Caleb Deschanel to Direct BURNING IN CHINA At FringeNYC, Opens 8/17


Five-time Oscar nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (whose nominations were for The Right Stuff, The Natural, Fly Away Home, The Patriot, and The Passion of the Christ) will direct Gary Moore's autobiographical multi-media one man play BURNING IN CHINA this August at FringeNYC, with performances from August 17th - August 28th at the New York Theatre Workshop's 4th Street Theatre. The play, which chronicles Moore's unique and inspirational 1988 journey to China just months before Tiananmen Square, will star Jeff LeBeau. Deschanel's other cinematography credits include the mega-blockbuster National Treasure, and the upcoming Dream House starring Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, and Rachel Weisz. BURNING IN CHINA will also integrate film footage of urban China that Deschanel himself shot in 1988.

When Gary Moore went to Shanghai in 1988 to teach at a Chinese university, he took with him one hundred parchment copies of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, not knowing he would find among the grim silent Chinese students such a yearning for personal freedom and a government "of the people, by the people, for the people" and that before long, they would abandon the classroom and risk their lives for democracy. BURNING IN CHINA is the true story of an American witness to the Chinese democracy movement that ended with the killings in Tiananmen Square; at the heart of the story is the enactment of the bilingual rap opera The Great Emancipator Meets the Monkey King, which Moore wrote, directed and performed with the students. This dramatic encounter between freedom and fear was China's first live performance of rap music, presented to a cheering audience of 1700 on New Year's Eve, 1988, just a few months before the Tiananmen demonstrations began (when circumstances forced Moore to leave China). Dramatic but filled with humor and warmth, BURNING IN CHINA gives audiences a truly human look inside one of the major ideological struggles of the twentieth century.

Playwright Gary Moore is the author of four full-length plays, including the verse drama Beaver Falls and two Lincoln-themed works -- Long Lankin's Curse, and The Tongue of Their Gladness. He has performed and lectured in the U.S., Canada, Turkey and the People's Republic of China. He is Academic Dean at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, in Montpelier, Vermont.

BURNING IN CHINA will run at the New York Theatre Workshop's 4th Street Theatre (83 East 4th Street between 2nd and Bowery), with performances on Tues, 8/17 at 2pm, Wed, 8/18 at 7:15pm, Thur, 8/26 at 10:45pm, Fri, 8/27 at 7pm, and Sat, 8/28 at 5:30pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at or by phone at 866.468.7619 beginning July 23rd. For more information, visit

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