This series of readings of new works from Asian American playwrights is an artistic incubator for thoughts and ideas looking to be born onto the stage.
WHAT IS A STAGED READING?
A staged reading is a form of theater without sets or full costumes. The actors read from scripts and incorporate minimal stage movement. The purpose is to gauge the effectiveness of the dialogue, pacing and flow, and other dramatic elements that the playwright or director may wish to adjust. Audience feedback also contributes to the process.
Saturday, March 17 at 1p.m.
Seven Fingers, One Crash
Planet Delano relies on the Manongs, the hardest working people in history, to harvest the largest Space Grape crop in the entire galaxy. A one-person show inspired by the 1965 Delano Grape Strike.
Eric "Pogi" Sumangil, playwright
Eric “Pogi” Sumangil has been one of the most often-mispronounced names in the Twin Cities theater community for the past 18 years. He has performed locally at Park Square Theatre, Jungle Theater, Theater Mu, Frank Theatre, Children’s Theater Co., Ordway Center, Mixed Blood Theatre, History Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, and Guthrie Theater. Other Regional Theaters include La Jolla Playhouse, and Mo’olelo Performing Arts. As a playwright, his work has received staged readings at Second Generation in NYC, and locally at History Theatre and Theater Mu, as well as productions at Minnesota Fringe Festival and History Theatre.
A native Minneapolitan, he is a proud member of AEA and considers his Union membership a connection to his Filipino American roots. He is also a two-time recipient of the Playwrights’ Center’s Many Voices Fellowship, a recipient of the Fil-Minnesotan Association Excellence in the Arts Award, and he once got his name on a plaque for eating a 3-pound steak.
Saturday, March 17 following Seven Fingers, One Crash
A Long Time Ago Today
Writer May Lee-Yang weaves history, folktales, and her personal life to show how Hmong people use stories to make sense of the world around them: How did the Moon and Sun come to rule Night and Day? Why are some people left-handed and others right-handed? How do you keep culture and stories alive without books? What happens to people if they forget where they’re from?
May Lee-Yang, playwright
May Lee-Yang is a playwright, performance artist, and teaching artist. Her works have been presented through Mu Performing Arts, the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), Intermedia Arts as well as nationally at Out North Theater (Anchorage) and the National Asian American Theater Festivals in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. In 2014, she launched Letters to Our Grandchildren, a theater/food/storytelling/ video project with Hmong elders. She is a 2016 recipient of the Ordway Sally Award for Arts Access and a 2011 Bush Leadership Fellow. She has received additional support for her artwork from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the MRAC Next Steps Grant, the Jerome Travel Grant, the National Performance Network, the Midwestern Voices and Visions Residency Award, the Playwright Center, and the Kundiman Retreat.
Saturday, March 17 at 3:30 p.m.
The Brothers Paranormal
Two Thai-American brothers launch a ghost-hunting business in order to capitalize on the nationwide increase in sightings of “Asian-looking ghosts.” When the siblings end up investigating the home of an African-American couple that claims to be haunted by one very terrifying spirit, everyone’s notions of reality, fantasy, and sanity clash against the shocking truth.
Prince Gomolvilas, Playwright
Prince Gomolvilas’s plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love, which was the first of his three shows produced by East West Players, the nation’s longest-running theater of color; The Theory of Everything, which won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama and was published by Dramatic Publishing; and Mysterious Skin, the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel. His work has been staged across the United States, as well as in Canada, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. He has received new-play commissions from Geva Theatre Center and South Coast Repertory, as well as from the education departments at the Alley Theatre and TheatreWorks. His work has been developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, The Lark Theatre Company, and Ma-Yi Theatre Company. He received his MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.
Saturday, March 17 at 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 17 at 7 p.m.
Hot Asian Doctor Husband
Following the death of her Japanese mother Emi, a hapa woman of 29 has a nervous breakdown. So she does what every normal would do: dump her perfect white boyfriend of four years in search for a hot Asian doctor Husband she can have mixed-race babies with and retain her Asian culture. As Emi navigates the harsh realities of modern dating as an Asian woman, this brutal, yet often heart-warming comedy asks the question: is love truly blind? Or are our relationships just a carefully curated conglomeration of our own racial bias?
Leah Nanako Winkler, playwright
Leah Nanako Winkler, Two Mile Hollow’s playwright, is a Japanese American playwright from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington Kentucky. Her plays have been published in Nanjing University’s Stage and Screen Reviews, Smith and Krauss, Sam French, and Dramatists Play Service. She was an artist in residence at New Group/Urban Arts Initiative, a winner of the 2015 Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, a 2015 and 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee, a two time recipient of the A/P/A commission for the Japanese American National Museum, a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship for Creative Writing, a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Playwrights Group, a 2016 Sloan Commission recipient with the Ensemble Studio Theatre, a commissioned writer with 2G, a 2016-2018 Time Warner fellow at the Women’s Project, an alumnus of Youngblood, and a 2017 Sundance/Ucross Fellow. Two Mile Hollow is listed on the New Play Exchange and was selected for the 2017 Kilroys List. The New York Times called her a “distinctive new voice.”