WARRIOR SISTERS OF WU Comes to Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in February

Performances take place February 7 – March 10, 2024, at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T/New York Theatres.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
WARRIOR SISTERS OF WU Comes to Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in February

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will present the world premiere of Damon Chua’s Warrior Sisters of Wu, which is the centerpiece of the company’s 47th season. Directed by Jeff Liu (Memorial) and featuring fight choreography by Michael G. Chin (Rashomon), Warrior Sisters of Wu is an epic play that centers on two Han Dynasty swordswomen who battle tradition to gain love, respect, and self-determination. Performances take place February 7 – March 10, 2024, at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T/New York Theatres (502 W 53rd St, Manhattan) with a press opening set for February 14. Tickets are currently on sale at www.panasianrep.org.

Adapted from the classic Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms and inspired, in parts, by Pride and Prejudice, Damon Chua’s Warrior Sisters of Wu follows the romantic exploits and comic misadventures of two young couples, pitting two strong female warriors against two high-ranking military men. The play highlights the profound changes taking place during the chaotic end-years of China’s Han Dynasty, where justice, power and gender equality were all up for grabs.

The cast for Warrior Sisters of Wu includes Dinh James DoanDavid Lee Huynh, Vin Kridakorn, Michael C. Liu, Nancy Ma, and Kim Wuan.

One of China’s most famous epics, Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a 14th century historical novel by Luo Guanzhong that comprises 120 chapters and is set in 169–280 AD China. Today, the novel serves as inspiration for many high-profile Chinese movies and TV shows, and yet, English language adaptations are exceedingly rare. Chua’s play centers on Qing and Wan, collectively the Qiao sisters, who were minor characters in the classic. However, their stature has grown over the years because of popular culture including the opera Fenghuang Er Qiao, John Woo’s film Red Cliff, and the Three Kingdoms television series. These days, they are best known as playable avatars in the Dynasty Warriors videogame series, portrayed as kick-ass warriors battling enemy combatants.

“My goal in adapting Romance of the Three Kingdoms was to distill a theatrical narrative and place it within a framework that would work for modern audiences,” says playwright Damon Chua. “After several attempts, I had an epiphany – Pride and Prejudice was not only perfect as a framing device, but it could also move the play into the realm of romantic comedy. The result is Warrior Sisters of Wu, a female-forward piece with modern-day resonances that serves as a high-spirited introduction to the Chinese classic.”

Director Jeff Liu adds, “The ‘alley’ configuration of the set, with the audience on two sides, means that no-one is further back than the 3rd row. This will give a thrilling immediacy to the verbal, emotional, and physical sparring that takes place during the play. It’ll be like we’re inside a Chinese painting come to life. And it turns out that maybe the battle of the sexes hasn't changed as much as we think in 1,800 years.”

The creative team for Warrior Sisters of Wu includes Sheryl Liu (scenic design), Karen Boyer (costume design), Poe Saegusa (lighting design), Da Xu (sound design), Gregory Casparian (projections design) Kristine Schlachter (production stage manager) and Miriam Hyfler (assistant stage manager).

Thirty-four performances of Warrior Sisters of Wu will take place February 7 – March 10, 2024, at the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T/New York Theatres, located at 502 W 53rd St in Manhattan. Critics are welcome as of Friday, February 9 for a press opening on Wednesday, February 14. Performances take place Tuesday–Saturday at 7pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm. The anticipated running time is 100 minutes plus one intermission. Tickets – priced at $65 ($50 seniors, $30 students) – can be purchased at https://ci.ovationtix.com/252/production/1184411. Standard ticketing fees apply. Groups of 10 or more should contact info@panasianrep.org for access to discounted tickets.

Please visit www.panasianrep.org for additional information.