Yangtze Repertory Theatre To Present ROMULUS THE GREAT

By: May. 10, 2018

Yangtze Repertory Theatre To Present ROMULUS THE GREAT

Yangtze Repertory Theatre (Chongren Fan, Artistic Director; Sally Shen, Executive Director) announces a new production of Romulus the Great, by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, based on the translation by Gerhard Nellhaus, directed by Chongren Fan. With performances beginning on Thursday, June 7th at the TBG Theatre (312 West 36thStreet, 3F), Romulus The Great will celebrate it's opening night on Saturday, June 9, and will play through Saturday, June 23.

Set in a fictional Roman Empire, emperor Romulus chose not to be "great." Facing the increasing peril of the Germanic invasion and the demise of the Empire, Romulus prefers to stay at home breeding chickens. Is his refusal to govern stupidity? Or does he have other plans?

Dubbed "A historical comedy without historic basis," Dürrenmatt took liberties in describing the history. Yangtze Rep's production of Romulus the Great recreates a dysfunctional world that allows the audience to question: when a slogan overwhelms us with its "greatness" as an overconfident promise, what are the paths to make a great nation? What does it mean to be a leader of a country? And what is greatness, really?

The production features scenic design by Chika Shimizu, costumes by Karen Boyer, lighting by Yi-Chung Chen, sound design by Joseph Wolfslau, dramaturgy by Bindi Kang, movement direction by Rourou Ye. Stage rights by Diogenes Verlag AG Zürich. The cast includes Brian J. Alford, Colin Asercion, Byron Clohessy, Elisa de la Roche, Ryan Egar,Marcus Crawford Guy, Annemarie Hagenaars, Dana Kreitz, Christopher McIntyre, Mark J. Quiles, Neil Redfield, Michiko Sasaki, Jim Shankman, and Sheilagh Weymouth.

This ambitious production is part of Yangtze Rep's 26th season, and the first one under the new leadership of Chongren Fan and Sally Shen. Embracing the founding mission of the cherished company, Fan and Shen discussed their choice of the play. "Continuing Yangtze Rep's tradition of producing work that is not readily seen in this country and through a contemporary Chinese lens, we hope Romulus the Great gives our community a preview of our vision of the company. Romulus is an important and commonly neglected play; we find it surprisingly refreshing and relevant to the world we live in today. There is a sense of urgency in it," says Fan. "Yangtze Rep has been representing a unique voice in the cultural landscape of New York City since 1992. With a diverse cast of 14 -- and a multi-cultural creative team, this production of Romulus is contributing to the conversation of diversity, on and off stage, and shedding new light on our responsibility as theatre-makers," says Shen.

The production will be performed in English, with Chinese subtitles.

Tickets are now on sale at www.yzrep.org

Chongren Fan is a New York-based bilingual stage director who was born and raised in Shanghai, China. He is currently the Artistic Director of Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America. Most recently he directed the New York Premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's 410[GONE] for Yangtze Rep and musical Lost in Shanghai by Angel Lam for Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. In 2016 he translated and directed China Premiere of Marie Jones' Olivier Award Best Comedy Stones in His Pockets at Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. Since 2015 Chongren has been the production supervisor for China Arts and Entertainment Group's 'IMAGE CHINA' series, bringing large scale live performances to Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Shubert Theater in Boston and Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. He has been a Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club, resident artist at Mabou Mines, Signature Theatre Alumnus and Resident Director at the Flea Theater under the leadership of its Founding Artistic Director Jim Simpson. MFA in Theatre (Sarah Lawrence College). www.chongrenfan.com

Sally Shen is a New York-based theater producer and administrator. As the Executive Director of Yangtze Repertory Theatre, she works alongside the Artistic Director and the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the company's strategic development and daily operation. As an independent producer, her New York producing credits include Frontiéres sans Frontières at The Bushwick Starr, Le Problème at American Players Theatre (Araca Project 2015) and Ain't Gonna Make It at ArsNova (ANT FEST 2014). Prior to coming to the United States, Sally worked as a PR consultant at Ogilvy Public Relations in Beijing, China. MFA: Yale School of Drama; MBA: Yale School of Management.

Yangtze Repertory Theatre celebrates and inspires artists who are global citizens through producing work that evokes conversations across cultures. We see the world through a contemporary perspective and produce work that has immediacy. By bringing a unique voice to the cultural dialogue, we enrich the experience of the community we serve. We position ourselves at the nexus of ideas from East and West and strive to bridge the cultural gap between artists and organizations from different cultures through partnerships and collaboration. www.yzrep.org

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