The Kitchen Theatre Company will continue its 2021-2022 season with Lloyd Suh‘s The Chinese Lady, a poetic and subversively comedic tale that gives voice to our country’s hidden history. Generously sponsored by WRFI, Tompkins Trust Company, CSP Management, OurBus, Don Spector and Stacia Zabusky and WRVO Public Media, The Chinese Lady will run from Tuesday, March 22 through Sunday, April 10 and will offer free childcare on Sunday, April 10 and Pay What You Want rush tickets throughout the duration of the run.
Upon arrival as the first Chinese woman on U.S. soil, Afong Moy has been put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady.” She believes herself an ambassador to life in her native China however, to her visitors, she becomes their entertainment. As these dual truths become irreconcilable, Afong must reckon with herself and the history of her new home with startling discoveries.
“I’m so excited to dive into this play because it not only tells the story of Afong Moy, but seeds the larger story of Asian Americans that is still being written” says director, Aileen Wen McGroddy. “The theatre is the perfect laboratory to recreate this transcultural encounter while investigating the United States’ deep-seated appetite for–and disdain of–the Other. I hope that audiences can carry this story with them in all its complexity–heartbreak, humor, and deep humanity.”
According to American Theatre, The Chinese Lady is the most produced play at TCG member theatres throughout America in the current season. Kitchen Theatre Company’s rendition will mark one of the first productions to follow the sold out, off-broadway run at The Public Theater in New York City (in collaboration with Ma-Yi Theatre and The Barrington Stage Company). In the New York City production, Shannon Tyo, veteran of the KTC stage, plays Afong Moy and Ralph B. Peña, co-producer of Kitchen Theatre Company’s virtual workshop of Stefani Kuo’s The Conservation of Parity, is directing.
Tyo says “The Chinese Lady is a piece of theater that I’ve worked on for years and is very close to my heart. It’s a perfect show for the KTC space and audience: funny, intimate, introspective, and conversation-starting.”
The creative team for The Chinese Lady at the Kitchen will be rounded out with scenic design by Yeaji Kim, lighting design by Madeleine Reid, sound design by Julian Crocamo and costume design by Amanda Gladu**. Casting Director is Lisa Donadio, Technical Director is Brendan Komala, Master Electrician is Lea Davis, Production Stage Manager is Anna Cunningham, Assistant Stage Manager is Helen Kuhar and Scenic Charge is Stiller Zusman. Afong Moy will be played by Christina Liang,* Atung will be played by Roger Yeh.*
Performances of The Chinese Lady will also mark the continuation of the Kitchen’s COVID policies into the new year. To ensure the safety of their guests, patrons, ushers and artists will be required to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test result (taken within 72 hours of the performance start time) at their time of entry into the theatre with a valid ticket. Masks are also required to be worn properly at all times inside the theatre. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes FDA-authorized vaccination card with matching photo ID, or the NYS Excelsior Pass – for more details, please visit: https://epass.ny.gov
Special events for The Chinese Lady include post-show discussions with artistic staff on March 22, 23 & 24, actors’ forums on April 1 & April 8, free childcare in partnership with First Presbyterian Church on Sunday, April 10 and BIPOC Community Night on Saturday, April 9. Opening Night is on Friday, March, and will include a step and repeat for photos. For more events and information, visit www.kitchentheatre.org/thechineselady.
*member, Actors’ Equity Association
**member, United Scenic Artists 829
The Kitchen Theatre is located at 417 West State/ MLK, Jr. St., Ithaca, NY 14850. Single tickets are available from $30 to $50. PWYW tickets available online for preview performances and at the box office one hour before every performance. Tickets can also be purchased online at https://www.kitchentheatre.org/thechineselady, by phone at (607) 272-0570, or in person from Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM at the theatre (417 W. State St.) There are 4-Show and 8-Show Flex Passes available. Get more information online at kitchentheatre.org/subscriptions.
ABOUT THE KITCHEN THEATRE COMPANY
Bold, intimate, engaging… Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC), now in its 29th season, is downtown Ithaca’s critically acclaimed and nationally recognized year-round professional theater company, specializing in regional and world premiere plays. KTC’s intimate 99-seat theater is in a beautifully renovated, LEED-certified building in the West End neighborhood of downtown Ithaca, New York. KTC was voted “Best Cultural Asset” in the Ithaca Times Best of Ithaca poll, 2018. KTC is the first not-for-profit recipient of the David R. Strong Memorial “Small Business of the Year” Award from the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and receives public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the Tompkins County Tourism Program. The Kitchen Theatre Company also receives general operating support from the Shubert Foundation.
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