Category Archives: Photography

Sept. 18: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang: A Conversation with Nelson T. Eusebio III, Jason Ma and Jojo Gonzalez about KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT airs at 3:30 pm (PST)/5:30pm (CST)/6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN 2 

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture,  BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang. Photo by Daniel K. Isaac

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them.

Jason Ma, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Valérie Thérèse Bart, Lia Chang. Photo by Rani O’Brien

Updated:

The third episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, aired on Sunday, September 18 at 3:30 pm (PST)/5:30pm (CST)/6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN 2 .

After spending the summer with Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Afrofuturistic production of Twelfth Night helmed by Carl Cofield, I decided to take another trip to Illyria, this time heading to Kansas City, MO for KCRep’s production of Twelfth Night, which has performances through September 25, 2022.

Watch the interviews below:

I caught up with Nelson T. Eusebio III, who began his position as KCRep’s Associate Artistic Director last October, and is making his KCRep directorial debut withTwelfth Night featuring bold designs built around the identities of a multi-cultural cast.

Nelson T. Eusebio III and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

I also chatted with my frequent collaborator Jason Ma, who created new, original music for the production, as well as my dear friend, New York based actor Jojo Gonzalez, who plays Feste.

Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

It is a reunion for the trio and a return to Twelfth Night, having worked on an all-Asian American cast version of Twelfth Night, produced by Leviathan Lab in New York in 2011. Eileen Rivera, who plays Maria in KCRep’s production, played Olivia in 2011.

The cast and creative team of Leviathan Lab’s Twelfth Night on the set at the Arclight Theater in New York on November 11, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang
Leviathan Lab founder Ariel Estrada, composer Jason Ma, director Nelson T. Eusebio III and choregrapher Dax Valdes. Photo by Lia Chang
Foreground Center: Jojo Gonzalez as Feste with the cast of Leviathan Lab’s TWELFTH NIGHT Photo by Bree Warner
L to R: Ka-ling Cheung as Maria, Eileen Rivera as Olivia and Tina Chilip as Viola in Leviathan Lab’s TWELFTH NIGHT in 2011. Photo by Bree Warner

KCRep’s Twelfth Night began preview performances on September 6, opened on Sept. 9 and will continue through Sept 25, 2022 at Spencer Theatre, located in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Volker Campus, 4949 Cherry St, Kansas City, MO 64110.Twelfth Night is a delightful comedy of mistaken identity, music, and the madness of love.

The cast features Francesca Fernandez McKenzie as Viola, Brandon Jones as Orsino, Freddy Acevedo as Sebastian, Vanessa Severo as Olivia, Jojo Gonzalez as Feste, Eileen Rivera as Maria, Jimmy Kieffer as Sir Toby, Darrington Clark as Fabian, Sam Cordes as Sir Andrew, Manon Halliburton as Malvolia, and Chelsea Rolfes as Antonia.

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

The design and production team for Twelfth Night includes VALÉRIE THÉRÈSE BART (Costume Design), LOGAN BLACK (Fight Choreographer), BURKE BROWN (Lighting Design), JORDAN CANON-KRUIS (Assistant Stage Manager), JENISE COOK (Movement and Intimacy Consultant), TRAVIS CRAFT (Assistant Projection Design), RACHEL DYER (Stage Manager), NELSON T. EUSEBIO III (Director), RANA ESFANDIARY (Scenic Design), HANA S. KIM (Co-Projection Design), JASON MA (Composer), ERIK MEIXELSPERGER (Associate Fight Choreographer), THOMAS NEWBY (Assistant Sound Design), RANI O’BRIEN (Associate Director), SARTJE PICKETT (Sound Design), ANN SLOTE (Co- Projection Design), TERRANCE VOLDEN (Automation Associate), and GAYLE VOSS (Hair, Wig, Makeup Consultant).

Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Darrington Clark, Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Darrington Clark. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Manon Halliburton. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Chelsea Rolfes and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer and Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Sam Cordes and Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Chelsea Rolfes and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes, Manon Halliburton, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Sam Cordes and Manon Halliburton. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Francesca Fernandez Rivera, Jojo Gonzalez, Sam Cordes, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez, Chelsea Rolfes, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Chelsea Rolfes, Darrington Clark and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Eileen Rivera, Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera and Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Darrrington Clark, Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Chelsea Rolfes, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera, Vanessa Severo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Sam Cordes, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Freddy Fernandez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Freddy Acevedo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Manon Halliburton, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Vanessa Severo, Manon Halliburton, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo and Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Jojo Gonzalez, Sam Cordes and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Darrington Clark and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Eileen Rivera, Stuart Carden, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Jason Ma and Rani O’Brien.
Jason Ma, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Valérie Thérèse Bart, Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez and Lia Chang

For more information about the 2022-2023 season, call Ticketing Services, 816-235-2700, or click here. Single tickets begin at $35.00. For group ticket sales, call 816-235-6122.

COVID Protocols
KCRep is ready to welcome patrons safely back to the theatre and will continue to follow local, national and union(s) COVID-19 guidelines. Please visit https://kcrep.org/safety/ for the latest information.

KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT Featuring Jojo Gonzalez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Vanessa Severo, Eileen Rivera, Freddy Acevedo, Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Sam Cordes, Manon Halliburton, and Chelsea Rolfes

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN2.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com

Video: Chatting with Nelson T. Eusebio III, Jason Ma and Jojo Gonzalez about KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT; Performances through 9/25

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture,  BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang. Photo by Daniel K. Isaac

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them.

The third episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, will air on Sunday, September 18 at 3:30 pm (PST)/6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN 2 .

After spending the summer with Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Afrofuturistic production of Twelfth Night helmed by Carl Cofield, I decided to take another trip to Illyria, this time heading to Kansas City, MO for KCRep’s production of Twelfth Night, which has performances through September 25, 2022.

I caught up with Nelson T. Eusebio III, who began his position as KCRep’s Associate Artistic Director last October, and is making his KCRep directorial debut withTwelfth Night featuring bold designs built around the identities of a multi-cultural cast.

Nelson T. Eusebio III and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

I also chatted with my frequent collaborator Jason Ma, who created new, original music for the production, as well as my dear friend, New York based actor Jojo Gonzalez, who plays Feste.

Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

It is a reunion for the trio and a return to Twelfth Night, having worked on an all-Asian American cast version of Twelfth Night, produced by Leviathan Lab in New York in 2011. Eileen Rivera, who plays Maria in KCRep’s production, played Olivia in 2011.

The cast and creative team of Leviathan Lab’s Twelfth Night on the set at the Arclight Theater in New York on November 11, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang
Leviathan Lab founder Ariel Estrada, composer Jason Ma, director Nelson T. Eusebio III and choregrapher Dax Valdes. Photo by Lia Chang
Foreground Center: Jojo Gonzalez as Feste with the cast of Leviathan Lab’s TWELFTH NIGHT Photo by Bree Warner
L to R: Ka-ling Cheung as Maria, Eileen Rivera as Olivia and Tina Chilip as Viola in Leviathan Lab’s TWELFTH NIGHT in 2011. Photo by Bree Warner

KCRep’s Twelfth Night began preview performances on September 6, opened on Sept. 9 and will continue through Sept 25, 2022 at Spencer Theatre, located in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Volker Campus, 4949 Cherry St, Kansas City, MO 64110.Twelfth Night is a delightful comedy of mistaken identity, music, and the madness of love.

The cast features Francesca Fernandez McKenzie as Viola, Brandon Jones as Orsino, Freddy Acevedo as Sebastian, Vanessa Severo as Olivia, Jojo Gonzalez as Feste, Eileen Rivera as Maria, Jimmy Kieffer as Sir Toby, Darrington Clark as Fabian, Sam Cordes as Sir Andrew, Manon Halliburton as Malvolia, and Chelsea Rolfes as Antonia.

Watch the interviews below:

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

The design and production team for Twelfth Night includes VALÉRIE THÉRÈSE BART (Costume Design), LOGAN BLACK (Fight Choreographer), BURKE BROWN (Lighting Design), JORDAN CANON-KRUIS (Assistant Stage Manager), JENISE COOK (Movement and Intimacy Consultant), TRAVIS CRAFT (Assistant Projection Design), RACHEL DYER (Stage Manager), NELSON T. EUSEBIO III (Director), RANA ESFANDIARY (Scenic Design), HANA S. KIM (Co-Projection Design), JASON MA (Composer), ERIK MEIXELSPERGER (Associate Fight Choreographer), THOMAS NEWBY (Assistant Sound Design), RANI O’BRIEN (Associate Director), SARTJE PICKETT (Sound Design), ANN SLOTE (Co- Projection Design), TERRANCE VOLDEN (Automation Associate), and GAYLE VOSS (Hair, Wig, Makeup Consultant).

Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Darrington Clark, Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Darrington Clark. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Manon Halliburton. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Chelsea Rolfes and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer and Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Sam Cordes and Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Chelsea Rolfes and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes, Manon Halliburton, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Sam Cordes and Manon Halliburton. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Francesca Fernandez Rivera, Jojo Gonzalez, Sam Cordes, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez, Chelsea Rolfes, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Chelsea Rolfes, Darrington Clark and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Kieffer, Eileen Rivera, Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera and Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Darrrington Clark, Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Chelsea Rolfes, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera, Vanessa Severo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Sam Cordes, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Freddy Fernandez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Freddy Acevedo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Jones and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang
Vanessa Severo, Manon Halliburton, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Vanessa Severo, Manon Halliburton, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo and Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang
Freddy Acevedo, Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Jojo Gonzalez, Sam Cordes and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez, Darrington Clark and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang
Eileen Rivera and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Eileen Rivera, Stuart Carden, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Jason Ma and Rani O’Brien.
Jason Ma, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Valérie Thérèse Bart, Lia Chang
Jojo Gonzalez and Lia Chang

For more information about the 2022-2023 season, call Ticketing Services, 816-235-2700, or click here. Single tickets begin at $35.00. For group ticket sales, call 816-235-6122.

COVID Protocols
KCRep is ready to welcome patrons safely back to the theatre and will continue to follow local, national and union(s) COVID-19 guidelines. Please visit https://kcrep.org/safety/ for the latest information.

KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT Featuring Jojo Gonzalez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Vanessa Severo, Eileen Rivera, Freddy Acevedo, Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Sam Cordes, Manon Halliburton, and Chelsea Rolfes

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN2.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com

Video: BroadwayCon: Erin Quill’s AAPI Panel – WRITING OUR WAY OUT: writing our own stories featuring Playwright Daniel K. Isaac, Director Ralph B. Pena and KPOP Composer/Lyricist Helen Park

On July 9, Erin Quill moderated a terrific AAPI Writer’s panel at BroadwayCon called Writing Our Way Out: writing our own stories, in the New Yorker Hotel – Grammercy Park Suite.

Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

The panel featured Playwright Daniel K. Isaac (ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME),  Director Ralph B. Peña and Composer/Lyricist Helen Park (KPOP, Over the Moon), who discussed writing pieces for those who do not fall into the traditional categories of how America sees leading roles.

Erin Quill shared, “These people, all three of them, have taken it upon themselves to incorporate into their work not only social justice, but stories for people to tell that are not White America.”

Click on the link below to watch the panel and a trailer for Ma-Yi Theater’s World Premiere of Daniel K. Isaac’s ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME, currently having a limited run at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre through September 18.

Ralph B. Peña, Daniel K. Isaac, Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang
Ralph B. Peña, Daniel K. Isaac, Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang
Ralph B. Peña, Daniel K. Isaac, Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Daniel K. Isaac is an alumnus of SPACE on Ryder Farm, Page73’s Interstate 73, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. His play, Once Upon a (korean) Time opened on August 31 at La MaMa, produced by the Ma Yi Theater Company, and has a limited run through September 18. Click here for tickets.

Daniel K. Isaac and Helen Park. Photo by Lia Chang

As an actor, Isaac’s credits include The Chinese Lady (Ma-Yi/The Public/Barrington Stage), You Never Touched the Dirt (Clubbed Thumb), The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon), Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: Six seasons as ‘Ben Kim’ on “Billions” (Showtime); The Drummer (opposite Danny Glover); “The Expecting” (Quibi); “The Deuce;” “Crashing;” Too Big To Fail (HBO); Money Monster (dir. Jodie Foster); “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND); “Person of Interest” (CBS); and ‘Jeremy’ on “The Other Two” (Comedy Central). Training: USCD, BADA. www.danielkisaac.com

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider at the opening night curtain call of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME at La MaMa in New York on August 31, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Late Night with Playwright Daniel K. Isaac – Opening Night of Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME

Sneak Peek: Sonnie Brown, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, and Jillian Sun in Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of Daniel K. Isaac’s ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME at LaMaMa

Helen Park. Photo by Lia Chang

Helen Park is a three-time Drama Desk nominee and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and the Richard Rodgers Award. Her music has been described as “perversely addictive” (New York Times) and “infectious” (Hollywood Reporter).

Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

Park wrote music and lyrics as well as orchestrated the score for the upcoming Broadway musical KPOP, which begins previews at Circle in the Square on October 13. The initial Off-Broadway production of the show received a sold-out, extended run at Ars Nova, and was the most nominated show of the 2017-2018 season. Other notable work include Over the Moon, an Oscar-nominated Netflix Original Animated Feature musical film directed by Academy Award winner Glen Keane, for which she wrote songs. Park recently debuted a song she wrote for Sesame Street the Musical at her 54 Below concert, and the show is set to open this fall. Park also wrote music for the one-act musical Baked Goods for which she won the 2018 Samuel French Short Playwriting Contest. Park is an alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theater Workshop, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Helen Park. Photo by Lia Chang
Helen Park and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

54 Below Presented Helen Park: Light the Night with Special Guests Zachary Noah Piser, Luna, Julia Abueva, Toren Nakamura, Jiho Kang, Amy Keum, Lina Rose Lee, Abraham Lim, Kate Mina Lin

Ralph B. Peña. Photo by Lia Chang

Ralph B. Peña is a Playwright and a Director whose list of accomplishments in both is vast. He is an advocate as well as the Producing Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company, which holds OBIE and Drama Desk Awards to their credit. Recent directing projects include Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady at The Public Theater, Felix Starro, Among The Dead, ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME (at La MaMa through Sept. 18), and the short film Vancouver. His work has been seen on the stages of The Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Victory Gardens, La Jolla Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, and The Children’s Theater Company, among others. He is the recipient of an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. As a playwright he wrote FLIPZOIDS, This End Up, and Loose Leaf Bindings.

Ralph B. Peña and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Erin Quill, Helen Park, Daniel K. Isaac and Ralph B. Peña. Photo by Lia Chang
Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

Erin Quill is a graduate of CMU. She is an original Broadway cast member of Avenue Q. She has also been seen in the 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song as Madame Rita Liang and on tour in The King and I as Lady Thiang. She was in the Arena Stage production of DAVE, directed by Tina Landau. Her TV credits include: “John Mulaney and the Sacklunch Bunch,” “The Blacklist,” “The Other Two,” “Nurse Jackie,” “NYPD Blue,” and many more. As a writer, she is best known for her blog, The Fairy Princess Diaries, which champions inclusion and challenges theatrical norms. Check out all of Erin’s programming at BroadwayCon here.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera.  BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, will air on Sundays at 3:30 pm (PST)/6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN 2 .

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

June 2: Queens Museum Presents Inside the Cutting room: A Conversation & Scenes from “when home is elsewhere” with Filmmaker Alvin Tsang

Queens Museum is presenting a virtual panel, Inside the Cutting room: A Conversation & Scenes from “when home is elsewhere” with Filmmaker Alvin Tsang.

Tsang takes an inside look into the creative development of his current work-in-progress, “when home is elsewhere” on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 7:00 p.m in a virtual panel discussion. Click here to RSVP.

“when home is elsewhere” is sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts and supported by Queens Council on the Arts.

Despite the COVID-19 disruption, Tsang pushed forward into post-production, taking this opportune moment of quarantine to further research and reflect on the colonial experiences of the past and today’s ongoing international displacement of people by wars and local xenophobic violence.

Tsang will share scenes and, with the film’s co-producer and artist Siyan Wong, discuss the making of a film that goes well beyond the experience of one man’s lifelong search for a home. Tsang’s 75-year-old father was a pre-teen orphan, a refugee from Vietnam to Hong Kong, an immigrant who moved his family to the United States, and a divorcee. By working with personal archives on this film, Tsang connects the more personal human experience to bigger issues of family, migration, community, and war that many from around the world experience today. His artistic goal for this film is to inspire reflections on the past and positive changes happening now, stimulating imagination for what the future could be.

Follow on FB/IG: @whenhomeiselsewhere @alvinwtsang

Behind the Scenes of THE WRITER Starring Garth Kravits, Jaygee Macapugay and Christopher Gurr

We had too much fun on the set of THE WRITER, the latest musical comedy short written and directed by Garth Kravits and produced by Cut & Dry Films and Bev’s Girl Films.  Check out our behind the scenes photos below.

Garth Kravits as The Writer. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits stars as a lonely writer who imagines himself as characters in his fantastical stories, which don’t always turn out the way he planned.

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr, Viet Vo and Anastasia Shulgina. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast also features Jaygee Macapugay (Truly Foxxy), Christopher Gurr (Dr. Cyclops), Viet Vo (Multitask), Ashley Arcement (The Dancer), and Anastasia Shulgina (Mynx’n Match), with Lia Chang, Shannon Cheong, Daniel Dunlow, Tony Edgerton, Prince Jones, Danielle Jordan, Anna Noble, Steven He O’Byrne and Minami Yusui.

Lia Chang, Steven He O’Byrne, Anna Noble, Tony Edgerton, Minami Yusui, Prince Jones, Garth Kravits, Shannon Cheong, Ashley Arcement, Viet Vo, Daniel Dunlow, Eric Elizaga, Danielle Jordan, Brad Mauney, Anastasia Shulgina, Brian Kim and Jessica Wu. Photo by Sara Mayhew

Produced by Lia Chang, with Production Manager Jessica Wu, Brian Kim and Eric Elizaga sharing Director of Photography/Cam Op duties and Production Assistant Anastasia Shulgina.

Eric Elizaga, Brian Kim, Garth Kravits, Ashley Arcement, Anastasia Shulgina, Jessica Wu and Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits and Brian Kim. Photo by Lia Chang

Ashley Arcement, Eric Elizaga, Brian Kim Anastasia Shulgina and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Danielle Jordan and Lia Chang. Photo by Anastasia Shulgina

Danielle Dunlow and Anna Noble. Photo by Lia Chang

Steven He O’Byrne and Shannon Cheong. Photo by Lia Chang

Minami Yusui and Shannon Cheong. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang, Steven He O’Byrne, Anna Noble, Tony Edgerton, Minami Yusui, Prince Jones, Garth Kravits, Shannon Cheong, Ashley Arcement, Viet Vo, Daniel Dunlow, Eric Elizaga, Danielle Jordan, Anastasia Shulgina, Brian Kim and Jessica Wu. Photo by Sara Mayhew

Daniel Dunlow, Shannon Cheong and Prince Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Anna Noble, Minami Yusuf, Ashley Arcement, Danielle Jordan and Lia Chang

Anna Noble, Minami Yusui, Ashley Arcement, Garth Kravits, Danielle Jordan and Lia Chang

Anastasia Shulgina, Garth Kravits and Ashley Arcement. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits and Ashley Arcement. Photo by Lia Chang

Viet Vo, Garth Kravits and Ashley Arcement. Photo by Lia Chang

 

 

Viet Vo, Garth Kravits and Ashley Arcement. Photo by Lia Chang

Anastasia Shulgina, Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr and Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr, Viet Vo and Anastasia Shulgina. Photo by Lia Chang

Christopher Gurr and Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

Jessica Wu, Christopher Gurr, Garth Kravits, Eric Elizaga, Viet Vo, Anastasia Shulgina. Photo by Lia Chang

Jessica Wu, Christopher Gurr, Garth Kravits, Eric Elizaga, Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

Viet Vo, Garth Kravits and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Kim. Photo by Lia Chang

Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

Jessica Wu and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Lia Chang

Eric Elizaga, Jaygee Macapugay, Garth Kravits, Christopher Gurr, Anastasia Shulgina, Viet Vo, Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Anastasia Shulgina. Photo by Lia Chang

Christopher Gurr and Anastasia Shulgina. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Christopher Gurr, Eric Elizaga and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Anastasia Shulgina, Christopher Gurr, Jaygee Macapugay, Garth Kravits, Viet Vo and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang

Bev’s Girl Films Produces BALANCING ACT Starring Lia Chang and Liam Quill Kong, for Justin Lin’s 2016 INTERPRETATIONS 2.0 Short Film Initiative

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits during Facebook live interview. Photo by Geoffrey Guerrero
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits during Facebook live interview. Photo by Geoffrey Guerrero

It’s a wrap for Balancing Act, a new short film by Bev’s Girl Films team Lia Chang and Garth Kravits, created for Justin Lin’s Interpretations Short Film Contest for Asian American Filmmakers.

Lia Chang (Big Trouble In Little ChinaNew Jack CityKing of New York) stars in Balancing Act, a film she co-produced, co-wrote and co-directed with Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone, “The Blacklist,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hostages,” “Civil”). The cast also features Liam Quill Kong, Pamela Bob, Dave T. Koenig, Laura Hall and Virginia Wing.Balancing Act Poster Final copy

SYNOPSIS – How does a single mother balance her life, work and child?

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Balancing Act is the second short film created by Bev’s Girl Films, dedicated to making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. We wanted to show, not only the struggle that working, single mothers face each day, but also show the joy and love that is often taken for granted.

Liam Quill Kong in BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Quill Kong in BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang

You can check out Balancing Act at www.yomyomf.com, click on Interpretations and choose all entries.

Balancing Act Facebook Page

Fun in the sun with mom and sister Tami in Lake Tahoe in 1970. Photo by Russell Chang
Fun in the sun with mom and sister Tami in Lake Tahoe in 1970. Photo by Russell Chang

Bev’s Girl Films is named after Lia’s mother, Bev Umehara, and this film was created to honor her, her father, Russell Chang, and all the single parents navigating their own ‘Balancing Act’.

Lia Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Russell Chang, Asia Flores, Tami Chang and Carlos Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the STAPLES Center in LA on June 20, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Russell Chang, Asia Flores, Tami Chang and Carlos Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the STAPLES Center in LA on June 20, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia received a Best Actress nomination for her debut short, Hide and Seek, a top ten film in the Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition. She is also a photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist who writes about Arts and Entertainment and Asian American issues on her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

Edited by: Garth Kravits
Screenplay: David Henry Hwang
Director of Photography: Christopher Plunkett
Original Score – Scott CHOPS Jung

Special thanks to Joan Leviton Kagan, Erin Quill and Chil Kong.

Erin Quill and her son, Liam Quill Kong, on the set of BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang
Erin Quill and her son, Liam Quill Kong, on the set of BALANCING ACT. Photo by Lia Chang

YouoffendmeYouoffendmyfamily.com (YOMYOMF), the blog and entertainment website devoted to Asian American culture founded by Hollywood director Justin Lin (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, FAST AND FURIOUS series, STAR TREK BEYOND) has launched the second edition of the highly successful INTERPRETATIONS Initiative that was previously held in 2010 to find the next generation of Asian American filmmakers. Comcast and NBCUniversal are lead sponsors of the initiative.

Judging will commence in July and August with the announcement of the Top 15 on September 6, with online voting kicking off that day through October 6. The final 3 winners will be announced online on October 10 and they will be invited to attend the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival on October 19 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Participants must be a resident of the United States of America and at least 13 years old.

What is Interpretations?
INTERPRETATIONS is a way of encouraging aspiring filmmakers to develop their own original and unique voice. All participants will “interpret” a four line script, and can produce and shoot it any way they wish. The only caveat is that the lines are static and must be in that order and the actual film itself is no more than 3 minutes long. Therefore, everyone is shooting their films from the same material and leveling the playing field in a way that traditional filmmaking competitions cannot. Three shorts will be selected from the entries and these winning filmmakers will have an opportunity to produce a project for one of the Comcast or NBCUniversal platforms under the mentorship of Justin Lin and other industry professionals.

The first Interpretations Initiative kicked off in the spring of 2010 with nine commissioned shorts by the likes of YouTube stars Wong Fu ProductionsDanny Pudi (NBC’s COMMUNITY), Far East Movement, and other industry professionals, to showcase the varied interpretations of the same script. In the end, over 275 shorts were submitted online and was whittled down to five winners.

Justin Lin. Photo by Lia Chang
Justin Lin. Photo by Lia Chang

“The first Interpretations Initiative was such a success that I am very excited to be launching it again and with a stronger fortitude to really make this more than just a contest but an opportunity to actually incubate potential careers for budding filmmakers.” says YOMYOMF founder Justin Lin, who is currently in post-production on his latest tentpole film, STAR TREK BEYOND (coming out this July). “Interpretations 2016 is a part of the bigger picture of YOMYOMF 2.0, where we want to establish and nurture an Asian American creative community of content creators and enthusiasts where ideas and collaboration is exchanged regularly and we can see what projects we can develop with emerging talent. I never had something like YOMYOMF when I first started my career. It’s an exciting time to be an emerging filmmaker.”

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

For this edition of Interpretations, the 4-line script was written by Tony Award winning playwright and screenwriter David Henry Hwang  (M BUTTERFLY, CHINGLISH, Showtime’s THE AFFAIR). “It’s not as easy as one would think to just come up with 4 lines of dialogue.” says Hwang. “The script needs to be broad and fluid enough so that one director could craft a comedy from it, another a speculative fiction story, another an action film, another an experimental work of animation, and so on.”

Here’s this year’s four-line script:
Don’t do that.
Of course.
I have my doubts.
What is it?

As lead sponsors for this year’s Interpretations Initiative, Comcast and NBCUniversal intend to support new talent and discover new opportunities for various elements of Comcast and NBCUniversal.

Lia Chang in BALANCING ACT
Lia Chang in BALANCING ACT

Facebook Live Interviews: 2016 Katra Film Series – 2nd Round Finalists; 14 Films Compete for $2000 in Prizes on July 16
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

 

Photos: Kristen Bond, Alexis Sims, Marisha Wallace, Clinton Greenspan, Derrick Davis, Eric LaJuan Summers and More in DTC’s DREAMGIRLS through July 24

Dallas Theater Center is presenting the award-winning hit musical Dreamgirls through July 24, helmed by director and DTC Associate Artistic Director Joel Ferrell. Tickets to Dreamgirls are on sale at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org and by phone at (214) 880-0202.

Production Photos by Karen Almond; costumes by Karen Perry.

Kristen Bond, Alexis Sims and Marisha Wallace in Dreamgirls. Photo by Karen Almond
Kristen Bond, Alexis Sims and Marisha Wallace in Dreamgirls. Photo by Karen Almond

Dreamgirls features book and lyrics by Tom Eyer, music by Henry Krieger and choreography by Rickey Tripp. Take a trip back to the seminal music scene of the 1960s, when young women sang their way to musical prominence in a man’s world. Set in the Motown era that brought us powerhouse voices like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross-and ultimately Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé-Dreamgirls explodes from the stage with legendary songs and timeless appeal.

Marisha Wallace as Effie White. Photo by Karen Almond
Marisha Wallace as Effie White. Photo by Karen Almond

Starring as the talented trio is Alexis Sims as Deena Jones, Marisha Wallace as Effie White and Kristen Bond (Stagger Lee) as Lorrell. Joining them is Derrick Davis as Curtis Taylor Jr., Traci Elaine Lee (Stagger Lee, LES MISERABLES, The Fortress of Solitude) as Michelle, Eric Lajuan Summers as James Thunder Early and Clinton Greenspan (Romeo and Juliet) as C.C. White.

Clinton Greenspan as C.C., Derrick Davis as Curtis Taylor Jr., and Eric LaJuan Summers as Jimmy Early. Photo by Karen Almond
Clinton Greenspan as C.C., Derrick Davis as Curtis Taylor Jr., and Eric LaJuan Summers as Jimmy Early. Photo by Karen Almond

Brierley Resident Acting Company members Hassan El-Amin (All the Way, The Mountaintop, Colossal) will play the role of Marty, and Alex Organ (All the Way, Sense and Sensibility, LES MISERABLES) will be a part of the Male Ensemble.

The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond
The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond

Fellow actors in the Male Ensemble are Christopher Figaro Jackson, Joshua Keith, Walter Lee, Willie Smith III, Jay Staten (Stagger Lee), Jeremy Davis, Gabriel Lawson and Micah Ndiba. The Female Ensemble includes Tiana Kaye Johnson (The Mountaintop, The Book Club Play), Ebony Marshall-Oliver, Ayanna Edwards and Gabrielle Reyes.

The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond
The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond

The creative and design team includes choreographer Rickey Tripp,  music director Michael O. Mitchell,  set designer Bob Lavallee (The Mountaintop, The Rocky Horror Show, Clybourne Park), costume designer Karen Perry (A Raisin in the Sun, The Trinity River Plays), sound designer Aria Music Design (LES MISERABLES, Cabaret), lighting designer Lap Chi Chu (The Good Negro, Fences) and wig designer J. Jared Janas.

The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond
The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond

DTC’s Come Early sponsored by Wells Fargo will take place one hour before every performance and DTC’s Stay Late presented by Dr Pepper Snapple Group will take place after each performance.

The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond
The cast of DREAMGIRLS. Photo by Karen Almond

https://interactive.tegna-media.com/video/embed/embed.html?id=2228772&type=video&title=Dallas%20Theater%20Center%20presents%20'Dreamgirls'&site=287&playerid=6918249996581&dfpid=32805352&dfpposition=Video_prestream_external§ion=home

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Photos: Maulik Pancholy, Peter Gadiot, André De Shields, Telly Leung, Oliver Thornton and More in Ed Sylvanus Iskandar Helmed THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC)

Peter Gadiot and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman
Peter Gadiot and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman

Stage and screen actors Maulik Pancholy (Broadway: It’s Only A Play“Weeds,” “30 Rock”) and Peter Gadiot (“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”) lead the cast as Katherina and Petruchio respectively in Ed Sylvanus Iskandar’s bold new interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). Iskandar, known for his striking and immersive directorial style, completes STC’s 2015–2016 season with this production, playing in Sidney Harman Hall from May 17 to June 26, 2016.

André De Shields and Tom Story. Photo by Scott Suchman
André De Shields and Tom Story. Photo by Scott Suchman

The Taming of the Shrew began preview performances on May 17,  and celebrates Opening Night on Tuesday, May 24.  Performances continue through June 26 at STC’s Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW). To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.

Tom Story, André De Shields, Bernard White and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman
Tom Story, André De Shields, Bernard White and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman

Oliver Thorton and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman
Oliver Thorton and Telly Leung. Photo by Scott Suchman

The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s notorious comedy about courtship, marriage and individuality, last seen on STC stages in the 2007–2008 Season, also includes two-time Tony nominee André De Shields (Broadway: Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz, The Full Monty, Play On!, STC’s Ghosts) as Gremio/Curtis/Vincentio; Oliver Thornton (West End: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the 40th anniversary production of The Rocky Horror Show, Children of EdenRentThe Phantom of the OperaLes Miserables and Chicago) as Bianca; Drew Foster (Broadway: Doctor Zhivago,  National tour of West Side Story) as Biondello; Rick Hammerly (a participant in STC’s 2015–2016 Directors’ Studio and last seen in Volpone) as Widow; Telly Leung (Broadway: AllegianceGodspellRentPacific Overture and Flower Drum Song) as Lucentio; Gregory Linington (STC’s OthelloThe Tempest and Tartuffeas Grumio; Matthew Russell as Tranio; STC Affiliated Artist Tom Story who has appeared in numerous STC productions, most recently in the Free For All remount of The Winter’s Tale as HortensioBernard White as Baptista; with James CrichtonStephen Elrod (STC’s Othello), Jamison ForemanJackson Knight Pierce (STC’s Othello), Brian Reisman (STC’s Othello) and Nicholas Yenson rounding out the Ensemble.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Spilling from the stage into the lobbies and the street, director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar’s production presents a provocative new approach to The Taming of the Shrew and an utterly unique audience experience. Iskandar will use an all-male cast to examine the fluidity of identity, the authenticity of self-performance and the economics of love in one of Shakespeare’s most notorious texts. Set in the arena of high fashion with influences from both Renaissance and 1950s Italy, Iskandar is working to craft a spectacular world for STC audiences.

Oliver Thorton and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman
Oliver Thorton and Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman

Founding Artistic Director of the theatre collective Exit, Pursued by a Bear and an emerging artist noted for his innovative interpretation of classic texts, Iskandar creates performances that shift beyond the proscenium, reconnecting audiences and artists and working to establish a thriving social community within the theatre. Iskandar’s previous projects include the 2014 Drama Desk Award-winners The Golden Dragon and The Mysteries—a collaboration with 50 playwrights that reimagined the stories of The Bible over six hours—as well as These Seven Sicknesses, a five-hour adaptation of all seven of Sophocles’ plays, and Restoration Comedy, both Drama Desk Award-nominated.

André De Shields. Photo by Scott Suchman
André De Shields. Photo by Scott Suchman

Speaking about his concept for Shrew, Iskandar explains, “Shakespeare’s central narrative is about Kate, an ‘other’ who chooses to transform and rejoin society on her own terms. I want to create a world in which otherness can manifest in as visible a way as possible. I am interested in using a widely diverse canvas to express universality: the world will be specific, but the story no less universal.” Regarding his all-male cast, Iskandar continues, “With an all-male cast, we are attempting to shift the focus from the war of the sexes to the war within the self. The Public Theater has just announced an all-female production of Shrew in the Park with exactly the same running date as ours, which I can’t wait to see.” He concludes, “It seems a single-gender cast allows us to unlock this play in an important new way.”

The Taming of the Shrew company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Noted for his epic and immersive style, Iskandar will extend the world of the production beyond the stage, creating a deeply engaging experience for audience members. In line with this vision, STC will invoke the atmosphere of an Italian piazza (the Piazza d’Amore) in the Harman lobbies and will offer audience and community members the opportunity to engage with the performers of The Taming of the Shrew off-stage. Supporting Iskandar’s desire to create a community with theatre, STC has also invited local artists, makers and restaurants to lead a series of make-and-take workshops, life-hack seminars and tastings and demonstrations in STC lobbies during the run of the show. The workshop series, called The Padua Finishing School, is open to the public and can serve as a standalone event or can accompany a ticket to The Taming of the Shrew. Workshop fees range from $12–$65.

Rick Hammerly, Peter Gadiot, Maulik Pancholy and Oliver Thorton. Photo by Scott Suchman
Rick Hammerly, Peter Gadiot, Maulik Pancholy and Oliver Thorton. Photo by Scott Suchman

The exciting off-stage elements of this production echo Iskandar’s distinctive artistic approach to Shakespeare’s comedy. This production includes a musical intermezzo and will incorporate movement and contemporary pop music to complete the world. “I use three major elements to tell the story, of which text is the primary one;” Iskandar explains, “music and dance will also play major roles to create a richer world where each character in the show is treated as an individual with a full dramatic arc.”

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Iskandar joins STC as the first director in the Clarice Smith Series: New Directors for the Classics, having been invited by STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn after Kahn saw Iskandar’s production of The Mysteries (The Flea, NYC). “I found his style appealing, profound and very moving,” Kahn explains. “His artistic choices, paired with STC’s engagement and outreach activities, will further humanize the characters on stage for our audiences—and I also believe his choices will create a dialogue about authenticity and identity, something which is particularly relevant in our times.”

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman
Maulik Pancholy. Photo by Scott Suchman

Maulik Pancholy (Katherina) makes makes his STC debut, having recently starred opposite Martin Short and Matthew Broderick in the Broadway hit It’s Only a Play, directed by Jack O’Brien. Pancholy is best known for playing Jonathan on the Golden Globe® and Screen Actors Guild® Award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock and for playing Sanjay on Showtime’s award-winning dramedy Weeds, in addition to many other voiceover, television, film and theatre credits.

Peter Gadiot and company. Photo by Scott Suchman
Peter Gadiot and company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Peter Gadiot (Petruchio) has appeared in the films The Forbidden GirlNight Wolf and 13 Hours. He plays Cyrus on television show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and has also appeared in many other television and stage productions. Gadiot will soon star in the highly-anticipated new television show USA Network’s Queen of the South, set to air in the summer of 2016.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (Director) joins STC as the first in the Clarice Smith Series: New Directors for the Classics. Iskandar’s previous projects include the 2014 Drama Desk Award-winner The Mysteries, a collaboration with over 50 playwrights that reimagined the stories of The Bible over six hours. The Founding Artistic Director of theatre collective Exit, Pursued by a Bear, Iskandar has also hosted a series of labs and salons in his New York loft, featuring intimate performances and meals cooked by Iskandar himself. Combining theatre with food and community, Exit, Pursued by a Bear has become the talk of the New York theatre scene, utilizing a performance model as old as Homer and as radical as anything on stage today. While in New York, he has directed shows at myriad theatres including the Playwrights Realm, the National Asian American Theatre Company, The Flea Theater and The Play Company, as well as at his own collective. He is the winner of multiple awards including the Drama Desk Special Award for conception and direction of The Mysteries at The Flea Theater (in collaboration with 50+ playwrights) and The Golden Dragon at The Play Company, the National Theatre Conservatory Emerging Professional Award, the New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist Fellowship and the Drama League Directing Fellowship.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

THE DESIGNERS
Iskandar brings a new and talented creative team to STC with Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood, Costume Designer Loren Shaw, Lighting Designer Seth Reiser, Sound Designer Jeremy S. Bloom, Choreography by Chase Brock, Music Supervisor/Arranger David Dabbon and Music Director Jody Schum.

The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman
The Taming of the Shrew Company. Photo by Scott Suchman

Duncan Sheik is best known as the composer of the 2006 Broadway musical Spring Awakening, as well as a pop songwriter and performer. His recordings include Legerdemain (2015), Covers 80s (Sneaky Records, 2011), Whisper House (Sony, 2009), White Limousine (Rounder, 2006), Daylight (Atlantic Records, 2002), Phantom Moon (Nonesuch, 2001), Humming (Atlantic Records, 1998) and Duncan Sheik (RIAA Certified Gold, Atlantic Records, 1996). For his work on Spring Awakening, Sheik won Tony Awards® for Best Original Score and Orchestrations and a Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album. His self-titled album Duncan Sheik also earned him a Grammy® nomination for Best Male Vocal.

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THE ARTISTIC TEAM
The production team also includes Associate Costume Designer Dana Burkart and Assistant Lighting Designer Jimmy Lawlor. Iskandar is supported by Voice and Text Coaches Gary Logan and Ellen O’Brien, and assisted by Production Stage Manager Joseph Smelser and Assistant Stage Manager Robyn M. Zalewski. Craig Baldwin serves as Immersive Designer and Iskandar’s Assistant Director.

ABOUT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY
Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation’s leading premier classical theatre company. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible to audiences in and around the nation’s capital.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative productions inspire dialogue that connects classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced in order to preserve and promote classic theatre—ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes—for all audiences.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free For All. For the past 25 years the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., STC performs in two theatres, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. In addition to STC productions appearing year-round, these spaces also accommodate presentations from outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. The Company has been a fixture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood since 1992.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

EW.com: See exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China

Photo: Drew Struzan
Photo: Drew Struzan

When it was released three decades ago, John Carpenter’s modern Western-cum-martial arts epic Big Trouble in Little China was greeted by a tepid reception at the box office and often negative reviews (Roger Ebert began his assessment of the film with the words “It seems like a great idea” and then concluded it was not). But, like Carpenter’s 1982 horror film The Thing, this tale of a befuddled truck driver (Kurt Russell), his much more competent partner (Dennis Dun) and the monster-filled fantasia they encounter beneath the streets of San Francisco has been positively reassessed over time and is now regarded as a cult classic.

This August, BOOM! Studios is marking the 30th anniversary of the movie by publishing The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China, which includes hundreds of never-before-seen photos and exclusive interviews with cast and crew members.

Click here to read the interview with authors Tara Bennett and Paul Terry, who talk about their book and their love for Carpenter’s weird, wonderful creation.

Video: HIDE AND SEEK Starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits to Screen in 2016 Katra Film Series in New York on May 14; Complete Lineup
BLACK SALT Premiere and UASE Diversity in Action Panel Discussion featuring Warrington Hudlin, Lia Chang, Taimak, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Mike Hodge, Kelly Edwards, Bobby Samuels and Vincent Lyn
Up Close and Personal with Actor Peter Kwong 
Photos: Inside HorrorHound and Son of Monsterpalooza with ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ stars Peter Kwong, James Hong and James Pax 
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee ‪
lookitseugeneabano.wordpress.com: Big Trouble in Little China Revisited- Picture Heavy
Funko to Release Big Trouble in Little China Pop! and ReAction Figures

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Photos: Santino Fontana, André De Shields, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, John Behlmann, Christiane Noll and More in New York City Center’s Encores! 1776 through April 3

Santino Fontana (John Adams), John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson). Photo by Joan Marcus
Santino Fontana (John Adams), John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson). Photo by Joan Marcus

The Encores! production of 1776, the classic Tony Award-winning musical about how the founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and gave birth to a new nation, directed by Garry Hynes, featuring choreography by Chris Bailey and guest music direction by Ben Whiteley, is currently having a limited run tonight  at New York City Center, 131 W 55th St (btwn 6th & 7th) through April 3. Click here for tickets and more information.

Production Photos: Joan Marcus

Terence Archie (Dr. Joshiah Bartlett), André De Shields (Stephen Hopkins), Laird Mackintosh (James Wilson), and Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Terence Archie (Dr. Joshiah Bartlett), André De Shields (Stephen Hopkins), Laird Mackintosh (James Wilson), and Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson). Photo by Joan Marcus.

The diverse cast of 1776 includes Santino Fontana as John Adams, John Behlmann as Thomas Jefferson, John Larroquette as Benjamin Franklin, André De Shields as Stephen Hopkins, Bryce Pinkham as John Dickinson, Nikki Renée Daniels as Martha Jefferson, Christiane Noll as Abigail Adams, Michael McCormick as John Hancock, Alexander Gemignani as Edward Rutledge, Robert Sella as Charles Thomson, and Jubilant Sykes as Richard Henry Lee.

Nikki Renée Daniels (Martha Jefferson), and Santino Fontana (John Adams). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Nikki Renée Daniels (Martha Jefferson), and Santino Fontana (John Adams). Photo by Joan Marcus.

The cast also features Wayne Pretlow as Roger Sherman, Terence Archie as Dr. Josiah Bartlett, Larry Bull as Col. Thomas McKean, Macintyre Dixon as Andrew McNair, John Hickok as Dr. Lyman Hall, John Hillner as Lewis Morris, Kevin Ligon as George Read, John-Michael Lyles as A Courier, Laird Mackintosh as Judge James Wilson, Michael Medeiros as Caesar Rodney, Tom Alan Robbins as Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, Ric Stoneback as Samuel Chase, Vishal Vaidya as A Leather Apron, Nicholas Ward as Joseph Hughes, and Jacob Keith Watson as Robert Livingston.

Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson) and company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson) and company. Photo by Joan Marcus

1776 features such beloved songs as “Sit Down, John,” “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men,” and “He Plays the Violin.” Written by Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone, 1776 opened on Broadway on March 16, 1969, and ran for 1217 performances.

John Michael Lyles (A Courier). Photo by Joan Marcus
John Michael Lyles (A Courier). Photo by Joan Marcus

John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson), Wayne Pretlow (Roger Sherman), John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), Jacob Keith Watson (Robert Livingston), and Santino Fontana (John Adams). Photo by Joan Marcus.
John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson), Wayne Pretlow (Roger Sherman), John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), Jacob Keith Watson (Robert Livingston), and Santino Fontana (John Adams). Photo by Joan Marcus.

Performance Schedule:
Wed and Thu at 7:30pm, Fri at 8pm, Sat at 2 & 8pm, Sun at 2 & 7pm

Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
Based on a Concept by Sherman Edwards
Original Production Directed by Peter Hunt
Originally Produced on the Broadway Stage by Stuart Ostrow

1776 ARTISTS

John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson), and Santino Fontana (John Adams) Photo by Joan Marcus.
John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson), and Santino Fontana (John Adams) Photo by Joan Marcus.

John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson) Broadway: Journey’s End. Off-Broadway: Important Hats… (MTC); Significant Other (Roundabout); Pretty Filthy (The Civilians); The 39 Steps (New World Stages); This Is Not J.A.W.S. (Dixon Place); and Wild Animals You Should Know (MCC). Ars Nova: Eager to Lose and Trapeze Hero! (ANT Fest 2013). Regional: Bull Durham (Alliance). Film: The Wolf of Wall Street and Revolutionary Road. TV: “I Shudder” (upcoming), “Blue Bloods,” “The Good Wife,” and “3 lbs.” Mr. Behlmann runs the trapeze theater company Fight or Flight. Training: NTC and Wesleyan.

Nikki Renée Daniels (Martha Jefferson) is currently appearing on Broadway as Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon. Other Broadway credits include The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Clara); Les Misérables (Fantine); Promises, Promises; and Anything Goes. TV/Film: “Chappelle’s Show,” The Other Woman, and “The Sound of Music Live!” City Center Encores!: The Apple Tree. Ms. Daniels has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall and with symphony orchestras across the country. Her debut solo CD Home is available on iTunes and CDbaby.

André De Shields and Bryce Pinkham backstage after the dress rehearsal of "1776" at New York City Center on March 29, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Bryce Pinkham backstage after the dress rehearsal of “1776” at New York City Center on March 29, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields (Stephen Hopkins) has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator in a career spanning 47 years. He has received the National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. A multiple Tony Award nominee, Mr. De Shields is best known for his show-stopping performances in six legendary Broadway productions: Impressionism, Prymate, The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and The Wiz.

Santino Fontana (John Adams). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Santino Fontana (John Adams). Photo by Joan Marcus.

Santino Fontana (John Adams) City Center Encores!: Zorba! and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (upcoming). Broadway: Act One, Cinderella (Tony Award nomination), The Importance of Being Earnest (Clarence Derwent Award), Billy Elliot, Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drama Desk Award), and Sunday in the Park with George. New York theater: Sons of the Prophet (Lortel and Obie Awards), The Fantasticks, and Perfect Harmony (co-writer). Regional: Six Degrees of Separation, Death of a Salesman, A Christmas Carol, As You Like It, Hamlet (Guthrie); Love’s Labour’s Lost, On the Verge, September 11th Project (Chautauqua Theater Co.) Film: Sisters; Frozen; Nancy, Please; and Jack Ryan: Shadow Hunter. TV: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Shades of Blue,” “The Good Wife,” “The Money,” “Royal Pains,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “Made in Jersey.”

Alexander Gemignani (Edward Rutledge). Photo by Joan Marcus
Alexander Gemignani (Edward Rutledge). Photo by Joan Marcus

Alexander Gemignani (Edward Rutledge) Broadway: Violet (Father), Chicago (Billy Flynn), Les Misérables (Valjean, Drama League Award nomination), Sweeney Todd (Beadle, Drama Desk Award nomination), Assassins (John Hinckley, Theatre World Award), The People in the Picture (Moishe), and Sunday in the Park with George (Boatman/Dennis). Off-Broadway: Road Show at The Public (Addison, Drama League Award nomination), Headstrong at Ensemble Studio Theatre (Nick), and Avenue Q at the Vineyard (Brian). As a composer/lyricist, he is currently developing three new musicals and has composed incidental music for a number of plays. Proud graduate of the University of Michigan.

Santino Fontana (John Adams), John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Santino Fontana (John Adams), John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson). Photo by Joan Marcus.

John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), a five-time Emmy winner, has been a strong force in the television industry since 1975. Mr. Larroquette is best known for his role as Assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding on NBC’s “Night Court,” along with his comedic lead role in “The John Larroquette Show.” On the big screen, Larroquette starred in Richie Rich opposite Macaulay Culkin. He has also appeared on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Award) and Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.

Christiane Noll (Abigail Adams), and Santino Fontana (John Adams)
Christiane Noll (Abigail Adams), and Santino Fontana (John Adams)

Christiane Noll (Abigail Adams) received Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations for her performance as Mother in the 2009 Broadway revival of Ragtime. Broadway/tour: Chaplin, Jekyll & Hyde, Urinetown, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, Miss Saigon, and City of Angels. Film/TV: “The Sound of Music Live!” and The King and I (singing Anna). City Center Encores!: Out Of This World and The New Moon. Other theater: Kid Victory (Signature) and Closer Than Ever (The York). She has performed at the Washington National Opera with Placido Domingo; in symphony concerts internationally and in all 50 states; and in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series.

Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson) and company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson) and company. Photo by Joan Marcus

Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson) Broadway: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), The Heidi Chronicles (Drama League Award nomination), Ghost, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Broadway: Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park) and The Orphans’ Home Cycle (Signature). TV: “The Good Wife” and “Person of Interest.” Film: The Comedian (with Robert De Niro, upcoming). Bryce is a proud Annenberg Fellow and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. He is the co-founder of Zara Aina, a charity for at-risk children in Madagascar.

Jubilant Sykes (Richard Henry Lee) is an American baritone whose career has taken him from the Apollo Theater to the Met, from the New Orleans Jazz Festival to Carnegie Hall, and to theaters across the United States and Europe, where he has appeared with such artists as Julie Andrews and Renée Fleming. He starred in Daniel Beaty’s play Breath & Imagination (dir. Darko Tresnjak) at Hartford Stage, and was featured in the Cuba Gooding, Jr. film Freedom. Mr. Sykes is a Grammy Award nominee for his 2008 recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Garry Hynes (Director) was a co-founder of the award-winning Druid Theatre Company. She was Druid’s artistic director from 1975 to 1991, and again from 1995 to present. Ms. Hynes was the artistic director of Abbey Theatre from 1991 to 1994. She has also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court, Second Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Kennedy Center, the Center Theatre Group, and the Spoleto Festival. Ms. Hynes holds the distinction of being the first female to win a Tony Award for direction of a play.

Music Director Ben Whitely, Nikki Renée Daniels, André De Shields and Bryce Pinkham backstage after the dress rehearsal of "1776" at New York City Center on March 29, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Music Director Ben Whitely, Nikki Renée Daniels, André De Shields and Bryce Pinkham backstage after the dress rehearsal of “1776” at New York City Center on March 29, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Whiteley (Guest Music Director) Broadway/national tours: The Addams Family, A Christmas Story, Spamalot, The Full Monty, Cats, Grand Hotel, Falsettos, and Big. Carnegie Hall: Sail Away with Elaine Stritch and Carnegie Hall Salutes Comden and Green. New York Philharmonic: Choral Direction for Carousel (PBS), My Fair Lady. Regional credits include the MUNY, Paper Mill Playhouse, and 5th Avenue Theatre. He has served as Associate Music Director and/or done choral preparation for over 25 Encores! productions, including The Most Happy Fella, Paint Your Wagon, and Merrily We Roll Along. Recordings: Allegro and Boardwalk Empire (Grammy Award).

Chris Bailey (Choreographer) Credits as a choreographer include Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory), Cyrano de Bergerac (Roundabout), and Dancing Shadows (Seoul Arts Center). He was associate choreographer for Broadway productions of Promises, Promises; How to Succeed…; Evita; and Cry Baby; and for West End productions of Guys and Dolls, Evita, and Once in a Lifetime. He has been associate Choreographer for the Academy Awards for the last three years, and co-choreographed the 2013 Tony Awards. Film credits include Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and Ted 2.

The 2016 Encores! season is made possible, in part, by Stacey and Eric Mindich, Nathalie and Pablo Salame, The Shubert Foundation, and The Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores!.

Theatermania.com: Preview Clips From the Starry 1776 Revival at City Center Encores!

Playbill.com: Diversifying 1776: “The Present Doesn’t Look Like a Bunch of White People”

Playbill.com: Casting Complete for Encores! 1776

Theatermania.com: Santino Fontana, André De Shields, John Larroquette to Star in Encores! 1776

Broadwayworld.com: Nikki Renee Daniels, André De Shields, John Larroquette & More Will Lead Starry Cast of Encores! 1776

André De Shields, John Behlmann, Nikki Renée Daniels, Santino Fontana, Alexander Gemignani, John Larroquette, Christiane Noll, Bryce Pinkham, Jubilant Sykes, and more will star in the Encores! production of 1776, directed by Garry Hynes, Mar 30—Apr 3

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at Asians on Film on March 10th, The Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia on March 13th and the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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