TWO MILE HOLLOW


By Leah Nanako Winkler
Directed by Jeff Liu
October 11 – November 4, 2018
When the Donnellys convene for a weekend in the Hamptons to gather their belongings from their recently sold estate, both an internal storm and literal storm brew. As this brood of famous, longing-to-be-famous, and kind of a mess but totally Caucasian family comes together with their non-white personal assistant, Charlotte, some really really really really really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed (over white wine). A parody coupled with moments of disorienting sincerity, Two Mile Hollow explores the dysfunctional family genre with brutality, awe, and compassion.

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Featuring

Jessica Jade Andres, Parvesh Cheena, Tim Chiou, Julia Cho and Emily Kuroda, 
with Eddie Liu, Rosie Narasaki and Rona Par


Creative Team

Scenic Design by Justin Huen
Costume Design by Ashphord Jacoway
Lighting Design by Martha Carter
Sound Design & Music Composition by Howard Ho
Properties by Michael O'Hara
Stage Manager Brandon Hong Cheng
Asst. Set Designer Austin Kottkamp
Asst. Stage Manager Lydia Runge

Performances

Thursday – Saturday at 8 pm
Sunday at 2 pm

Tickets

$20-$40
Groups (10+) e-mail AAP.BoxOffice@gmail.com for discounted tickets.

Theatre

The Lounge Theatre 1
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90038

TWO MILE HOLLOW Cast Q&A: Tim Chiou

What drew you to Two Mile Hollow?

Actually, Artists at Play. Their interest in the work led ME to be interested in the work because I know that they have a great eye on talent and are excellent at fostering incredible stories. Anything they are interested is always worth a look. Then I saw Leah Nanako Winkler’s Kentucky and was immediately blown away by her unique voice as a playwright. It is at once so raw and fresh and so witty and sophisticated. I told myself that it would be an achievement for me to be a good enough actor to pull off a play of hers, and so I took the opportunity when it came. So far, I'm failing wonderfully.

How would you describe your character?

I play Christopher Donnelly, the son of a famous movie star, and the epitome of privilege. He's handsome, charming, and rich — which for the right/white person is often more than enough to be successful in life. Of course, he's not without his own hang-ups, and just like the rest of the Donnellys, he's very good at convincing everyone around him that his struggles are incredibly deserving of your attention and sympathy. Rich, beautiful people have their problems too.

Why do you do theatre with small companies like Artists at Play?

What I like about small companies like Artists at Play is that they have such a pure respect for the artistry involved. Often times, the complexities of business and politics can shape the way a company will go about telling stories in theater. But the communities that surround smaller companies are quite direct and immediately connected to the art and the artists involved. When everyone involved — from the producers to the crew and the actors to the audiences — are so passionate about what is happening between them, there is such an incredible freedom to make magic happen. I think of companies like Artists at Play as the Kogi taco truck of the theatre scene: It may be different, you may be getting your theater without silverware, and you gotta eat on the curb, but there is absolutely no doubt that what is being served up is fresh and inspired.

Tim Chiou and Freda Foh Shen in the 2015 AAP Salon
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike 

What is your favorite "white people by the water play" and why?


Surprisingly, the number of "white people by the water plays" I have been exposed to (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?) is quite small. But I remember becoming aware of the genre when I saw that multiple productions of On Golden Pond were happening around me. I distinctly remembered discovering that it was such a beloved story, and both theater companies and audiences alike were excited to revisit the story. I looked up what the basic plot of the play was, and thought to myself, “Yo is it me, or is this EVERY play that is not a musical or August Wilson?” (Yes, I say “Yo” to myself.) Then I realized: as an Asian actor, this is an entire segment of theater that I just CANNOT be a part of. Flash forward many years later, and here I am, and it is kind of amazing. Now if there was only a way for me to do an August Wilson play ...

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TWO MILE HOLLOW Cast Q&A: Julia Cho

What drew you to Two Mile Hollow?
As soon as I was introduced to playwright Leah Nanako Winkler and her work, I loved the deft handling of uproarious comedy with dark themes. When Two Mile Hollow was first shared with Artists at Play, the family was written as white to be played by white actors but because part of AAP's mission is to showcase and provide opportunities for local artists of color, I had asked Leah if she would be open to more diverse casting. It's incredible to know that the script now mandates that these characters need to be played by POC. It does make the satire much more satirical!

How would you describe your character?
Mary is just so sad and creepy. But underneath that, she wants to be loved. And maybe that’s something that comes with a privileged upbringing where the parental figures aren’t as present or involved? She is saddled by a lot of issues but also maybe likes to wallow in playing the victim. I feel like there are so many female characters like that (usually white), those you find yourself wanting to yell at, “Get it together, girl!”

Why do you do theatre with small companies like Artists at Play?
Besides the fact that I'm one of the producing members? Unlike most TV or film sets, doing theatre especially with a smaller company provides such a communal familial experience. I also appreciate the smart, relevant, and exciting work being done by small companies. How many times do we need be to subject to the umpteenth production of whatever Western “classic” or touring production from New York—still cast with all or mostly white actors?

Dian Kobayashi, Julia Cho and Parvesh Cheena
in Two Mile Hollow (AAP Readings 2016)
What do you think a play like this contributes to Los Angeles theatre?
Two Mile Hollow is a great subversion of tired old tropes (including theatre itself!) but also a great gateway for those new to theatre. I love that it pokes fun at the very art form we work so tirelessly for. So those who are regular theatregoers will pick up on all the inside jokes. But even those who are not can enjoy this play and its eccentric characters, anyone who is familiar enough with the "white people problem" storylines so prevalent in media and society at large. We also have an incredible cast of Asian American actors plus a diverse creative team, to show that we're here, talented, and more than capable ... in case anyone claims they can't find us!

What is your favorite white TV family and why?
I naturally gravitated towards black family sitcoms when I was younger, because that was the closest I had to any sort of reflection of my family until All-American Girl was on for a hot second. I really did love The Cosby Show, which I can't really watch anymore for obvious reasons. I am kind of obsessed with The Crown. Talk about the ultimate white family! It's just fascinating to see how f*cked up people can be even with all that power and privilege.

What is your favorite “white people by the water play” and why?
I have a soft spot for Escape From Happiness by Charles Mee, though that family was firmly working class. Fun fact: I was the only non-white actor in the cast of my college production. It was a great source of pride for me, until I heard that there were fellow Asian American students in a theatre class complaining about why the lone Asian actor had to play “the crazy one.” But that's the thing: Everyone in that family was crazy, and yet they loved it each other fiercely.

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TWO MILE HOLLOW Q&A: Director Jeff Liu

What drew you to Two Mile Hollow?
The script was so smart and funny, and it was a chance to work with my colleagues at AAP.

How is the process different between working on a world premiere versus a published play? 
There is much greater participation from the writer on a world premiere. So you have privileged access to help figure out what they were thinking.

What's the best part about working on this show? Biggest challenges?
On each show, you get to put together the best possible team to come together in a room to tell a story, which is to say, to go on a marvelous new adventure with. I suspect this is why many of us love theater. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to fit a play this ambitious and grand into a relatively small space. But that's also part of what makes LA intimate theater so special.

What do you think a play like this contributes to Los Angeles theatre?
Works that have a distinctly diverse sensibility continue the mission of encouraging our field to more accurately reflect the city and country that it claims to serve and represent. In this instance, it's also a showcase for the wonderful talent in the Asian American community.

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TWO MILE HOLLOW Cast Q&A: Jessica Jade Andres

What drew you to Two Mile Hollow?
I love Leah and I love Artists at Play so the two combined was too irresistible to pass up!

Describe your character Charlotte.
Idealistic yet realistic, on edge yet has everything under control, codependent yet an individual; clever, lonely, intelligent and confused. Kind. Charlotte is complicated. 😊

Why do you do theatre with small companies like Artists at Play?
I like doing theatre with small theatre companies because they aren’t beholden to anyone. They have control over the message they are sending and the content they are producing. 

What is your favorite "white people by the water play" and why?
Most plays feel like white people plays to me ... only recently do you have playwrights stipulating POC casts. But I’m not familiar enough with any “water” plays to have a favorite!

Jessica Jade Andres in Two Mile Hollow
rehearsal with Parvesh Cheena

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TWO MILE HOLLOW Designer Q&A: Ashphord Jacoway

What drew you to Two Mile Hollow?
I was immediately drawn to the underlying dialogue of the play, which is calling out the underrepresentation of People of Color in casting decisions, specifically Asian Pacific Islander. I liked the idea of these POC playing White characters, as many movies as of late have had the reverse where White actors were cast to play characters culturally known to be POC (Ghost in the Shell, Doctor Strange, Aloha, etc.). I think it’s an important dialogue of our time and this play gives the opportunity to show POC can bring in the sales and numbers to a production.

What was your design inspiration for the show?
When I was asked what direction I would take if offered the design position, I shared this music video by Dumbfoundead. Take a moment to check it out. I'll wait ... So, the opening shot of the family really inspired me. Seeing POC playing outside their race for political effect. The use of blonde wigs, that looked natural and not forced. The Preppy clothing style, that harks to "Old Money" and its legacy. I really liked the aesthetic. With that being said, I also went to middle and high school right next to the University of Virginia and Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's Plantation) and thus, I grew up around lots of Prep style, and Ya'll, UVA is Classic Prep and Old Money with an Ivy League feel and a dash of conservatism. (In its defense, six months after the far right rallies and tragedies of last year, they elected their first Black Female Mayor). Overall I was inspired by my home in Charlottesville, and Prep Culture. Which goes a lot deeper than I thought. I wanted to do justice to the art of dressing Prep and my experiences growing up.

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What's the best part about working on this show? Biggest challenges?
I love that I am in a diverse setting where we can dialogue about anything. I am also fortunate that I have previously worked with multiple people in the cast and production team. It really feels like home. I also love it when my designs become a reality during the first fitting. It’s exciting to see all your hard work come to fruition. Honestly, there are two big challenges to this production. One is making these characters look wealthy and Preppy without going bankrupt. Two is drawing the line between caricature and honest representation of Preppy White Culture. The costumes can't be comical, they must be true and real. If they are overdone we run the risk of portraying Whiteface, so I have to find a balance that is honest yet recognizable by the audience. As for making these characters look wealthy, I give this example. A popular staple in Prep culture/style is a 3-button Navy Blazer. One of the preferred places to purchase one is Brooks Brothers. This simple, non-fitted blazer starts at $373.00 … On. Sale. Let that sink in. It has not been easy trying to find classic natural fiber pieces for a discount. My friends have been thrift stores in specific locations, where people who normally wear Preppy fashion may donate.

What do you enjoy most about being a costume designer?
As I had mentioned above, I really do enjoy seeing my designs come to life. That first fitting reaffirms all that I do. It means I can break down a character, take measurements to successfully find clothing that fits another human, and confirms my research. What it really comes down to is, I love to create something from nothing. I enjoy taking base ingredients and making something new. It's why I enjoy sewing. When it comes to design, I think of The Text as my base. The Text informs my research and then I can create a design, which in turn becomes the base for all the outfits I pull. I think of my designs as a puzzle, I get to figure out where I can find what, and it’s like this really fun game where I get to draw a picture and recreate it. That's what I love about costume design.

Learn more about Two Mile Hollow and buy tickets here.

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Be a Part of Two Mile Hollow


Artists at Play is spending the summer working hard in preparation for our fall mainstage show, Two Mile Hollow by Leah Nanako Winkler ... and we need your help!

We're very excited to work with playwright Leah Nanako Winkler and director Jeff Liu to present Two Mile Hollow with a 4-week run in Hollywood this October-November. This year we have challenged ourselves to elevate the quality of all production elements and increase compensation for the cast and creative team.

Donate to our fundraising campaign and help us bring to Los Angeles the world premiere of Two Mile Hollow! DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE and come with rewards at every level. We only have 3 WEEKS TO REACH OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL OF $10,000. Please view/share our fundraising page here.


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