Kai Xing Mun And Frigid New York Present ANNA MAY WONG Persona As Part Of The Queerly Festival

A play reading. A woman ahead of her time; Anna May Wong was Hollywood's first Chinese-American movie star.

By: May. 23, 2023
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Kai Xing Mun And Frigid New York Present ANNA MAY WONG Persona As Part Of The Queerly Festival

Kai Xing Mun and Frigid New York will present Anna May Wong: Persona as part of the Queerly Festival. Festival tickets are $25 for in-person performances and $20 for online viewers via streaming.

The Queerly Festival's performance of Anna May Wong: Persona is on  Saturday, June 24, 2022 at 5:00 PM. The event will be held at The Kraine, 85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003. For tickets please visit: https://www.frigid.nyc/festivals/queerly/

“I've known, admired, and researched about [Anna May Wong] since I found out about her in a textbook in middle school. I'd read several biographies and even more articles about her extraordinary life. I wanted to write about Anna May Wong beyond her relation to white co-stars and alleged relationships with white men. She has met and worked with so many legendary artists in Hollywood and around the world like Sessue Hayakawa, Hu Die, and Mei Lanfang. I focus on her close friendships with Philip Ahn and Paul Robeson in my play. She was rumored to not only have an affair with Marlene Dietrich, but other actresses as well such as Alla Nazimova, Cecil Cunningham, Leni Riefenstahl, and Dolores Del Rio. She never denied any of the rumors. I present queer Hollywood history, particularly “The Sewing Circle.” A group of lesbian and bisexual women in Hollywood who would meet up for bonding and prospects at each other's home, or be hosted in Dolores Del Rio's mansion.' Explained playwright, Kai Xing Mun.

A play reading. A woman ahead of her time; Anna May Wong was Hollywood's first Chinese-American movie star. For all her talent, wit, and charm, she's spent her life searching for a place to belong. She was discriminated against by American society for her race, and demeaned by her family for her dreams. It seemed the only place where she was beyond her circumstances was in the magical world of film, if only Hollywood could've seen her beyond racist stereotypes and caricatures. However, Anna was born in the year of the Dragon, she was always fated to create her own future. From rumored sapphic romances to traveling different countries to lifelong friendships with fellow legendary artists, Anna will defy all the odds as she devotes herself to her craft. Only one question remains: will there ever be a place where she can be seen as human?

“It's funny and an honor to have my play reading at Queerly, because my experiences with FRIGID New York all have to do with burlesque shows! I always had a great time as both a stage kitten and an audience member. It feels serendipitous to be able to present my work at this arts festival. Everyone has always been kind to me so I'm looking forward to becoming a part of the FRIGID New York community.” said the playwright.

Mun's script for Anna May Wong: Persona was previously selected by Athena Project to be presented for their Read and Rant series as a virtual reading and discussion, and was listed as a semifinalist for the 2023 SheNYC Theater Festival.

'Anna's life as an international star and legendary actress is proof that love, courage, and going after your dreams leads to revolution. Whenever I felt down while growing up, I thought to myself that if Anna May Wong can carve out a name for herself in a time like the 1920s then surely I can make my own accomplishments in the 21st Century. She reached for the moon and landed among the stars. That's why as an Asian American actor, I look to Anna May Wong's life to keep my own hope alive as I try to make my own acting dreams come true.” Mun continued.

Kai Xing Mun (they/she) is a Malaysian-Chinese American nonbinary ace actor born and raised in Lenapehoking, also known as New York City. They've been performing Off-Broadway since their early teens with Urban Youth Theater and went on to become a theatre arts graduate of Marymount Manhattan College. They've since published their essay writing and produced their scripts on stage.

As a writer, Kai's stories center on uplifting women and marginalized genders of color by exploring humanity, emotion, and finding strength in vulnerability in a vivid, descriptive writing style. To Kai, the art of storytelling's greatest power is to transform the world by deconstructing systems of oppressions, and creating a space for healing and love.

While acting and working towards their goal of having their own film and theatre production company one day, Kai performs burlesque and drag all over New York at night.

Highlighted plays include “Calico” (Moxie Arts 2023 Finalist, The Nest series by In Full Color), “Anna May Wong: PERSONA” (SheNYC Semi-Finalist), and Astral (IHRA Festival, The Tank). Their plays have been developed at Abrons Arts Center, In Full Color and The Athena Project.

FRIGID New York - FRIGID New York's mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and eight annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998 as Horse Trade, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing production support and affordable rental space to scores of Independent artists. 

Queerly - Founded in 2014, Queerly is FRIGID's annual celebration of all things artistic and LGBTQIA2S+. Queerly strives for diversity on and off stage, seeking out queer teams and artists of all kinds as well as a wide range of shows and performances. Our goal is to provide a space for queer artists who've rarely or never seen their identities portrayed on stage to be able to represent themselves and tell their stories their way, as well as to provide a space for queer celebration, pride, and strength. Queerly was started by Erez Ziv and then curated by Kevin R. Free for many years. It is now curated by FRIGID co artistic director Jimmy Lovett.

Athena Project is the Denver, Colorado nonprofit dedicated to strengthening our local and global communities by empowering women* and girls to embrace their place as leaders in the arts. Athena Project empowers women through the arts. Athena Project envisions a world with gender equity where women's voices are valued and amplified in the arts. Each year, Athena Project produces a fabulous array of events celebrating amazing new plays by female writers, fashion, music and dance –powering women and girls toward artistic leadership.

SheNYC Arts supports and showcases the talents of writers, composers, producers, directors, and other theater artists who are part of a marginalized gender group, including cis women, trans, and non-binary people. Our mission is to prove that there is no reason for male artists to have the overwhelming majority of professionally produced work on Broadway, off-Broadway, and around the country.