Genevieve Wang To Present Yuting He's WHERE IS MY MAPLE TOWN Directed By Xiaopeng Teng
WHERE IS MY MAPLE TOWN, a play incubated by Shanghai Theatre Academy, will debut Off-Broadway in TheatreRow from August 24th through September 2nd. The play features Jae Woo, Fang Du, Kaidi Li, Theodore Lee, Shaotian Cai, Teddy Qin, Zoe Lau (in order of appearance).
A lone monk, fashioning a clay doll out of thin air. As if to brush away deformity, he reminds us that any blemish can be mended over time, but when compounded, every problem only doubles in error, in the future. It may be an ominous warning but it is unheeded in the bustle of Maple Town.
"The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker," as the saying goes, inhabit the busy market and confront the honest teacher, regarding their students. One student who tells the truth and hurts his father's (the Butcher), reputation is the catalyst for the balance of the play: should we dissemble - lie - to get ahead, or should we accept the heavy mantle of truth, no matter the consequences?
In the age of Trump, where lies and truth intermingle with immense (often grave) consequences, the play lives in a similar age where ethics, safety, and civil society, itself, are in peril. This is where the good people of Maple Town live. At the intersection of here and there, truth and lies, our best angels and our real selves, Maple Town, set in some ancient Chinese dynasty is an allegory for today, and tomorrow.
From the square to the schools and even to the brothel, the ethical challenges mount. Love, loyalty, and conviction lead to pleasure, joy, tragedy, and gripping drama ... nearly Shakespearean in its consummation by play's end. We are drawn deeper into Maple Town and then, presumably to Xian, the ancient Chinese capital, for the intersection that will test each audience member as we choose sides in life ... and live with the consequences of our actions and desires.
A struggling young teacher, dedicated both to education and honesty, appears to stagnate while others enjoy the fruits of corruption, influence peddling, and cronyism - everyone else seems to get ahead, while the otherwise brilliant teacher is mocked before the entire town he serves. Not so much for his lack of notable accomplishment but for not 'going along to get along.' Everyone is aware that qualifying tests for head master, or Doyen, are difficult and that the Emperor ensures that most of the exams posed before those who wish to mentor the future of China, are insurmountable. Rules are bent for those who play the game, as it is within a certain United States administration in its current capital; some loose relationships with the truth are allowed, encouraged ... expected. Rewarded: his success will echo as the success Maple Town, providing what it needs and desires, nay covets, throughout the tale.
And then, there is love. Both a concubine and a fiancé appear to be the only ones who recognize the good within, akin to Shen Te in Brecht's The Good Woman of Szechuan. In the world of Maple Town, or in ours, today, hard choices can make love glorious or kill its participants. In the end, only we may decide which way we will draw ourselves into our fates.
Special Thanks: Patrick Sciarratta, President Vinculum Foundation.
Playwriting Director: David H. Hwang, Shoucheng Li, Jun Lu
Drama Art Director: Kaiqi Hu
Creative Team: RAIN YUTING HE(Playwright/Supervisor), XIAOPENG TENG(Director), GENEVIEVE YIMING WANG(Producer), BLOSSOM JOHNSON(Dramaturge), KAIDI LI(Choreographer), AO LI(Set Designer), SAMUEL CHAN(Lighting Designer), YUNZHU ZENG(Costume Designer), XIAO RAN(Musician), JOHNNY WANG(Stage Combat/Production Manager), SHIRONG GU(Poster Designer), LENA BAI(Co-Poster Designer), CAITLYN DOMINGUEZ(Production Stage Manager), XIAOYANG GU(China Regional Production Manager), MENGRAN DING(Company Manager), YUE XIE(Creative PR Writer), QIAN XIE(Social Media), ZHE CHEN(Photographer), ELVIN HU(Photographer), HARRY ZHANG(Photographer), APRIL PAN(Calligraphy), HONGYING ZHU(Production Assistant).
General Admission $22.75
Theater Row, (212) 239-6200