NAATCO Kicks Off The Season With Gordon Dahlquist's [VEIL WINDOW CONSPIRACY] At NY Theatre Workshop
The OBIE Award-winning NAATCO, National Asian American Theatre Company, kicks off their 29th season with the World Premiere of Gordon Dahlquist's [Veil Widow Conspiracy]. Aneesha Kudtarkar directs a cast that will include Edward Chin-Lyn, Kimiye Corwin, Bruce McKenzie, David Shih, James Seol, Karoline Xu, and Aaron Yoo. This Off-Broadway limited engagement at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop (79 East 4th Street) will begin performances Saturday June 8th with Opening Night set for June 15th (7pm). Performances continue through July 6th only.
NAATCO was just nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, as well as Outstanding Costume Design for a Play for last season's acclaimed production of Henry VI: Shakespeare's Trilogy in Two Parts. Additionally, NAATCO founder and Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak will receive a Special Drama Desk Award: "the backbone of the Off-Broadway scene, we acclaim her for her performances this season in Henry VI: Shakespeare's Trilogy in Two Parts, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Peace for Mary Frances and Recent Alien Abductions. This award also recognizes her vital presence as the artistic director of NAATCO and her sustained excellence as a performer and mentor."
[VEIL WIDOW CONSPIRACY] is built around nested versions of a story from 1922 Xinjiang in Western China: a political murder mystery dramatized in a 2010 big budget Hollywood film, then amended via DVD extra interviews with the cast and crew, in censorship negotiations with the Chinese government, and finally by two lovers in a futuristic, dystopian Brooklyn, without the means to watch the film, one describing it to the other by memory in the dark. [VWC] explores the slippery tension around what we call the truth, knowing reality and fiction each have an angle, and no metaphor comes without an agenda.
Gordon Dahlquist is an acclaimed playwright and best selling novelist. His first novel, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, was a New York Times bestseller and has been published in 30 countries. His other novels include The Dark Volume, The Chemickal Marriage and his most recent, The Different Girl. His next play, Red Chariot, will have its world premiere at Undermain Theatre in Dallas in September. His plays have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Portland. His plays include Tomorrow Come Today (2015 James Tait Black Drama Prize, Edinburgh; Undermain Theatre, Dallas), Stella (Radio play: The Organist/WKCR), Tea Party (Bay Area Playwrights Festival, San Francisco), Messalina (Evidence Room, Los Angeles; Garland Award; SPF, New York), Babylon is Everywhere: A Court Masque [text] (CINE, Schaeberle Theatre; Theatre Magazine), Delirium Palace (Evidence Room, Los Angeles; Garland Award; published in Breaking Ground), The Secret Machine (Walker Space), Vortex Du Plaisir (Ohio Theatre; WKCR), and Island of Dogs (4th Street Theatre). He has been a member of New Dramatists, and is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect.
Aneesha Kudtarkar is a New York-based theatre director. She is currently completing her final year of study in the MFA Directing program at the Yale School of Drama. While at Yale, she has directed Locusts, Trouble in Mind, Perfectly Timed Photos Taken Before a Disaster, and The Winter's Tale. Her other credits include The Purple Flower, The Quonsets (Yale Cabaret); Mud, Charlotte's Web (The Hangar Theatre); and Gruesome Playground Injuries (Studio @ 620). She holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from Southern Methodist University, where she received the Garland Wright Award for Excellence in Directing. Aneesha is a proud alumna of the Drama League Director's Project.
Edward Chin-Lyn is making his NAATCO debut. Small Mouth Sounds National Tour (Long Wharf, A.C.T., Broad Stage; dir. Rachel Chavkin), True West (Curious Frog), The Brig (The Living Theatre), Reconstruction (International Wow). Film: Set It up (Netflix). TV: "Manifest", "Elementary", "Jessica Jones", "Person of Interest", "Limitless", "The Mysteries of Laura", "Feed the Beast." edwardchinlyn.com
Kimiye Corwin's New York theater credits include: The Changeling (Red Bull Theater), Fruiting Bodies (Ma-Yi Theater), Martyrs (La Mama), Wasted: An Historical Burlesque (Ars Nova), Gaslit (Virago), Fire Throws (Ripe Time), Kate's Chink-O-Rama (Joe's Pub). Regional: Sense and Sensibility (Guthrie), Hedda Gabler (Studio Theatre), A Christmas Carol (McCarter), Love's Labour's Lost (Actors Theater of Louisville), Midsummer Night's Dream (Syracuse Stage), Now Circa Then (TheatreWorks Palo Alto), Snow Falling on Cedars (Hartford Stage), Twelfth Night, Hamlet (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis). TV/Film: "The Blacklist," "The Family," "The Following," "The Michael J. Fox Show," "One Life to Live," Five Dances (film by Alan Brown). Kimiye trained as a dancer at Juilliard and danced with the Jose Limon Dance Company for five years before expanding her career with acting. She also enjoys working as a teacher, choreographer and movement consultant for theater. Training: BFA Juilliard, MFA Brown/Trinity. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. www.kimiyecorwin.com.
Bruce McKenzie Broadway: The Farnsworth Invention. Selected Off-Broadway: Stanley in Ivo van Hove's production of A Streetcar Named Desire (NY Theatre Workshop). 10 Out of 12 (Soho Rep); Big Love, Glory of the World (BAM Harvey), Weisses Rauschen (Ruhrfestspiele Recklingshausen; Theatre Freiburg). Some favorite Regional Theatre: Three Sisters (Yale Rep); Polaroid Stories, Stage Manager in Our Town, title role in Hamlet (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Angelo in Measure For Measure, Iago in Othello (California Shakespeare Theatre); Krapp's Last Tape (Dallas Theatre Center); Other leading roles at La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Long Wharf Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Magic Theatre, Wilma Theatre, others. Film: Your Name Here; Miss This at Your Peril; Blood Sand and Gold. Television: "Breaking Bad," "House," "The Unit."
James Seol's Off-Broadway credits include: Henry VI (NAATCO); American Morning (Prospect Theater Company; KPOP (Lucille Lortel Nomination; Ars Nova/Ma-Yi/Woodshed Collective); Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova). Broadway: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way (Roundabout Theatre Company). Regional: Vietgone and The Orphan of Zhao (American Conservatory Theatre); The Four Immigrants and Tokyo Fish Story (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed Musicals and Paper Mill Playhouse); Zombie: the American (Woolly Mammoth); Hamlet (Hartford Stage); Timon of Athens (Shakespeare Theatre Company). TV: Living with Yourself (Netflix). Juilliard, University of Virginia
David Shih previously appeared with NAATCO in Henry VI, Awake and Sing!, and A Dream Play. Off-Broadway: KPOP (Ars Nova/Ma-Yi/Woodshed), Somebody's Daughter (Second Stage), The World of Extreme Happiness (MTC), Bike America (Ma-Yi), Dojoji (Pan Asian), Crane Story (Playwrights Realm). Regional: Tiger Style! (La Jolla), The King and I (Maltz Jupiter). TV/Film: "Billions," "City on a Hill," "The Hunt," "The Path," "Blindspot," "Elementary," "Madam Secretary," "The Blacklist," "Unforgettable," "Blue Bloods," "Law & Order: SVU," Mr. Sushi, Eighth Grade, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Saving Face. Performs with Only Make Believe for kids in hospitals and care facilities.
Karoline Xu's Off-Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard's The Hard Problem (LCT). Select credits: You Across From Me (Humana Festival), Angels in America, Six, A Christmas Carol, Maggie and Winnie (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); A Language to Hear Myself (American Repertory); Hitting Bedrock (La MaMa); Ready Made Cabaret (Judson Church). BA: Harvard College. karolinexu.com
Aaron Yoo's career began Off-Broadway appearing at The Vineyard, Ma-Yi, The Flea and LAByrinth. He is grateful to be returning to NAATCO. Aaron has starred in over 20 films including Disturbia, 21, Killing Gunther, Money Monster, Rocket Science, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Friday the 13th, Someone Else, Everything Before Us, The Wackness, and Kid Cannabis. TV credits include "Goliath," "Hawaii Five-O," "The Tomorrow People," "StartUp," "The Blacklist," "Mysteries of Laura," "The Closer" and "ER."
[VEIL WIDOW CONSPIRACY] will have scenic design by Yu-Hsuan Chen, costume design by Mariko Ohigashi, and lighting design by Reza Behjat. Peter Kim is Associate Producer for NAATCO.
Under the leadership of Founding Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak and co-founder Richard Eng, NAATCO was founded in 1989 to assert the presence and significance of Asian American theatre in the United States, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture by offering European and American classics as written with all Asian American casts; adaptations of these classics by Asian American Playwrights; and new plays - preferably world premieres - written by non-Asian Americans, not for or about Asian Americans, but realized by all-Asian American casts. NAATCO puts into service its total commitment to Asian American theatre artists to more accurately represent onstage the multi- and inter-cultural dynamics of our society. By doing so, they demonstrate a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience. The enrichment accrues to each different culture as well as to America as a whole. NAATCO was the recipient of the Obies' Ross Wetzsteon Award, the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women for their work "highlighting the multi- and intercultural dynamics of our society" and the Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors' Equity Association in recognition of its contribution toward increasing diversity and non-traditional casting in American theatre. For more information, visit www.naatco.org.
Next Door at NYTW provides a home for companies and artists who are producing their own work. This initiative provides each project with subsidized resources and space for development and performance in the Fourth Street Theatre. As part of an ongoing effort to expand support for artists at every stage of their careers, this series served nearly 100 additional artists in the first year alone.
Performances for [Veil Widow Conspiracy] will be Monday through Saturday evenings at 7pm, with matinees Saturday at 3pm. No performance Monday, June 10th and no matinees on June 8th and 15th; added performance on Sunday June 9th at 7pm.
Ticket prices are $35 (General Admission) or $45 (Reserved Seat). Tickets can be purchased by phone at 212-460-5475, online at NYTW.org, or in-person at the NYTW Box Office (79 east 4th Street).
For more information about [Veil Widow Conspiracy] or any of NAATCO's programs, visit www.naatco.org.