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GBSC Commissions the Next Installment of Christine Toy Johnson's EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM 

Zoom performances run November 20 - 24, 2020.

GBSC Commissions the Next Installment of Christine Toy Johnson's EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM 

Greater Boston Stage Company presents the World Premieres of Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom Part 2: Battle of the Mei Lis and Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom Part 3: I Love You, Happy New Year.

In response to the tremendous acclaim for the Zoom production of Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom in September of this year, GBSC commissioned Obie Award winning Christine Toy Johnson to write what happens next for Lo-An Li and her cohorts. This will be a five day only virtual event. Directed by Christine Toy Johnson and assisted by Associate Artistic Director Ilyse Robbins, this 40-minute Zoom performances run November 20 - 24, 2020. The livestream opening will air, Friday, November 20, 2020 at 8:00pm. It will be followed by a short question and answer with the creative team.

 

In Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom Part 2: Battle of the Mei Lis, the stars and creative team of Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom gather for a last-minute rehearsal on Zoom as playwright Billy Ellis makes some final tweaks before opening night on Broadway. Later that evening, post-performance, in Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom Part 3: I Love You, Happy New Year, well... the jig is up.

 

Says playwright and director Christine Toy Johnson, "I was thrilled when Weylin and Ilyse asked me to write an expansion of what I'm now calling Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom: Part 1: 'Introducing Lo-An Li!' that streamed in late September. I had heard from several other people along the way that they wanted to see more of the story and with GBSC's amazing support, I relished in writing down what I had imagined was the outcome of Lo-An and Roberta's big plan. Though I adapted it, again, to all take place on screens (FaceTime or Zoom), I have also written a version of the entire story for the stage (which includes a Prologue that you won't see this time around), with a hopeful eye on the future when we can gather to share a laugh or two in person again.

 

"'What happens next?!' That's what everyone kept asking after our presentation of Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom last month," says Producing Artistic Director Weylin Symes. "And, to be honest, we wanted to know too. So, we had a chat with Christine Toy Johnson and decided we all wanted to find out. In parts 2 and 3, Christine continues to explore the assumptions too many of us make about race, who gets to tell what stories, and how far you might go to get what you want. And she does it with her characteristic sense of humor, heart and hopefulness."

 

Once again, the entire process from auditions through rehearsals to performance has been conducted via Zoom, now old-hat for GBSC. Not only is this in-line with the premise of the play, it also ensures the safety of our artists and staff during this time of COVID-19. In addition, $5 of every donation is going to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. https://www.aaldef.org

 

The cast features Jordan Ahnquist, Michelle Liu Coughlin, David Darrow, Lily Kaufman, and EJ Zimmerman.

 

Single Tickets for Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom: Parts 2 and 3: A donation may be made to attend either the live performance and Q&A on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 8:00pm or to watch the recorded performance anytime between Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 10:00am through Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at midnight. A donation of $15 may be made on the Greater Boston Stage Company website at www.greaterbostonstage.org.

 

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