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LA Premiere of CARDBOARD PIANO Confronts Intolerance and Horrors of War at ICT

LA Premiere of CARDBOARD PIANO Confronts Intolerance and Horrors of War at ICT

A secret wedding ceremony between the daughter of an American missionary and a local teenage girl is disrupted by violence when a child soldier fleeing the atrocities of war stumbles into their remote Ugandan church. caryn desai [sic] directs the Los Angeles premiere of Cardboard Piano by Whiting Award-winning playwright Hansol Jung. Cardboard Piano opens May 4 atInternational City Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, with two low-priced previews set for May 2 and May 3.

Set against the backdrop of the 21-year-long civil war in northern Uganda, Jung's haunting drama confronts the religious and cultural roots of intolerance, as well as the human capacity for hatred, forgiveness and love.

"Religion can do two opposite things," the South Korean playwright said in an interview. "It can destroy, hurt, and be an instigator of violence, but it can also be the only thing capable of controlling that violence."

Developed during a residency at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwright's Conference, Cardboard Piano premiered in 2016 as a part of the Humana Festival at The Actors Theatre of Louisville in Louisville, KY.

"I saw the premiere in Louisville and have chased the rights ever since," says desai. "This play is incredibly powerful and touching, and it's relevant to so many issues we face in the world today."

The ICT production stars Dashawn "Dash" Barnes (The Legend of Georgia McBride at the Geffen), Allison Blaize (Stupid Kid at the Road), Demetrius Hodges (The Wiz at Coterie Theatre in Kansas City) and JoJo Nwoko (Tarell in Season 4 of Showtime'sThe Affair). The creative team features set designer Yuri Okahana, lighting designerDonna Ruzika, costume designer Kim DeShazo, sound designer Dave Mickey, props designers Patty and Gordon Briles, and hair and wigs designer Anthony Gagliardi. Casting is by Michael Donovan and the production stage manager is Jamie A. Tucker.

According to the Whiting Foundation, which last week awarded Jung with the 2018 Whiting Award for Drama, "The stories playwright Hansol Jung is committed to telling could not be more essential to this moment. She knits together the agonies of Korean history, the restless excitement and anxiety of the tech age, and the shapes of loss and longing." Jung's other plays include Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre and Boise Contemporary Theatre), Wolf Play and Wild Goose Dreams. Her work has been developed at London's Royal Court, the New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Repertory's Ground Floor, Sundance Theatre Lab, O'Neill Theater Center's New Play Conference, Lark Play Development Center, Salt Lake Acting Company, Boston Court Theatre, Bushwick Starr, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Asia Society New York, and Seven Devils Playwright Conference. She is the recipient of the Page 73 Playwright Fellowship, Rita Goldberg Playwrights' Workshop Fellowship at the Lark, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and an International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court. She has translated over 30 English musicals into Korean, including Evita, Dracula, Spamalot and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Cardboard Piano runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., May 4 through May 20. Two preview performances take place onWednesday, May 2 and Thursday, May 3, both at 8 p.m. Tickets are $47 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $49 on Saturdays and Sundays, except for Oct. 20 (opening night) for which tickets are $55 and include a post show reception with the actors. Low-priced tickets to previews are $35.

International City Theatre has formed a community partnership with the African American community in Long Beach to raise funds for college scholarships and to bring students to the production. A Community Partnership Package, which includes a pre-performance Gala dinner as well as the post-show reception with the actors on opening night, is $125; tables of ten are available for $1,200. Community Partnership chairs: Dr. Minnie Douglas and Dr. Sharon Valear Robinson.

International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 330 East Seaside Way in Long Beach, CA 90802. For reservations and information, call 562-436-4610 or go to

Recommended for mature audiences, ages 16 and up. (Adult content, including strong language and gunshots.)

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