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STAGE TUBE: Steven Sater, Christopher Ashley and NIGHTINGALE Team Address Color-Blind Casting

Currently playing at the La Jolla Playhouse is The Nightingale, by the creative team behind the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening: Steven Sater (book and lyrics) and Duncan Sheik (music). Directed by Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman (33 Variations, I Am My Own Wife), the production runs July 10 – August 5, 2012 in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. The theatre recently held an open discussion about the color-blind casting of the show, which has gotten attention amongst the Asian-American community. Here what they had to say about the subject in the full panel video below.

The cast includes Serra Mesa resident Nikki Castillo (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) as "Nightingale," Obie Award winner Eisa Davis (Passing Strange, Angela's Mixtape) as "Fisherwoman," Matthew Patrick Davis(Playhouse's Limelight, A Midsummer Night's Dream) as "Lieutenant Eunuch," Kimiko Glenn (Spring Awakeningnational tour) as "Princess Ssu-Ming," acclaimed local actor Steve Gunderson (Playhouse's Memphis) as "Chief Eunuch," Jonathan Hammond (Broadway's Ragtime) as the "Emperor," Corbin Reid (Broadway's Sister Act) as "Feiyan," Aaron Serotsky (Off-Broadway's The Blue Flower) as "Minister of State," Bobby Steggert (Broadway revival of 110 in the Shade) as "Young Emperor," Tony Award nominee and Playhouse Gala honoree Charlayne Woodard (Playhouse's The Night Watcher, A Midsummer Night's Dream) as "Empress Dowager," as well as ensemble members Chelsea Diggs-Smith (Lamb's Players Theatre's Guys and Dolls) and UCSD M.F.A. student Zach Martens (Playhouse's The Car Plays: San Diego).

The creative team includes: Duncan Sheik, Composer; Steven Sater, Book Writer/Lyricist; Moisés Kaufman, Director; Dan Knechtges, Choreographer; Lon Hoyt, Music Director; Derek McLane, Scenic Designer; Susan Hilferty, Costume Designer; David Lander, Lighting Designer; Cricket S. Myers, Sound Designer; Chris Green, Puppet Designer; Gabriel Greene, Dramaturg.

A compelling contemporary musical based loosely on the Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Nightingale tells the story of a young emperor in ancient China, whose luxurious but constricted life inside the walls of the Forbidden Cityis upended by the song of an extraordinary bird that lives beyond his reach. With music of Grammy- and Tony Award-winning pop composer/ musician Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award winner Steven Sater, and direction by Tony Award nominee and Playhouse favorite Moisés Kaufman, The Nightingale will captivate audiences with its poetic pop sensibility, while engaging them in the process of creating a brand new work.

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