Exclusive: Ma-Yi's New Season to Open With Lloyd Suh's The Chinese Lady

Off-Broadway News   Exclusive: Ma-Yi's New Season to Open With Lloyd Suh's The Chinese Lady
The 2018–2019 programming will also feature new works by Sam Chanse, Kristine Haruna Lee, and Orlando Pabotoy.
Shannon Tyo in <i>The Chinese Lady</i> at Barrington Stage Company
Shannon Tyo in The Chinese Lady at Barrington Stage Company

For its 2018–2019 season, Ma-Yi Theater Company has teamed up with Barrington Stage Company to co-present Lloyd Suh's The Chinese Lady. The play, which is based on the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant who was subsequently made a carnival attraction, will wrap up its world-premiere engagement at BSC August 11 before transferring Off-Broadway this fall.

Ralph B. Peña Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Chinese Lady will run in repertory at Theatre Row with Ma-Yi's production of Sesar, by Orlando Pabotoy. The Chinese Lady will be directed by the company’s producing artistic director, Ralph B. Peña, who directed the original engagement. Shannon Tyo (Bright Half Life) and Daniel K. Isaac (Billions) will reprise their roles; performances will run November 7–November 18.

Sesar, directed by Richard Feldman, will run October 20–November 1. The play tells the story of a 16-year-old Filipino boy, who having just watched an excerpt of Julius Caesar on The Cosby Show, locks himself in the only family bathroom, determined to make sense of Shakespeare.

Both plays will run in repertory, followed by two additional productions that will complete the season.

In the new year, Ma-Yi will present Kristine Haruna Lee's Suicide Forest, co-presented with The Bushwick Starr and staged at the Brooklyn theatre February 27–March 26, 2019. Directed by Aya Ogawa, the play is about Japanese salaryman desperately searching for his self-worth, and a lonely teenage girl grappling with her sexuality in a nightmarish, male-defined society.

Next Spring, Ma-Yi will present Sam Chanse's Fruiting Bodies at Theatre Row (April 5–May 9). In the new play, directed by Shelly Butler, two sisters go into the woods to find their missing father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom hunting expedition. Deep in the forest they encounter a mysterious boy who bears a striking resemblance to the dad's estranged son, the sisters' younger brother. With limited visibility, a forest that keeps turning itself around, and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes, will they ever be able to find the road—or one another?

Fruiting Bodies was developed with Ma-Yi’s Writers Lab, of which Chanse is a member and Suh is a founding member. The celebrated writers lab is the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the world, and a primary incubator of new Asian American theatre.

Founded in 1989, the Drama Desk, Obie Award and Lucille Lortel Award-winning Ma-Yi is now celebrating its 27th season. The theatre company's primary mission is to develop and produce new plays by Asian-American writers. Recent productions include Mike Lew's Teenage Dick and KPOP. For more information visit Ma-Yitheatre.org.

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