Artists at Play ... at Play!

2015 marks Artists at Play's fifth anniversary of existence and as a "thank you" to our supporters and audiences, we will celebrate by performing for you!

On Friday, January 23, producers (from l. to r.) Julia, Stefanie, Nicholas, Peter and Marie-Reine will step out from behind the curtain with original short plays created from a place of absolute honesty. Theatre, YouTube shame, dating, food love/ issues ... nothing is off-limits in this frank exploration of the things we constantly think about.

Join us for a night of laughter, embarrassment, truth and probably more than one instance of stage awkwardness (because it's at least a little fun when the producers squirm a bit). Plus, we will announce our upcoming 2015 line-up. Happy New Year and let us entertain you!

Artists at Play ... at Play!

$15 pre-sale (BUY ONLINE)
$11-20 sliding scale at the door*
*Admission at the door is $10 + your draw from a deck of cards

Date and Time
Friday, January 23, 2015 at 8:30 p.m.
Doors open at 8 p.m. with pre-show reception

Armory Center for the Arts
145 Raymond Avenue, Pasadena
Directions and Parking

Beer and drink specials all night!

2014: Year in Review

As we now plan for our fifth season, Artists at Play will continue to present shows created by Asian American artists, stories of those underrepresented in Los Angeles theatre. Won't you make an online tax-deductible donation to join us in our mission? 

At the start of the new year, Artists at Play will host a January kick-off event and announce our next mainstage production. Along with the spring readings and summer fundraiser, our 2015 season will include a partnership with Center Theatre Group, plus some other events in the works. And as a new board member of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists, we will be working on a national level to improve diversity and inclusion in American theatre.

We hope you will help Artists at Play in 2015 with a tax-deductible donation, making you our partner in curating quality theatre in Los Angeles.


In 2014, Artists at Play was able to contribute to Los Angeles theatre with various readings and our fourth L.A. premiere production. Here’s a recap of the year…

In the spring, we shared with you two new plays as part of the Artists at Play Readings: She Kills Monsters: Adventurer's Edition by Qui Nguyen, a fun new version of an already published/produced work, along with the still-in-development Marabella by local playwright Boni B. Alvarez.

In the summer, we had a special benefit reading of The Parisian Woman by Beau Willimon (creator/executive producer of House of Cards). Hosted by Randy and Mari Tamura, the event featured Francois Chau, Amy Hill, Tamlyn Tomita and Trieu Tran. Attendees loved the diverse casting of a mainstream play, and those who saw the production at South Coast Repertory remarked how they preferred our cast!

In the fall, we produced the Los Angeles premiere of 99 Histories by the writer Julia Cho (not to be confused with founding member Julia Cho, who starred in the production). We were honored to present the "homecoming" for this play, which is set in Los Angeles and written 10 years ago.

This year, Artists at Play attended the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) national conference in San Diego as well as the 4th National Asian American Theater Festival & Conference in Philadelphia. Expanding on our local theatre presence, we are proud of our recent appointment to the board of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists and excited to help organize the next gathering of Asian American theatre professionals in 2016!

Artists at Play will continue to build upon the artistic quality and diversity of our past shows: Ching Chong Chinaman by Lauren Yee, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat, Cowboy Versus Samurai by Michael Golamco, and our most recent production, 99 Histories. You can offer your support here or here.

Thank you for another great season, and here's to 2015!

99 HISTORIES & Beyond

"99 Histories is the fourth annual mainstage offering of Artists at Play ... Its quality is something the young company can be proud of." (Mark Hein, Theatre Ghost)

Many thanks to all those who came to see the Los Angeles premiere of 99 Histories. After a year of preparation and with the talents of our cast and crew, Artists at Play was able to present another beautiful show to the L.A. theatre community.

Check out our opening night video, which includes audience reactions and glimpses of the production itself. If you would like to continue seeing such works, please consider supporting by making a tax-deductible donation.

Year after year, Artists at Play builds upon the artistic quality and professionalism of past shows. Adding 99 Histories to our repertoire, we are grateful for your support in our mission to curate quality theatre in Los Angeles.

Next year will mark Artists at Play's fifth season, which we have already been planning! Please stay in touch through Facebook, and/or Twitter, and keep up to date on all upcoming news and events.

99: The Long Life and Lasting Sacrifices of Turning American

by Leslie Ishii

Ishii (center) in rehearsal with actors David Huynh and Julia Cho

As the director of Artists at Play’s production of 99 Histories by Julia Cho, I went to work and researched down many-a rabbit holes that opened my imagination to create the richly detailed world of this play.  An American diagnosis of Schizophrenia as Korean Shamanism, a Korean Shaman dance, musical child prodigies, long-term caregiving, a household coping with being left father-less, husband-less, racial tensions and violence against Korean Americans, the Korean war, missionaries in Korea and Korean American Christianity, unplanned pregnancy, family secrets, memory, and immigrant mother-daughter estrangement, are the very real story elements woven into this complex play about what it has meant to become American.

Helen Zee writes in her book, “Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People”: 
Missing from the tons of newsprint and miles of videotape were…the tales of valiant women and men of Asian ancestry who struggled and sacrificed to make contributions to their country, the United States of America, and who wished to be seen as full Americans.  I’ve been struck time and again by how little is really known about us and the America we are part of; how the rich textures of who we are, why we are here, and what we bring to America remains so absent from the picture.

But a community as large, diverse, and dynamic as the Asian American and Pacific Islander peoples cannot stay on the edge of obscurity, frustrated by images that have rendered us invisible and voiceless….

And our play, as Helen Zee puts it, “…reflects conversations and stories that Asian Americans tell one another, about the challenges we’ve met, the people we’ve encountered, and the lessons we’ve drawn.  It’s about…evolving into an American people. 

Does mainstream America really know the details of becoming an American if you are of Asian descent or a person of color?  Does mainstream America really know what has made us Asian Americans who we are? 

I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of witnessing our cast and crew open to become vulnerable and empowered during the rehearsals and running of this play.  In our Hope Chest, for you, our audience, we have left you the telling of this story infused with all our hearts and souls that you might experience chung, love, healing, and the possibility of reclaiming yourself to come out the other side more whole and at peace with who you are in America.

I am so moved and grateful that Artist at Play stands by their mission to find and bring forth Asian American plays that have been given initial interest, then gone disappeared or fallen into obscurity.  99 Histories was produced 10 years ago at Mu Performing Arts in Minnesota, but has never been produced in Los Angeles where this play is set.  It is a true homecoming for this play.  It is our last week and I am so proud of these artists, our collaboration, and our histories!  Enjoy the show!!

99 HISTORIES Extended!

Due to popular demand, Artists at Play will be extending the run of 99 Histories to Sunday, October 5... adding three performances. That means three more chances for you to see this Los Angeles premiere!

• ThursdaySeptember 25 at 8pm 
• FridaySeptember 26 at 8pm 
• Saturday, September 27 at 8pm - SOLD OUT
Sunday, September 28 at 2pm  - SOLD OUT 
• Sunday, September 28 at 7pm

• Friday, October 3 at 8pm 
  (u/s Junot Lee in for David Huynh as "Paul")  
• Saturday, October 4 at 8pm 
  (u/s Desiree Mee Jung in for Julia Cho as "Eunice")  
• Sunday, October 5 at 2pm 
  (u/s Kimiko Ann in for Janice Pak as "Girl")

99 HISTORIES: Lighting Design Photos

Visit 99 Histories' Lighting Designer Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz's website to check out more photos from the show.

Get your tickets to 99 Histories! Now extended to October 5. 

99 HISTORIES: Opening Night

99 Histories has officially premiered in Los Angeles and audiences are loving the show! Watch this opening night video for audience reactions, interviews with the cast and producers, and clips from our production.