Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Mu Performing Arts Presents World Premiere of Victor Maog’s tot: THE UNTOLD, YET SPECTACULAR STORY OF (a filipino) HULK HOGAN at Park Square Theatre’s Boss Thrust Stage, June 17 – 26

Victor Maog. Photo by Lia Chang

Victor Maog. Photo by Lia Chang

Mu Performing Arts is presenting the World Premiere of tot: THE UNTOLD, YET SPECTACULAR STORY OF (a filipino) HULK HOGAN, June 17 – 26, 2016, written by playwright Victor Maog and directed by Randy Reyes at Park Square Theatre’s Boss Thrust Stage. This production is the final play of the 2015‐2016 season and marks Mu’s 50th World Premiere of new works by Asian American artists and playwrights. Park Square Theatre’s Boss Thrust Stage is located at 20 W 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 55102.

“I’m proud to build upon the too‐few produced works that explore the Filipino‐American experience,”said Maog, whose play was developed with Mu as part of The Jerome Foundation’s New Plays Project.

The play follows the life of an immigrant boy named tot who travels from the Ferdinand Marcos‐ruled Philippines to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet his long lost parents. He journeys from a country full of strife and military rule only to find himself in his lonely American bedroom conjuring a pro wrestling fantasy to escape his new life. Randy Reyes will play the role of tot, alongside his real‐life sister Stephanie Bertumen as tot’s sister Kitty.

tot: THE UNTOLD, YET SPECTACULAR STORY OF (a filipino) HULK HOGAN. Photo by Rich Ryan

tot: THE UNTOLD, YET SPECTACULAR STORY OF (a filipino) HULK HOGAN. Photo by Rich Ryan

“Victor Maog wrote a play that I connect with in so many ways, it’s scary. It’s as if he wrote it about me. Not literally, but emotionally and spiritually. This is a very rare experience for an actor, at least for me. I think it’s because the play taps into the Filipino side of my psyche, and it’s a side I hardly ever get to exercise in a theatrical setting. I’ve never had that privilege so I’m very thankful, excited and a little scared for the opportunity.”‐ Randy Reyes

The cast features Randy Reyes* (Twelfth Night, FOB) as tot, Mary Ann Prado as Lola/Mother Superior, Hope Nordquist (Twelfth Night) as Mo/The Dame, Stephanie Bertumen (Twelfth Night, The Debutante’s Ball, A Little Night Music) as Kitty/The American Dream, Eric “Pogi” Sumangil* (Twelfth Night, Little Shop of Horrors) as Off/The Announcer, Torsten Johnson as The Orbiter, and Sarah Schweitzer and Kyle Legacion as Chorus.

The creative team includes Ellen Fenster (Co‐Director), Christian Bardin (Assistant Director), Sarah Brandner (Set Designer), Samantha Fromm Haddow (Costume Designer), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), Matthew Vichlach (Sound Designer), Abbee Warmboe (Props Mistress), Brandon Ewald (Fight Choreographer), Alex Olsen (Technical Director), Katherine Kenfield* (Stage Manager) and Natasha Victa(Assistant Stage Manager).* Member of Actor’s Equity

Randy Reyes, Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts, graduated from The Juilliard School Drama Division in 1999 and has worked as a professional actor, director, and theater educator in theaters and educational institutions including The Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Ten Thousand Things, Thirst Theater, Chicago Ave. Project, The Playwrights’ Center, Cincinnati Playhouse, Seattle Children’s Theatre, NYU Graduate Acting Program, University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Acting Program, Wagner College, The University of Utah, Augsburg College, and Macalester College. He is a board member of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) and the Minnesota Theater Alliance. Randy also represents Mu as a member of the newly‐formed Twin Cities Theater of Color Coalition (TCTOCC) along with Penumbra, New Native, Pangea World Theatre, and Teatro Del Pueblo. Randy’s directing credits include You for Me for You, Purple Cloud, Twelfth Night, FOB, Kung Fu Zombies vs Cannibals, Asiamnesia, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, WTF, Cowboy Versus Samurai, and Circle Around the Island at Mu Performing Arts, A Streetcar Named Desire at Ten Thousand Things, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Summer and Smoke at Theatre in the Round, and God Save Gertrude at the Workhaus Collective. Randy was a recipient of a two year Theater Communications Group New Generation Future Leaders fellowship under the mentorship of Rick Shiomi at Mu Performing Arts in 2006.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Victor Maog was recently named one of American Theatre Magazine’s “20 Theatre Workers You Should Know” (October 2015). He’s also a director and educator with credits including: The Public Theater, Williamstown, Signature, Mabou Mines, Page 73, Working Theatre, Connecticut Rep, Lark, New Dramatists, Yale School of Drama, NYU/Tisch, Brown/Trinity, etc. Received the NEA/TCG Career Development Award, Altvater Fellowship at Cornerstone, Van Lier Directing Fellowship at Second Stage, and the Presidential Award with the Theatre Arts Project, where he served as Artistic Director at age twenty. Currently, he’s Artistic Director of 2g, an inaugural TCG SPARK Leader, and a Show Director for Walt Disney Creative Entertainment. He holds a B.A. in Global Leadership and Performance Studies – NYU/Gallatin. tot is his first full‐length play.

Regular performance adult tickets are available for $20 (students $10) and can be purchased by calling 651‐789‐1012 or by visiting www.muperformingarts.org.

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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