A WWII Story Of American Volunteers In China Retold in FLYING TIGERS FLYING AWAY
Seventy-seven years after the First American Volunteer Group joined WWII, Flying Tigers Flying Away tells the story of a cross-cultural romance between three young pilots and two Chinese medical volunteers in Kunming, in the Yunnan province of China.
The war changes those five young people, whose lives become intertwined. Seventy-one years later in 2012, those who are alive meet in Kunming again. Long buried secrets are solved and they begin writing new chapters in their lives.
Drawing on ten years of research and interviews, Ms. Xi Zhang wrote the story of Flying Tigers Flying Away. Upon reading the script, Mr. Perry Gao, co-founder of the Harvard XMedia Lab and a research associate at the US-China YES Foundation, immediately realized the potential educational value of the story.
Zhang and Gao developed the story into a cross-cultural project supported by the XMedia Lab and the YES Foundation, which includes aspiring actors, designers and student interns from the U.S., China (mainland and Taiwan), Japan and Italy. We hope by leveraging the cross-cultural nature of the show, we can encourage young people to learn from history and promote peace and cultural exchange in a new age.
The Chinese version of this play premiered in Beijing on Thanksgiving of 2017. It was later brought to Boston and performed by Chinese international students from Harvard University, Boston University, the University of Connecticut, and others at the Cambridge Center for Chinese Culture in May of this year.
While illustrating the challenging post-war relationship between the U.S. and China that eventually gave way to normalized diplomatic relations and increasingly interconnected societies, the play is ultimately a story of five young people that approaches the simplest, yet most important question in life: what it means to love?
"While Sino-U.S. relations were in their honeymoon period, putting on a play about them was icing on the cake. When the relationship is tense, it takes courage to build a bridge using art," said the playwright Xi Zhang.
The cast includes Aaron Latta-Morissette as Robert Thompson, Daniel Light as Daniel O'Connell, Kevin M. Little as Samuel Howard, Jenny Lin as Shan Leng, Yanzi Ding as Xing, Christina Mei Chen as Leslie, Akiyo Komatsu as Sakamoto, MK Haresign as Sakai, Mike Spara as John K. Fairbank, Ming Wu as Zhenhua Huang, and Edward Wy as Mr. Leng.
The creative team includes Playwright and Director Xi Zhang, Assistant Direction and Costume/Makeup Design by Sharné Van Ryneveld, Sound Design by Yuyun Hsieh, Visual Design by Tianshu Zhao, Technical Direction by Ryan Seelig, and Stage Manager Chenglin Xin.
Tickets are now on sale for the performances, which will run at the Theatre at Saint Peter's, 619 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022 from Sept. 5 to 9. For tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/997316, call (212) 935-5820, or email email@example.com.
For more details about the production, visit www.flyingtigersflyingaway.com.