Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Tony Award Winner BD Wong Kicks Off La Jolla Playhouse Residency

BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award winner BD Wong stars as Cheng Ying in 'The Orphan of Zhao'. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Tony Award winner BD Wong stars as Cheng Ying in ‘The Orphan of Zhao’. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Tony Award-winning actor BD Wong continues his long standing relationship with La Jolla Playhouse as its latest Artist-in-Residence this month.

Wong is the second artist to be named Playhouse Artist-in-Residence. The program was initiated last year with the appointment of award-winning scenic designer and UC San Diego graduate Robert Brill.

Last summer, Wong starred in La Jolla Playhouse’s U.S. premiere of The Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with A.C.T, named by U-T San Diego as one of 10 shows to savor from 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

BD Wong stars in Herringbone. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong stars in Herringbone. Photo by Lia Chang

A 2011 Playhouse Gala Honoree, Wong starred in the one-man musical Herringbone at La Jolla Playhouse in 2009, a tour-de-force for the actor who portrays twelve characters.

BD Wong Stars in the La Jolla Playhouse Production of Herringbone, August 1-30, 2009

BD Wong, star of Herringbone, in rehearsal at Dixon Place in New York on May 20, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong, star of Herringbone, in rehearsal at Dixon Place in New York on May 20, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

Photos by Lia Chang

Photos by Lia Chang

Wong’s debut CD of the concert performance of Herringbone, recorded live at a special event at Dixon Place in New York City in 2012, has been released on the Yellow Sound Label and can be purchased here.

Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014

In Rehearsal with BD Wong at Dixon Place for Live Concert Recording of Herringbone BD Wong to Star in Live Concert Recording of HERRINGBONE for Two Nights Only as a Benefit for Dixon Place, May 21-22, 2012

Wong’s La Jolla Playhouse multi-month residency program is designed to give artists the freedom to focus on their ongoing body of work, while becoming fully immersed in all aspects of the institution, from the stage to the boardroom to the classroom. In addition to developing his own writing and directing projects, Wong will act as a representative of the Playhouse and participate in artistic planning, education and outreach activities, lead master classes at UC San Diego and serve as a community liaison for arts advocacy in San Diego, among other Playhouse activities.

BD Wong directs Jason Tam and Caissie Levy in The Yellow Wood at the Acorn Theatre in New York on September 17, 2007. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong directs Jason Tam and Caissie Levy in The Yellow Wood at the Acorn Theatre in New York on September 17, 2007. Photo by Lia Chang

“The Artist-in-Residence program bolsters the Playhouse’s mission to serve as a more supportive and profound home for the important theatre artists of today and tomorrow,” said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. “BD Wong has a long history with the Playhouse, and it is incredibly satisfying to offer him the resources to develop his own projects while further integrating him into the Playhouse community, with a special emphasis on both new musical development and education.”

Playwright David Henry Hwang, his wife actress Kathryn Layng and BD Wong at the Asian American Writers' Workshop Literary Awards in New York on December 8, 2008. (Photo by Lia Chang)

Playwright David Henry Hwang, his wife actress Kathryn Layng and BD Wong at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Literary Awards in New York on December 8, 2008. (Photo by Lia Chang)

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. Television credits include” Law & Order: SVU,” “All-American Girl,” “Oz,” “And the Band Played On,” “Awake” and HBO’s “The Normal Heart”. Film credits include Jurassic Park, The Freshman, Father of the Bride, Seven Years in Tibet, Executive Decision, The Salton Sea and Mulan. Broadway credits include the revivals of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Pacific Overtures. Regional theatre credits include Herringbone (Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre). He is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Following Foo: (the electronic adventures of the Chestnut Man) (Harper Entertainment). He has been honored by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian AIDS Project, GLAAD, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, The Anti-Violence Project, Lambda Legal and Marriage Equality New York. He is a board member of The Actors’ Fund and Rosie’s Theater Kids. Upcoming acting projects include the films Focus (Warner Bros.) and Jurassic World (Universal), and a guest-starring role on “NCIS: New Orleans,” to air on CBS February 3. He is a San Francisco native and holds an honorary M.F.A. from American Conservatory Theatre. @BD_WONG.

BD Wong rehearses his Rosie’s Theater Kids at the Maravel Arts Center on 445 West 45th Street in New York on March 17, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong rehearses his Rosie’s Theater Kids at the Maravel Arts Center on 445 West 45th Street in New York on March 17, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

The nationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating 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. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently running hit Jersey Boys, as well as Memphis, 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, Bonnie & Clyde, Peter and the Starcatcher, Chaplin: The Musical, Hands on a Hardbody and Side Show. 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.

Related Articles
Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014

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

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

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

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

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”
Click here for other articles on BD Wong.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
2015 Sundance Film Festival Lineup
Jan. 25: 11th Annual Asian American Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City at Club 301 – The Funn Networks Space
Asian American Film Lab Receives Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Community Benefit Grant
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Extends through March 22
Vineyard Theatre Presents World Premiere of Michael Mayer Helmed BROOKLYNITE Featuring Ann Harada, Nick Choksi, Matt Doyle, Nicolette Robinson, Andrew Call and More, January 30 – March 22
Tony Award-Winner Lillias White Stars with Scott Wakefield in The York Theatre Company’s World Premiere of TEXAS IN PARIS, January 27 – March 1
Star Trek’s George Takei to Headline 5th Annual Korematsu Day at City Arts and Lectures-Nourse Theatre in San Francisco on Jan. 30
Two-Time Tony Award Nominee André De Shields, Bowman Wright, E. Faye Butler, KenYatta Rogers, Jessica Frances Dukes and Michael Anthony Williams Set for Arena Stage’s King Hedley II, February 6- March 8, 2015
Remembering Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. (1938-2014); Memorial Set for February 14, 2015
Duwende Performs at Rockwood Music Hall on February 16; Photos of Concert with m-pact at The Bitter End
“Swimming Awkward Moment,” works by Arlan Huang on view at Trestle Gallery, February 20 – March 27
Novelist Jessica Hagedorn, Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells, and John W. Kuo of Varian Medical Systems, to receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards on February 23
Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents New York Premiere of Carmen De Lavallade’s Solo Show AS I REMEMBER IT in February 2015
Photos: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, NEFA, Graham Sheffield CBE and Susan Stockton Receive 2015 ISPA Awards
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
Photos: Andrew Rannells and Zuzanna Szadkowski Visit Richard Thomas, Anna Chlumsky, Julie Halston and Annaleigh Ashford at YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
THE WIZ Turns 40- Photos from Original Broadway Production and BC/EFA Gypsy of The Year Celebration Featuring André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White and More
Up Close and Personal with Jose Llana; HERE LIES LOVE Star Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12, 2015
Photos: Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Micki Grant, Woodie King Jr., Voza Rivers, Talvin Wilks, Garland Thompson Jr., Charles Turner, Jamal Joseph, Debra Ann Byrd and More at harlem is…Theater
Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan, Lora Lee Gayer, Melody Butiu, Julian Cihi and More Set for Broadway Bound Dr. Zhivago
Preview of Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Spring Exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, Announced at the Palace Museum in China
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
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 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: © 2000-2015 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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