Ferocious Lotus Premieres TWO MILE HOLLOW This Summer
Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company, with the support of Intersection for the Arts, presents the world premiere of Leah Nanako Winkler's TWO MILE HOLLOW directed by Lily Tung Crystal. Ferocious Lotus is proud to produce Winkler's work since she was announced as the 2018 winner of the coveted Yale Drama Series Prize for her new play, GOD SAID THIS, and the 2018-2019 Jerome Fellow at The Lark. TWO MILE HOLLOW is part of a simultaneous world premiere with Artists at Play in Los Angeles, First Floor Theatre in Chicago, and Theatre Mu/Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis.
TWO MILE HOLLOW opens Monday, June 25, 2018 at Potrero Stage (1695 18th Street, San Francisco) and runs through July 15, 2018. Previews take place June 23 and 24, 2018.
About TWO MILE HOLLOW
In TWO MILE HOLLOW, we meet the Donnellys, a famous, dysfunctional, Caucasian family who are so obsessed with their own privilege that they don't know what to make of their son's ethnically ambiguous assistant who comes to visit. Through the weekend, hilarity ensues as siblings argue over women and motorcycles, a mother creates self-loathing in her gluten-intolerant daughter, and complicated and unique secrets are unveiled over white wine. ??The story lines in Leah Nanako Winkler's laugh-out-loud "white people by the water" genre play may seem all too familiar. Yet there's a twist. Here, the family is played by actors of color. With this unconventional casting, Winkler sends up some of our favorite American plays and helps us see the inherent inequities on stage and in life. TWO MILE HOLLOW is the perfect parody during this national moment, when our identity as Americans is being questioned more than ever before.
"As a new American voice, Winkler confronts the traditional American canon and, in turn, the status quo in the nation today," says Tung Crystal.
Winkler explains, "Once on a Youngblood writers retreat, a few of us noticed that a certain NYC theater's new season consisted solely what we deemed 'white people by the water' plays. I remember laughing about it at the time, but then I started to wonder how deeply these overblown narratives were ingrained in my brain...Why does this one dominant perspective keep getting produced over and over? How do these narratives affect representation on the stage? How does representation affect culture? Hopes and dreams?
"In 2015, I started a protest of THE MIKADO by New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players and got death threats," she says. "I saw Emma Stone play a hapa in ALOHA. So, the idea of having excellent non-white performers play ridiculous white people seemed both cathartic and correct."
Tung Crystal concludes: "When we included TWO MILE HOLLOW in our fHERocious New Play Readings in 2016, it was an audience favorite. It showed us that her work speaks to the Bay Area's own vanguard sensibilities, which lead the country in issues of social activism. Not only did people love it for its fierce comedy, but through that comedic window, Winkler also makes a deep comment about race, class, and privilege in America today."
TWO MILE HOLLOW features Rinabeth Apostol* as Charlotte, Greg Ayers as Joshua, Sean Fenton* as Christopher, Karen Offereins as Mary, and Michelle Talgarow as Blythe. (*Members of Actors' Equity, the professional union of actors and stage managers in the U.S.)
The production features direction by Lily Tung Crystal, set design by Randy Wong-Westbrooke, costume design by Kathleen Qiu, lighting design by Kevin August Landesman, sound design by Michael Kelly, and properties design by Devon LaBelle.
About Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company
Founders Lily Tung Crystal and Leon Goertzen created Ferocious Lotus in 2010 with the mission of giving 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. To this end, we produce work with the top professional Asian American theatre artists in the Bay Area. We present new plays and musicals, as well as 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 break stereotypes, we are actively involved in changing the perception of what it means to be Asian or Asian American. We also offer artists support, training, networking, and mentorship.
Ferocious Lotus's past work includes 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 activist against human trafficking in early-1900s Chinatown.
About the Playwright
Leah Nanako Winkler is from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington, Kentucky.
Her play GOD SAID THIS (2018 Yale Drama Series Award) had its world premiere at The Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival in 2018, and will have its NYC premiere at Primary Stages next season. In addition, her play TWO MILE HOLLOW (2017 Kilroys List) is enjoying a simultaneous world premiere at four theatres across the U.S. Leah is currently at work on her new play, THIRTY-SIX (2017 Kilroys List honorable mention) and a commission for Theatre Mu.
Previous plays include the short play LINUS AND MURRAY, included in the 2017 EST Marathon and praised by the New York Times as the best play of the evening. Also, KENTUCKY (2015 Kilroys List, world premiere with EST & Page 73, west coast premiere with East West Players), DEATH FOR SYDNEY BLACK (TerraNova Collective, dir. Kip Fagan, 2014 and 2015 Kilroys honorable mention), THE INTERNET (Incubator Arts Project), HAPPY DANCE DANCE PRINCESS SHOW (The Brick), DOUBLE SUICIDE AT UENO PARK!!! (35th Marathon of One-Act Plays at Ensemble Studio Theatre), COPE, and DIVERSITY AWARENESS PICNIC. With playwright Teddy Nicholas, she co-wrote FLYING SNAKES IN 3-D!!!, which was done at Ars Nova (ANT Fest), The Brick Theater (mainstage) and the New Ohio Theatre (Ice Factory 2012).
Leah is the 2018-2019 Jerome Fellow at the Lark. She is also a member of Ma Yi, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the WP Theater Playwrights Lab, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Playwrights Group at Primary Stages, and an alumna of Youngblood. She was a 2017 Sundance/Ucross fellow. Recently, Leah was awarded the first-ever Mark O'Donnell Prize from The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons. Leah is also one of the first recipients of Audible's new commissioning program for emerging playwrights. The New York Times called her a "distinctive new voice."
Her collections of short plays, NAGORIYUKI & Other Short Plays and The Lowest Form of Writing are available on Amazon. Four of those plays are translated and published in Nanjing University's Stage and Screen Reviews (China, December 2014 edition). Her one-act TAISETSU NA HITO was a 2014 winner for the Sam French OOB Festival and was published by them in 2015, and two monologues from her play KENTUCKY were published by Smith and Kraus in 2016. She is working on her MFA at Brooklyn College.
About the Director
Lily Tung Crystal* is the founding artistic director of Ferocious Lotus. She made her directorial debut in 2015 helming David Henry Hwang's CHINGLISH at Palo Alto Players, for which she was nominated for a Theatre Bay Area (TBA) Award for Outstanding Direction. She most recently directed Shirley Barrie's one-act REVELATION at Those Women Productions. Lily is a 2009 TBA Titan Award winner and a 2016 YBCA 100 honoree, named by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as a "creative mind, maker, and pioneer making the provocations that will shape the future of American culture." Lily is also a longtime actor whose favorite roles include: Hotel Manager/Prosecutor Li in CHINGLISH (Portland Center Stage/Syracuse Stage), Li/Rashida in TOUGH TITTY (Magic Theatre), Amanda in PRIVATE LIVES (Whirligig Theatre, Shanghai), Lulu in Cabaret (SF Playhouse), Korean #2 in SONGS OF THE DRAGONS (Crowded Fire, BATCC nomination), Mrs. Park in Jay Kuo's new musical WORLDS APART (Magic Theatre, New World Stages), and Mother/Doctor in JC Lee's CRANE (Ferocious Lotus). Lily also does on-camera work and appeared in the film Steve Jobs. When she's not in the theatre, she's writing and producing for television.
We are a member of the Intersection Incubator, a program of Intersection for the Arts providing fiscal sponsorship, networking and consulting for artists. Visit www.theintersection.org.
This is an Equity-approved project, supported by Grants for the Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and CA$H, a grants program of Theatre Bay Area, in partnership with Dancers' Group.