Magic Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh Announces Cast for Bay Area Premiere

Magic Chinese Lady To Debut

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 18, 2019) – Magic Theatre (Loretta Greco, Artistic Director and Kevin Nelson, General Manager) is pleased to

Mina Morita Magic Theatre Chinese Lady

Mina Morita

announce the complete cast and creative team for the Company’s first production of the 2019-2020 season, the Bay Area Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady, directed by Mina Morita. Previews begin on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at Magic Theatre’s Fort Mason location (Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94123), with a press opening on Wednesday, October 16 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $15 – $75 and are on-sale now at MagicTheatre.org.

“One of the joys of being a part of Magic is to experience playwrights over time, as their singular lens on the world sharpens,” said Artistic Director Loretta Greco. “There is perhaps no better example of this than the trajectory of  Lloyd Suh’s work as he has grown from an adventurous emerging playwright (American Hwangap, Jesus in India) into the gravitas of mid-career. We are thrilled to welcome Lloyd and his revelatory The Chinese Lady back home, to Magic, where this stirring play began.”
Lloyd Suh

Lloyd Suh

“It’s so meaningful to be able to bring this play to the Bay Area,” said playwright Lloyd Suh, “which was essential to the history it aims to excavate. It’s even more meaningful to bring it to Magic, which has been a critical artistic community to me for more than a decade. I’m honored and thrilled!”

“It is no small thing to consider whose gaze shapes history and therefore our current framing of the world,” said Director Mina Morita. “This conjuring of Afong Moy, a person who really lived in our midst, is a graceful act of purpose — a reshaping of our understanding.”

Inspired by the true story of the first Chinese woman to arrive on American soil, The Chinese Lady follows Afong Moy after she is

Rinabeth Apostol

Rinabeth Apostol

brought from China to America and put on display for an eager public yearning to learn of the exotic East. Leavened with humor and insight, Suh explores the way we consider both ourselves and others.

“Extraordinary…We look at Afong and see whole centuries of American History. She is no longer the Chinese lady. She is us.” – New York Times (Nov, 2018)
The Chinese Lady runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
The cast of The Chinese Lady features Rinabeth Apostol* as “Afong Moy” and Will Dao* as “Atung.”
In addition to Ms. Morita, the creative team includes Jacquelyn Scott (Set Design / Props Design), Abra Berman (Costume Design), Wen-Ling Liao** (Lighting Design), Sara Huddleston (Sound Design), Liz Matos* (Stage Manager) and Sonia Fernandez (Dramaturg / Local Casting). The scenery will be engineered and built by Acme Scenery Company.
The production personnel for The Chinese Lady are Sean Dunnington (Assistant Director), Amanda Marshall (Assistant Stage Manager), Kylie Joerger (Production Assistant), Brittany Price (Assistant Lighting Designer), Lyle Barrere of Desired Effect (Master Electrician), Michael Kelly (Sound Engineer), and Liz Kreter-Killian (Light Board Programmer).
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
**Member of United Scenic Artists local 829, which represents the designers and scenic painters for the American theatre.
Magic Theatre’s 2019-2020 season is produced by John Marx and Nikki Beach, Toni Rembe and Arthur Rock, Clay Foundation West, Sandra Hess, Kathryn Kersey , Martha Heasley Cox Foundation, Larry S. Goldfarb, and Buffington Miller.
The Chinese Lady is produced by Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin.
Magic Theatre’s Adopt-a-Play parents help to welcome the cast and production team into the Magic community by hosting welcoming events from the first day of rehearsal through the final performance. The Adopt-a-Play parent for The Chinese Lady is Katrina Wong.
ABOUT LLOYD SUH (PLAYWRIGHT)
Lloyd Suh is the author of The Chinese Lady, Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (NAATCO, Guthrie with Mu, and others), Franklinland(Jackalope), The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! (Children’s Theatre Company, Ma-Yi with La Mama, ArtsEmerson, Cultural Center of the Philippines), American Hwangap (Magic Theatre, Ma-Yi, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Halcyon/A-Squared, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea), Jesus in India(Magic, Ma-Yi), Great Wall Story (Denver Center), and others. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome, TCG, Dramatists Guild, and the New York Community Trust (Helen Merrill Award). He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.
ABOUT MINA MORITA (DIRECTOR)
Mina Morita (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director of Crowded Fire Theater [CFT], a critically acclaimed, intrepid company dedicated to developing a fierce contemporary theater canon that reflects the plurality of our world. Her directing credits include: Crazy Wisdom by Scoop Nisker at Berkeley Rep, Sisters Matsumoto by Philip Kan Gotanda at CenterRep, By and By by Lauren Gunderson and The Great Divide by Adam Chanzit at Shotgun Players, and Both Your Houses by Susan Soon He Stanton – a co-commission between ACT and Crowded Fire. CFT directing credits include Church and The Shipment by Young Jean Lee (TBA nominated for best co-direction), Idris Goodwin’s Blackademics, Christopher Chen’s A Tale of Autumn, and Banish Darkness – an immersive collaboration between orchestral Hip-hop, dance, and poetic theater. Previously, she served as the Artistic Associate at Berkeley Rep and in 2016, she was chosen as one of the YBCA100 for “asking questions and making provocations that will shape the future of culture.”
ABOUT RINABETH APOSTOL* (“AFONG MOY”)
Rinabeth (she/her/hers) is happy to return to the Magic where she was last seen in Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters. 2018-2019 season projects include House of Joy(CalShakes), Vietgone at Capital Stage, King of The Yees (SF Playhouse), A Thousand Splendid Suns (Seattle Rep, ACT) and the world premieres of Two Mile Hollow (Ferocious Lotus); and we, the invisibles (Humana Festival, ATL). Select credits include: The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga (TheatreWorks); the west coast premiere of peerless (Marin Theatre Company; BATCC Award winner, Principal Actress in a Play), The Hard Problem and Monstress (ACT), Eugenie Chan’s Madame Ho, Othello (Marin Theatre Company), Aliens with Extraordinary Skills (B Street Theatre), The Kite Runner and Of Mice and Men (San Jose Rep), and Red (TheatreWorks), as well as collaborations with Berkeley Rep, Playwrights Foundation, Crowded Fire, and Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, among others. Apostol also appears onscreen in several independent films, commercials, and national campaigns. She is a proud member of PlayGround, Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company, and SAG/AFTRA. Up next: Groundhog Day at SF Playhouse. www.rinabeth.com
ABOUT WILL DAO* (“ATUNG”)
Will Dao (he/him/his) is thrilled to return to the Magic where he has previously participated in the Asian Explosion and Virgin Play Festivals! He spent four seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where he played Rocket Wu in Snow in Midsummer, Sam/Juliet in Shakespeare in Love, Peter Simple in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Asian Guy/American Guy/Nhan/Khue in Vietgone, Cleomenes in The Winter’s Tale, and Demetrius in Antony and Cleopatra. He was recently seen as Actor 3 in San Francisco Playhouse’s King of the Yees. Additional credits include work with AATC, A.C.T., Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Bindlestiff, Central Works, Crowded Fire, Golden Thread, Killing My Lobster, LATC, NYMTF, Playground, Playwrights Foundation, Seattle Rep, Shotgun Players, and Theatreworks. He is a proud company member of Ferocious Lotus. He holds a B.A. in Theater and East Asian Studies from Oberlin College. ILYM, MGS.www.willdao.com.
ABOUT LORETTA GRECO (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, MAGIC THEATRE)
Loretta Greco is currently in her twelfth season as Magic Theatre’s Artistic Director. At Magic, she has developed and premiered Taylor Mac’s Hir; Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus el Rey; Polly Pen and Victor Lodato’s Arlington; Sharr White’s Annapurna; Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap; and Octavio Solis’ Se Llama Cristina. Ms. Greco’s directing credits at Magic include Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius, Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters, the revival of Sam Shepard’s Fool For Love, and the World Premiere of Han Ong’s Grandeur and the World Premieres of Barbara Hammond’s The Eva Trilogy and Jessica Hagedorn’s The Gangster of Love.
Ms. Greco’s New York Directing premieres include: Tracey Scott Wilson’s The StoryLackawanna Blues (Obie) by Ruben Santiago Hudson, Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano at NYSF/Public Theater, Rinne Groff’s Inky at Women’s Project, and Nilo Cruz’s A Park in Our House at New York Theatre Workshop. Prior to her Magic post, she served as Producing Artistic Director of New York’s Women’s Project and the Associate Director/Resident Producer at the McCarter Theatre. Ms. Greco received her MFA from Catholic University, her BA from Loyola University New Orleans, and has received two Drama League Fellowships and a Princess Grace Award.
Magic Theatre’s 2019-2020 season will continue with Nassim (November 12 – November 17, 2019), the 2019 Martha Heasley Cox Virgin Play Festival (December 2019), Don’t Eat The Mangos (February 26 – March 22, 2020) and Escaped Alone (April 14 – May 10, 2020). Subscriptions and additional information are available at MagicTheatre.org.
Magic Theatre is located in the Marina District of San Francisco, at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, 3rdFloor, San Francisco, CA 94123). The entrance to Fort Mason is at the intersection of Marina Blvd and Buchanan Street. The performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets, priced from $15 – $75, are available online at MagicTheatre.org; by calling Magic Theatre at (415) 441-8822; or visiting Magic Theatre’s Box Office,Tuesday – Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates, the Box Office is open Tuesday – Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday one hour prior to the show. For more information, visit MagicTheatre.org.
About Magic Theatre
Now celebrating its 53rd year of continuous operation, Magic is dedicated to creative risk: we cultivate bold new plays and playwrights to produce incendiary and ideologically robust stories that ask substantive questions about our place in humanity. Magic provides a nurturing yet rigorous artistic home where innovative writers can create a body of work. We believe that developing an evolved
artistic vocabulary with the playwright at our side greatly improves a playwright’s chances to thrive. By adding voices to the canon, we ensure the vibrancy of the American theatre.
Magic’s impact has resonated throughout the country and beyond since its founding by John Lion in 1967; Lion brought in Sam Shepard and Michael McClure as playwrights-in-residence, establishing Magic as a space for the communion of playwright and audience. From these early plays to the World Premieres of Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus el Rey and Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge and Hir, Magic continues to produce groundbreaking new work.
Since Artistic Director Loretta Greco assumed leadership of Magic in 2008, the theatre has produced twenty world premieres, seventeen of which have enjoyed life beyond the Magic stage. Magic plays have received numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize, ten Obie Awards, the Kennedy Center Award, Bay Area Critics’ Circle Awards, and the NAACP Image Award.

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