Immersive KPOP to Take Over A.R.T./New York Theatres This Fall

Immersive KPOP to Take Over A.R.T./New York Theatres This Fall

Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective, presents the world premiere of KPOP, a high-octane immersive event that gives you a backstage pass to a K-pop music factory.

KPOP is here and America will never be the same. Claim your exclusive, all-access pass and immerse yourself in the Korean Pop music factory where stars are made... or broken.

KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO's "Girls") and features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon (The View UpStairs), an immersive design by Woodshed Collective, choreography by Bessie-nominee Jennifer Weber (The Hip Hop Nutcracker, TruTV's "Face Off") and is directed by Teddy Bergman (Empire Travel Agency).

The predominantly Asian and Asian American cast of 18 includes Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I), Sun Hye Park, James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Small Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé's Formation World Tour). Final two cast members will be announced at a later date.

The creative team includes Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Production Design), Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design), Will Pickens (Sound Design), Phillip Gulley (Projection and Video Design) and LIzzy Lee (Production Stage Manager).

Performances of KPOP will take place September 5-October 7 (see above schedule) at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. Critics are welcome as of Tuesday, September 19 for an official opening on Friday, September 22 at 8pm. Tickets, priced at $45 general/$75 premium, can be purchased by visiting arsnovanyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101.

Ars Nova's Ticket Initiative, generously supported in part by New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, underwrites the cost of tickets for all performances, allowing the company to make theater accessible to the next generation of theater-goers. Through that initiative, $25 tickets are available with code KPOPSICLE for performances September 5-9 and $35 tickets are available with code LOLLIPOP for performances September 11-16.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Teddy Bergman (Director) is a New York based director, producer and actor. As the Artistic Director of acclaimed immersive theater company Woodshed Collective, he has co-conceived and directed many productions including: Twelve Ophelias, The Confidence Man, The Tenant and most recently Empire Travel Agency. His work as a director has also been seen at Ars Nova, Portland Center Stage, Columbia University, Primary Stages, The Vineyard Arts Project, Space on Ryder Farm, Clubbed Thumb and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. As an actor he is currently appearing in a major role in the Amazon Studios Original Series Good Girls Revolt. He was in the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award Winning play Peter And The Starcatcher. His film work includes Wolves (upcoming), Listen Up Philip, Fading Gigolo, Hairbrained, Julie and Julia, Little Big League and Honeymoon in Vegas. Other TV work includes: The Affair, Law and Order: SVU, As The World Turns and Submissions Only in addition to National and International Commercials. Other theater credits include: Philip Goes Forth (The Mint), Sex Lives of Our Parents (2nd Stage), Peter and the Starcatcher (NYTW), Seven Minutes in Heaven (HERE), Hell House (St. Ann's), I.E. (The Flea) and regionally at Bay Street, Williamstown, Huntington and La Jolla.

Jason Kim (Co-Conceiver, Book) is a Korean-born dramatist based in New York City. His work has been presented at The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi, Keen Company, Naked Angels, The Flea, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Spoleto Festival, Opera America and others. He is an IFP Marcie Bloom Fellow in Film, a Screenwriters Colony Fellow, a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans and a Mark Campbell Chair Librettist Fellow in American Opera Project's Composers & The Voice. He is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Ars Nova's Uncharted. He is currently Lincoln Center Theater's Resident Writer. In television, he has written for HBO's Girls and Fox's Gracepoint and has adapted The Middlesteins for Showtime. He is currently the Consulting Producer for Love on Netflix. BA Columbia University, MFA New School for Drama. waytooserious.com.

HELEN PARK (Composer) is a composer, arranger and performer. She has written music for the musicals Last Resort, The Large Life of Alice Liddell and Baked Goods. Helen holds an MFA from NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, and is currently a member of the BMI Advanced Workshop. helenparkmusic.com

Max Vernon (Composer) is a composer/lyricist, playwright and performer. His work has been performed and developed at Ars Nova, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Wondrous Strange, Humana Festival 2016), Lincoln Center (LC Originals), Keen Company, Disney Creative Entertainment, Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Two River Theater (NJ), Goodspeed Opera House and Pride Films and Plays (Chicago), among others. He has received the Jonathan Larson Grant and JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation, NYFA Fellowship for Music, as well as New York Stage and Film's Founders Award. He is a former Dramatist Guild Theater Fellow, member of Ars Nova's Uncharted and The Civilians' R&D Group. Other residencies include Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat, the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony and Berkeley Rep's The Ground Floor. His musicals include The View UpStairs, KPOP, WIRED, 30 Million, Co-Op, Show & Tell and Nincest (book and lyrics by Jen Silverman) MFA: NYU, Musical Theatre Writing. maxvernon.com.

JENNIFER WEBER (Choreographer) "Outstanding Emerging Choreographer" New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) nominee, Jennifer Weber is the artistic director of the award-winning, theatrical hip-hop dance company, Decadancetheatre. Based in Brooklyn, NY, the company has toured across the US, UK, Russia and France performing at venues including Jacob's Pillow, The Apollo Theater, The Kennedy Center, London's Southbank Center, The Everyman in Liverpool, New York City Center, Bumbershoot in Seattle, The Stanislavsky Music Theatre in Moscow and The Music Center in Los Angeles. She has choreographed for American Express, Uber, Ulta, L'Oreal Matrix, Reebok, Bloomberg, Philosophy, Marc Jacobs, CK2 and UK TV show, Blue Peter. Weber was the creative director for the 2016 tour of Lifetime's Bring it! Live and choreographed the 16/17 tour of PBS's Odd Squad Live. Weber and The Deca Crew were featured on Season 2 of TruTV's theatrical competition series Fake Off. She is the director and choreographer for The Hip Hop Nutcracker, currently touring the US. jenniferwebernyc.com.

Julia Abueva (Sonoma) West End: Miss Saigon (Kim u/s). Other stage appearances include: Cinderella (Newport Performing Arts Theater); Pangdemonium! Singapore premieres of next to normal and Spring Awakening and the Philippine Repertory Theater production of The Fantasticks. NY Workshops: Tiananmen (dir. Stafford Arima). Upcoming: Stella's Last Weekend (opp. Nat Wolff). All my love and gratitude to my family, Mama, "Dadday", At and Kuy. And to the best-Margrit and Matt for the endless support and believing in me. @julia.abueva.

CATHY ANG (Jin Hee) is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut! New York Theater: Riot Antigone - New Work (Ismene), Spring Awakening (Wendla), Void - Reading (Joan), The Secret Garden (Mary Lennox), A Little Night Music (Fredrika), The Meanest Birthday Girl - New Work (Gertrude), Royal Fables - Reading & Production (Sleeping Beauty), Once On This Island (Little Timoune), Beatsville - Reading & Production (Betty). Education: NYU Steinhardt. Voice: Jeremy Aye. Unending gratitude and love to her pamilya!!!

Katie Lee Hill (Tiny D) previously appeared in Sky-Pony's The Wildness at Ars Nova with PlayCo! More theater highlights: Nerds (Broadway); The Rose Tattoo starring Marissa Tomei (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Poster Boy (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Film Chinois (off-Broadway, Pan Asian Rep). TV: Succession (HBO). Developmental: Vineyard Theatre, Sundance Theatre Lab, NYMF. Her band is: baby chemist. Thanks to Ars Nova, Ma-Yi, Woodshed, the creative team and HRB for this pop-portunity. Love to her family and Travis. katieleehill.com.

Joomin Hwang (Timmy X) is thrilled to make his Off-Broadway debut. He was born and raised in South Korea. Until he came to the U.S, he appeared many of theater productions in South Korea. He recently finished his featured film: Sushi Tushi starring with Eddie Mekka (Carmine / Laverne & Shirley). NYC Theater Credits: Han u/s in Green Card: A New Musical (St. Clements) and Graffiti Pete in In The Heights (Axelrod Performing Arts Center). Dance Theater: The Choreographer's Canvas 2016 (NYC), Break Out (World Tour), Bibop (World Tour), Sachoom (World Tour). Concerts: Eternal Light NYC premiere (Carnegie Hall), The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins (Carnegie Hall), New York Chamber Choirs. BFA, Vocal Performance in University of Wisconsin. Special thanks to my family and Megumi, my wife, I love you. joominhwang.com. @joominhwang.

JINWOO JUNG (Oracle) first wants to thank the team and the audience for making great production happen. Born and raised in Korea, after finishing degree in law, Jinwoo decided to follow his dream to be an Actor/Singer and went to USC, MFA Acting (Class of 2016). He was in The Christians (Mark Taper Forum), played Jean Michel in La Cage aux Folles (East West Players) and has worked on various TV/Film/VO/commercials.

JIHO KANG (Lex) is excited to make his theatrical debut with Ars Nova's upcoming production of KPOP. Jiho spent last summer singing on Superstar K 2016, a singing competition on South Korea's MNET. He currently writes music and performs every chance he gets. He is originally from Seattle, WA and graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Applied Mathematics. More information on jihokang.com.

DEBORAH KIM (XO) discovered her passion for dance during her undergraduate years at NYU. Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to choreograph and perform for The Neighbors Dance Team and Epic Motion, and has been featured in live performance and commercial work for Calvin Klein, ABC Family and MSG-TV. Deborah has also published her poetry on KoreanAmericanStory.org, and recently played her first lead role as an actor in the short film Babo.

SUSANNAH KIM (Mina) is thrilled to be here from Los Angeles to make her Off-Broadway debut in KPOP. Her previous credits include Urinetown (Little Sally), Company (Kathy) and A Piece of My Heart (Leeann). She is grateful for this opportunity and feels fortunate for the support of her cats, family and friends.

Ashley Park (MwE) Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George; Tuptim in The King and I (Lincoln Center revival, Grammy nominee); Mamma Mia!. National Tour: R&H's Cinderella (Gabrielle). TV: Nightcap (recurring). NYC readings/labs with Roundabout, Disney Theatricals, Ars Nova, Second Stage, Prospect, Somerled, Ensemble Studio, Huntington, among others. Regional: Hood (Dallas Theater Center, world premiere), Pasadena Playhouse's The Fantasticks (Luisa), PCLO, MTW. University of Michigan graduate. @ashleyparklady.

SUN HYE PARK (Callie) graduated from MFA Acting at Columbia University in May. Originally from Korea, Sun Hye received her BFA in Acting from Korea National University of Arts. Favorite credits include Hamyul/Hamlet, Picture Bride, Macbeth, Miss Julie and The Phantom Lady. She'd love to thank her family and friends for their love and support. She especially thanks God for the opportunity to have this amazing show.

James Saito (Moon) Broadway: Golden Child, The King And I. National Tour: Flower Drum Song. NY Theater includes: Lincoln Center (Mitzi Newhouse), Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout, Vineyard. Regional Theaters include: Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Long Wharf, Mark Taper Forum, Old Globe. Film and TV include: Big Eyes, Life Of Pi, While We're Young, Hawaii Five-O, House Of Cards, Madam Secretary, The Deuce, Blue Bloods, Too Big To Fail, Eli Stone. OBIE for performance: Durango.

James Seol (Jerry) Broadway: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way (Roundabout Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: Small Mouth Sounds (Signature Theatre), Around the World in 80 Days (Davenport Theatre). Regional: Four Immigrants, Tokyo Fish Story (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mame (Goodspeed Musicals), Zombie: The American (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), Hamlet (Hartford Stage), The Orphan of Zhao (American Conservatory Theater/La Jolla Playhouse). He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Virginia.

David Shih (Plastic Surgeon) Previously with Ma-Yi: Bike America. Off-Broadway: Somebody's Daughter (Second Stage), Awake and Sing! (The Public/NAATCO), The World of Extreme Happiness (MTC), Crane Story (Playwrights Realm), Dojoji (Pan Asian Rep), Sake with the Haiku Geisha (Gotham Stage). Regional: Tiger Style! (La Jolla), The King and I (Maltz Jupiter). TV/Film: The Path, Madam Secretary, The Blacklist, Mozart in the Jungle, Unforgettable, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Saving Face.

Jason Tam (Epic) Broadway: IF/THEN (David); Lysistrata Jones (Xander, Astaire Award nomination); A Chorus Line (Paul); Les Misérables (Gavroche). Off-Broadway: Marry Me A Little; Lysistrata Jones. Tour: Les Misérables. NY/Workshop: KPOP; Nobody Loves You; Allegiance; The Last Goodbye; US; Clueless; The Black Suits; The Nightingale; The Yellow Wood. Regional: Hollywood Bowl; Guthrie Theater; Sacramento Music Circus; Sharon Playhouse; Casa Mañana. TV: Do No Harm; Guilty; Hawaii 5-0; One Life to Live; Beyond the Break. Film: Every Little Step (documentary). BFA, NYU Tisch.

John Yi (Bobo) Off-Broadway and original cast debut. NY: Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Vocalist), Oliver! (Signature Theatre, choreo: Baayork Lee), KPOP (2014 workshop), Grateful (Symphony Space). Tour/regional: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (first national tour, Topher & Jean-Michel u/s), Miss Saigon (international tour with Pittsburgh CLO), Queen Mother (Goodspeed Opera House, dir: Lynne Taylor-Corbett), City of Angels (Heritage Theatre Festival). BFA: Elon University. Proud Teach For America Alum (HOU '11, 7th grade reading). Rep: CLEAR Talent Group. @mrjohnyi.

Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support cross-pollination and outside-the-box thinking to encourage innovative work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a "fertile incubator of offbeat theater," Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: "Best New American Theatre Work" OBIE Award-winner & New York Times' "Best of 2016" Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special (now on international tour); Outstanding Musical Lortel Award-winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; the New York Times' and New York Post's "Best of 2015" Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl (now touring the US after a return engagement Off Broadway); Time Out New York's "Best of 2014," JACUZZI by The Debate Society; the Tony award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (now on Broadway); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar; the world premiere of the 2009 season's most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Alex Timbers; audience favorite Dixie's Tupperware Party by Kris Andersson; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It's Pink, by Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Lin-Manuel Miranda's and Thomas Kail's first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme, by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda.

Ma-Yi Theater Company recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with Hansol Jung's Among the Dead, 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.

Woodshed Collective is one of the country's premier immersive theater companies. Since 2008, the company has presented large scale theatrical events including: Twelve Ophelias performed in McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Confidence Man adapted from Melville's novel and performed on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River and The Tenant adapted from the novel and film and performed in a five story 19th Century Parish House on the Upper West Side.

Most recently, the company presented the critically acclaimed Empire Travel Agency, a grail quest crisscrossing Lower Manhattan, where groups of four audience members at a time hunted for the secret to the essential vibrancy of New York. Driven by the belief in The Combined power of stories and architecture to break down the barriers of everyday life, Woodshed's shows aim to create genuine awe.

The A.R.T./New York Theatres are a project of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York), which provide state-of-the-art, accessible venues at subsidized rental rates, plus free access to top-line technical equipment, so that the city's small and emerging theater companies can continue to experiment, grow and produce new works. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York is the leading service and advocacy organization for New York City's 375+ nonprofit theaters, with a mission to assist member theaters in managing their companies effectively so that they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well. We accomplish this through a comprehensive roster of real estate, financial, educational and community-building programs, as well as research, advocacy and field-wide initiatives that seek to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the industry. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has received numerous honors, including an Obie Award, an Innovative Theatre Award, a New York City Mayor's Award for Arts & Culture and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. For more information, visit art-newyork.org.


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