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Los Angeles Theatre Artists to Present COWBOY VERSUS SAMURAI, 9/26-10/20


Artists at Play presents the Los Angeles premiere of COWBOY VERSUS SAMURAI, a re-imagining of the classic CYRANO DE BERGERAC tale featuring Asian Americans in a small town in Wyoming. Opening Saturday, September 28, 2013, the play is written by Michael Golamco, currently a writer for NBC'sGrimm, and directed by Peter J. Kuo, who recently assisted Tony Award-winning Pam MacKinnon at South Coast Repertory (The Parisian Woman) as well as Jonathan Lynn at Geffen Playhouse (Yes, Prime Minister); and is a part of the SDC Foundation Observership program for the 2013/2014 season.

Presented in one of the most diverse cities of the United States, Artists at Play's Los Angeles production of COWBOY VERSUS SAMARI tackles issues of racial bias in dating and the need to conquer one's insecurities in order to follow their heart. It delves into the inner tension of cultures found within the Asian American or any other cultural/racial/ethnic minority in this country. In the case of L.A.-transplant Travis, his inner "cowboy" and "samurai" are loosely personified by the militant "Asian of Unknown Origin" Chester and dim, handsome Del, who isn't quite the cowboy others make him out to be. Throw Korean American Veronica Lee from New York City into the mix, and what ensues is a story about people trying to find themselves and discover where and with whom they might belong.

"Race and relationships can be hot-button topics on their own," said co-founder Julia Cho, "but the subject of interracial relationships can be quite polarizing and complex. Even in 2013, we are still dealing with the ridiculous and painfully unaware 'Asian Girlz' music video with its extreme exotification of the Asian female. We were drawn to the way Cowboy Versus Samurai examines such issues with subtlety, humor, and yes, even a little anger, but a refreshing honesty throughout."

Presented by Artists at Play (AAP), this production will be Golamco's third premiere in the Los Angeles theatre community over the last three years, the prior shows being Year Zero (2011) at The Colony Theatre and Build(2012) at Geffen Playhouse. The cast includes Feodor Chin (Lady Windermere's Fan, Chalk Rep), Daniel Vincent Gordh (Mad Men), West Liang (Their Eyes Saw Rain, Company of Angels), and AAP co-founder Julia Cho (The Newsroom) as the female lead. Both Cho and Gordh appeared in the popular and now Emmy Award-winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a YouTube adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Understudies for Cowboy Versus Samurai include Michael Barnum, Macleish Day, Elaine Loh, and Julian Yuen.

The creative team consists of Set Designer Art Betanzos, Costume Designer Rachel Stivers, Lighting Designer Christopher Singleton, Sound Designer Felix Lau, Property Master Naomi Kasahara, Safety Coordinator Thomas Morinaka, Stage Manager Jennifer Perez, and Assistant Stage Manager Cat Betco.

Previews for COWBOY VERSUS SAMURAI will be on September 26 and 27 at 8 PM. The show will open on September 28, 2013 and run until October 20, 2013. Tickets are $15-$25 for general admission and $35 for opening night, which includes a post-show reception. Tickets can be purchased here.

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