Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Jennifer Lim, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Murphy Guyer and Leslie Fray in The Play Company’s Production of Christopher Chen’s CAUGHT at Summer Shares at La MaMa, Extends to Sept 24

14141911_1198228006864138_5456624682709038012_nIn response to popular demand, The Play Company (PlayCo), led by Founding Producer Kate Loewald and Interim Managing Director, Robert G. Bradshaw, extends the New York premiere of Christopher Chen’s Caught to September 24, the final production in the company’s 15th Anniversary Season.

The stellar cast includes Jennifer Lim (Chinglish), Murphy Guyer (The King & I), Louis Ozawa Changchien (The Bourne Legacy) and Leslie Fray.

In this irreverent new genre-bending piece, theatre makers Christopher Chen and Lee Sunday Evans apply their playful imaginations to the work of a Chinese dissident artist. This hybrid art-theatre work instigates an exploration into the nature of authority and authenticity, inviting you to navigate the labyrinthine relationships between truth and perception, illusionary art and real jeopardy.

PlayCo has a unique commitment to premiering work from around the world to advance a dynamic, international experience of contemporary theater in New York. Caught, which marks U.S. writer Chen’s New York debut,is a subversive meditation on the politics of cultural appropriation. Chen & Sunday Evans collaborate on a rabbit hole experience in which layers of meaning unfold to stage a theatrical discussion about hidden stereotyping.

Award winning, West Coast-based, playwright Christopher Chen writes plays that examine the hidden patterns beneath complex systems: socio-political systems, psychological systems, systems of power. Caught received a Sundance residency during its development, and has been performed internationally, with recent and upcoming productions in Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago and Berkeley. Chen is currently working on commissions for American Conservatory Theater, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Crowded Fire Theater Company and the San Francisco Playhouse.

Performances of Caught will now take place through September 24 at Summer Shares at La MaMa, located in Manhattan. Tickets for the original run (August 28 – September 17) are $35 for general admission and $45 for premium reserved; tickets for the extension (September 19 – 24) are $55/$35. Tickets can be purchased by visiting playco.org or calling 866-811-4111. $15 Student advance tickets are subject to availability (must present ID at box office) and $10 Student rush tickets are available at the box office 30 minutes prior to curtain for each performance, no advance sales, with a valid student ID.

About The Artists:
Christopher Chen is an international award-winning playwright whose full-length works have been produced and developed across the United States and abroad, at companies such as the American Conservatory Theater, Arcola Theatre (London), Asian American Theater Company, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Beijing Fringe, Berkeley Rep/Ground Floor, Central Works, Crowded Fire, Cutting Ball Theater, Edinburgh Fringe, Fluid Motion, hotINK Festival, Impact Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Just Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco Playhouse, Silk Road Rising, Sundance Theatre Lab, Theatre Mu, U.C. Berkeley/Zellerbach Playhouse and The Vineyard. Honors include: the 2015-2016 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for theater; the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was the 2013-2014 playwright-in-residence at The Vineyard Theatre in New York; the Barrymore Award; PHINDIE Critics Award; the Glickman Award; the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award; shortlist for the James Tait Black Award; nomination for the Steinberg Award; 2nd Place in the Belarus Free Theater International Competition of Modern Dramaturgy; a MAP Fund Grant; a Ford Foundation Emerging Writer of Color Grant; finalist for the PONY and Jerome Fellowships. Publications include American Theatre Magazine, Theatre Bay Area and Theater Magazine (Yale). A Bay Area native, Chris is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from S.F. State.

Lee Sunday Evans is an Obie Award winning director and choreographer. Credits Include: Wellesley Girl by Brendan Pelsue (Humana), D Deb Debbie Deborah by Jerry Lieblich (Clubbed Thumb), A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks… by Kate Benson (OBIE Award – New Georges/Women’s Project), The Play About My Dad by Boo Killebrew (59E59), God’s Ear by Jenny Schwartz (Juilliard), Family Play (1979 to Present) by CollaborationTown, The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht with original music by Nicholas C. Williams. She was recently a Resident Artist at Baryshnikov Arts Center, participated in the Sundance Theater Lab, and has developed work at The Alley Theater, Juilliard, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, The New Ohio, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Brooklyn Arts Exchange among others. As the resident director for CollaborationTown she creates ensemble-devised works; in this capacity, she is currently under commission from LCT3. Upcoming: Macbeth at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Don’t You F*cking Say a Word by Andy Bragen.

Louis Ozawa Changchien last appeared Off Broadway in the world premiere of The Tutors (Second Stage Theater). Other New York credits include Warrior Class (Second Stage), Year Zero (Second Stage), The Dumbwaiter (National Asian American Theatre Company), Crane Story (Playwrights Realm). Regional credits include Eurydice (Williamstown) and Hamlet (Trinity Rep). Changchien has appeared in the films Predators, The Bourne LegacyFair GameGiganticThe Sisterhood of NightSomeone Else, and Pretty To Think So. He will be appearing this summer in the Legendary Pictures action thriller Spectral. Mr. Changchien’s television credits include “The Man in The High Castle,” “Agents of SHIELD,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Matador,” “True Blood,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Law and Order,” “Blue Bloods,” “Deadbeat,” “Lights Out” and “The Miraculous Year”. Changchien earned his MFA in acting from Brown University. He is an ensemble member of Partial Comfort Productions and The Actors Center Workshop.

Jennifer Lim made her Broadway debut starring in David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, for which she earned: a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut, the IASNY Trophy for Excellence, and a Drama Desk Nomination. Other credits include NYC: Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb), The World Of Extreme Happiness (MTC), The Urban Retreat (Public), The Most Deserving (Women’s Project), Golden Child (Signature), Vengeance Can Wait (P.S.122), YJLee’s Songs of The Dragons Flying to Heaven (HERE Arts), and Yokastas Redux (La Mama E.T.C.). TV/Film: “High Maintenance,” “Hell on Wheels” (recurring), “Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” “Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order” (original/SVU and Criminal Intent), The Savages, and 27 Dresses. She earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama and is an associate member of The Wooster Group. Jenniferlimonline.com

Murphy Guyer was last seen on stage in the Lincoln Center production of The King & I. Other Broadway productions include Breakfast at Tiffany’sGlengarry Glen Ross with Al Pacino, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, South Pacific, and The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. Recent off Broadway credits include Stalking the BogeymanDouble Indemnity, and Minor Demons. Television credits include “Billions,” “House of Cards,” “Blue Bloods,” “Person of Interest,” “Mildred Pierce,” “Rubicon,” “Sopranos,” and inevitably, “Law & Order”. He’s appeared in such films as WetlandsFeast of the GoatMercy ManArthur, and Jackal.

Leslie Fray is a recent graduate of the MFA acting program at NYU Tisch. Among her credits at NYU are Uncle Vanya (Marina), Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike (Masha), A Bright Room Called Day (Agnes) and The Merchant of Venice (Portia). Leslie will appear as Estelle in the upcoming production of The Rose Tattoo at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Arnulfo Maldonado is a New York City based set and costume designer. Notable design credits include: the world premieres of Anne Washburn’s trans-adaption of Iphigenia In Aulis? (Classic Stage Company), Max Posner’s Judy (Page 73) and Jenny Schwartz and Todd Almond’s IOWA (Playwrights Horizons), the U.S. premiere of debbie tucker green’s generations (Soho Rep/PlayCo), the New York premiere of George Brant’s Grounded (Page 73), Ain Gordon’s Not What Happened (BAM’s Next Wave Festival), and the U.S. premiere of Ivan Viripaev’s Illusions (Baryshnikov Arts Center). New York credits include: Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Classic Stage Company, Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE Arts Center, Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, The Flea Theater, Foundry Theater, 59E59 Theaters, The Juilliard School, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theater, Soho Rep, Works & Process. Regional credits include: Anchorage Opera, Baltimore Center Stage, Barrington Stage Company, Central City Opera, Cleveland Play House, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Peak Performances, Perseverance Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Studio Arena, Two River Theater, Westport Country Playhouse.

Barbara Samuels is a New York based lighting designer and producer. Recent design credits include O Earth (Foundry Theatre), and A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes (New Georges/Women’s Project, Obie Award), as well as collaborations with Katie Pearl, Brian Mertes, Melissa Kievman, Portia Krieger, Lee Sunday Evans, Julia Jarcho, Jessica Chayes, Shannon Gillen Lipinski and others. Barbara has served as General Manager of OBIE Award-winning 13P, is a 2016 Target Margin Institute for Theatre Making Fellow, and is currently the Producing Director of Morgan Gould & Friends. Fordham University, BA; NYU, MFA.

Junghyun Georgia Lee is a set and costume designer based in New York City. Born and raised in South Korea, She started her theater training in Canada. Later she earned her MFA from Yale School of Drama and started her design career in New York City. She has collaborated with many directors, playwrights and choreographer across the U.S., Europe and South Korea. She is a founding member of CHANCE MAGAZINE for theater design.

Jeremy S. Bloom (Sound Design) Selected designs include: Ed Iskandar’s biblical marathon The Mysteries (Flea), Golden Lotus (Bway Asia), Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre DC), Charlie Francis Chan Jr’s Oriental Murder Mystery (NAATCO), Buried Child (New Group), Sojourners (Playwright’s Realm), Stuck Elevator (NYTW@Dartmouth), Restoration Comedy (Flea), Job (Flea), In a Word (Williamstown), Radiolab (WNYC), All American Family (CNN Films), The Surrounding Game. Selected foley: NOIR (Powerhouse/NYSF & NAMT), The Golden Dragon (PlayCo), Michael Sheen’s centennial Under Milk Wood (92nd St. Y/BBC Wales). Jeremy is a professional member of The Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. Out of the theater, he can be found playing accordion with NYC Balkan party band Tipsy Oxcart. More at: www.jeremyb.com

The Play Company is an OBIE Award-winning Off Broadway theater Production Company. Now in its fifteenth season, PlayCo has produced 30 new plays from the United States, Germany, Romania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Japan, India, Mexico, France, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. PlayCo develops and produces adventurous new plays from the U.S. and around the world, advancing a dynamic global practice of contemporary theater and expanding the American theater repertoire.

As the only New York company regularly producing outstanding contemporary plays from around the world alongside new American work, PlayCo’s distinctive international programming links American theatre with world theater, American artists with the global creative community, and American audiences with a whole world of plays.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s