2019 Artists at Play Readings



April 4 at 7 p.m.

Bonobos by Lina Patel

April 11 at 7 p.m.
This is Not a True Story by Preston Choi

USC Pacific Asia Museum
46 N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, California 91101

Bonobos
by Lina Patel
directed by Sara Israel

This is Not a True Story
by Preston Choi
directed by Reena Dutt

Continuing our mission to present stories of underrepresented communities, Artists at Play will develop and showcase these new works to the Los Angeles theatre community. In the midst of a national discussion on the lack of diversity and representation, we are proud to present two new plays by emerging playwrights of Asian descent with distinct voices that feature diverse casts. 

The readings will be at USC Pacific Asia Museum. Bonobos will be presented on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m., and This is Not a True Story on Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m.


2018 Donors

Artists at Play would like to give special acknowledgement to the following donors who provided exceptional support in 2018:


Randy & Mari Tamura
Dr. Gay Q. Yuen
Monique Kim
Lindsey Willis
Aaron & Tori Pulkka
Anaïs Thomassian & Voki Kalfayan
Michael Golamco
Suellen & Munson Kwok
Alan Pao


Thank you to the individuals who have contributed to Artists at Play in 2018. (Listing as of December 31, 2018.)


Aaron Takahashi
Aaron & Tori Pulkka
Aileen Kamoshita
Alan Pao
Albert E. Aubin
Alejandra Cisneros
Alexander Choi
Alma Martinez
Aly Mawji
Amber Benson
Amy & Peter Guei
Amy Lew
Amy Tofte
Anaïs Thomassian & Voki Kalfayan
Andrew Crabtree
Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theatre
Bonnie Lui
Camille Mana
Carla Ching
Cecil Lee
Cesar Ramos
Chloé Hung
Charity Wu
Christian Mante
Christina O'Connell
Christine Linnell
Cynthia Tam
Daniel Vincent Gordh
Daria Yudacufski
Denise Iketani
Dennis Yen
Dore Wong
Dorothy Tamashiro
Elaine Loh
Ellen Thornton
Erin Wert
Fran de Leon
Freda Shen
Glenn Omatsu
Greg Watanabe
Helen Ota & Michael C. Palma
Howard & Sumi Yata
J. Sharon Yee
Jane & Ryan Sands
Jeffery Mio
Jennifer Perez
Jennifer Tsao
Jennifer Zheng
Jenny Song
Joy Regullano
Joyce Liu-Countryman
Joyce Tamanaha
Joyce Sharlene Adgate
Julianne Tetreault
Jully Lee
Karen Ito
Kathie Kingett
Katie Porter
Kelly & Robert Jue
Kelly O’Neil
Ken Mu
Kimiko Miyashima
Linda Lau
Lindsey Willis
Lloyd Lee
Lynn Arthurs
Madhuri Shekar
Magdalena Guillen
Maggie Ham
Mandy Ratliff
Mariano Velez
Marilynn Fong
Mark J. Pascual
Melissa Barbour
Michael Cheng
Michael Golamco
Miki Yamashita
Monica Lee
Monique Kim
Naomi Hirahara
Nicole & Daniel Callahan
Noel Joven
Parvesh Cheena
Paul Kikuchi
Peter J. Kuo
Philip & Frances Chinn
Phoebe Hyun
Randy & Mari Tamura
Rebecca Wear
Ricardo Figueroa
Roger Tang
Ronalee Miyasaki
Sarah Lau
Steven D. Wong
Suellen & Munson Kwok
Tara McPherson
Tatiana Jimenez
Teresa Huang
Theresa Hardjadinata
Thomas Wong
Tim Dang
Tim Miller
Tina Huang
traci kato-kiriyama
Tricia Ong
Vicki & Paul Shinto
Zonia Evidente

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Artists at Play, please visit our non-profit fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas: http://bit.ly/AAPFracturedAtlas

To explore other ways to support Artists at Play, please contact us at ArtistsAtPlayLA@gmail.com


TWO MILE HOLLOW


By Leah Nanako Winkler
Directed by Jeff Liu
October 11 – November 11, 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.

...

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 ...

Learn more about Two Mile Hollow and buy tickets.

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.

Learn more about Two Mile Hollow and buy tickets.

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.

Learn more about Two Mile Hollow and buy tickets.

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

Learn more about Two Mile Hollow and buy tickets.