Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?
Kiki Yeung (Kiki): I majored in Drama at the University of Washington and received a diversity scholarship at Freehold Studio Theatre's Ensemble Intensive Training Program. I trained in Shakespeare and have experience performing with Pork Filled Players and Unexpected Productions in Seattle. I also toured with Asian Story Theater in San Diego.
My award-winning one woman show "Second Chances for Grace" was selected to be presented at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre NuWorks Festival in NY, Santa Monica Playhouse, New Americans Museum, and was Comedians' Pick at the Crazy Woke Asians Solo Performance Festival.
(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?
(Kiki) I was involved organizing two productions: Crazy Woke Asians Solo Performance Festival at the Santa Monica Playhouse May 28-31, and Crazy Woke Asians comedy show at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. It's important for us to make these events happen, especially now since there has been a lot of racism and hate crimes against Asian Americans in the media due to the Coronavirus pandemic starting in Asia. But it is our goal to continue to raise awareness and shine a light with our voices through comedy.
(SB): How did you communicate the shutdown with your cast and production team?
(Kiki): We emailed the performers and production team to postpone our March 15 promo photo shoot. And in April, we will notify the performers regarding the new festival date since right now the end of May dates are on hold at the Santa Monica Playhouse. We also messaged all the performers for the April 19 show at the Comedy Store, which is also on hold.
(SB): Are plans in place to present the productions at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?
(Kiki): The CWA Solo Performance Festival is now tentatively rescheduled to September 24-27, 2020, but we are still waiting to see what happens in the next week before announcing it to the performers. I plan to confirm with all scheduled performers on April 1 and again on August 1, just in case there's a need to reschedule or push dates to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. We may reschedule the April 19 CWA Comedy Show to either May/June/July.
(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?
(Kiki): We have comedy shows every other month, so we are heavily affected by the shutdown as our June and August shows, September/October NYC tour, and November Hong Kong/China tour are all going to be rescheduled or postponed. That's a lot of logistics to try and reschedule, and there is no way to know when we will be able to travel.
(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?
(Kiki) We share funny videos and posts on our Instagram and Facebook @crazywokeasians. We also repost comedians' Patreon crowdfunding platform, podcast, and funny videos on our page to support their Art. I hosted an open mic with The Hollywood Comedy Store on Instagram Live, and we may have a live stream CWA Comedy Show in April.
(SB) It certainly sounds like you are staying busy trying to figure out your next steps when so many things are up in the air right now. What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage as soon as possible?
(Kiki): Keep creating online. Support and engage with each other on social media. Spend some time in silence and write. This is a great opportunity to gather our thoughts and write that story or play we keep putting off.
For more information about Crazy Woke Asians, visit their website at www.crazywokeasians.com or on social media @crazywokeasians
Photos by Charles Locke
Poster Image credit: Lyvell G Productions, Reactant Photography