Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

MA-YI Theater Company’s NY Premiere of WASHER/DRYER featuring Annie McNamara, Nandita Shenoy, Jade Wu, Johnny Wu and Jamyl Dobson begins previews on Jan. 26

washer:dryerWASHER/DRYER, a new comedy by Nandita Shenoy about a recently eloped young couple- Michael and Sonya- who discover they haven’t been entirely truthful with each other as they settle into Sonya’s Manhattan studio apartment with its own stackable washer/dryer as a key perk – is being given its NY premiere by the award-winning Asian-American Off-Broadway company MA-YI THEATER COMPANY at the Beckett Theater at Theater Row (410 W. 42 St.) in NYC (www.theatrerow.org). Previews begin January 26 prior to its official opening night on February 2.

Directed by Benjamin Kamine, WASHER/DRYER comes to NY following its world-premiere at East West Players in Los Angeles last winter, and a subsequent production in Chicago this fall.

The cast of WASHER/DRYER features Annie McNamara (GATZ, Public Theatre), Nandita Shenoy (TROUBLE COMETH), Jade Wu (THE PRIMARY ENGLISH CLASS), Johnny Wu (CHINGLISH) and Jamyl Dobson (THE ANTHEM).

WASHER/DRYER is described as a contemporary farce that examines the pressures of modern-day marriage against the backdrop of New York City.  Sonya and Michael’s recent elopement in Vegas seemed like a dream come true for both of them until they try living together in Sonya’s Manhattan studio apartment.  As they discover that they haven’t been entirely honest with each other or themselves, their secrets come home to roost along with an intrusive mother, the co-op’s strict Board president, a harsh best friend, and a fabulous washer-dryer. Mayhem ensues as the couple is forced to re-evaluate their relationship and decide whether all really is fair in love and real estate.

Scenic design for WASHER/DRYER is Anshuman Bhatia, costume design is by Dede Ayite, lighting design is by Jonathan Cottle and sound design is by Miles Polaski.

Nandita Shenoy is a writer/actor, who has written the plays LYME PARK (Round House Theatre), SAFE HAVEN (Abingdon Theatre) and others.  Key acting credits include Eric Pfeffinger’s SOME OTHER KIND OF PERSON and Richard Dresser’s TROUBLE COMETH.  She is a member of Ma-Yi’s ever-popular Writer’s Lab.

Benjamin Kamine directed Thomas Bradshaw’s CARLYLE at the Goodman Theatre, as well as Mr. Bradshaw’s JOB and A CAUTIONARY TALE at the Flea, where he is an Associate Artist.

Scheduled through February 21, WASHER/DRYER will perform Tuesdays at 7; Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8; and Sundays at 3.  Tickets range in price from $25-$30-$35 and can be purchased via Telecharge at 212 239 6200 or online at www.telecharge.com or www.ma-yitheatre.org.

MA-YI THEATER COMPANY recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with its double-bill last fall of LIVIN’ LA VIDA IMELDA and CHAIRS AND A LONG TABLE, and this past spring’s world premiere of SOLDIER X.  The company won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for its critically-acclaimed production of THE WONG KIDS IN THE SECRET OF THE SPACE CHUPACABRA GO! last season. Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 27th season, MA-YI  is a Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.

Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s BIKE AMERICA, Qui Nguyen’s THE INEXPLICABLE REDEMPTION OF AGENT G and SOUL SAMURAI (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew’s MICROCRISIS and the revival of Ralph B. Peña’s FLIPZOIDS. Other productions include: RESCUE ME by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh’s AMERICAN HWANGAP and THE CHILDREN OF VONDERLY and THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American playwrights for its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth, and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 OBIE Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”

Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Ortoll.

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

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