Performance Project @ University Settlement to Present TALA in 2015

By: Nov. 24, 2014
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The Performance Project @ University Settlement will present the World Premiere of TALA, a multicultural play about the immigrant experience written and directed by Kyoung H. Park. Produced by Kyoung's Pacific Beat, previews begin January 8 at University Settlement with opening set for January 10.

TALA blends the semi-autobiographical story of a gay, Korean-Chilean playwright living in America with the tale of Pepe and Lupe, two lovers inspired by Chilean poets Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. This surreal tragicomedy delves deep into the absurdities of being an artist while trying to write within the margins of so many broken systems.

TALA stars Daniel K. Isaac (Anna Nicole: the Opera, at BAM), Flor De Liz Perez (Pericles at The Public Theater) and Rafael Benoit (Magic Kingdom at The Connelly Theater). The production features original music by Svetlana Maras (Serbia), choreography by Yin Yue (China), video by John Knowles (USA), and installation art by Jason Krugman (USA). The creative team of TALA includes sound design by Chris Barlow and Lawrence Schober, lighting by Chuan-Chi Chan, costumes by Elizabeth Barrett Groth, dramaturgy by Sarah Rose Leonard, and sets by Marie Yokoyama.

TALA was written with support from a Vermont Studio Center Artist grant, developed at the Ma-Yi Theater, Lark Play Development Center, workshopped at HERE Arts Center and Columbia University's New Plays Now 2012 at the ToRoNaDa, under the mentorship of Lee Breuer. The World Premiere of TALA was developed as part of the Artists-in-Residence program of the Performance Project @ University Settlement.

Kyoung's Pacific Beat is led by playwright/director Kyoung H. Park, the first Korean playwright from Latin America to be produced and published in the US. He is author of Sex and Hunger (Access Theater), New York Innovative Theater Award nominee disOriented (Theater C), Walkabout Yeolha (Columbia Stages), and many short plays including Mina (Vital Theater), which is published in Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas by Duke University Press. For over a decade, Kyoung has worked internationally in Brazil, Chile, England, India, and South Korea. He is currently a fellow in Target Margin Theater's Institute for Collaborative Theater-Making. He has collaborated in David Levine's Anger at the Movies (PS122 COIL Festival), Lee Breuer's La Divina Caricatura (PS122, Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival) and Mabou Mines' Glass Guignol (Provincetown's Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Sundance Theater Institute at Mass MoCA, Wesleyan University) and worked for Young Jean Lee's Theater Company. For more information, visit

The Performance Project @ University Settlement seeks artists who are conscious of the multi-layered communities that co-exist in New York City and want to reach beyond existing audiences for live performance. The artists we present often have a Do-It-Yourself attitude, and are interested in producing work for communities who typically have little exposure to the live arts. We believe strongly in ensemble-based, collaborative, inter-disciplinary work. We support artists who value process as much as product, launch experimental investigations into storytelling and narrative structures, and believe that engaging in artistic activities has inherent social and cultural value.

TALA runs January 8 - 23, Thursday - Saturday at 8pm. PLEASE NOTE: performances on Jan. 8 are at 5pm & 9pm and Jan. 9 at 5pm; there is no performance Jan. 17. The University Settlement is located 184 Eldridge Street between Rivington Street and Delancey Street -- accessible from the F train at Essex or the J at Delancey. Tickets are 18/$10 for students and seniors, available online at or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.