Review: SWEATSHOP OVERLORD at A.C.T. Strand

Sweatshop Overlord continues through May 5th at A.C.T. Strand.

By: Apr. 05, 2024
Review: SWEATSHOP OVERLORD at A.C.T. Strand
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It’s March 2020 and the country is shutdown by a new, mysterious virus called COVID-19. Broke, newly unemployed performance artist Kristina Wong is in full crisis mode. She’s got no audience, no kids, and no prospects, but she’s got a plan. Sewing masks out of old bed sheets and bra straps on her Hello Kitty sewing machine becomes her obsession. In this Pulitzer Prize finalist play, Wong muses on some serious topics like our broken healthcare system and poor government response in a hilarious machine gun delivery dripping with satire and highly accurate social commentary.

Review: SWEATSHOP OVERLORD at A.C.T. Strand

Wonderfully directed by Chay Yew, Wong delivers a high-energy tour de force whirlwind perspective on the nastier effects of the pandemic: anti-Asian racism, domestic terror, and a failed response. Undaunted, Wong is shocked to find hundreds of helpers who rise to the occasion, her Auntie Sewing Squad (ASS) who will sew 350,000 masks.

Review: SWEATSHOP OVERLORD at A.C.T. Strand

There’s plenty of humor to balance the seriousness of the pandemic. Always a performance artist, Wong wins a ‘PandEmmy’ and is hailed as a hero. She’s a lovable sweatshop overlord, providing normal folks with a higher purpose and saving untold numbers of lives. With millions killed during the pandemic, Wong’s story is one of persistence, purpose, and hope. Wong and her legion of care-taking Aunties counter the negatives with their sheer will.

Sweatshop Overlord continues through May 5th at A.C.T. Strand. For tickets, contact http://www.act-sf.org/sweatshopoverlord

Photos by Kevin Berne.




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