Tag Archives: Telly Leung

After Record-Breaking Premiere, Filmed Broadway Production of GEORGE TAKEI’S ALLEGIANCE, Returns to U.S. Cinemas February 19 Only

Presented by Fathom Events, Takei’s Personal Story Also Features Broadway Stars Lea Salonga and Telly Leung in This Special Encore Presentation
Presented by Fathom Events, Takei’s Personal Story Also Features Broadway Stars Lea Salonga and Telly Leung in This Special Encore Presentation

After an unprecedented cinematic premiere resulting in the highest-grossing one-night Broadway musical event to date for Fathom Events, George Takei’s (“Star Trek,” “Heroes”) Broadway musical Allegiance returns to cinemas nationwide for an encore on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 12:55 p.m. local time. This date is the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, known as the Day of Remembrance, which marked the beginning of the forced relocation and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII.

Lea Salonga, George Takei, Telly Leung , Michael K. Lee and company. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Lea Salonga, George Takei, Telly Leung , Michael K. Lee and company. Photo by Matthew Murphy

“George Takei’s Allegiance: The Broadway Musical On The Big Screen” will begin with an exclusive introduction from Takei and immediately move into the musical’s presentation. After the feature, audiences will also be treated to behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and creators.

The cast of ALLEGIANCE at their first preview curtain call at the Longacre Theatre in New York on October 6, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast of ALLEGIANCE at their first preview curtain call at the Longacre Theatre in New York on October 6, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
George Takei. Photo by Lia Chang
George Takei. Photo by Lia Chang

“At a time when echoes of the interment ring once again far too loud in our political discourse, there’s never been a better moment for the story of Allegiance to find new audiences,” said star Takei. “It is a true testament to the power and the relevance of this story that so many people attended its premiere in December, and it is only appropriate that even more people will be able to witness it on such an important day as February 19, 2017. The Day of Remembrance is a day of commemoration, of reflection, and of learning, and I hope Allegiance can play an important role in its celebration, this year, and for many years to come.”

Katie Rose Clarke, George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung attend the ALLEGIANCE live performance and CD Signing at Barnes and Noble in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Katie Rose Clarke, George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung attend the ALLEGIANCE live performance and CD Signing at Barnes and Noble in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Allegiance illuminates one of American history’s lesser known chapters as it tells the story of Sam Kimura (Takei), transported back nearly six decades to when his younger self (Telly Leung, Godspell, “Glee”) and his sister Kei (Tony Award®-winner Lea Salonga, Miss Saigon, Mulan) fought to stay connected to their heritage, their family and themselves after Japanese Americans were wrongfully imprisoned during World War II.  An important story told with great resonance and intimacy, Allegiance explores the ties that bind us, the struggle to persevere and the overwhelming power of forgiveness and, most especially, love.

Stafford Arima and Lorenzo Thione. Photo by Lia Chang
Stafford Arima and Lorenzo Thione. Photo by Lia Chang

“The response from the audience who attended the premiere has been overwhelming. While its Broadway run may have been cut short, the story of Allegiance truly speaks to audiences everywhere and we are honored that its legacy continues, through this encore with Fathom Events and beyond,”said Allegiance producer Lorenzo Thione. “Moreover, we are truly excited that the story, music and message of Allegiance will expand its reach to more people, cities, and even countries, continuing to move, educate and inspire, truly fulfilling George’s legacy.”

George Takei, Lorenzo Thione, Jay Kuo and Marc Acito celebrate the release of the ALLEGIANCE Original Cast recording at the Barnes and Noble CD Signing event in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
George Takei, Lorenzo Thione, Jay Kuo and Marc Acito celebrate the release of the ALLEGIANCE Original Cast recording at the Barnes and Noble CD Signing event in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Allegiance has a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione with music and lyrics by Kuo. Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima directed in his Broadway debut. Andrew Palermo served as choreographer.

The cast of 'Allegiance'. Photo by Matthew Murphy
The cast of ‘Allegiance’. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The original Broadway cast comprised Takei as Sam Kimura/Ojii San, Salonga as Kei Kimura, Leung as Sammy Kimura,  Katie Rose Clarke as Hannah Campbell, Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki, Christopheren Nomura as Tatsuo Kimura and Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka with Aaron J. Albano, Belinda Allyn, Marcus Choi, Janelle Dote, Dan Horn, Owen Johnston, Darren Lee, Manna Nichols, Rumi Oyama, Catherine Ricafort, Momoko Sugai, Sam Tanabe, Kevin Munhall, Elena Wang, Scott Watanabe and Tony winner Scott Wise.

The cast of ALLEGIANCE. Photo by Matthew Murphy
The cast of ALLEGIANCE. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Allegiance had its world premiere in a record-breaking engagement at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2012. It is produced by Sing Out, Louise! Productions and ATA.

Allegiance officially opened on Broadway November 8, 2015, following previews that began October 6 at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. As of closing, the production played 37 previews and 113 regular performances.

Tickets go on sale January 25. Theater listings will be available on allegiancemusical.com/movie on Jan 25. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theatre box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theatre locations, visit the Fathom Events website. For up to date news on this screening visit allegiancemusical.com/movie

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 Jade 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.

Maulik Pancholy, Peter Gadiot, André De Shields, Telly Leung and More in Ed Sylvanus Iskandar Helmed THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), opens May 24

Maulik Pancholy and Peter Gadiot in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.
Maulik Pancholy and Peter Gadiot in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.

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.

The Taming of the Shrew begins preview performances on May 17, celebrates Opening Night on Tuesday, May 24, and continues 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

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 (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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Maulik Pancholy, Peter Gadiot, André De Shields, Telly Leung and More Set for Ed Sylvanus Iskandar Helmed THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), May 17 – June 26

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.

The Taming of the Shrew begins preview performances on May 17, celebrates Opening Night on Tuesday, May 24, and continues 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

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 (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.

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 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 ARTISTIC TEAM
The production team also includes Associate Costume DesignerDana Burkart and Assistant Lighting Designer Jimmy Lawlor. Iskandar is supported by Voice and Text Coaches Gary Logan andEllen 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.

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 produces promotional videos for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers and musicians. 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.