Closing out the Barrington Stage Company's 1998-99 season is Velina Hasu Houston's Tea, running Aug. 11-29. Julianne Boyd, who directed three of the show's major incarnations at Manhattan Theatre Club, San Diego's Old Globe and Los Angeles' Odyssey Theatre, will direct the Barrington, Massachusetts production.
Transplanted to World War II era Kansas by their Army servicemen husbands, the five Japanese women of Tea find themselves and each other in their immigrant experience. Hasu Houston, the daughter of a Japanese war bride and an African-American-Native American serviceman, based her play on the lives of the women she knew growing up at Fort Riley. Her other plays include Asa Ga Kimashita (Morning Has Broken), American Dreams, The Legend of Bobbi Chicago and Kokoro (From the Heart).
Starring in Tea are June Angelo (Himiko), Takayo Fischer (Satsuko), Carol Honda (Teruko), Dian Kobayashi (Atsuko) and Diana Tanaka (Chizuye). Angelo, Tony and Drama Desk nominated for Best Leading Actress as Mariko in the musical version of Shogun, was given a Theatre Guild Award for her part in Tea in Los Angeles. Fischer, who most recently appeared around the world in the opera Peony Pavilion, Kovayashi and Tanaka are also veterans of various productions of Tea.
Designing the show are Michael Schweikardt (sets), Victor En Yu Tan (lighting) and Martha Bromelmeier (costumes).