English Premiere Of Taiwanese Musical TROPICAL ANGELS Goes Online Next Week

Tune in Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 6:30pm EST.

By: Nov. 05, 2020
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English Premiere Of Taiwanese Musical TROPICAL ANGELS Goes Online Next Week

Presented by Taipei Cultural Center in New York with support from Ministry of Culture R.O.C. (Taiwan), in collaboration with Musical Theatre Factory and Howlround TV, the panel discussion on Taiwanese musicals, FROM WEST TO EAST, HOW MUSICAL THEATRE HAS TRANSFORMED? will be livestreamed on Tuesday, November 10 and the TROPICAL ANGELS, a new musical reading and talk-back will take place on Wednesday, November 11, both at 6:30 p.m. EST livestream via Howlround TV.

Musical TROPICAL ANGELS, written by award-winning Taiwanese playwright Lin Meng-Huan with music composed by New York-based composer Sheng Lei, is a musical developed into Chinese and English versions concurrently with the intention to explore different possibilities to devise translated theatre. The Mandarin production of Tropical Angels is a 2019-2020 Artist-in-Residence project of the National Taichung Theater, Taiwan. The Production's premiere is scheduled for summer 2021 at the National Taichung Theater.

Adapted from National Award for Arts recipient Chen Qian-Wu's autobiographical novel, COMING BACK ALIVE, TROPICAL ANGELS is a story of a young Taiwanese man, who lost his soul in tropical Timor in the Pacific War, and his journey to self-discovery and redemption.

The reading is directed by David Thomas Cronin and music-directed by Sobina Chi Kanter with a stellar cast of US-based actors, including Leo Yu-Ning Chang, Gaby Greenwald, Kadyn Kuioka, Kate Mina Lin, Thao Nguyen, Charles Pang, Matheus Ting, and Xiaoqing Zhang. Followed by a discussion with Mei Ann Teo (Artistic Director, Musical Theatre Factory) and Tropical Angels creative team members, including Lin Meng-Huan (Playwright and Lyricist), Sheng Lei (Composer and Lyricist), David Thomas Cronin (Director), Sobina Chi Kanter (Music Director), Mu-Hsi Kao (Dramaturg), Emily Chiu (Lyric Translator), and Yang Yen-Su (Script Translator).

In conjunction with the new musical reading, a panel discussion, FROM WEST TO EAST, HOW MUSICAL THEATRE HAS TRANSFORMED? is set to explore how Western-dominated musical theatre has been adapted in the Asian theatre scene. Derived from Broadway and West End theatres, the first original musical theatre production in Taiwan dated back to 1987. Musical theatre artists in Taiwan have been exploring various music styles, different languages, and production scales for the past thirty years, yet struggled with lack of public resources and a viable business model. On the other hand, the musical theatre industry is on the rise in South Korea, despite the increasing cost of production and saturated domestic demands.

Tropical Angels creative team members, Charlene Lin (Taipei Performing Arts Center, Taiwan), and Ji Hyun (Kayla) Yuh (Montclair State University, U.S.) will share their insights on how Taiwanese and Korean musical theatres developed to what it is now, and followed by a Q&A session.

Event Info

  • From West to East, How Musical Theatre has Transformed?

A Discussion on Musical Theatre in Taiwan and Korea.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 6:30pm EST

Livestream on


  • Tropical Angels, a New Musical Reading

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 6:30pm EST

Livestream on


About the Artists

Lin Meng-Huan (Playwright and Lyricist) a.k.a Dazi currently serves as Artist-in-Residence of National Taichung Theater, Taiwan. With a Master's degree from the Department of Drama and Theater at National Taiwan University, Lin's works span across theatre, children's play, and television. He has received awards including the Hong Kong Youth Literary Awards, Taipei Literature Award for Best Script, and the Script Award of Taipei Children's Art Festival, while his publications include On Meicun Road as well as many children's drama, poetry, short fiction, and children's stories. As for stage shows, Lin has given birth to more than 20 staged productions including A Dog's House, ARK 47, and children's play Jane's Magic Dragon Egg. The TV series The Teenage Psychic, in which Lin was a member of the screenwriter group, was shortlisted for Best Script for Mini-Series/TV Movie at the Golden Bell Awards. He/Him/His.

Sheng Lei (Composer) is a New York City-based composer/musician born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan with an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He is currently writing and developing a historical musical, Tropical Angels, supported by the National Taichung Theater of Taiwan, which projects to go into production in 2021. He is always excited about collaborating with artists of all kinds of medium, including musical theatre, plays, and dance. He believes musical theatre is an ultimate form of storytelling that has no boundaries nor limitations - capable of expressing the inexpressible, making the unseen heard. He/Him/His.

David Thomas Cronin (Director) is a New York City-based actor, director and educator. Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance and Music Education from The Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. David is currently an elementary school music teacher while facilitating his own private voice studio. Recently David directed an equity showcase production of Cabaret and music directed Spring Awakening. David is also a resident teaching artist at The White Plains Performing Arts Center, The Gallery Players, and The Walt Disney Theatrical Group "Disney on Broadway". Humbled and eternally grateful to Sheng, Meng-Huan and Sobina for this opportunity to tell this story.He/Him/His. @davidtcronin

Sobina Chi Kanter (Music Director) is a New York based pianist, music director, and educator. This native of Taipei, Taiwan came to the States to further her performing career. She received her BA and MM in Jazz Performance from CUNY Brooklyn College. She hopes to continue to make an impact on the New York musical community and abroad. Music director credits include: The Gallery Players: Little Women (2019), Once Upon A Mattress (2019), A New Brain (2018), You're a Goodman Charlie Brown (2017), Marry Me a Little (2017). Bishop Kearney High School: Wizard of Oz (2019), Godspell (2018). She/Her/Hers.

Mu-Hsi Kao (Dramaturg) is an MA student in Theatre at CUNY Hunter College with backgrounds in English, sociology, and art history. She believes in storytelling for social impact. In addition to theatre-making, she develops educational board games, curates civic engagement and open-sourced community events, and writes for a Mandarin international news platform for youth media literacy as a writer, artist, producer, researcher and a Taiwanese global citizen. She/Her/Hers.

Emily Chiu (Lyric Translator) is a Taiwanese-American musical theater writer, composer, and translator. Writing credits include: American Girl Live! (US National Tour - Mattel Inc.); Bak Chang (commissioned by the 5th Ave Theater); Unshelved (2020 Xintiandi Festival, Shanghai Conservatory of Music); Keaton and the Whale (Eric Weinberger Emerging Librettists Award, AMAS Musical Theater, the PitCH @ The Finger Lakes Musical Theater Festival); Apollo (Highland Arts Theatre), Zookeeper, and You Gave Me a Sheep (National Asian Artists' Project). She holds a BA in music from Brown University and an MFA from NYU Tisch's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. She/Her/Hers. www.emilychiu.net

Yang Yen-Su (Script Translator) is a Taipei-based educator, actress, and translator. She holds an M.F.A. in Acting and a Ph.D. in Theatre Theory. She has experience in translating theatre scripts and movie subtitles, including Private Fears in Public Places (script) and Antonia's Line (movie). She also interprets concerts and artist lectures in Taiwan. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Taipei. She/Her/Hers.

Mei Ann Teo (Talkback Panelist) is a queer immigrant theatre & film maker who works internationally at the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice. As a director/dramaturg/devisor, they make work across genres, including experimental participatory work, music theatre, and documentary theatre. Recent work: Dim Sum Warriors the Musical by Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun at Theatre Above, Jillian Walker's world premiere SKiNFoLK: An American Show at the Bushwick Starr (NYTimes Critics Pick), and Madeline Sayet's Where We Belong at Shakespeare's Globe. Teo is the Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory. They/She.


Leo Yu-Ning Chang (Ensemble) is a bilingual educator, singer, emcee, and educator originally from Taiwan. Before coming to the States, he was a co-founder of an award-winning A Cappella Band-Guess What. Recently, Leo starred in the Off-Broadway production of Revelation: The Musical. His selected credits include Bubble Boy, Farewell My Concubine (Reading), Mr. Holland's Opus (Reading), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Company, The Full Monty, and Enchanted April. Leo has taught at Marymount Manhattan College, New York City Center, International Thespian Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Grossmont College, and San Diego State University where he received his M.F.A in Musical Theatre. For more info, please visit: leoyuningchang.com

Gaby Greenwald (Salin) is a recent graduate from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She recently played the role of Wendla in The Gallery Players' production of "Spring Awakening". More recently, she would have been seen as Diana in an NYU production of "A Chorus Line" had this year panned out differently. She is grateful that her first post-college production is as meaningful a project as Tropical Angels. She hopes this is telling of a career in which she will continue to tell important stories, whether through other peoples' words or her own.

Kadyn Kuioka (Kuru) is excited to be a part of Tropical Angels. Theatre: The King and I (Broadway National Tour/NETWorks). Short film: A Broken Arrow (LAS Productions). Commercials: Samsung (Atlantic Pictures), Get Ready (Passerby Film). He will be joining the cast of Matilda the Musical at a regional theatre next year. Tremendous thanks to David, Sobina, the creative team, cast, Bern Tan, and family. IG: @kadynkuioka

Kate Mina Lin (Angela/Ensemble) is incredibly excited to be doing this project. She has been in the professional entertainment industry for 8 years. She has been dancing for 11 years, singing for 7 years, and acting for 7 years. She started out in LA doing film and television, booking jobs, and going on auditions. She has appeared in Disney's "Coop and Cami," "Dirty John," Netflix's "All About the Washingtons," Amazon Prime's "Forever," Nickelodeon's "Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn," She starred in Lifetime Movie's "Deady Inn," and was a contestant in Nickelodeon's "LSBShorties." She has been a SAG Aftra member since 2017, and is currently applying for her Equity card! She was recently called to NY to workshop a new upcoming musical for a month. They practiced in 42nd Street Studios and had 3 closed shows. Ever since she came back, she has been dying to go back to NY and work again. She still is auditioning for new pilots and movies in LA, just waiting for a new journey to begin.

Thao Nguyen (Matsunaga) is acclaimed by critics for his "velvety baritone and his ease and grace on stage." At home on the classical/operatic and Contemporary Stage, Mr. Nguyen has performed with many companies on the east coast. Noted roles include Bobby (Company), Donkey (Shrek), Mary Sunshine (Chicago), Thuy (Miss Saigon) and recently he is very proud to be apart of another world premiere of acclaimed composer David Wolfson's opera "Fortunes' Children" which was featured by NPR. Also active in film/TV, Thao is represented by The Brock Agency for Film/TV/Commercial. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @thetaoofThao and www.thaotnguyen.com.

Charles Pang (Writer) was born and raised in Hong Kong. Selected credits: Romance of the Western Chamber (TADA! Theater), The Monkey King: A Modern Musical (NAAP/Actors Temple Theater), The Story of Yu-Huan (Yangtze Rep/Theater for the New City), A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Vainglory Theatre Team), Pornography for the People (Spookfish Theatre Company/HERE Arts Center), Made in China (Wakka Wakka Productions/59E59), The Empress Dowager (Yangtze Rep/Theater for the New City), The Merry Wives of Windsor (The Drilling Company/Bryant Park Shakespeare), Hamlet (Allentown Shakespeare in the Park), Richard III (Gallery Players), Anything Goes (Phoenix Theatre), The King and I (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), An American in Paris (Arizona Broadway Theatre), Catch Me If You Can (Arizona Broadway Theatre), and for 5 holiday seasons, A Christmas Story: The Musical (National Tour). Many thanks to the creative team of Tropical Angels and much love to my family in Hong Kong and here in New York <3 www.charlespang.com

Matheus Ting (Lin) is so grateful and honored to be bringing life into the character of Lin. Over Zoom, of course! Previous shows: Broadway National Tour: The King and I (Swing, U/S Simon, U/S Angel, U/S Phra Alack); Off-Broadway: Comfort Women (Minsik Lee). Other credits include Gatsby: A New Musical (Nick Carraway), A Language of Our Own (Ming), Bright and Brave (Elliot). Much love to the entire cast and production team of Tropical Angels!

Xiaoqing Zhang (Yasuko) is thrilled to join Tropical Angel, her credits include Off-Broadway show The Emperor's Nightingale, Off-Broadway musical For What It's Worth, National Asian Artists Projects Musical Rapunzel, NAAP Prospect Theatre Company Into The Woods concert. Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Lost in Shanghai, and musical An old day in Chinatown. Jonathan Lee's Musical Road to Heaven New York, MTF musical Eastbound. Mandarin premiere of Avenue Q, Mama loves me again and Spiral show. Her awards include first place in the national competition China Star, second place in The World Karaoke Championship in the China region, Creative Award in BTV singing and dancing competition.


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