Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Full Circle Theater presents premiere of THEATER: A SACRED PASSAGE at Dreamland Arts in Saint Paul, Nov. 6 – 22

Rhiana Yazzie, Carolyn Pool, Allen Malicsi and John Stephens. Photo Credit: LK Bachman.

Rhiana Yazzie, Carolyn Pool, Allen Malicsi and John Stephens. Photo Credit: LK Bachman.

Rick Shiomi. Photo by Lia Chang

Rick Shiomi. Photo by Lia Chang

Full Circle Theater presents the premiere of Theater: A Sacred Passage​ at Dreamland Arts, 677 Hamline Ave., N. Saint Paul, MN, 55104, Nov. 6 – 22.

Theater: A Sacred Passage​ is an original performance piece devised by the five core artists of Full Circle from their personal journeys into theater. The artists/playwrights are Rick Shiomi, James Williams, Martha Johnson, Lara Trujillo and Stephanie Lein Walseth. Their stories embody the challenges and transformational experiences they have had in becoming theater artists and how their lives and work reflect the huge changes in our theater community over the past two decades. Theater: A Sacred Passage​, helmed by Rick Shiomi and featuring dramaturgy by Martha Johnson, incorporates acting, storytelling, choreography and music, and is the debut production of Full Circle Theater Company.

The cast features Carolyn Pool, Rhiana Yazzie, Lara Trujillo, Siddeeqah Shabazz, Allen Malicsi, Matthew Thompson, Song Kim, John Stephens, Bethany McHugh and Marcos Lopez.

Rick Shiomi ​(co­-artistic director) received the 2015 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award and the Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2012, and was a founding member and the artistic director of Mu Performing Arts for twenty years.

Martha Johnson ​(co­-artistic director) was co­artistic director of 21st Street Players in the 1980s,was a founding and core member of Mu Performing Arts, and directed and taught theater at Augsburg College for many years.

James Williams (​artistic associate) is an award winning actor who has performed on Broadway and at major regional theaters and for several decades in Twin Cities theaters such as Penumbra, Mixed Blood, and the Guthrie. He has received several Ivey Awards and a 2015 McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship.

Lara Trujillo​ (artistic associate) has performed with numerous Twin Cities theater and music theater companies including the Minnesota Opera, the Ordway, Pantages, Mu Performing Arts, History Theater and Teatro del Pueblo.

Stephanie Lein Walseth​ (artistic associate) has worked as artist, educator, scholar, and administrator at such theaters as Penumbra, Mixed Blood, and Mu Performing Arts. She was an August Wilson Fellow at Penumbra Theatre and recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Theatre Historiography. She is the Director of Inquiry at Penumbra Theatre.

Carolyn Pool is a long time Twin Cities actor who received an Ivey Award for Two Sugars, Room For Cream. Rhiana Yazzie ​is a playwright, director, performer and producer who is the founder and artistic director of New Native Theater. Siddeeqah​ S​habazz​ has performed at 20% Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, and Artistry and is the Teen Programs Specialist at Pillsbury House. Allen Malicsi is a long time Twin Cities actor who worked with Mu Performing Arts, History Theater, and Chameleon Theatre. Matthew​ Thompson​ is a recent transplant from Illinois and has performed at several local theaters including Artistry, Lex­Ham Community, and Locally Grown Theatres. Song​ K​im​ has worked with several local companies including Nimbus, We and Six Elements Theaters. John ​S​tephens​ recently graduated from Macalester College with a BA in theater. He performed in several productions at Macalester and this is his debut professional performance. Bethany​ M​cHugh​ recently graduated from Carleton College with a BA in theater. She performed in many productions at Carleton and this is her debut professional performance. Marcos​ L​opez​ studied at the Guthrie Theatre and has performed at Theatre in the Round and Park Square Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased here. For more information, call 651­-645-­5506.

Performance Schedule:
Thu, Nov 5 at 7:30 p.m. (Preview)
Fri, Nov 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Sat, Nov 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Nov 8 at 2:00 p.m.
Fri, Nov 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Sat, Nov 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Nov 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Nov 15 at 2:00 p.m.
Thu, Nov 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Nov 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Sat, Nov 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Nov 22 at 2:00 p.m.

The mission of Full Circle is to produce heartfelt groundbreaking theater that artfully addresses issues of diversity and social justice for 21st ​century audiences. One of our core values is to produce theater that is multiracial and multicultural in its representation of life, and theater that is deeply inclusive of artists of color who share in the artistic leadership of the company. We also value theater that is deeply aware of feminist perspectives and that incorporates intergenerational artistic collaboration. We further value the creation of theater pieces based on personal narrative.

This production has been funded in part by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council through funding by the Minnesota State Legislature through an appropriation and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 21st. She is profiled in BlogJade Magazine and

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Hide and Seek starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits screens at the 2015 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF15) in Women’s Shorts Program at Asian Arts Initiative on Nov. 21
Two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields and Broadway in Chicago President Lou Raizin to be honored at DePaul University theatre gala on Nov. 9 
Film Lab Screening of ‪#‎72HrSO‬ Films at Time Warner Theater & Panel Discussion of Mass Media Constructions of Beauty “Allegiance,” Featuring George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung, Opens November 8 Hugs, Laughs and Photobombs By Tony Winners! Go Backstage at the Special Actors Fund Performance of The King and I Photo Flash: Phylicia Rashad, Andre De Shields & More Original Cast Members from THE WIZ Reunite in Central Park! 
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Cast Reunion featured in BLACK BELT MAGAZINE August/September 2015
Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang Photo Flash: First Look at THE REPORT as Part of FringeNYC Retweet! BroadwayGirlNYC’s Picks For Most Useful Theatre Women on Social Media
Crafting a Career

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
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