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24 Hour Plays Celebrated Their One Year Anniversary With Hugh Dancy, Steve Guttenberg, Jeremy Shamos, Keala Settle and More

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The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues marked their one-year anniversary with a series of unforgettable monologues on IGTV @24hourplays at https://24hourplays.com/viral-monologues/.  Twenty-four actors were paired with twenty-four writers, who have crafted unique pieces especially for their actors. 

The twenty-four actors performing the series of Viral Monologues will include: Ashlie Atkinson, Anna Baryshnikov, Keith Arthur Bolden, Justin Chu Cary, Raúl Castillo, Charly Clive, Hugh Dancy, Paul Fitzgerald, Steve Guttenberg, Amy Hargreaves, Nina Hellman & Jeremy Shamos, Miles G. Jackson, Terry Kinney, Melia Kreling, Allie Levitan, Freddy Miyares, Joy Osmanski, Larry Owens, Liza Jessie Peterson, Emma Ramos, Keala Settle, Cory Michael Smith and Eunice Wong. 

Rachel Axler, Mario Correa, Katie Do, Alex Edelman, Daniel Goldfarb, Jess Honovich, Jesse Jae Hoon, Lily Houghton,  Julia Jordan, Hansol Jung, Jon Kern, Anchuli Felicia King, Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, David Lindsay-Abaire and Tom Kitt, Kenneth Lonergan, Tony Meneses, Cat Miller, Dan O’Brien, Lena Patel, christopher oscar peña, Monique A. Robinson, Jonathan Marc Sherman and Christiane Swenson will write the monologues.

“In a year of incredible hardship, it’s been an honor to have so many artists gather with us to make new things. Artists have always sustained The 24 Hour Plays, but never more than this year. They held us up, week after week, coming together to explore and celebrate the lives we lead together,” said artistic director Mark Armstrong.  “The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues may have been born out of necessity during this socially-distanced time, but now they’ve become a flagship event, connecting our mission to thousands of new audience members every round. The most meaningful part for me has been all the notes from artists saying that we helped keep their creativity alive. As long as artists continue to find our unique way of working meaningful, we’ll be here to bring them together.”

The 24 Hour Plays has always made work about the most difficult moments in our lives, from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy to the 2016 election, and the coronavirus pandemic is no different. In 2020, when stay-at-home orders were first issued and theatres shut down across the country, The 24 Hour Plays team was determined to find a way to continue their tradition of making time-limited theatre without physically bringing people together – and thus, The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues were born. 

The finest actors and writers from the American arts and entertainment industry have come together to create over 350 original pieces for the weekly Viral Monologues series since its debut on March 17, 2020. Each week, pairs of writers and actors collaborate to write, rehearse, perform and produce new works in just 24 hours. In addition to using their mission-based theatermaking approach in a new way, The 24 Hour Plays have used the Viral Monologues to celebrate and support a host of deserving nonprofit organizations, including their own efforts to develop the young artists who will shape the future of the theater. 

The incredible lineup of luminaries who have written and performed for the Viral Monologues includes Wayne Brady, Nicholas Braun, Matthew Broderick, David Cross, Hugh Dancy, Andre De Shields, Daveed Diggs, Dagmara Domínczyk, Rachel Dratch, Minnie Driver, Jesse Eisenberg, Raul Esparza, Marcia Gay Harden, Santino Fontana, Tavi Gevinson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, William Jackson Harper, Daniel Dae Kim, Richard Kind, Aja Naomi King, David Lindsay-Abaire, Kenneth Lonergan, Vella Lovell, Zosia Mamet, Alex Moffat, Cynthia Nixon, Lynn Nottage, Brittany O’Grady, Larry Owens, Ashley Park, Pedro Pascal, David Hyde Pierce, Danny Pudi,  AnnaSophia Robb, Andre Royo, Tony Shalhoub, Michael Shannon, Cobie Smulders, Patrick Wilson, Rita Wilson and many more. 

New editions of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues stream on select Tuesday nights on IGTV @24hourplays, on The 24 Hour Plays’ Facebook and YouTube channels, and at https://24hourplays.com/viral-monologues/. The monologues are available to view on IGTV and online for four days after their initial airing courtesy of an agreement with Theatre Authority, a nonprofit organization managed by Actors’ Equity.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

SO LONG, FAREWELL — I’ve been a TV-guy for decades; from Mary Tyler Moore; MASH; The X-Files and Seinfeld on down; I’ve seen great shows fall low with just terribly written finales, but the final-Ted Lasso episode this week was nothing short of brilliant. The acting, the writing, the joie de vivre off the charts.

 Joie de vivre literally translates into the joy of living and the three seasons of Ted Lasso were all just sensational in every way. Sure, there were some standout episodes (Beard After Hours), but Jason Sudeikis and gang were always just wonderful. Some pundits said that this third season ran off the rails a bit, but this last episode neatly tied them all up. And I’d be remiss in not mentioning the brilliant music that accompanied each and every episode; from The Monkees’ “Sometime In The Morning” to the new Ed Sheeran record which debuted in this last episode. Just so neatly done.

Hannah Waddingham

I’ll tell you what I really liked from the get-go was the fact that this episode began after Ted clearly told Rebecca he was going home in the last episode. The fact that they didn’t show it, made it a lot easier to digest. Hannah Waddingham is a star and she had her moment with Ted, in the seats, asking him one more time to stay.

She’s going to be as huge star, so get ready to see a lot more of her.

Brett Goldstein too (Roy Kent) was just tremendous. He’s huge already!

Roy Kent became the new coach of AFC Richmond with Nate as an able assistant. Ted Crimm (James Lance) finished his book originally titled The Lasso Way, but Ted after reading it and loving it, wanted a new title. Hence, The Richmond Way.

Just a great episode; a tad longer at 76-minutes, but richly written and acted. I am going to miss this show tremendously.

Utterly brilliant in every way.

Milli Vanilli

MILLI VANILLI — (Via Deadline) A feature doc about controversial pop group Milli Vanilli has been picked up by Paramount +.

The eponymous doc, which tells the story of the duo who were forced to return their Grammy Award for Best New Artist after it was revealed that they didn’t sing on any of their records, is premiering at the Tribeca Festival.

The streamer will launch the doc in the U.S. as well as in Canada, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Produced by MRC and MTV Entertainment Studios, Milli Vanilli tells the story of Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, who became fast friends during their youth in Germany. With Rob coming from a broken home and Fabrice having left an abusive household, they shared a similar upbringing, as well as a future goal: to become famous superstars. In a few short years, their dreams came true. Their first album went platinum six times in 1989, and their hit Girl You Know It’s True sold over 30 million singles worldwide. Rob and Fab became the world’s most popular pop duo in 1990. However, their ascension to success came with a devastating price that ultimately led to their infamous undoing.

“For over 30 years, the story of Milli Vanilli – in particular Rob and Fab – has been reduced to sensational headlines,” said director Luke Korem. “With this documentary, we pull back the curtain on pop music. Featuring interviews with the real singers, record executives, the producer mastermind behind the deception and exclusive interviews with Rob and Fab, we unveil the truth of this complex, exciting and dramatic story. I’m thrilled that Paramount+ shares our vision and will bring this film to audiences around the world.”

“Finally – the true story of Milli Vanilli has been told,” added Fabrice Morvan. “I’m thankful Luke Korem and his team went to the lengths that they did. The journey I returned to during the filming of this documentary didn’t leave any stone unturned. At last I can close this chapter in peace… Get ready to take a walk in our steel-toe boots.”

Flatiron Building

SHORT TAKES — Nomad’s Flatiron Building looks to be turned into a residential house. Not a bad idea at all. Great address (175 Fifth) and a great location … Brian Lowry, who used to cover TV for Variety, now is at CNN. Great writer and he did a fantastic book on The X-Files years back. Congrats …

Donnie Kehr at Steve Walter’s CuttingRoom Sunday performing his Beautiful Strange album live … As you can well imagine, the reviews for Succession’s finale were just tremendous; both pro and con for certain, The Washington Post ran an interesting piece on the show as well; from a more medical-point of view. I loved it; take a look: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/05/30/succession-wealth-family-life-psychologists/

Slade

Daryl Easlea: a brilliant writer from the U.K. has a book coming out on Slade entitled Whatever Happened To Slade?Remember them?

A Bronx Tale

Here’s the cover … To close this year’s Tribeca Festival, there will be a special 30th anniversary screening of the film, A Bronx Tale, Saturday, June 17. After the film, Robert DeNiro (who directed the movie), Jane Rosenthal, and Chazz Palminteri will participate in a  live conversation with David Remmick, editor of the New Yorker. Definitely one of the major highlights of this year’s fete … (Via Showbiz 411):

Billy Joel

Billy Joel is wrapping it up. The Piano Man will end his record-breaking run at Madison Square Garden in July 2024. It will be his 150th monthly show. The whole run has been an incredible success, allowing Billy to stay mostly close to him and bring all his fans to him. At times, he’s strayed to other cities and countries, but every month like clockwork he’s been at the Garden playing his hits to very happy fans. The sold out residency began back in 2014, believe it or not. Billy has outlasted dozens of Broadway shows, some mayors, governors, presidents, etc. The run has been a phenomenon and a stunning success. Joel will turn 75 next May, so that plus the magic 150 number and it all makes sense … Happy Bday Melani Rogers; Ronnie Wood;  and David Keeps.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Daryl Easlea; Tony King; David Geffen; Ed Rosenblatt; Glenn Friscia; Jim Burgess; Kent Denmark; Mikael Wood; Lester Bangs; Anne Leighton; Vince Aletti; Fred Goodman; Mark Bego; Mike Greenblatt; Ken Dashow; Jane Rosenthal; Robert DeNiro; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Markos Papadatos; and ZIGGY!

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Shakespeare Loose and Rollicking in Bryant Park

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Eric Paterniani as Launce and Chewy as Crab (Launce’s ornery hound) in “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” 2015. Photo by Rosalie Baijer.

By Drew Valins

A couple of weeks ago I received a text: “Shakespeare’s Bday #459. We’re doing a sort of Greatest Hits thing. Are you in?” It was the Bat Signal from our own Hamilton Clancy, the Artistic Director of the Drilling Company. He was planning a sort of Shakespeare variety show. Although the run would be brief (May 25 only), it would be auspicious as the first production of the 2023 New York outdoor Shakespeare season.

We call our company the Drill for short. We are the Drillers. Every summer we do a Shakespeare play or five, and we split them between a parking lot on the Lower East Side and Bryant Park. This evening would be a lookback on our ten years of presenting Shakespeare in Bryant Park.

Of course I was in. This had become a ritual, something we previously did in Bryant Park to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday in April. Each year held different surprises. One time we gathered about 30 actors and did a flash mob choreographed for optimal surprise. I decided to become a “drunk” Hamlet with brown bag and bottle in hand, ranting about how much of an asshole I was next to a garbage can: “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I!” Another time we celebrated The Immortal Bard with a full brass band doing a New Orleans style serenade of Shakespeare’s songs to accompany our scenes and monologues.

It would be fun. It would be loose. It would be rollicking. It would be like getting the band together again to do our songs. Who doesn’t like rock and roll?

Our company is no stranger to Bryant Park. We know the drill. We gathered at the Upper Terrace, some of us early to rehearse a bit and grease the wheels, others showing up at the last minute due to…well, life.

I recall one time we lost a key cast member who was stuck on the F train somewhere between “who knows where and who cares, you’re late!” We knew our #1 Drilling Company Rule: “Show up before your entrance or we skip forward”.  It’s outdoor theater and the show would go on.

We set up our tent for changing and got our costumes and props in order. We did sound checks with the friendly Bryant Park staff and ran through the running order so that we’d know who to hand off our mics to and when.

It was a beautiful crisp evening in Bryant Park. The stage was set, the chairs were out, the audience was ready. I breathed in, closed my eyes, and let the sun wash over me. Ahhh. Outdoor theater. This is what summer means to me in NYC.

Audience at “A Celebration of 10 years.” Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Doing outdoor Shakespeare in Bryant Park is like being the center act in a ten ring circus. You have the biggest audience you can ever dream of. I recall our “Romeo and Juliet” had upwards of 700 people. And at the same time you are in fact in the dead center of Manhattan, contending with a kind of manic energy all around you. I’ll tell you one thing I know. The Bryant Park Grill Happy Hour crowd may be the loudest din a theater company ever had to overcome. And yet it’s a beautiful thing to embrace for both performer and audience. The audience has so much to look at and that’s a big reason they come. You catch our show but you also get to look around and see all the teeming life of the city. For me, Shakespeare’s prose scenes, which tend to be comic in nature, adapt very well to this ambience. As Autolycus from The Winter’s Tale, I had the chance to grab the audience’s attention by shuffling through the aisles, offering folks free T shirts, Covid Tests and Toilet Paper. People laughed and as a performer, that’s food for my soul.

The Drilling Company in “A Celebration of 10 Years” at Bryant Park May 25, 2023. The Winter’s Tale (2022) Autolycus performed by Drew Valins. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

“Why do we do this stuff?” one of my fellow actors asked me once while we were waiting to go on. Before I had a chance to open my mouth he answered his own question: “Because we are addicts. We just love this shit. We need this shit.”

There is no backstage in Bryant Park. You don’t hide and enter on your cue. You are already there. The line between audience and performer is playful.

When we did Much Ado About Nothing set in the post WW1 Suffragette period, the men entered the scene from way way back behind the audience singing.  Weaving our way through the yoga mats and picnic mats, the children doing hula hoops, and the lovers smooching on blankets, we sang our wartime song and it was awesome to hear our voices echoing through the entire park.

Come chaos! We are ready for you. Performing outdoors requires flexibility, to put it delicately. Among the many instances of chaos, I recall a few. In Two Gentlemen of Verona, the clown Launce had a real dog with him which, of course stole the show especially when it didn’t listen. An acting teacher once told me: “Never act alongside a dog or a baby. You’ll lose every time.”

In Much Ado, during the b allroom dance scene, a drunk dude (probably from Bryant Park Grill) wandered on stage thinking it was a real event and started dancing with us. We looked at each other and under our breath we said: “just keep going!”. When he realized that there were a lot of people sitting in chairs watching him, he found his inner superstar and started putting on a show. Eventually he wandered off to his next adventure.

Three Witches kicked off our 2023 production with their cauldron scene in Mackers (you don’t say Macbeth in a theater) and they did it half in English and half in Gaelic. It was dynamite and set the ritual of the evening in motion.

The Drilling Company in “A Celebration of 10 years” at Bryant Park May 25, 2023 — MacBeth (2018) The Witches performed by Una Clancy, Kathleen Simmonds, Karla Hendrick. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Next up was an audience fave: Act 1, Scene 2 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or “Meet the Mechanicals.” The only problem was that our Quince was off in Atlantic City doing bawdy Spiegelworld stuff. So I was tasked with jumping in. No problem. I had a week to learn it, and I realized it would be perfect because Quince has a clipboard and so if I needed a line, I’d just look down at my clipboard, perfectly in character!

We had Hamlet trying to get a grip, Juliet lamenting her lost love, Gertrude in grief, Jacques dancing with his many truths, and Polonia, a female Polonius which Hamilton Clancy notes “is a character that should always be played by a woman because it’s better that way.”

The Drilling Company in “A Celebration of 10 Years” at Bryant Park May 25, 2023. Hamlet (2019) Polonia
performed by Elowyn Castle. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

And while Lady M bemoaned her husband’s weakness, I glanced over at the pastry shop called Lady M on 40th street.

As for two person scenes, we pulled from Othello and Taming of the Shrew. It was delightful to watch Alessandro Colla and Evangeline Fontaine, a real life married couple who met in the Drilling Company, bicker and bluster and love their way through the scene as Kate and Petruchio.

The Drilling Company in “A Celebration of 10 Years” at Bryant Park May 25, 2023. Taming of the Shrew (2015) Kate and Petruchio performed by Evangeline Fontaine and Alessandro Colla. Photo by Jonathann Slaff.

Autolycus made an appearance from Winter’s Tale.

We had one original piece called Dueling Dr. Caiuses, written by myself and Remy Souchon. We both played Dr. Cauis in former Drilling productions of Merry Wives of Windsor and in this comic scene the two of us competed to find out who was the “Real” Dr. Caius. In the end of course we both died and so neither of us got the part.

The Drilling Company in “A Celebration of 10 Years” at Bryant Park May 25, 2023. The Merry Wives of Windsor (2016) Dueling Doctor Caius performed by Remy Souchon & Drew Valins. Both Mr. Souchon and Mr. Valins have assayed the role of Dr. Caius for The Drilling Company Shakespeare: Mr. Valins in the Parking Lot and Mr. Souchon in Bryant Park. But who has the better French accent? Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

And gracefully running through all the acts was the music. Original songs written and performed by Natalie Smith. The sweet song “Springtime” from our production of “As You Like It” was the closer. The whole company gathered on stage and sang together as a goodbye to this spring evening and a hearty hello to Summer.

The Drilling Company in “A Celebration of 10 Years” at Bryant Park May 25, 2023. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Drew Valins is an actor and playwright and proud 15 year member of the Drilling Company. (www.drewvalins.com)

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enCourage Kids Foundationen 38th Annual Gala

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The enCourage Kids Foundation will host its 38th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Cipriani South Street located at 10 South Street in NYC. enCourage Kids is proud to honor Adam Doneger, Executive Vice Chairman, Newmark, and Josh Cromer, Head of Credit Investments, Rialto Capital, and their spirit of philanthropy. This year, Mount Sinai will be the recipient of The Michele Hall Duncan Humanizing Healthcare Award. This award is in memoriam of our late President & CEO Michele Hall Duncan for her over two decades of dedication of humanizing healthcare for pediatric patients and their families.

WABC 7 Sports Anchor, Ryan Field will emcee the evening alongside Dinner Chairs Jeffrey Gural – GFP Real Estate, Tony Fineman – ACORE Capital, and Adam Spies – Newmark.

Confirmed celebrity guests include Malik Yoba – Actor NY Undercover, Howard Cross – NY Giants Super Bowl Champion, Erik Coleman – Tony Richardson and Christian Peter – Former NFL NY Giants Defensive Tackle.

Since 1985, enCourage Kids Foundation has helped humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. Serving nearly one million children annually, enCourage Kids is focused on making hospitals a better place to get better. Our programs offer relief from the constant burden of treatments, hospital stays, and doctor appointments, while also supporting pediatric facilities to meet the unique needs of their patients. enCourage Kids Foundation envisions a world where every child regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey—experiences joy, hope, resilience, and healing.

For ticket information please visit www.encourage-kids.org.

 

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Southampton Inn Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Summer BBQ

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This Memorial Day Weekend Southampton Inn invited hotel guests, local residents and seasonal visitors to a celebration at the most desirable location in the heart of Southampton New York, kicking off the Hamptons summer season at the 2023 Annual BBQ Bash.

Guests celebrated the holiday al fresco at the pool patio surrounded by several acres of manicured lawns and private gardens, where they enjoyed a buffet of signature burgers, platters of traditional salads and tasty holiday classics prepared by Claude’s Restaurant including a celebratory 25th Anniversary Cake.  The pool patio bar kept all the participants hydrated with a wide selection of chilled refreshments to sip under the sun.

Notable attendees included: Shane Moan, Dede Gotthelf, Terri Moan, Philip Gotthelf, Jean Shafiroff, Diana Cochran, Jennifer Allsop, Roger Sichel, Eileen Sichel, Cagri Kanver, Larry Wohl, Leesa Rowland, Sara Shala, Consuelo Vanderbilt-Costin, Montgomery Frazier, Maria and Oleg Van Vlodrop, Susan Bates, Carmen D’Alessio, Elana Gibbs, Eric Andrew, Carl Bolch, Peter Pizzino and Noreen Donovan.

Visit the Inn this summer in one of 90 renovated and comfortably furnished guestrooms, with 16 specifically designed for pets to enjoy with their owners. A weekend of pure relaxation awaits as each room is prepared with high-quality linens complete with triple sheeting over Tempur-Pedic mattresses, and renowned upscale toiletry brand, Gilchrist & Soames. Guestrooms also feature complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, flat screen TV, small refrigerators and guest-controlled air conditioning and heating. Other features of the property include a library with fireplace, flexible indoor meeting spaces such as a conference room, a ballroom and a game room for children of all ages, and newly renovated eatery Claude’s Restaurant, which offers a delicious, locally-sourced all-day menu.

For the latest packages, deals and rates this summer, please call 631-283-6500, or visit www.southamptoninn.com. The Inn’s attentive staff look forward to welcoming you at the Southampton Inn.

 

Photo Shane Moan, Dede Gotthelf Moan, Terry Moan (Photo Credit: Lisa Tamburini)

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Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Presents NuWorks 2023

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Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (Tisa Chang, Founding Artistic Producing Director) presents NuWorks 2023, the annual experimental series of self-created work from innovative and diverse artists exploring an eclectic range of genres and techniques using poetry, text, dance, and music. Featuring new works by diverse artists Sora Baek, Jan Barry & Jenny Pacanowski, AJ Layague, Sanhawich Meateanuwat, Lyra Nalan, Sai Somboon, Cody LeRoy Wilson, Mandarin Wu & Da Xu.

Performances begin in repertory Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 7:00PM and will conclude on Sunday afternoon June 11, 2023, at 3:00PM at Theatre 1 at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street).

General Admission tickets are priced at $27.50 and available at https://bfany.org/theatre-row/shows/nuworks-2023/ For additional information, please email info@panasianrep.org or visit the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre website at https://www.panasianrep.org/nuworks2023.

NuWORKS 2023 Schedule of Events

PROGRAM A Premieres Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 7:00PM Second performance Friday, June 9, 2022 at 7:00PM

Dream Reunion Written by Lyra Nalan Starring Genevive Shi and Stephanie Gong Directed by Nina Lam

Ting, a Chinese woman living in America, runs over various possibilities of her reunion with her mother back home, hoping to find the right words that lead to a perfect scenario.

Lyra Nalan is a bilingual Chinese writer based in New York. She is the Judith Royer Award-winning playwright for the play Paper Dream and has been nominated for the Susan Blackburn Smith Prize and the Smith Prize for Political Theatre. Her work has been showcased at the Kennedy Center, Cherry Lane Theatre, Round House Theatre, Spooky Action Theatre, Miranda Theatre, Avant Bard Theatre, Tradewind Arts Asian American Artists, Strand Theatre, Three Cats Productions, and Adventure Theatre MTC. Lyra is currently working on a commission for Silk Road Rising theatre. She’s very honored and thrilled to be a part of Pan Asian Rep’s NuWork Festival! EDUCATION: Northwestern University: MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage. WEBSITE: Lyranalan.com.

SELL ME: I Am From North Korea Written and performed by Sora Baek

On her 15th birthday, a North Korean girl, Jisun makes the heart-wrenching decision to sell herself to an old Chinese man to make money for ger dying mother’s medications. However, after risking everything by crossing the Tumen River into China, she learns that she is not-sellable and finds herself on the streets.

Sora Baek (Writer/Performer) is grateful to Pan Asian Rep and Tisa for this wonderful opportunity to share her work. Sora is a New York-based actor and playwright from South Korea. She has been featured on News 12 NJ and the international Radio Show, Voice of America. Select theater credits include: SELL ME: I am from North Korea (International Human Rights Festival, Emerson Theater Collaborative, Jersey City Theater Center), The Storm, A Christmas Carol, 400 Parts Per Million, and Sworn Virgin (NYC and International Tour) with Blessed Unrest, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Calaveras Repertory Theatre). Sora won Best Actress at the Epidemic Film Festival in San Francisco. She also won Best Lead Performer at the U.K’s Scene Saver and her play was nominated for Best Play. She works with Only Make Believe where she performs interactive theater with children in hospitals and is an associate member of an internationally acclaimed theater company, Blessed Unrest. www.sorabaek.com

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PROGRAM B Premieres Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 3:00PM Second performance Tuesday, June 8, 2023 at 7:00PM

A Sisyphean Dream Written and Devised in Collaboration with Heen Sasithorn, Vin Kridakorn and Pacha Chantri Directed by Sanhawich Meateanuwat

A group of immigrant actors meets in a dream space to discuss their dreams as immigrant actors. Through challenges., self-doubts, and homesickness, they wonder if they made the RIGHT choice to travel across the world to pursue their dreams.

Sanhawich Meateanuwat (Playwright) recently moved to New York after graduating from the MFA Directing Program at Illinois State University. In Thailand, they worked as an instructor and resident director at Bangkok University, where they directed, adapted, and translated numerous plays. In 2022, they received the National SDC Directing Fellowship Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. They worked as a Directing Fellow at the National Playwrights Conference 2022 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. This year, they have been selected to be the part of The Drama League’s Directors Project as Directing Assistantships cohort and the KCACTF/LORT ASPIRE Arts Leadership fellows. Website: Sanhawich.com

Bridge Back Home From War A Conversion through Poetry About the Impact of War By Jan Barry and Jenny Pacanowski

After returning from the wars overseas, follow two veterans from different eras, different wars, navigate their experiences through an interactive writing workshop with the audience.

Jan Barry is a poet and author whose books include A Citizen’s Guide to Grassroots Campaigns,Earth Songs, Life after War & Other Poems and (co-editor) Winning Hearts & Minds: War Poems byVietnam Veterans. A U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam, he coordinates Warrior Writers workshops forveterans and family members in New Jersey. For more information: www.janbarry.net

Jenny Pacanowski served in the Iraq war in 2004 as a combat medic in the Army. Her military service led her back to the arts, which includes writing and facilitating workshops for veterans, their families and providing guidance on how their communities can support them through theatre. Jenny and her organization, Women Veterans Empowered & Thriving do their best to assist veterans to reintegrate and thrive.

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PROGRAM C Premieres Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 7:00PM Second performance Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 7:00PM

Cowgirl Katarungan Is Fixin’ to Fight Written by AJ Layague

Cowgirl Katarungan is a Filipinx-American truthteller/detective who recounts – and dismantles – four historical vignettes where racism, misogyny, and the eugenics movement took center stage. And she does it in verse.

AJ Layague – she/her (Playwright) immerses into stylized historical worlds which typically center the non-binary and/or people of color, instead of relegating them to side characters or ancillary roles. They steer their narratives and their movement in their worlds, even when these narratives and worlds are bleak and not completely within their control. And as an ethnomusicologist – I lived and studied music in Southeast Asia – I am most interested in how music-cultures and cultures can evolve, respond, and even thrive during colonization. And how they sound and re-sound post-colonization.

Extraordinary Alien Written and performed by Sai Somboon Directed by Nana Dakin

A solo show based on Sai’s lived experience expressed through movement/dance, comedy, monologues, and video projections. A reflection on their intersectional identities as a gay, cisgender Thai man, a recently naturalized citizen of the United States, and an actor/dancer navigating the audition and performance landscape in New York.

Sai Samboon (Writer/Performer) is a comedian, actor and dancer from Bangkok, Thailand. Based out of New York City, Sai has performed in Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel, FringeNYC, Astoria Performing Arts Center, Fulton Theatre, Maltz Jupiter, Dallas Musicals, North Shore Music Theatre and Daegu Opera House in Daegu, South Korea. Sai holds a Bachelor of Art in Anthropology from Franklin & Marshall College, and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from The Ohio State University and he is finishing up the Master of Education program at Harvard University.

PROGRAM D Premieres Wenesday, June 7, 2023 at 7:00PM Second performance Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 3:00PM

Period. Written and by Mandarin Wu and Da Xu Performed by Mandarin Wu Sound Design by Da Xu

A tragicomedy starring Handy Mandy, as she tap dances through the conflicts of being an aging Asian-American modern woman and actor, navigating through current social climate and regularly incapcitated by the periods in her life.

Mandarin Wu (Playwright/Performer) is a theatre performer singer/dancer/actor/choreographer/ director. Selective credits: “PLEASED” (Pan Asian Rep 2022 NuWorks), A Dream of Red Pavilions (Pan Asian Rep), Follies (APAC), Orfeo ed Euridice(Met Opera). Choreography for Theatre: Skin (Rattlestick), Romance of the Western Chamber(Wildly Productive), Eastbound (NYTB), Legally Blonde_ (National ChiaYi University of Taiwan). NYU Tisch Dance MFA, UC Irvine Dance BA. Musical Theatre faculty at Marymount Manhattan College.

Xa Du (Playwright/Sound Design) Credits: “PLEASED” (Pan Asian Rep 2022 NuWorks), The Brothers Paranormal (East WestPlayers), Uncovered(UCLA). With Los Angeles Movement Arts: Momentum, Catalyst (co-curator), and audio/visual movement works for LACMA’s Art Walk. Live Visuals: Alienware Computers, LuLuLemon. Toured extensively with the seminal Chinese rock band 舌头(SheTou) as photographer and live visual collaborator. 2021 Westben International Performer-Composer Residency participant.

Did My Grandfather Kill My Grandfather? Written and performed by Cody LeRoy Wilson

A journey to find out what it means to be Asian-American, the piece follows Cody’s mother’s immigration story. Cody investigates their family’s story and gain new perspectives on the meaning of family roots and their Asian Decent.

Cody LeRoy Wilson (Playwright/Performer) makes his Pan Asian Rep debut at Theatre Row and he is beyond grateful for the opportunity. Other NYC credits include Off Broadway: Handbagged (59E59), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titus Andronicus with NYSX and Prisoners of Qual Dong at Prism Stage. Regional: Book of Will, Handbagged, and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at Roundhouse Theater, As You Like It at The Folger, Measure For Measure, As You Like It, So Please You at Hudson Valley Shakespeare, and Miss Saigon at Missouri Playhouse. TV/Film: “Russian Doll,” “Impractical Jokers,” “Hello Tomorrow!,” and Money Monster.

For additional information, please visit the website at http://www.panasianrep.org/nuworks-2023.


Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, celebrating its 46th Milestone Season, is the most veteran Asian American theatre company on the East Coast. Tisa Chang founded Pan Asian Rep in 1977 at Ellen Stewart’s La Mama ETC with the vision to promote equity and access that Asian Americans artists can equally follow, focusing on stories of probing social justice issues with distinctive Off-Broadway Productions, Tours, National Outreach, and Community Service. Mel Gussow of The New York Times described it as “A Stage for All the World of Asian–Americans” and wrote that “Before Pan Asian Rep, Asian Americans had severely limited opportunities in the theater….” The company has nurtured thousands of artists and is a “who-is-who” of Asian American theatre history, with notable alumni/ae: Ako, Ernest Abuba, Tina Chen, Philip Gotanda, Wai Ching Ho, David Henry Hwang, Daniel Dae Kim, Lucy Liu, Ron Nakahara, R.A. Shiomi, Lauren Yee, and Henry Yuk.

Pan Asian Rep Programs are made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; and major support from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Mary Li Hsu Charitable Trust, NY Community Trust, Shubert Foundation, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels, Lucille Lortel Foundations; and many generous individuals.

www.panasianrep.org info@panasianrep.org Twitter & Instagram: @PanAsianRep www.facebook.com/panasianrep/

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