Asian American Theatre Artists Recognized as Best of 2017

Best of 2017

Los Angeles:

Asian American artists recognized in LA…including
Sandra Tsing Loh
Aditi Kapil
Snehal Desai and
East West Players (NEXT TO NORMAL, KAIDEN)
Christopher Chen’s CAUGHT


Mu Performing Arts’ Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s


Lauren Yee and KING OF THE YEES

Chicago’s Best Shows of 2017

Two Mile Hollow by Leah Nanako Winkler
We’re Gonna Die by Young Jean Lee

Apparently, Chicago finds Asian American playwrights funny; three of the top 5 comedies according to New City are by Asian American women (two by Lauren Yee and one by Leah Nanako Winkler). Also, Young Jean Lee is also a best pick:


Building the Wall” (Robert Schenkkan’s near-future, deportation-dystopia scenario) by Azeotrope;
Dragon Lady” by Sara Porkalob (Intiman),
Lauren Yee’s flawed but intriguing “King of the Yees” at ACT,

Asian American theatrical talent recognized in Seattle, including Sunam Ellis and Sara Porkalob…(and probably Khan Doan)

a racially-diverse Sweeney Todd, with the fabulous Corinna Lapid Munter as Mrs. Lovett
Seattle Public Theater’s The World of Extreme Happiness looked at life in China; Nadeshiko, by local playwright Keiko Green, also at Sound Theatre Company, told a Japanese tale, and ACT Theatre gave us a rousing Chinese American tale with King of the Yees.
ArtsWest also brought us a Pakistani American family story with The Who and the What.
Azeotrope’s Building the Wall
 Forward Flux Productions debuted a world premiere, No More Sad Things, about a native Hawaiian.

New York

Ma-Yi’s K-POP
Diana Oh
M. Butterfly

Exeunt NYC’s Most Memorable Theater 2017

Bay Area

Eric Ting, California Shakespeare

Shotgun Players produced Kimber Lee’s drama brownsville song (b-side for trey),

Crowded Fire Theater and TheatreWorks both tackled the topic with energy and imagination. Crowded Fire’s production of You for Me for Youby Mia Chung

At TheatreWorks, The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga saw local composer Min Kahng turn Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama’s 1931 comic The Four Immigrants Manga into an irresistible musical that, for all its exuberance, still managed to convey the darkness and weight of the immigrant experience. [Read my review of The Four Immigrants]

San Diego

Outstanding New Play
Hansol Jung – “Wild Goose Dreams,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding  Featured Performance in a Play, Male
Francis Jue  – “Wild Goose Dreams,” La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Sound Design
Joanna Lynne Staub – “Wild Goose Dreams,” La Jolla Playhouse
Melanie Chen – “At the Old Place,” La Jolla Playhouse

Most inspired use of imaginary penguins- Wild Goose Dreams


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