East West Players (EWP), the nation's largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work and the longest-running professional theatre of color in the country, announces its 47th Anniversary Season, along with the return of THREE YEAR SWIM CLUB. This season, themed Spirited Away, includes the multidisciplinary ENCOUNTER by S.M. Raju and Aparna Sindhoor, the newly-reimagined TEA by Velina Hasu Houston, the world premiere of CHRISTMAS IN HANOI by Eddie Borey, and the Broadway musical CHESS, music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus Ulvaeus & lyrics by Tim Rice.
“As East West Players enters its 47th season, we celebrate and explore the notion of spirit,” says Tim Dang, EWP’s Producing Artistic Director. “From ghosts to human perseverance, these stories delve into the essence of spirit within the human mind and body – as our emotions conjure the multiple definitions of the word spirit.”
ENCOUNTER explores different confrontations - with the Divine, the Self, Bob Marley, Love, and the Military. In association with Navarasa Dance Theater in Massachusetts, ENCOUNTER mesmerized audiences during the National Asian American Theater Festival. It is now brought in its full version, continuing to expand EWP’s boundaries to include South Asian voices and multi-disciplinary forms such as Indian dance. By S.M. Raju and Aparna Sindhoor; Music by Isaac Thomas Kottukapally; Directed & Choreographed by Aparna Sindhoor and Anil Natyaveda; Inspired by a short story by Mahasweta Devi. ENCOUNTER runs September 6-October 7, 2012.
TEA is the critically acclaimed play about Japanese war brides from World War II now living in Kansas gathering for a farewell tea ceremony for one of their members who has mysteriously passed away. In honor of the play’s 25th Anniversary, EWP dares to present something different as Houston pens lyrics and adds original music to this classic play. By Velina Hasu Houston; Book and Lyrics by Velina Hasu Houston; Music by Nathan Wang; Directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera. TEA runs November 8-December 9, 2012. Generous support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for East West Players.
CHRISTMAS IN HANOI is about a mixed-race family who returns to Vietnam for the first time since the war. One year after the death of their strong-willed mother, siblings Winnie and Lou travel with their Irish Catholic father and Vietnamese grandfather to re-connect with their roots. Whether they embrace that past or reject it, they are haunted by their own family's ghosts and by the phantoms of Vietnam's long history. Winner of the EWP Face of the Future Playwriting Competition. By Eddie Borey and directed by Jeff Liu. CHRISTMAS IN HANOI runs February 7-March 10, 2013.
CHESS: From the lyricist of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and the composers of MAMMA MIA! the story involves a romantic triangle between two top chess players - an American and a Russian - and the woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. All of this takes place within the context of the Cold War, as both countries vie for international chess victories for propaganda purposes. Music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus; Lyrics by Tim Rice; Directed by Tim Dang; Musical Direction by Marc Macalintal. CHESS runs May 9-June 9, 2013. Generous support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for East West Players.