Kumu Kahua Theatre Presents Yilong Liu's JUNE IS THE FIRST FALL
Kumu Kahua Theatre proudly presents Yilong Liu's June is the First Fall, directed by Lurana Donnels O'Malley, running November 8 - December 9, 2018.
June is the First Fall is the story of Don, a queer Chinese man in Hawai'i, who escapes to New York as a family tragedy intertwines with his sexuality. When he returns home to M?noa Valley, he finds his sister engaged to his first love.
O'Malley, who was one of Liu's theatre professors at UHM where he received his MFA in playwriting, supported the premiere of his play Joker in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre (it was later presented in the Kumu Kahua Theatre's 45th season). When asked what she hopes the audience will gain from seeing this production, she answers: "Coming out is still, unfortunately, a painful process for many LGBTQ+ people, and I hope this show can create empathy for their struggles--live theatre has great potential to foster such empathy. The play, which tells a story of family members learning to forgive and move on by recognizing the value of shared traditions and cultural practices, may inspire audience members to reach out across the divides between us. I also hope that the show engenders empathy for immigrants in America, who risk so much and who must make so many adjustments."
June is the First Fall received a Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Yilong Liu was recently named as one of Ten Contemporary Asian and Pacific Islander American Playwrights You Should Know by ArtsBoston. He is a New York-based playwright, originally from Chongqing, China. Currently, he is resident playwright in the SERIALS Writers Room at The Flea Theatre, and a Greenhouse resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm.
Liu's awards include an EST/Sloan New Play Commission, Kennedy Center's Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award (The Book of Mountains and Seas), National Partners of the American Theatre Award for Playwriting (Joker), and Po'okela Award for Best New Play (Joker). He was the recipient of the Asian Pacific American Friends of The Theatre Playwright Scholarship, a semi-finalist for Bay Area Playwrights Festival and O'Neill Playwrights Conference, a finalist for The New Harmony Project, and Lark's 2018 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellowship.
His work has been produced or developed at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, East West Players, Queens Theatre, FringeNYC, Union Theatre (London), CAATA, New Ohio Theatre, Kumu Kahua Theatre, Living Room Theatre, and others.
Yilong explains, "I feel this urge, this responsibility, and this deep desire to write the stories I am telling, about queer people caught in between worlds, not only because it's a way of empowerment, or that it's even more needed in light of the recent political climate, but also because the stories are so beautiful and so heartbreaking that they deserve to be told."
This production contains adult language and themes.
This play runs: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 8pm: November 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 29, 30; December 1, 6, 7, 8, 2018
Sundays 2pm: November 11, 18, 25; December 2,*9, 2018
(No show Thursday, November 22 - Thanksgiving)
*American Sign Language Interpretation is planned for Sunday, December 9.
Following the performance on Friday, November 16 there will be a free talk story. These talk stories are offered on the 2nd Friday of each production run and include an opportunity to gain behind the scenes insight from the director, cast and playwright (when available).
Hometowns of the cast of June is the First Fall.
Qiaoer Zheng, Shanghai, China; Adam Brading, Kapolei, HI; Berkley Spivey, Kitty Hawk, NC; Leah M. Koeppel, Waimanalo, HI; Nicholas Myers, Honolulu, HI; Stu Hirayama, Waipahu, HI
Tickets for performances can be purchased with a credit card by calling 536-4441, or by visiting the box office at 46 Merchant Street (corner of Bethel and Merchant Streets, downtown) between 11am and 3pm Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased at KumuKahua.org.
Ticket prices are $5-$25
Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by The Hawai'i Tourism Authority, The Hawai'i Community Foundation, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawai'i, Trustee), The Atherton Foundation and Hawaiian Electric Company, The Star-Advertiser and other foundations, businesses and patrons.