CHANG(E) Begins Tonight at HERE

As part of its 2015-2016 Producing Season, HERE presents Chang(e), a HERE Resident Artist production devised by Soomi Kim and director Suzi Takahashi. A limited engagement plays November 4 - 22 at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street). This new work, developed through the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), marks the culmination of a residency for Soomi Kim with HARP.

Fighting for global social transformation, performance artist and activist Kathy Change (formerly Kathleen Chang) was on a mission to save the world from disaster. As a final act of protest, she self-immolated on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in October 1996. Chang(e) is a live-staged biographical docudrama that slips between reality and fantasy, plunging viewers inside the mind of Kathy Change. Through a blend of original text, along with interview and performance transcriptions and Change's own writings, interwoven with dance, video and original score, Change's prescient defiance comes to life in a theatrical account of a passionate and marginalized woman battling her own cultural and psychological demons.

Chang(e) is devised in collaboration by Soomi Kim and Suzi Takahashi. Directed by Suzi Takahashi. Original Music is composed by Adam Rogers (guitar). Set Design is by Bryce Cutler. Video is by Kevan Loney. Costume Design is by Machine Dazzle. Lighting Design is by Lucrecia Briceno. Sound Design is by Iggy Hung. Choreographic Consultation by Alexandra Beller. Stage Management by Alex West. Assistant Direction by Leta Tremblay.

Chang(e) features Soomi Kim, Criena House, Kiyoko Kashiwagi, David Perez-Ribada, Ben Skalski, Adriana Spencer and Zeke Stewart.

Soomi Kim is a Korean-born, New York City-based actor/writer/movement artist (dancer, stage combat/martial arts, choreographer, former gymnast). She has worked as a company member with several artists as well as producing, creating and performing her own work, almost always in the collaborative setting. She and director Suzi Takahashi have created and devised a trilogy of work based on under-recognized figures / Asian American visionaries: Lee/gendary, dictee: bells fall a peal to sky and Chang(e). dictee: bells fall a peal to sky (adaptation of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's seminal work of poetry) premiered in Los Angeles at the 3rd National Asian American Theater Festival, June 2011 and was featured at Culture Project's Women Center Stage Festival. dictee... was conceived and choreographed by Kim, created in collaboration with director by Suzi Takahashi and musician Jen Shyu.

In October 2008, Lee/gendary (written by Derek Nguyen, directed by Suzi Takahashi, based on the life of Bruce Lee) ran for three weeks at HERE's mainstage, where Kim served as producer & performer in this show. This performance run garnered six New York Innovative Theater (2009) award nominations and three wins, including Outstanding Production of a Play. Kim was also nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role (as Bruce Lee) as well as Outstanding Choreography (alongside Airon Armstrong). She has performed and worked extensively with composer/choreographer Grisha Coleman in her work echo::system-the desert and has performed and toured in lead roles in martial arts plays by Fred Ho.

Soomi has been featured in KoreAm Journal, Asiance magazine, Kung Fu magazine, The Korea Times, Tsing Tao newspaper, The Los Angeles Times and PBS's show Asian America (episode title: downtown writers and performers). Soomi has performed and participated in the Asian Arts Intiative's Artist Exchange Residency in Philadelphia (2011 & 2012). She was a 2013 Hemisphere Institute's Artist in Residence (Performance and Politics), 2014 Mabou Mines Artist in Residence and a 2015 NPN Creation and Forth Fund recipient for Chang(e). Chang(e) was featured at the 4th National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival in Philadelphia, PA, October 2014 at the InterAct Theater.

Suzi Takahashi is a devised theater maker, director, teacher and actor. Suzi has devised three works with collaborator Soomi Kim: Lee/gendary (HERE), dictee: bells fall a peal to sky (WSC - Culture Project) and Chang(e) (HERE). From 2002-2010, Suzi was the co-artistic producer of Ex.Pgirl, with whom she devised four original works: Ablution, Waving Hello, 10 Plates and Paris Syndrome, all of which premiered at HERE. She has also devised four works for NYU/Stella Adler Studio of Acting: Conversion: the mysteriously true events of Le Roy high school, Falling, Florence Syndrome and Slender Man.

Directing highlights include Rent and Mary's Wedding at the Bristol Valley Theatre, God of Vengeance and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and The Island at Swarthmore College. As an actor she has performed for artists like Richard Foreman, Richard Schechner, Kristin Marting, Phil Soltanoff, Darko Tresnjak, Emma Griffin and Taylor Mac. In 2009, Suzi won the Innovative Theater Award for Best Director. She has been an Emerging Artist Fellow in directing with the New York Theater Workshop, and she has twice been a HARP Artist-in-Residence at HERE with Ex.Pgirl.

Her work has received grants from Franklin Furnace, NYSCA, DCA and Swing Space. Previously, Suzi has taught Acting at Swarthmore College and Hunter College, and Movement at the City College of New York and Marymount Manhattan. Currently, she is on the Movement Faculty at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting where she teaches Viewpoint/Composition work and devises physical theater. Suzi holds an MFA in Directing from Stony Brook-Southampton and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. She is a graduate of Barnard College. Suzi trained with the SITI Company.

The OBIE-winning HERE (Kristin Marting, Artistic Director and Kim Whitener, Producing Director), founded in 1993, is a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performance viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines-theater, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art. Standout productions include Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique and Arias with a Twist, Hazelle Goodman's On Edge, Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle's all wear bowlers, Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, Corey Dargel's Removable Parts, Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge and Stefan Weisman & David Cote's The Scarlet Ibis, among many others. In 2008, following an extensive renovation, HERE re-opened the doors to its longtime downtown home for the arts, where it continues as a vibrant, welcoming haven for artists and audiences alike.

The HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) has been HERE's signature development and producing program since 1998. HARP commissions, develops and premieres new hybrid performances. Productions developed at HERE challenge existing boundaries between disciplines -- theater, dance, music, opera, puppetry, media, visual arts, installation, spoken word and more. Through HARP, the Resident Artists are given the unique opportunity to develop their projects for up to three years through free works-in-progress showings, workshop presentations in HERE's annual CULTUREMART festival, culminating in full-scale productions.

Each season, HERE premieres several of these Resident Artist productions as mainstage works. These innovative projects are grown in a diverse artistic community where artists receive career development resources and hands-on training. HARP has been widely recognized as a unique model for artistic development for the field to emulate. In honoring HERE with the 2009 Ross Wetzsteon Award, the OBIE Committee noted, "it's become increasingly hard for artists to find a place to take risks, a safe haven where they can develop daring new work. One theater has regularly bucked the trend, making its mission to ensure that artists have a home for their research and development, and that theatregoers can sample the exciting results."

HERE is also home to the cross-disciplinary productions of Artistic Director Kristin Marting and proudly hosts adventurous artists, companies and productions, whether emerging or acclaimed, through its SubletSeries. It also presents work from New York, across the country, and around the globe through the Dream Music Puppetry Program (co-curated with Basil Twist), and the acclaimed PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival of opera-theater and music-theater, co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects.


Chang(e) plays November 4 - 22 as follows: Thursday through Saturday at 8:30pm, and Sunday at 4:00pm. Additional preview performance on Wednesday, November 4 at 8:30pm. Tickets are $18.00. Tickets can be purchased at www.here.org or by calling (212) 352-3101 or at the HERE Box Office (5PM until curtain on show days). For more, please visit www.here.org.

Chang(e) will be followed in HERE's season by the Resident Artist production Science Fair by Hai-Ting Chinn (April 13 - 24) and the Artistic Director production Idiot by Kristin Marting and Robert Lyons (April 27 - May 21). HERE's 2015-2016 Season began with the Resident Artist production Genet Porno by Yvan Greenberg (September 9 - 26). HERE's 2015-2016 Season also includes the fourth annual PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival, and HERE's yearly CULTUREMART festival, giving audiences a first look at new work in process from artists in the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP).

Additional supportArts Initiative in partnership with HERE, and NPN's Forth Fund. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency).

HERE's programming is made possible with public funds from: the NationalHonorable Deborah Glick; and the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.

HERE's programming is also made possible with generous support from: & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Jim Henson Foundation; the Jerome Foundation; MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program; Mental Insight Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund; Peg Santvoord Foundation; The Scherman Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; Theatre Communications Group; the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation; and HERE's generous community of individual donors.

In addition, HERE receives Leadership Funding for PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now, its new opera-theater and music-theater festival, from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and other generous support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust, The Charles and Cerise Jacobs Fund for New Opera, The Reed Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.



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