Politics In Play, A New East West Play Reading Series Leading Up To The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is proud to present Politics East West Playersin Play, a series of staged play readings tackling the nation’s current state of affairs, as part of a new initiative to showcase diverse, political voices in the theater. Politics in Play will commence with After Orlando: an international theatre action, in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting, on October 17, 2016; Mike Daisey’s The Trump Card (Diana Wyenn, Director) on October 23, 2016; and Christopher Chen’s Mutt: Let’s All Talk About Race! (Rodney To, Director) on November 1, 2016.


EWP Artistic Director Snehal Desai says, “This groundbreaking, political play series represents East West Players at its best: bold, daring, and edgy. The artists involved represent the work and voices we want to champion, and highlight issues of race, diversity, equity, and social justice as we raise questions about the world we live in. Politics in Play also seeks to uplift and move audiences through fearless storytelling that gets to the heart of racism, homophobia, gun violence, and economic inequality.”


After Orlando (October 17, 7:00 p.m., David Henry Hwang Theater) is presented in partnership with Missing Bolts Productions (Blair Baker and Zac Kline, Artistic Directors), NoPassport Theatre Alliance and Press (Caridad Svich, Founder), the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and the UCLA LGBT Center as an international theatre action with playwrights throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Africa, and Australia responding to the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. EWP will present an evening of five-minute plays written by Mia Chung, Leah Nanako Winkler, Dipika Guha, Giovanni Ortega, Riti Sachdeva, Nathan Alan Davis, Caridad Svich, Rohina Malik, Chiori Miyagawa, Amina Henry, Andrea Lepcio, J. Julian Christopher, Brian Quijada, Monica Palacios, Oladipo Agboluaje, Michael Dinwiddie, Erik Ehn, and more. 


The Trump Card (October 23, 7:00 p.m, David Henry Hwang Theater), written by Mike Daisey, is a monologue about Donald Trump and all he contains in this particular American moment. The New York Times praised it as, “…a critically comedic probe of what makes the presumptive Republican presidential nominee tick.” Directed by Diana Wyenn, whose work as a director and choreographer has appeared onstage at REDCAT in Los Angeles and Central Park SummerStage in New York City, The Trump Card will feature a variety of solo artists performing Daisey’s monologue.


In Christopher Chen’s Mutt: Let’s All Talk About Race! (October 1, 7:30 p.m, National Center for the Preservation of Democracy), the Republican Party finally realizes it has a problem with race, so it decides its best chance for success in the 2016 presidential election is to back a candidate who is a mixture of every race on earth. Directed by Rodney To, an actor and director known for his work on The American Mall and StonervilleMutt is a wild and surreal sketch-comedy-infused satire that skewers all political parties and burns down the entire racial house of cards. Chen’s play Caught recently concluded a sold-out run at La Mama in New York City and was hailed by The New York Times as an, “…intricately constructed, unrelentingly destabilizing puzzle of a play about the anatomy of truth and the provocative power of illusion.”

After Orlando, an evening of short plays in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting, will be staged on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 7 p.m., and The Trump Card on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 7 p.m., both taking place at the David Henry Hwang Theater at Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Mutt: Let’s All Talk About Race! will be presented on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum in the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy at 111 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. All events are free to the public. Please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/PoliticsInPlayEWP.

As the nation’s premier Asian American theatre organization, East West Players produces artistic work and educational programs that foster dialogue exploring Asian Pacific Islander (API) experiences. Founded in 1965, at a time when APIs faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape, EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation in the economy.

For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org. For more information about After Orlando: international theatre action, please visit www.nopassports.org and www.missingbolts.com.


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