Ma-Yi Theatre Company Premieres Rock Musical PEER GYNT & THE NORWEGIAN HAPA BAND Tonight
The Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning Asian-American Off-Broadway Ma-Yi Theater Company will present the World Premiere of PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band, a new rock musical by Michi Barall, with music by Paul Lieber and Matt Park.
The production, featuring a multicultural cast of seven actor-musicians, is a Ma-Yi Theater-commissioned work, directed and originally conceived by Jack Tamburri. PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band begins previews tonight, January 17, 2017, prior to its official opening on January 22, 2017 as the inaugural production at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./NY Theatres (502 West 53rd Street at 10th Avenue). The limited engagement will play through February 11, 2017.
In PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band, Peer is a brash young man on a journey to discover his ultimate self in a rock music odyssey about risk, reinvention and going roundabout. Ma-Yi Theater Company's remaking of Henrik Ibsen's classic 1876 verse drama asks what it means when we sacrifice everything to be most fully ourselves. With a new American President about to take office, PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band is both a cautionary tale, and a reminder of how to remain true to ourselves.
PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band features a multicultural cast of seven Asian, Latin, African-American and Caucasian actor-musicians, with co-composer Matt Park (Peer), playing guitar; co-composer Paul Lieber (Bandleader, Troll King, Boyg, Boy, George, Captain), playing guitar and synthesizers; Mia Katigbak (Ose, Begriffenfeld, Priest), playing keyboard and synthesizers; Rocky Vega (Solvay), playing piano and keyboard; Uton Onyejekwe (Helga, Husband, John), playing bass; Angel Desai (Ingrid, Lady in Green, Anitra, Hannah, Angel), playing electric violin; and Titus Tompkins (Mads, Wife, Kesi, Strange Passenger), playing percussion and mandolin.
Scenic design is by Meredith Reis, costume design is by Asta Hostetter, lighting design is by Oliver Wason and sound design is by Kenneth Goodwin.
PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band will perform Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM; with matinees Saturday at 2:00 PM and Sunday at 5:00 PM. For tickets and information: visit www.ma-yitheatre.org.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Michi Barall (Author) is a New York City-based playwright, actor and academic. Her dance-theatre piece, Rescue Me, directed by Loy Arcenas, was produced by Ma-Yi in 2010. Other works include How We Became Nomads, a puppet spectacular about Chingis Khan; Garba Griha: Womb House; and On the Line. As an actor Michi has appeared in new plays by Julia Cho, Philip Kan Gotanda, A.R. Gurney, John Guare, Naomi Iizuka, Han Ong, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick, Charles Mee, Sarah Schulman, Anna Deavere Smith, Diana Son, Dough Wright and Chay Yew, among others. A graduate of Stanford University and NYU's Grad Acting, Michi is a graduate fellow (ABD) in Theatre/English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
Paul Lieber (Bandleader, Troll King, Boyg, Boy, George, Captain, Music) is a Songwriter, Performer. Filmmaker and Projection Designer. His design work has been seen at Carnegie Hall, Yale Repertory Theater, Yale Opera, BAM, El Museo del Barrio, Baryshnikov Arts Center, JACK, The Japan Society, Ma-Yi Theater Company and the Martha Graham Dance Companies. He is co-founder of the songwriting collective Strange Motel and holds an MFA in Projection Design from the Yale School of Drama.
Matt Park (Peer, Music) studied undergraduate drama at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He was recently seen in Ma-Yi's production of Lloyd Suh's The Wong Kids and the Secret of the Space Chupacabra, Go! He is excited to be working with Ma-Yi again. Thank you to Ralph and Jack and the entire creative and production team of Peer Gynt. Love to Amy, Cassandra, and Michi.
Jack Tamburri (Director, Original Concept) is a theatermaker currently based in Philadelphia. He has directed, devised, written, performed, and produced on his own and with companies like the Plagiarists (Chicago), Ma-Yi Theater Co (NYC), and FringeArts (Philadelphia). He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Yale School of Drama.
Ma-Yi is an award-winning, nationally recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian-American writers. Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country's leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian-American today.
Ma-Yi was founded to develop new plays that explore and affect Asian-American experiences, and challenge the perceptions of what culturally specific theater should be by producing forward-thinking plays by today's emerging playwrights. Ma-Yi strives to address the cultural and artistic needs of the Asian American communities and artists in the tri-state area. Although most initiatives are basically Asian-American, Ma-Yi forges ties with groups from other cultural backgrounds and experiences. The company believes that theater can play an important part in breaking down barriers and increasing the understanding and appreciation of the cultural and ethnic diversity of our contemporary society.
Recent productions include Among the Dead by Hansol Jung, House Rules by A. Rey Pamatmat, Washer/Dryer by Nandita Shenoy, Soldier X by Rehana Lew Mirza, Carlos Celdran's Livin La Vida Imelda, Chairs and A Long Table by Han Ong, Jesus in India and the New York Times Critics' Pick The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, by Lloyd Suh, Bike America and Microcrisis by Mike Lew, The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G by Qui Nguyen, The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness by Carla Ching, Flipzoids by Ralph Peña, Rescue Me by Michi Barall, the Drama Desk-nominated, Off-Broadway premiere of Tony Award-winner Warren Leight's No Foreigners Beyond This Point, Mr. Miyagi's Theatre Company's Sides: The Fear Is Real, Sung Rno's wAve, Han Ong's Middle Finger and Watcher, and Mia Chung's You For Me For You in association with Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington D.C. The company's best-known production is multiple OBIE Award-winner The Romance of Magno Rubio by Lonnie Carter.
Ma-Yi Theater Company won the 2010 Special Drama Desk Award for more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater. Over the course of its 24-year history, Ma-Yi and its affiliated artists have garnered 9 OBIE Awards, and numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations. Ma-Yi Theater Company is under the guidance of Ralph B. Peña, Artistic Director, and Jorge Z. Ortoll, Executive Director.
A.R.T./New York has again partnered with the City of New York-as it has done twice before with successful programs to create low-cost shared rehearsal and office spaces in midtown Manhattan and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. With a leadership investment from the City, and additional funding from New York State, A.R.T./New York has opened two new shared, subsidized performance spaces at 53rd Street and 10th Avenue in Manhattan.