Support Artists at Play in 2017

2016 was a watershed year for Artists at Play! We received our first feature article and first review in the Los Angeles Times; continued our partnership with Center Theatre Group's The Shop to present play readings in Boyle Heights; and as a member of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists, helped plan the 5th National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival.

WATCH THE VIDEO of our first world premiere, The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up.

As we close our sixth season, Artists at Play is already planning for a new year of theatre and we aim to make it better than ever. Your tax-deductible donation supports the following:
  • New Los Angeles-based artistic partnerships
  • More local & national advocacy for diversity onstage
  • Increased opportunities to work with emerging and established playwrights 
  • Artists at Play's mission to tell stories from communities underrepresented in theatre

In the spirit of the holiday season, we hope you will help Artists at Play in 2017 with a 
year-end tax-deductible donation. Your contribution makes you our partner in curating quality theatre in Los Angeles.

Happy Holidays,
Artists at Play

Producing Artistic Leaders Marie-Reine Velez, Stefanie Lau and Julia Cho,
with Producing Member Nicholas Pilapil.


Artists at Play in association with 2g 
present a new play reading of

Mei Ann Teo

Lily Tung Crystal, Meghan Kreidler, Randy Reyes, James Ryen, Kristina Wong

Friday, October 7, 2016

as part of the
National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival

About the Play: A parody coupled with moments of disorienting sincerity, Two Mile Hollow explores the dysfunctional family with brutality, awe and compassion. When the Donnellys gather for a weekend in the country to hash out belongings from their recently sold estate, an emotional storm breaks inside while a literal storm brews outside. As this family of famous, longing-to-be-famous, and kind-of-a-mess-but-totally-Caucasian characters come together with their personal assistant, Charlotte, some really really really really really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed (over white wine).


Artists at Play is proud to present as our 2016 mainstage show the world premiere of The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching, directed by Jeremy Lelliott. 

As kids, Max and Diana meet on their parents' date, then are kicked out of the house so their parents can get it on. They are forced to play together even though they aren't really that fond of each other. Through over two decades of their parents' tumultuous relationship of getting together, breaking up, getting married and then divorced, Max and Diana are perpetually forced together and become the most unlikely of friends. They see each other through their own marriages and divorces, rehabs and spin-outs, career rejiggerings and epic life fails. But when they actually fall into each other, will they lose the only family they've ever known? A play about falling in and out of love with your best friend.

The Playwright
photo credit: Elizabeth Caren
A Los Angeles native, Carla Ching stumbled upon pan-Asian performance collective Peeling at the Asian American Writers Workshop and wrote and performed with them for three years, which she still considers her first theater training.

Her plays include Nomad Motel (2015 O’Neill Playwrights Conference), Fast Company (South Coast Repertory, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Lyric Stage, Pork Filled Productions; recipient of the Edgerton New American Play Award), TBA  (2g), The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi Theater Company), and The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (also forthcoming from Mu Performing Arts).

Alumna of The Women’s Project Lab, the Lark Play Development Center Writers Workshop and Meeting of the Minds, the CTG Writers’ Workshop and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Former Artistic Director of Asian American Theater Company, 2g.

TBA is published in Out of Time and Place. Fast Company is published by Samuel French. BA, Vassar College. MFA, New School for Drama. Proud member of New Dramatists and The Kilroys. On television, Carla has written on USA’s "Graceland," AMC’s "Fear the Walking Dead" and is currently writing on Amazon’s "I Love Dick."

The Director
Jeremy Lelliott is the founding artistic director of Coeurage Theatre Company where he has overseen more than 30 mainstage productions. Directing highlights for the company include Romeo & Juliet, Andronicus, The Woodsman, and Vieux CarrĂ©. He has acted in several Coeurage productions including Assassins and most recently The Pitchfork Disney. Lelliott has appeared in productions at The Pasadena Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Independent Shakespeare Company, The Chance Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, and Disney on Broadway, among many others, and he has acted in several productions with MainStreet Theatre Company in Rancho Cucamonga. Lelliott holds a BFA in Film Production (Directing) from Loyola Marymount University ('05) and an MFA in Acting from California State University, Fullerton ('09). He proudly serves on the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Rules Committee.

The Actors
Nelson Lee (Max) Theatre credits include Carla Ching’s Fast Company (South Coast Repertory), Maple and Vine (The City Theatre in Pittsburgh; A.C.T.) and Outside People (Naked Angles/Vineyard Theatre). His film and television credits include “Stitchers,” “Oz,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Covert Affairs” and Virtuality.

Julia Cho (Diana) Film and television credits include “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” “Goliath,” “Scandal,” and Sounds We Have No Letters For. Cho has performed/toured with East West Players, Will & Company and Word for Word (San Francisco). Other theatre credits include multiple Artists at Play productions and readings for Playwrights' Arena, Pasadena Playhouse and Center Theatre Group. Originated the role of Diana in AAP's 2015 staged reading of The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up.

The Creative Team
Scenic Design by Se Oh
Costume Design by Rachel Stivers
Lighting Design by Alexander Le Vaillant Freer
Sound Design by Jesse Mandapat
Dramaturg Andrew Knight
Movement Specialist Donna Eshelman
Properties Coordinator by Erin Walley
Stage Manager Jonathan Castanien
Production Manager Jenna Riley
Asst. Stage Manager Cailin Luneburg

Artists at Play is thrilled to share this new work by playwright Carla Ching, with long-time L.A. theatre colleague Jeremy Lelliott bringing his insight and vision to this world premiere. Can't wait to introduce to you The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up ...

Previews: August 18, 19, 20 
Opening: August 21 
Closing: September 4

Interview with Costume Designer Rachel Stivers

Initial costume renderings by Rachel Stivers

What is your favorite part of designing a show?
I think fittings are always my favorite part. You get to see whether your ideas work and on this play specifically the director and the playwright were there too. And it was great to have their thoughts and notes right on the spot. That kind of creative problem solving is what I really love.

Fun fact: I have designed many shows with Julia Cho in the them and in every one she wears some of my personal clothes! It's always a kick to see them on stage.


THE TWO KIDS: Venue & Parking

To those of you coming to a performance of The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up, we look forward to seeing you at the show!

For your convenience, here is additional information about how to find the theatre, including a map of the area. Free and metered street parking is available. Please make sure to give yourself enough time to find parking and check the street signs for any restrictions. The box office opens one hour before performance time.

The Lounge Theatre 2
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

For performances on Saturday, August 20 and Saturday, August 27, be aware that a few blocks from the theatre, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery has summer movie screenings. These events will severely impact traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. and parking around the theatre. On these days, we recommend exiting the 101 Freeway on Sunset Blvd. or Melrose Ave. and taking Gower St. towards the theatre. Also please give yourself ample time to find parking.


Help fund our 6th mainstage production, the world premiere of The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching. We have 3 WEEKS TO REACH OUR GOAL OF $9,000

We're very excited to work with playwright Carla Ching (TV's "Fear the Walking Dead") and present The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up with a 4-week run in Hollywood this August-September. This year we have challenged ourselves to elevate the quality of all production elements and our commitment to new play development. 

Through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. Please consider donating and/or sharing our project with friends and colleagues. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

2016 Season

Mainstage Production
August-September 2016

The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up
World Premiere
by Carla Ching
directed by Jeremy Lelliott

After developing the play in the 2015 Artists at Play Reading Series, we are thrilled to present the world premiere of The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching. The play follows Diana and Max who meet at 10 years old, the day their parents start fucking. In the ensuing 18 years, their parents break up, get back together, marry and divorce. And they see each other through it all, trying not to make the same mistakes their parents did. A play about trying not to fall in love with your best friend so you end up hating them. Opens August 21 at the Lounge Theater.
Ching Chong Chinaman (2011), Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (2012),
Cowboy Versus Samurai (2013), 99 Histories (2014), In Love and Warcraft (2015)

AAP Summer Salon
Sunday, May 28, 2016

Dinner with Friends
by Donald Margulies
directed by Peter J. Kuo
featuring Melody Butiu, John Cho, Kerri Higuchi, Reggie Lee

Artists at Play presented their annual Summer Salon at the Armory Center for the Arts. Starring John Cho and a stellar Asian American cast whose credits span film, television and Broadway, this was an opportunity to incorporate diverse casting for a popular play or musical that does not require but is consistently cast with all white actors.

Artists at Play Readings

Sunday, March 20, 2016

by Nathan Ramos
directed by Snehal Desai
dramaturg: Michael Golamco

by Leah Nanako Winkler
directed by Deena Selenow
dramaturg: Michael Golamco

Continuing our mission to present stories of underrepresented communities, Artists at Play helped 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 proudly presented two plays by Asian American playwrights that featured hugely diverse casts. Presented in conjunction with East West Players.

Artists at Play Readings