Regional Premiere Of Mike Lew's TIGER STYLE! Announced At Olney Theatre Center
Tiger Style! by Mike Lew, an outrageous and cutting satire of Asian-American identity, completes Olney Theatre Center's 81st season in the Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab (July 17 - August 18, 2019). The production is directed by the boundary-pushing director Natsu Onoda Power, who recently pulled off the rare feat of winning two Helen Hayes Awards (one for direction, one for design) in a single evening. Invited press night is Saturday, July 20 at 7:45pm.
"It's with great pride OTC presents the regional premiere of Mike Lew's hilarious and incisive satire, Tiger Style!" said Artistic Director Jason Loewith. "His play throws a stick of comic dynamite into the earnest conversations about identity politics that we're all obsessed with right now."
Lew's story concerns Jennifer and Albert, two Chinese-American siblings going through something of a late-adolescent identity crisis in which they vacillate between rejecting their Asian identity to go full-on American, and when that fails, physically retreat to China, where things go no better. Lew was inspired to write the play in-part to battle the stereotypes that prolifigated in the discussions surrounded Amy Chua's book "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Speaking to the Boston Globe, about "tiger parenting" and the high expectations associated with Asian parents, Lew (a Yale graduate) said, ""It's something I have a lot of personal experience with, but I felt that it wasn't being represented [fairly] in the media. I have a lot of perspective on this, having a lot of expectations placed on me but also being very tight with my family. From there [the play has] really blossomed out into this rumination on: Where are Asian-Americans in this country? After being here for so many generations, how far have we come in terms of race relations?"
Director Natsu Onoda Power centers her vision for the production on the sibling protagonists, "Jennifer and Albert are third-generation Chinese Americans, but more importantly, they are millennials from an affluent family - entitled, self-obsessed, and quick to blame others for their own shortcomings. They are also hard-working, insecure, and, despite their bravado, care deeply about each other." She continued, "Their journey is very much like Dorothy's in The Wizard of Oz. Their version of China is a fantastical land that consists entirely of things they already know and imagine."
Regina Aquino, who also received a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress at the recent ceremony, plays Jennifer and Sean Sekino, a Los Angeles-based actor seen on Grey's Anatomy and the Netflix series American Vandal, plays her brother Albert. Eileen Rivera, who worked with Director Power on Studio Theatre's Vietgone plays the siblings' mother, Kurt Kwan, a Minneapolis-based actor plays the father and OTC-veteran Michael Glenn plays a host of characters as the production's sole non-Asian actor.
Power is joined by her creative team including Tony Cisek as Scenic Designer, Debra Kim Sivigny as Costume Designer, Sarah Tundermann as Lighting Designer, Roc Lee as Sound Designer. Katie Ciszek is the assistant director and dramaturg for the production. Tiger Style! is stage managed by Jack Riley.
Regular performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:45 pm; matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 1:45 pm; and a Wednesday matinee at 1:45 pm on July 24. There is no Saturday matinee on July 20.
There will be an Audio-described performance for the blind and visually impaired on Wednesday, July 31 at 7:45pm and a sign-interpreted performance on Thursday, August 8 at 7:45 pm. Audience members who wish to use these services should contact Julie Via, Patron Services Manager (email@example.com) to confirm.
Tickets begin at $54. Discounts available for groups, seniors, military and students.