Thursday, November 14
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10016
6:30pm Readings + Panel
FREE + Open to public. First come, first served
In May 2019, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Join us for an evening with Taiwanese playwrights, Chao Chi-Yun (趙啟運), Lin Meng-Huan (林孟寰), and Liu Chien-Kuo (劉建幗), who have created short plays embracing the achievements and struggles of this historic moment. This evening will feature three staged readings performed by a stellar cast of New York-based actors and directed by Michael Leibenluft of Gung Ho Projects. The readings will be followed by a discussion with the playwrights, curators, director, and translator Jeremy Tiang moderated by Linnea Valdivia, Literary Manager for the National Queer Theater.
-- 'Why Don’t We Get Married' by Liu Chien-Kuo
Halfway through a rehearsal, Xiao Ai’s girlfriend (and fellow actress) proposes to her—but in the flurry of wedding planning, will they lose sight of what marriage means? Meanwhile, in the audience, a mother and daughter have a difficult conversation about love—all interspersed with Taiwanese opera.
-- 'Love in Time' by Chao Chi-Yun
Now that gay marriage has come to Taiwan, two sisters come up with a plan to stage a wedding for their late father and his former boyfriend—but Uncle Zun is still very much alive, and may not go along with their scheme. A play about love and loss, and what happens when progress comes too late.
-- 'The Red Balloon' by Lin Meng-Huan
2049. When Lang Yong and his late husband had a child thirty years ago, they used genetic manipulation to ensure the boy would be gay too. Now their son wants to undergo orientation reversal surgery so he can be “normal”—but what does that mean in a world where anything is possible by medical means?
-- Chao Chi-Yun (Playwright) was born in 1985 in Kaohsiung, a maritime city and major shipping hub in southern Taiwan. With his long-term engagement with the infamous Tainaner Ensemble, Chao is known for his focus on immersive theatre and, more recently, musicals which have attracted positive critical acclaim. His signature style is to transform daily “nonsense” talk into something poetic, mixing in LGBTQ+ culture, traditional Taiwanese folklore, modern pop culture - and food!
-- Lin Meng-Huan (Playwright) a.k.a Dazi currently serves as Artist-in-Residence of National Taichung Theater, Taiwan. With a Master’s degree from the Department of Drama and Theater at National Taiwan University, Lin’s works span across theatre, children’s play, and television. He has received awards including the Hong Kong Youth Literary Awards, Taipei Literature Award for Best Script, and the Script Award of Taipei Children’s Art Festival. Lin has given birth to more than 20 staged productions including A Dog’s House, ARK 47, and children’s play Jane’s Magic Dragon Egg. TV series The Teenage Psychic, which Lin was a member of the screenwriter group, was shortlisted for Best Script for Mini-Series/TV Movie at the Golden Bell Awards.
-- Liu Chien-Kuo (Playwright) Born in a traditional opera family, Liu earned a Master’s degree in drama from the National Taiwan University of Arts. She is currently the director of the ChiChiao Musical Theatre. Her written and directed works encompass a diversity of artistic disciplines including drama, musicals, Taiwanese opera, Beijing opera and Bangzi opera. She strives to break through the boundaries of theater and culture to create unique productions. For two consecutive years, she had been invited to adapt the works of Bertolt Brecht for the Taipei Arts Festival. Her recent original productions have won the ardor of young audiences.
-- Jeremy Tiang (Translator) has translated leading Taiwanese playwrights such as Wei Yu-Chia, Shen Wan-Ting, and Zhan Jie; his translation of Chen Si'an's Ocean Hotpot was recently seen at the Edinburgh Festival. His own plays include A Dream of Red Pavilions (Pan Asian Rep), The Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth London) and Salesman之死 (Target Margin Theater, March 2020). He has also translated books by Jackie Chan, Lo Yi-Chin, Li Er, Yan Ge, Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, and Yeng Pway Ngon, amongst others. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. www.JeremyTiang.com
-- Michael Leibenluft (Director) is an Obie Award-winning director based in New York City. Credits include I’ll Never Love Again by Clare Barron at the Bushwick Starr (NYT and Time Out Critics’ Picks), June is the First Fall by Yilong Liu with Yangtze Rep, The Whore from Ohio by Hanoch Levin at New Yiddish Rep, How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel at Drum Tower West Theater in Beijing, Lost Tribe by Alex Borinsky at Target Margin Theater Lab, The Subtle Body by Megan Campisi at 59E59 Theaters and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, and other projects developed at The Flea, NYTW, The Civilians, EST, and NYU/Tisch. Upcoming: Salesman之死 by Jeremy Tiang at Target Margin Theater in March 2020.. www.leibenluft.com
-- Pao-Chang Tsai (Curator) graduated from the Department of Drama and Theatre at the National Taiwan University and received his Master's in music theatre from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He was the Co-Artistic Director at Tainaner Ensemble from 2009 to 2018. The Common Wealth Magazine has selected Pao-Chang Tsai as the Future Young Leader in Performing arts. He also went to America Repertory Theater at Harvard University for further study in Voice and Speech sponsored by Asian Cultural Council, and visited Moscow Art Theatre for three months.
-- Linnea Valdivia (Moderator) (she/her/hers) is a professional freelance dramaturg, producer, and playwright. She has artistic credits at theaters including the Lark, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Curious Theatre, Art House Productions, Playwrights Realm, and New Dramatists. She is a 2019 National Critics Institute Fellow (Eugene O'Neill Theater Center) and alumnus of the 2019 POP Core Workshop at Playwrights Horizons. Linnea is most interested in supporting and creating spaces for new work that re-imagine popular cultural narratives and explore histories that have undergone relentless historical erasure. She is the literary manager for the National Queer Theater in New York City. BA: Whitman College
Co-curated by Yu Chien Liu, Pao-Chang Tsai, and Chi-Ping Yen in partnership with Gung Ho Projects and National Queer Theater, with support from the Ministry of Culture, ROC (Taiwan) and the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, in collaboration with Frank Hentschker (Segal Center). All plays are translated by Jeremy Tiang and directed by Michael Leibenluft/Gung Ho Projects, a New York-based multilingual theater company that uses performance to create opportunities for self-expression, empowerment, and exchange across linguistic and cultural divides. Presented in partnership with National Queer Theater, whose mission is to foster and support LGBTQ communities through social justice in the performing arts. Media Partnership with Lambda Literary that nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers.