Son has also written several short stories and her works of fiction have been published in such magazines as Asian Pacific American Journal. Son also belongs to a number of organizations, including the Dramatists Guild of America, Women in Theatre and the Writers Guild of America, East. In addition, she is an alumna of New Dramatists. Diana Son is also a television producer and writer, with credits including “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “Southland,” “Blue Bloods“ and “The West Wing.”

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. Take advantage of the special Friends and Family discount, tickets are $20.o0 with code: FF20. Tickets, priced from $45.00 to $75.00, plus premium seats at $125.00, are available online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org; by calling The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

BIOGRAPHIES
Angela Lin (Callie) has appeared in the Broadway productions of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, Top Girls, and Coram Boy. Off-Broadway, Angela Lin has appeared in Takarazuka!!! at Clubbed Thumb, Crane Story at The Playwrights Realm, and Jordan Harrison’s Futura at National Asian American Theater Co, among others. Regionally, she has appeared in Chinglish at The Goodman, American Hwangap at The Magic Theatre, and Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! at Long Wharf Theatre, among others. Her television credits include “Two and a Half Men,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Blue Bloods,” and “The Good Wife.”

Sharon Leal

Sharon Leal

Sharon Leal (Sara) began singing at an early age and later discovered her passion for acting while attending performing arts high school. Her professional career began in regional theater productions of Ain’t Misbehavin’, Into the Woods, and Little Shop of Horrors. Soon thereafter, Leal moved to New York and landed major roles on Broadway in Miss Saigon and Rent. Leal went on to star in the original musical, Bright Lights Big City, at the New York Theater Workshop, and was also featured on the production’s soundtrack. While in New York, she staged cabarets and continued to hone her skills when she produced an original production of Stormy Weather at the Manhattan Theatre Club, in which she starred as the legendary Lena Horne. From the New York stage, Sharon easily transitioned into television and film. Her television credits include a series regular role on CW’s “Hellcats” and four seasons on David E. Kelley’s hit FOX drama, “Boston Public.” Her guest starring roles include episodes of “Suits”, “Perception”, “Person Of Interest” and “CSI: Miami.” She also had recurring roles on NBC’s “Grimm”, and ABC’s “Private Practice” as Sonya, the love interest to Taye Diggs’ character. In 2006, Sharon received international attention as a co-star of the Golden Globe Award-winning blockbuster film, Dreamgirls, opposite Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. She portrayed Michelle Morris, the singer that replaced Effie White (played by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson) in the female trio, The Dreams. In Dreamgirls, Sharon showcased her remarkable vocal skills and was heard on the popular movie soundtrack.

Quickly named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Breakout Stars”, Sharon soared into the stratosphere as the star of two highly successful ensemble films; the #1 box office hit, Why Did I Get Married?, with Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson and Jill Scott, and the popular holiday feature, This Christmas, alongside Idris Elba, Regina King and Chris Brown. Her performance in the latter project won her the 2008 Asian Excellence Award for Outstanding Film Actress. Sharon starred with Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac in the 2008 musical feature film, Soul Men. In 2010, she reprised her role in the highly-anticipated sequel, Why Did I Get Married Too? which grossed over $60 million at the domestic box office. Her independent film credits include Woman thou Art loosed:On the 7th Day opposite Blair Underwood, Carry Me Home opposite Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr and William Sadler, and a smash hit at 2013’s Toronto Film Festival titled 1982. Up next, she stars in Addicted, the highly-anticipated film for Lionsgate where Sharon steps into a risky role as a sex addict.

Seema Sueko at the Opening Night of STOP KISS at The Pasadena Playhouse on November 9, 2014. Photography By Earl E. Gibson III.

Seema Sueko at the Opening Night of STOP KISS at The Pasadena Playhouse on November 9, 2014. Photography By Earl E. Gibson III.

Seema Sueko (Director) joined The Pasadena Playhouse staff in January 2014 as Associate Artistic Director. For the past nine years, she served as the Executive Artistic Director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, a community focused, socially conscious Equity theatre company she cofounded in San Diego. In addition to directing at Mo`olelo, Seema developed Mo`olelo’s greening initiative and consensus organizing methodologies. She led the company to its selection as the inaugural Resident Theatre Company at La Jolla Playhouse and to awards from the American Theatre Wing, the National Endowment for the Arts, Actors’ Equity Association, and the N.A.A.C.P. San Diego Branch, among others. Other directing and acting credits include The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Native Voices at The Autry, among others. She was the recipient of the inaugural Leadership U[niversity] grant from Theatre Communications Group/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which took her to Arena Stage in 2013 as a Visiting Artistic Associate in mentorship with Molly Smith. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

Other Articles on Angela Lin:
Susan Soon He Stanton’s TAKARAZUKA!!! featuring Jennifer Ikeda, Brooke Ishibashi, Paul Juhn, Glenn Kubota, and Angela Lin kicks off Clubbed Thumb’s 17th annual SUMMERWORKS at Here, May 26-June 4
Shinsai: Theaters for Japan Photos: (3pm) with André Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Angela Lin, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Susan Hyon, Jake Manabat, David Shih in Jen Silverman’s Crane Story at The Cherry Lane
Photos & Video: Celebrate Chinese New Year with David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish through January 29, 2012
CHINGLISH Celebrates 100th Performance on January 5, 2012 – Meet David Henry Hwang & his Cast at the Lin Sing Association in NY Chinatown
Chinglish is Named in TIME Magazine’s Top 10 of the Year; Meet the Cast at Talkbacks after Select Performances in December
David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish Takes Home to 2 Jeff Awards
The ‘Chinglish’ Broadway Journal: Week 7 (Nov. 1, 2011)
Photos: Backstage with the Cast of Chinglish and David Henry Hwang at the Longacre Theatre
The ‘Chinglish’ Broadway Journal: Week 6 (Oct. 25, 2011)
Broadwaysbestshows.com: Learning to Speak Chinglish w/ David Henry Hwang (#14)
David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish Begins Previews at the Longacre Theatre on 10/11
Angela Lin is currently appearing in the Goodman’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish through July 24
Photos: Playwright David Henry Hwang in rehearsal at the Goodman Theatre for World Premiere of Chinglish
Photos of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop
Photo Call:  BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
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
Dec. 1: Behind the Scenes with Disney on Broadway with David Henry Hwang, Chad Beguelin and Rick Elice at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Dec. 1: National Asian Artists Project (NAAP) presents DISCOVER: New Musicals – Marcus Yi’s Lost at Sea, Timothy Huang’s Missing Karma, Christine Toy Johnson and Michael Mott’s Riding Out the Storm and Azusa Fujikua’s Sign
Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014
The Public Theater Extends Suzan-Lori Parks’s FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS through December 7
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”
Tonya Pinkins, Trezana Beverley and More Set for World Premiere of War by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Yale Repertory Theatre through December 13
New York Times Critics’ Pick OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall, extends through December 14
Austin Pendleton, Pete Simpson, James Stanley and Gary Wilmes Star in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men at The Public Theater; Extended through December 14
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015
Photos: BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi,Thom Sesma, Manna Nichols, Steven Eng, Ariel Estrada and Lori Tan Chinn at Leviathan Lab’s Ghost Stories Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Cheryl L. Davis’ Maid’s Door Sweeps AUDELCOs with 7 Wins; Complete List of 2014 AUDELCO Recipients
Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Set for Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I 
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
NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts
Q & A with Playwright Camille Darby, 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Playwrighting Fellow
Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015
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: Art Salon with Artist Yang Chihung and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang at New-York Historical Society
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
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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