1999 was a busy year for theatre artist Ping Chong and his Company, with five new productions and a mini-tour of their Kwaidan. 2000 looks just as hectic with plans for a world premiere of Pojagi at off-off Broadway's La MaMa and the return of Kwaidan with more tour dates and a stop at New York City's New Victory.
The fourth in Ping's East/West series, Pojagi will run Feb. 23-March 5 at La MaMa. Kwaidan dates are not settled, but the New Victory return will most likely follow in summer or fall. Kwaidan, a series of three Japanese ghost stories, premiered as part of the 1998 Jim Henson Foundation International Festival of Puppet Theatre.
Other Chong projects in the works are the development and premiere of Secret History, a collaboration with GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, DC, the development of Undesirable Elements with East Harlem teenagers as a part of the Dream Yard arts-in-education program, and the creation of a new puppet/theatre piece, The Spirit Project.
Chong, an Obie and two time New York Dance and Performance Award winner, has created pieces for New York's La MaMa since the debut of his Obie winner, Humboldt's Current, in 1977. Among his more than 25 stage works are Nuit Blanche, Nosferatu, Brightness, Interfacing Joan and After Sorrow.
-- By Christine Ehren