A.R.T. Presents WILD SWANS 2/11-3/11
American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) begins performances of the world premiere production of Wild Swans, the first stage version of Jung Chang's astonishing personal memoir, in a majorinternational collaboration with the Young Vic and Actors Touring Company. Performances run from Saturday, February 11 through March 11, 2012. The production will run at the Young Vic in London from April 13 through May 13, 2012.
China, at the heart of the 20th Century became a nation transformed beyond recognition. Through the eyes of one fiercely courageous family, Wild Swans takes us on a journey from the early days of Communist hope and struggle, through the chaos and confusion of Mao's Cultural Revolution, to the birth of a superpower.
Jung Chang commented: 'This production means a lot to me. To see Wild Swans on stage – transferred into another art form – will be fantastic. It feels great to know that my book is in such good hands.'
Actress Katie Leung, best known as Harry Potter's girlfriend Cho Chang in the film series, will play Er-Hong, the character based on Jung Chang; and joins an ensemble that is made up of British and American actors including Oliver Biles as Weimin, Eric Chan as Dr. Wan, Annie Chang as Dai, Ka-Ling Cheung as De-Hong, Victor Chi as Heng, Celeste Den as Ting, Joanne Fong as Huifen, Jon Kit Lee as Bolin, Orion Lee as Shou-Yu, Jennifer Lim Ai Hua as Teacher Shu, Les J N Mau as Team Leader Chi, Ron Nakahara as Governor Lin, Zenghui Qiu as Zhen, and Julyana Soelistyo as Yu-Fang. The cast will also include a community chorus recruited from the greater Boston Asian American community.
Wild Swans unites the talents of director Sacha Wares (Sucker Punch, Royal Court), playwright Alexandra Wood (The Eleventh Capital), and designer Miriam Buether (Anna Nicole, Royal Opera House; King Lear, The Public Theater NYC). The production will include specially commissioned video designs by groundbreaking Beijing artist Wang GongXin, whose work has been seen at MOMA in San Francisco, the V&A and many other major galleries throughout the world. Costume design is by Tom Rand, sound design by Gareth Fry, lighting design by D M Wood, movement direction by Leon Baugh, projection by Tim Reid, music by Zenghui Qiu and puppet design and direction by Michael Fowkes.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:
Celebrated writer Jung Chang was born in Sichuan Province, China in 1952. She became a Red Guard at the age of fourteen and then worked as a peasant, a barefoot doctor, a steelworker and an electrician before becoming an English language student. In 1978 she moved to Britain and in 1982 became the first person from the People's Republic of China to earn a PhD from a British university. Her most recent book is the bestseller Mao: The Unknown Story that she co-wrote with her husband Jon Halliday.
Director Sacha Wares is an Associate Director of both the Royal Court and Young Vic Theatres in London. Her recent work includes Roy Williams' Sucker Punch, Debbie Tucker Green's random, and Mike Bartlett's My Child (all at Royal Court). Other work includes generations (Young Vic), trade (Royal Shakespeare Company), Platform (ICA), and Caryl Churchill's A Number at Theatre Project Tokyo. She was also co-director of Guantanamo: "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom" at the Tricycle Theatre in 2004, which transferred to London's West End and New York.
Playwright Alexandra Wood was awarded the George Devine Award for her breakthrough play The Eleventh Capital, which was directed by Natalie Abrahami aspart of the Royal Court Young Writers Festival. She was one of the writers to contribute to Decade, directed byRupert Goold, which explored the legacy of 9/11 ten years on. Her other plays include The Andes, Unbroken, The Lion's Mouth and the radio play, Twelve Years.
Set Designer Miriam Buether won the 2010 Evening Standard Award for Sucker Punch (Royal Court) and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre), and was a winner of the Linbury Prize in 1999. She designed The Government Inspector, The Good Soul of Szechuan, In the Red andBrown Water and generations for The Young Vic; and Get Santa!, Cock, Relocated, My Child, and Way to Heaven for the Royal Court. Her opera credits include Anna Nicole (Royal Opera House) and Turandot (English National Opera).
Wang GongXin is one of China's most respected and influential contemporary artists. His work Here? Or There? (created with LinTianmiao) is considered to be among the most important video works in recent years. His piece The Sky of Brooklyn:Digging a Hole in Beijing was one of the first site-specific installations in China. His work on video includes The Old Bench, Baby Talk, Public Hallway, and Shepard. His work has been exhibited widely all over the world,including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Jerusalem, Athens, Helsinki, London, Moscow, Berlin, Amsterdam, as well as Denmark, Poland, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, amongothers.
Tom Rand has been nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA for his costume designs for A French Lieutenant's Woman directed by Karel Reisz. His other film work includes The Duellists, directed by Ridley Scott, Young Toscanini,directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and Un Pont Entre Deux Rives directed by Gerard Depardieu. His theatre credits include designing costumes for Relative Values in the West End, Fiona Shaw in Medea directed by Deborah Warner in Dublin, London and on world tour, and The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic, directed by Jerry Zaks.
Movement Director Leon Baugh is an acclaimed dancer, best known for his work with the Hofesh Shechter Company; and has also danced with Frantic Assembly and StanWon't Dance. He won the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Roy Williams' Sucker Punch in 2011.
There will be two ASL interpreted performances of Wild Swans on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm, and two Audio Described performances, on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm. The audio described performances will be preceded by a touch tour. Attendees for the audio described performances are encouraged to arrive one hour prior tocurtain.
Wild Swans is a recipient of a 2011 Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award, and was also made possible by funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) is one of the country's most celebrated theaters and the winner of numerous awards, including the Tony Award, the Pulitzer Prize and Elliot Norton and I.R.N.E. Awards. In May of 2003 it wasnamed one of the top three regional theaters in the country by Time magazine. The A.R.T. was founded by Robert Brustein in 1980, who served as Artistic Director until 2002, when he was succeeded by RoBert Woodruff. In 2008, Diane Paulus became the A.R.T.'s Artistic Director. During its 31-year history, the A.R.T. has welcomed many major American and international theater artists, presenting a diverserepertoire that includes premieres of American plays, bold reinterpretations of classical texts and provocative new music Theater Productions. The A.R.T. has performed throughout the U.S. and worldwide in 21 cities in 16 countries onfour continents. Since becoming Artistic Director, Diane Paulus has programmed innovative work that has enhanced theA.R.T.'s core mission to expand the boundaries of theater. Productions such as Sleep No More, The Donkey Show, Gatz, Porgy and Bess, Prometheus Bound and Death and the Powers: The Robots' Opera have immersed audiences in original theatrical experiences. The A.R.T.'s club theater, OBERON, which Paulus calls a "Second Stage for the 21st century," has become an incubator for local artists and has also attracted national attention for its groundbreaking model for programming. Through all of its work, the A.R.T. is committed to building a community of artists, technicians, educators, staff and audience, all of who are integral to the A.R.T.'s mission to expand the boundaries of theater.
The Young Vic presents the widest variety of classics, new plays, forgotten works and music theater in England, tours and co-produces extensively within the UK and internationally. Their shows are created by some of theworld's great theater artists alongside the most adventurous of the younger generation. This fusion makes the Young Vic one of the most exciting theaters in the world; their audience is famously the youngest and most diverse in London. The company keeps its prices low and donates 10% of their tickets to schools and neighborhood communities irrespective of box office demand.
Actors Touring Company (ATC) challenges and inspires a wide-range of audiences by touring ambitious contemporary theater with a strong international focus. Their work is made by bringing together emerging and established artists from many spheres and backgrounds. Based in East London but working closely with regional, national and international partners, ATC takes excellent theatre everywhere. ATC is flexible in its response to new inputs and steadfast in its quest to create and deliver genuinely innovative theatre practice. With their proven track record, ATC will continue to ensure they reach the broadest possible audiences.
The balance of the A.R.T.'s 2011-12 Season includes the world premiere of FUTURITY: A Musical by The Lisps, with music and lyrics by César Alvarez with The Lisps; book by Molly Rice and César Alvarez; directed by Sarah Benson (Oberon • March 16 – April 15) and WOODY SEZ, with words and music by Woody Guthrie, devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley (Loeb Drama Center • May 5 – May 26).
The Loeb Drama Center, located at 64 Brattle Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, is accessible to persons with special needs and to those requiring wheelchair seating or first-floor restrooms. Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons can alsoreach the theater by calling the toll-free N.E. Telephone Relay Center at 1-800-439-2370.
For further information call 617-547-8300 or visit americanrepertorytheater.org