Golden Child, David Henry Hwang's new drama of East-West culture clash, will have its West Coast premiere Jan. 3 at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA.
Though SCR commissioned the piece, it was produced in November at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York, directed by James Lapine. The California production begins previews Jan. 3 and opensokesman Jan. 10.
Golden Child is about a young Chinese-American who is inspired to remember the funny, poignant and touching tales his grandmother told him about growing up with her father. She was labeled a "golden child" who was touched by fortune, until she got caught in the middle of a chaotic collision between Eastern and Western ways, when her father brought a British Christian missionary home to her and his wives .
The cast includes Tsai Chin, Stan Egi, John Christopher Jones, Jodi Long, Liana Pai and Julyana Soelistyo.
Tony Straiges designed sets, Martin Pakledinaz did costumes, Richard Nelson desnigned the lighting. According to SCR spokesman Christofer Gross, "we're calling it a world premiere opening on Lafayette and ending on Town Center Drive" (streets where the Public Theatre and SCR Theatres live).
Gross said that the partnership occurred because Hwang, whose play M. Butterfly won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1988 , has an alliance with both theatres, and really wanted Lapine to direct. The only way Lapine could schedule directing to meet SCR's schedule was if he was in New York.
On recent rumors that the play might come to Broadway before the end of the season, Gross said there's been no talk or planning on that: "We really need to see what shape it's in on the second half of its premiere. David [Hwang] has done some significant rewriting. Nothing radical, but some tightening and changes of openings."
David Emmes, SCR producing Artistic Director, said "We feel honored to be collaborating with [the Public] on this important theatre milestone. "
Similarly, Public Artistic Director George C. Wolfe is excited to welcome Hwang, who workshopped and had several plays produced at the Public, back to the theatre, and is equally excited to be working with SCR.
Lapine, who won several awards on Broadway for his work with Stephen Sondheim, will be making his SCR debut. He is currently in Costa Mesa, beginning casting for the production, which he will finish up in NY. Hwang will slip away from the Democratic Convention to join Lapine in Costa Mesa for callbacks. Although the details have not yet been worked out, SCR will build some of the the sets and costumes and send them to NY.