Ping Chong and Company to Present LAZARUS 1972–2022 in September at La Mama

Lazarus is an imagistic meditation on the resurrected man transplanted from its Biblical setting to the surreal, urban purgatory of New York City in the 1970’s.

By: Aug. 17, 2022
Ping Chong and Company to Present LAZARUS 1972–2022 in September at La Mama

Across the 2022-23 season, Ping Chong and Company marks 50 years of impactful work by Ping Chong, the theatrical innovator who has in PCC established a lasting platform for interdisciplinary artists, in addition to creating over 110 original works of his own. La MaMa, the theater Chong considers his artistic home-one of the first organizations to give him a platform following his years presenting performances in New York lofts-will present Lazarus 1972-2022, his new reimagining of the production that set his boundary-shattering career in motion, September 30 - October 16.

Performances of Lazarus 1972-2022 take place Thursday - Saturday at 8pm, and Saturday & Sunday at 4pm at La MaMa Downstairs Theater (66 East Fourth Street, NY, NY 10003). Tickets are $30 ($25 for students and seniors), inclusive of all fees, and can be purchased at or 646-430-5374. The first ten tickets to every performance are $10. The September 29 preview performance will be pay-what-you-can. Running time is approximately one hour.

Lazarus was Ping Chong's first independently created theater production. It is an imagistic meditation on the resurrected man transplanted from its Biblical setting to the surreal, urban purgatory of New York City in the 1970's-a deeply personal work about cultural alienation disguised as a Biblical story. With the exception of a voice over, sound effects, and some music, Lazarus is silent, poetic, and nonlinear. Originally performed in Meredith Monk's loft in the heady early days of the New York avant-garde, it established Chong's seminal integration of slide and film projection, puppetry, and recorded sound in theatrical performance; so much of what the artist and his company would go on to achieve in theater and storytelling can be mapped from the artistic gestures in this bold starting point.

Ping Chong says, "Lazarus was a metaphor for my own experience, because I had just left my insular world of Chinatown, moving out of that limbo into figuring out how to exist in larger society. The original show was 1972; New York City was nearly bankrupt at that time and the urban purgatory aspect of it was very surreal and real. Originally the work reflected that-but the work has changed: I'm a lifetime New Yorker, and Lazarus is now different than the show was at the time in the sense that New York is also different, and centrally, part of the character of the show. Lazarus 1972-2022 is my love for New York but it's also my sadness for what it's become. Lazarus may have left purgatory and come back into the world-but what kind of a world did he come back into in 2022?"

Written and directed by Ping Chong, Lazarus 1972 - 2022 features Christopher Caines as Lazarus and Jeannie Hutchins as Woman. The creative team includes Watoko Ueno (Set Design), Hao Bai (Lighting Design), Stefani Mar (Costume Design), Ernesto Valenzuela (Sound Design), and Kate Freer (Projection Design).

Lazarus 1972-2022 signals a new beginning as well as a return to origins. Ping Chong and longtime PCC Executive Director Bruce Allardice retire from their leadership roles at the end of this year, and PCC Managing Director Jane Jung and Associate Director Sara Zatz, alongside the organization's board and staff, have initiated a multi-year process to formalize PCC's evolution, over the last decade, from a company identified with a single artist into one that supports, through an adaptive organizational infrastructure, a new generation of interdisciplinary artists. The leadership transition is supported by $900,000 from the Mellon Foundation, lead funding in a $1.5M campaign.

About Ping Chong

​​Ping Chong is Artistic Director of Ping Chong and Company and an internationally acclaimed theater artist and pioneer in the use of media in the theater. Since 1972, he has created over 100 works for the stage which have been presented at major festivals and theaters worldwide. He has been awarded an APAP Award of Merit, Guggenheim Fellowship, a USA Artist Fellowship, two BESSIE awards, two OBIE awards and the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, the highest honor specifically given for achievement in the arts to an individual artist in the United States. In 1992, he created the first work in the Undesirable Elements series of community-based oral history projects of which there have now been over 65 productions. Theatre Communications Group has published two volumes of his plays The East West Quartet and a volume on Undesirable Elements

About Ping Chong and Company

Ping Chong and Company (PCC) creates theater and art that reveal beauty, invention, precision, and a commitment to social justice. Founded in New York City in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator and National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong, the company engages multigenerational interdisciplinary artists to build on and expand a prolific catalog-at the root of which is Ping Chong and his singular and visionary body of work. The company's work centers innovation, collaboration, community engagement, and amplifies underrepresented voices.

Across nearly five decades, the New York City-based company has now created over 110 original theater productions, ranging from intimate interview-based works to large-scale multidisciplinary projects featuring puppets, performers, and full sound and projection scores. Reaching audiences throughout New York, the United States, and the world, PCC transcends boundaries, exploring interconnectedness of cultures and how intersectional identities are addressed in society. The company's work often seeks to excavate and question dominant historical narratives

About La MaMa

La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's 61st "Remake A World" Season believes in the power of art to bring sustainable change over time and transform our cultural narrative. At La MaMa, new work is created from a multiplicity of perspectives, experiences, and disciplines, influencing how we think about and experience art. The flexibility of our spaces, specifically the newly reimagined building at 74 East 4th Street (La MaMa's original permanent home), gives our local and remote communities access to expanded daytime programming. The digital tools embedded in the space allows artists to collaborate remotely, and audiences worldwide to participate in La MaMa's programming.

A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, and resident companies, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Bette Midler, Ed Bullins, Ping Chong, Jackie Curtis, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Playhouse of the Ridiculous, Tom Eyen, Pan Asian Rep, Spiderwoman Theater, Tadeusz Kantor, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Mabou Mines, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Tom O'Horgan, and Andy Warhol. La MaMa's vision of nurturing new artists and new work from all nations, cultures, races and identities remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961.