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East West Players Announces Return Engagement of FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE This August

FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE ​challenges viewers to reflect on our criminal justice system and imagines its future.

East West Players Announces Return Engagement of FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE This August

East West Players, in partnership with API RISE, has announced the return engagement of FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE, a reimagining of the criminal justice system with stories from the API community, from August 5 to 7.

What is incarceration? What is freedom? What is forgiveness? In FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE, formerly incarcerated Asian Americans and those in the API community impacted by mass incarceration take us on a journey through their experiences. FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE ​challenges viewers to reflect on our criminal justice system and imagines its future.

FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE is directed and devised by East West Players Visionary Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and Lucille Lortel Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Kristina Wong (SWEATSHOP OVERLORD).

"The impact of incarceration on API communities is rarely considered because it's a population that even Asian Americans don't realize exists," shares Kristina Wong. "But incarcerated and detained APIs is actually a growing population and the stigma around incarceration in our communities makes it so much more difficult to address. I am thrilled to direct this project for the second year in a row and literally make history by supporting this cast as they put their stories into record."

Following East West Players' original streaming production of FROM NUMBER TO NAME in April 2021, powerhouse artist and activist Kristina Wong again devises a piece that is the culmination of a writing and performance process exploring incarceration, undoing prison politics, and restorative justice in Asian Pacific Islander Communities. Featuring participants from the 2021 production as well as new faces, this return engagement offers new stories and multimedia segments exclusive to this iteration of FROM NUMBER TO NAME.

"While our in-person season continues this September with THE GREAT JHERI CURL DEBATE, we could not miss this opportunity to work with our most recent EWP Visionary Award winner Kristina Wong on this virtual production," shares EWP's Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai. "FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE offers stories rarely told in theater and mainstream media, from storytellers who are placed in the margins of society, thanks to the highly accessible platform of virtual performance."

Featuring the incredible, unique perspective of formerly incarcerated members of API RISE, their families, and supporters, FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE livestreams on Stellar August 5 through August 7, and will feature talkbacks with API RISE, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower the Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander American communities and specifically those individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.

"Who better to share the stories and uplift the voices of the API RISE community than East West Players, an organization who values raising the visibility and dialogue around issues that affect our communities," says Billy Taing and Diane Ujiiye, co-directors of API RISE. "Our stories and experiences of incarceration, immigration detention, and the traumas of how those experiences affect our lives are often not heard or "we don't talk about it" because of the shame and stigma. We believe this collaboration will be uplifting and empowering for API RISE members, and for our API community. We rise together."

Featuring both new and returning cast members, this return engagement of FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE stars the formerly incarcerated members of API RISE, their families, and supporters. FROM NUMBER TO NAME: BACK TO LIFE stars Macy Boungert, Rose Brown, Tue Huynh, Kirn Kim, Woo Dong Lee, Maria Kanaka Luna, Anthony Nguyen, Tin Thang, Toby Thet, Irving Revlova, and Meenakshi Ramamurthy. The production is directed and devised by Kristina Wong, assistant directed by Godfrey Santos Plata, and screen managed by Juan Sebastian Bernal, with Jennifer Chiou as the production assistant.

How to Watch


Performances will be livestreamed via Stellar. Early bird pay-what-you-can tickets are on sale starting July 7 and start at $4.99 minimum. Beginning August 5 tickets start at $19.99 minimum. Tickets are sold on a per household basis. The Friday, August 5 performance begins at 7pm. Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 performances begin at 5pm. Video-On-Demand details will be available at a later date.

Tickets may be purchased online at eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.

About East West Players


East West Players (EWP), the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, was founded in 1965, at a time when Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (APIs) faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape. EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation in entertainment and media.




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