New musical Broken Ground receives an industry reading in New York City May 6, hosted by Washington's Village Theatre. The work features a book and lyrics by Christine Toy Johnson with music and lyrics by Jason Ma.
Featuring an all Asian-American cast and creative team, the cast stars Ali Ewoldt, Diana Huey, Kennedy Kanagawa, Hazel Anne Raymundo, Delphi Borich, Kevin Schuering, Brian Kim McCormick, Cáitlín Burke, and Alan Ariano. Alan Muraoka serves as director, and Fiona Santos as music director.
18-year-old Xuě Lán sets out on the path created for her, by both tradition and her family, to marry a young soldier. The musical follows her as she grieves her mother and twin brother, and the journey she goes on after she looks to Guān Yīn, the goddess of compassion, and the spirit of her mother for guidance. Her reality shifts due to an embroidered story in NüShū, the centuries-old writing system created by and exclusively for women, where she discovers how to honor the path set for her and the one she wishes to forge herself in 1912 as a new era in China dawns.
Village Theatre is based in Issaquah, Washington, and has been producing shows since 1979. Within the region, it is recognized for its work, which also includes helping develop new musicals through its Village Originals program. Over 175 new works have been supported by the theatre company to date.
Johnson is a playwright, actor, and advocate currently serving as treasurer of the Dramatists Guild, and is a founding steering committee member of the Asian American Performers Action Coalition. Johnson collaborated with Ma, a composer, lyricist, librettist, and actor whose musical Gold Mountain recently had its world premiere at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.