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World Premiere of ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD & More Announced for East West Players 57th Anniversary Season

World Premiere of ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD & More Announced for East West Players 57th Anniversary Season

Season 57 begins with Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord, in February 2023.

East West Players, the nation's longest-running Asian American theater and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works, is launching its 57th anniversary season. Shows presented throughout 2023 feature Kristina Wong's 2022 Pulitzer Prize Finalist play Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord, a co-production with Center Theatre Group, the world premiere of Paulo K Tiról's soaring musical On This Side of the World, and finally the breathtaking Tony Award winning pop-rock musical Spring Awakening based on the play by Frank Wedekind with book & lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik.

"With our 57th season, East West Players presents a series of visionary works that ask us to cross the precipice into the unknown," shares East West Players' Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai. "Each of these productions inspires us to envision a bold new world while still reflecting on that which we leave behind."

Season 57 Show Information


Season 57 begins with Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord, a co-production with Center Theatre Group presented at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. East West Players 2022 Visionary Award recipient Kristina Wong helms her Pulitzer Prize Finalist solo show with direction by Chay Yew. On day three of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wong began sewing masks out of old bed sheets and bra straps on her Hello Kitty sewing machine. Before long, she was leading the Auntie Sewing Squad, a work-from-home sweatshop of hundreds of volunteers fixing the U.S. public health care system while in quarantine. It was a feminist care utopia forming in the midst of crisis-or possibly a mutual aid doomsday cult. This Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Lortel Award-winning Pulitzer Finalist invites the audience in on Wong's work building community in isolation, while reflecting on what we've been through and imagining what we want to become. Performing February 12 to March 12, 2023 with opening night on February 15, all performances of Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord will be held at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

They return to the David Henry Hwang Theater for the second production of Season 57, the world premiere of On This Side of the World. This new musical features breathtaking music & lyrics by Paulo K Tiról, and is created with and directed by Noam Shapiro. A woman flies from the Philippines to America with a one-way ticket and a suitcase full of stories collected from immigrants who came before her-tales of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies; snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses and first-generation Americans. Suspended above the ocean, she replays these stories in her mind as she searches for the courage to embrace her future. On This Side of the World gives voices to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, eight-thousand miles from home. This heart-filled musical was presented as a staged workshop by East West Players July 30, 2022. On This Side of the World sings on the David Henry Hwang Theater stage May 11 to June 4, 2023 with opening night on May 14.

Concluding their season is the revolutionary Tony Award winning best musical that took the world by storm, Spring Awakening, based on the play by Frank Wedekind with book & lyrics by Steven Sater and electrifying music by Duncan Sheik. In 1891 Germany, repressed, adolescent students stumble into adulthood as clumsily as they do into each other's arms. With obstinate parents unwilling to guide them, young Melchior and Wendla explore their desires for each other, while Melchior's dear friend Moritz fumbles dangerously through his own coming-of-age. This generation-defining musical poignantly explores the dark, passionate, and twisting journey from adolescence to adulthood. Spring Awakening rocks the roof off the David Henry Hwang Theater October 26 to November 19, 2023 with opening night on October 29.

Season 57 Theatre for Youth Tour


East West Players' Theatre for Youth touring production brings stories of prominent Asian Pacific Americans to young audiences across Los Angeles. For EWP's 57th anniversary season, EWP Arts Education presents the 2023 Theatre for Youth production Sama Sama: Solidarity in the Fields by Giovanni Ortega. The play traces the history of the Manongs as well as the Bracero Program, and the allyship between Cesar Chavez, Larry Itliong, and other farm worker activists through the eyes of teenagers in today's society.

Public performances of EWP's Theatre for Youth show are offered for free. For more information, performance dates, and booking requests, please visit eastwestplayers.org.

Season 57 Membership and Ticketing Information

Season 57 memberships are available now. All memberships will include tickets to the CTG co-production Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord, the world premiere musical On This Side of the World, and the musical theater sensation Spring Awakening.

Memberships may be purchased online at eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000. At time of purchase please mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. Student, senior, and group discounts are available. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.

Each main stage show will include one Pay-What-You-Can night at the first Monday performance. East West Players is proud to announce the Access Ticket initiative. Each performance held at the David Henry Hwang Theater this season will have a limited quantity of $15 tickets. East West Players believes all audiences deserve access to theater and hope to lower the barrier for entry through these Access Tickets.

EWP has implemented numerous COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure that artists and audience members are able to safely enjoy their experience. For more information, please visit eastwestplayers.org.

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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