Center Theatre Group and The Public Theater team with the East West Players for the debut of the new work, which began performances May 10 at the California stage for a run through July 1. (Yellow Face will next play New York's Public Theater during the 2007-08 season.) Although he does not appear in the play, Hwang (M. Butterfly) has written himself into his "wild satire," which begins with his backstage realization (at a Broadway flop - likely inspired by 1993's Face Value) that "a white actor had been unknowingly cast in the role of an Asian, which is especially embarrassing for Hwang, who had led the Asian-American protest when a Welsh actor was cast as a Eurasian in the 1991 Broadway opening of Miss Saigon." The work explores "racial identity versus cultural identity, issues of artistic and journalistic integrity and the very nature of reality."
Leigh Silverman (Blue Door, Well) directs a cast that includes Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Kathryn Layng, Hoon Lee, Tzi Ma, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Peter Scanavino and Tony Torn.
Following Yellow Face, the 40-year-old, 745-seat circular Taper Forum will close for major renovations with plans to reopen in 2008. Plasn for the forthcoming season were just announced: The History Boys and Sweeney Todd will kick off the new season (playing at the neighboring Ahmanson Theatre) with The House of Blue Leaves and The School of Night scheduled to start in the newly renovated space.
Tickets for Yellow Face at the Taper, 135 North Grand Avenue in Los Angeles, CA, are available by calling (213) 628-2772. For more information visit centertheatregroup.org.