Ferocious Lotus Names May Liang New Artistic Director
Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company names May Liang as its new Artistic Director, effective September 2019. Previously the company's Literary Manager, Liang succeeds Founding Artistic Director Lily Tung Crystal, who is stepping down to become the Artistic Director of Theater Mu in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Tung Crystal remains part of Ferocious Lotus as co-founder and artistic director emeritus.
Liang has been a company member and the literary manager of Ferocious Lotus since 2014. She led the curation process for the fHERocious NEW PLAY READINGS festival at the Magic Theatre in 2016, playing a key role within the company and in the greater Bay Area community to champion the work of female Asian American Playwrights and directors. That work led to the company producing TWO MILE HOLLOW at San Francisco's Potrero Stage in 2018 to great success. Liang also served as the assistant director of Ferocious Lotus' world premiere of JC Lee's CRANE, directed by Mina Morita at NOHspace in 2015.
Liang is a prolific director, having worked with companies including American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Ground Floor Lab, California Shakespeare Theater, Just Theater, and Crowded Fire Theater, where she is a Resident Artist. She was a Theatre Bay Area Award finalist for Outstanding Direction of a Play for Bay Area Children's Theatre's 2018
world premiere of Min Kahng's INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN. Liang was a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York City in 2017 and the Directors Lab Chicago in 2019. Previously, she was a campaign organizer for immigrant rights with ASPIRE--the first Pan-Asian undocumented immigrant youth organization in the nation--and uses her lens as an activist and community organizer to frame her work.
"May has a keen theatre sensibility, acute artistic instincts, and a deep commitment to social activism pushing forward Asian American theatre artists both locally and nationally," says Tung Crystal. "We're excited that Ferocious Lotus is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020. With May's deep dedication to the company over the last five years, I can't think of a better choice to lead the company into the next decade."
"I am extremely honored to have the trust and respect of my peers who support me in this great endeavor," says Liang. "My gratitude for Lily and the foundation she built for this community of artists is without bounds. She has helped push assumptions and boundaries through the work of this company, and I hope to continue creating socially impactful projects by questioning, experimenting and shifting the definition of what it means to be Asian American in the world today."
Upon its 10-year anniversary, Ferocious Lotus is also announcing a reimagining of its debut production from 2010, THE ONE ACT COMEDY WORKSHOP. In the spring of 2020, the company will present a new series of one-acts featuring the work of some of the playwrights from that original project, other writers produced by the company over the past decade, and new playwrights it hopes to highlight for the first time. The event will also feature the work of company members, as well as actors, directors, and designers it has collaborated with through the years. Through this new production, the company hopes to create a night of differing perspectives around Asian American identity and to ask what the future holds for its community.
"We are all excited for this opportunity to examine, expand, and explore the possibilities that Ferocious Lotus can bring into the years to come," says Liang. Tung Crystal adds, "We hope the Bay Area can support our journey into this next era as we pass the torch to a new team of leaders and artists."
Founded by Tung Crystal and actor and casting director Leon Goertzen in 2010, Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company gives voice to artists with diverse and international perspectives. Ferocious Lotus promotes not only diversity, but also reality-the reality that our neighborhoods comprise people of all races, cultures, genders and backgrounds, and that theatre should represent that reality. The company works with the top professional Asian American theatre
artists in the Bay Area, presenting new plays and re-imagined established works, giving Asian American actors opportunities to perform roles not usually afforded them and taking risks to create work that is quintessentially Asian American, yet also universal. By doing plays that examine, question, and break stereotypes, Ferocious Lotus is actively involved in changing the perception of what it means to be Asian or Asian American. They also offer artists support, training, networking, and mentorship.
Ferocious Lotus' past work includes the critically praised TWO MILE HOLLOW by Leah Nanako Winkler, the highly acclaimed CRANE by JC Lee, the co-production of the world premiere of Christopher Chen's MUTT, and, along with the San Francisco Public Library, the long running one-woman play TYE about Tye Leung Schulze, the first Chinese-American woman to vote and advocate against human trafficking in early-1900s Chinatown.