Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Will Dagger, Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Diana Oh, and Mickey Theis Set for Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Hansol Jung’s AMONG THE DEAD at HERE, Nov. 6 – 26

AMONG THE DEAD, a new play by Hansol Jung, will be given its world premiere by the award-winning Asian American Off-Broadway Ma-Yi Theater Company at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, NYC), with previews set to begin November 6th prior to its official opening night on November 10th. AMONG THE DEAD is directed by Ralph B. Peña. This limited-engagement will conclude on November 26th, 2016.

among-the-deadAMONG THE DEAD is a dark comedy about a family broken apart by betrayal. Ana is a Korean American who travels to Seoul in 1975 to retrieve her dead father’s ashes. Luke is a young American soldier fighting in the jungles of Myanmar in 1944. Number Four is the name of a Korean comfort woman camping out on a bridge in Seoul in 1950, waiting for the return of the young American soldier who fathered her daughter. Three separate time periods collide in a small hotel room in Korea, mediated by a shape-shifting Jesus who first shows up as a bellboy. AMONG THE DEAD is about a family finding each other through SPAM, journals and Jesus. Mostly Jesus.

Directed by Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña, the AMONG THE DEAD cast features Will Dagger (THE CONVENT OF PLEASURE), Julienne Hanzelka Kim (METAMORPHOSES, Broadway) (GOLDEN CHILD, Broadway), Diana Oh ({MY LINGERIE PLAY}), and Mickey Theis (DESIRE).

Scenic design for AMONG THE DEAD is by Reid Thompson; Costume Design: BECKY BODURTHA; Lighting Design: OLIVER WASON and Sound Design: KENNETH GOODWIN.

This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: Co-op, HERE’s curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.

Scheduled through November 26th, AMONG THE DEAD will perform Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:30PM; Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 4PM. There is no performance on Thursday, November 24th. — Added performance on Monday, November 21st @ 8:30pm — All Tickets are $25. For tickets and information: visit, or call 212-253-3101. Information is also available at

Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Plays include Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville), No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre, Chicago and Boise Contemporary Theatre), Wolf Play, and Wild Goose Dreams. Commissions from Playwrights Horizons, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant with Ma-Yi Theatre and a translation of Romeo and Juliet for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her work has been developed at the Royal Court (London), New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, O’Neill Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab, Lark Play Development Center, Salt Lake Acting Company, Boston Court Theatre, Bushwick Starr, Asia Society New York, and Seven Devils Playwright Conference. She is the recipient of the Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellowship at the Lark, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court (London). Her plays have received the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award (Among the Dead), Honorable Mention from the 2014 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Competition (Cardboard Piano), and was named 2014 finalist for the Ruby Prize (No More Sad Things). She has translated over thirty English musicals into Korean, including Evita, Dracula, Spamalot, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, while working on several award winning musical theatre productions as director, lyricist and translator in Seoul, South Korea. Jung holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab.

Ralph B. Peña (director) is a founding member and the Producing Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of A. Rey Pamatmat’s HOUSE RULES for Ma-Yi; a new translation of THE ORPHAN OF ZHAO for Fordham Theater; Nicolas Pichay’s MACHO DANCER: A MUSICAL for the Virgin Labfest 11; Lloyd Suh’s THE WONG KIDS IN THE SECRET OF THE SPACE CHUPACABRA GO! for The Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis (where is was named Best Play of 2013), Ma-Yi Theater in New York (winner of the Off Broadway Alliance Award), Arts Emerson in Boston, and The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Joshua Conkel’s CURMUDGEONS IN LOVE (EST Marathon); and Mike Lew’s MICROCRISIS (Youngblood, Ma-Yi). Ralph is the recipient of an OBIE Award for his work on THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO, and is a member of The Ensemble Studio Theater and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab.

Ma-Yi Theater Company recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with Nandita Shenoy’s WASHER/DRYER and A. Rey Pamatmat’s HOUSE RULES. 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!, which recently made its international premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 28th 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 Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Z. Ortoll.

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 Jade Magazine and

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