PAN ASIAN REP Presents NEWWORKS 09, From Mar. 16 to Apr. 11
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre continues its 32nd season with NEWWORKS 09 March 16 - April 11 at the West End Theatre (263 W. 86th Street between Broadway & West End Avenue in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, 2nd floor). This four week event of new plays, solo pieces and music features some of the brightest young talent in the Asian-American community and beyond.The program of events includes the following plays:THE SECRET OF O-SONO (March 25 - April 5):
The centerpiece of the month-long event will be the world premiere of The Secret of O-Sono. Presented with Japanese poetic forms and theatrical Kabuki and Noh traditions, The Secret of O-Sono is a ghost-love story for family audiences. This is a new play by Elsa Okon Rael, directed by Ron Nakahara, with Japanese movement consulting by Sachiyo Ito and inspired by Japanese folk tales collected by Lafcadio Hearn. With seven plays produced Off-Broadway and in regional theatres around the country, Rael has written special material for Walter Cronkite, Kaye Ballard, Gilbert Price, Marsha Mason, Beatrice Straight, Georgio Tozzi and a book commissioned and published by SUNY, Women in a Changing World. Japanese native Emi F. Jones, a Masters graduate of Asian performance techniques who appeared in Pan Asian's production of Shogun Macbeth, will appear as O-Sono.
SMART ASS (March 18 - March 22)
Pan Asian Rep presents the world premiere of Lan Tran's one-woman comedy exploring psychics, dogs, dating and learning to "speak her own body language." Vietnamese-American writer/performer Lan Tran's work has been featured on NPR and presented at numerous off-Broadway theaters, New York City Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall's Redcat, and at the Ford Amphitheatre Complex. How To Unravel Your Family, her first one-woman show, played to a sold-out audience in the Lincoln Center Theater-produced American Living Room Festival. Tran is a graduate of Pan Asian Rep's training program with Ernest Abuba and her show Elevator Sex was performed as part of Pan Asian Rep's 2006 Festival Of New Works.RAMONA and DINNER (April 7 and 8)
In Ramona, a one woman show based on the works of Paraguayan writers Margot Ayala de Michelagnoli and Mario Halley Mora, writer / performer Paula Irun details the dehumanizing effects of a militaristic society on a young woman's life. Ramona is performed in English and Guaraní, an indigenous tongue and the second official language of Paraguay. In contrast, Dinner is a humerous look at men and a woman's place in marriage. Writer performer Irun is a recipient of the Gran Premio Oscar Trinidad award and the Arturo Alsina best actress award. Her work explores Paraguayan politics and culture. A DAY AFTER THE DAY (April 9 -11)
Written and directed by Juyoung Hong, this is a multi-media solo performance piece using sound and video-scape, an adaptation of Woyzeck, the famed tragedy which explores social dynamics and the tension between have and have-nots, re-imagined from the perspective of a new immigrant. Hong is one of the most promising experimental writer /directors in Korean contemporary theatre whose credits include Metamorphosis, Killing Game and The Most Wonderful Thing of All.NEWWORKS 09 will feature a series of three "Monday Music Nights..."THINGS I LOVE (March 16)
Christine Toy Johnson with special guest Bruce Alan Johnson, presents Things I Love, an upbeat autobiographical snapshot of her favorite subjects to sing about. Sharing personal musings and joyous memories of husband and dog, Broadway musicals and coconut cake, songs include classic standards such as "This Can't Be Love," "My Favorite Things," "If I Were a Bell," and "How Deep is the Ocean" as well as a piece she premiered in Kevin So's award-winning musical Victor Woo, The Average Asian American. Christine Toy Johnson is an award-winning actor, playwright, and filmmaker. As a performer, she has appeared extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, in film, television, and concerts worldwide for over 25 years and is the recipient of a Boomerang Fund for Artists Award. SUNG WITH WORDS (March 30)
An evening with celebrated jazz pianist Helen Sung and her trio. Sung has been called "one of the brightest emerging stars in jazz today." Breaking stereotypes as an Asian-American jazz pianist and composer, her experience in classical, jazz, & popular music gives her a compelling, unique voice. Her CD "Helenistique" was praised as "...one of the year's most exciting listens" (JazzTimes), and her latest CD "Sungbird after Albéniz," a jazz-classical adventure, is being hailed "a real winner" (All About Jazz - Los Angeles), and a "seamless recording in which one composer's contributions complement the other's" (BillBoard). A graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, she has worked with such masters as Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis, Wayne Shorter, Steve Turre, T.S.Monk and Regina Carter. STEEL PAN PERCUSSIONIST ANDY AKIHO (April 6)
Andy Akiho is an award winning composer and performer with a broad range of interests that stretch from steel pan to western classical music. As a percussionist Akiho has performed with numerous professional ensembles, and his immersion in various genres has given him a unique approach to his primary instrument, the steel pan. Since 2003, he has performed and taught steel pan extensively in New York City and has successfully taught his arrangements to many groups including the Sesame Flyers International Steel Orchestra. He has also had the opportunity to perform for Bill Clinton, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Donald Trump, Billy Crystal, and baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Torre.
NEWWORKS 09 will also feature a series celebrating "Emerging Artists Shorts..."FISH DREAMS and FLIGHT (March 31 and April 1)
Performed by Mitsu Salmon with musician ryotaro Fish Dreams and Flight are two dance/music/theater collaborations. The first takes place in a magical sushi restaurant where the dishes cause emotional and metaphysical responses from customers and workers alike. In Flight, a neurotic flight attendant questions the importance of her work and life.LUCAS KWONG (March 31 and April 1)
Emerging musician Lucas Kwong will explore themes of love, death and God with songs ranging in sound from a gospel service to a barroom brawl. Fluent on piano, guitar, and trumpet, Lucas has been writing songs since he was thirteen. His work is inspired by the diverse sounds of Ellington, Mozart, Lennon and Dylan.ABOUT PAN ASIAN REPFounded in 1977, Pan Asian Rep is the largest producer of Asian American theatre with regular international and national touring and residencies. For 32 years, Pan Asian Rep has celebrated the artistic expressiveness of Asian and American theatre artists with the highest standards of professional theatre. The company encourages production of new plays with contemporary Asian American themes, explores new forms by drawing upon the unique heritage of Asian American style, music and movement and nurtures emerging Asian-American talent. Under the direction of Tisa Chang, Pan Asian Rep continues to bring Asian American Theatre to diverse audiences and deepen their appreciation and understanding of the Asian American cultural heritage. LISTINGS INFORMATIONPAN ASIAN REP'S NEWWORKS 09 runs off-Broadway at the West End Theatre (263 W. 86th Street between Broadway & West End Avenue in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, 2nd floor) March 16 - April 11. Via Subway, take the 1 train to 86th Street. Performances are Monday - Saturday at 7:30PM with matinees Sunday at 3:00PM, No performances March 17, 23 or 24; The Secret of O-Sono student matinees are at 11:00AM on March 25, 26, 27, April 1 and 2; Monday Music Nights on March 16, 30 and April 6; Emerging Artists Shorts plays March 31 and April 1. Tickets $18, call OvationTix 212-352-3101, or visit www.panasianrep.org.