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. Opening Sunday, August 21, the production will run until September 11 at The Lounge Theatre.

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 Carré. 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 and 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. She is a founding member of AAP and a Producing Artistic Leader. Cho 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 11


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

2016 AAP Summer Salon

Melody Butiu (Broadway's Doctor Zhivago), John Cho (Star Trek), 
Kerri Higuchi (TV's "Grey's Anatomy") and Reggie Lee (TV's "Grimm")

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Armory Center for the Arts
145 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103

11 a.m. Brunch
12 p.m. Special Presentation of Dinner with Friends

$70 per person
To make a reservation, please e-mail

About the Play: Ever since Karen and Gabe played matchmaker with their friends Beth and Tom, the two couples have been inseparable—going to the Vineyard every summer, raising their kids and enjoying countless dinners together. But when one marriage unexpectedly crumbles, the couples' lives begin to veer in opposite directions. Can these four friends move on to the next chapter without moving apart … or have they changed beyond recognition? Wryly funny and richly layered, Dinner With Friends is a modern masterpiece about the path you choose, the millions you don’t and the detours that make it worth the ride. Dinner with Friends won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000.

The AAP Summer Salon is an opportunity to incorporate diverse casting for a popular play that does not require but is consistently cast with all white actors.

This event supports Artists at Play’s upcoming world premiere production of 
The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching.


Support the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA)

Artists at Play Producing Artistic Leader Stefanie Lau
It took a few years for me to find my identity as an arts administrator, and to figure out my role in the 50-plus-year history of Asian American theatre. In 2003 I represented East West Players at a Theatre Communications Group retreat for theatres of color. That’s where I met Mia Katigbak (National Asian American Theatre Company), Jorge Ortoll (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), Rick Shiomi (Mu Performing Arts), and representatives from Pan Asian Theatre and Second Generation. I was intimidated at first. How could I contribute to the conversation about Asian American theatre when I had only worked in the field for a few years and everyone else around me had dedicated decades of their lives?

But I quickly realized that “new” is what sustains theatre. Theatre grows and thrives because there are always new stories to tell, new innovative artists to work with, new technologies to integrate into our productions and new ways to connect with audiences. Asian American theatre is about forging forward with the experiences of the past and all possibilities of the future.

I finally understood that as a young arts administrator, an emerging arts leader, that I had to step up, use my voice and contribute alongside the veterans of our field. That it would take intergenerational collaboration to continue the movement of Asian American theatre and to assume our rightful place in American theatre.

The national gatherings organized by the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists is the epitome of that collaboration. It’s an opportunity for theatre practitioners of all backgrounds, experiences and disciplines to come together and imagine what Asian American theatre can and should be.

Planning for the 5th National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival is underway. We hope that you can support the future of Asian American theatre by contributing to our Indiegogo campaign.

Stefanie Lau represents Artists at Play as a board member of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA), which hosts the biennial National Asian American Theater Festival and Conference (ConFest). Scheduled for October 1-8, ConFest is a week of performances, panel discussions, plenary and breakout sessions, new play readings, parties, networking and more. Please join us in supporting this year's gathering at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, titled "Seismic Shifts: Leading Change in the American Theater," by contributing to our crowd-funding campaign:

Through the generosity of Drs. Judy Shih and Joel Axelrod, major donors to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, every dollar raised through our campaign will be matched to double our impact in providing assistance to artists attending ConFest.

Artists at Play Readings 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016

12 p.m. - As We Babble On
2 p.m. - Mid-day Reception/Hosted Bar
3 p.m. - Two Mile Hollow

East West Players
120 Judge John Aiso Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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 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 plays by Asian American playwrights that feature hugely diverse casts. Artists at Play presents these readings in conjunction with East West Players.

The readings will be presented in conjunction with East West Players, on Sunday, March 20, at East West Players. As We Babble On will be presented at 12 p.m., and Two Mile Hollow at 3 p.m.

Each reading will be followed by a talkback. A $13 ticket includes the mid-day reception and hosted bar. (All readings are complimentary)

Get Your Tickets!

AS WE BABBLE ON by Nathan Ramos

Artists at Play is proud to present As We Babble On by Nathan Ramos as part of our annual spring reading series on Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 12 p.m.

The Play
As We Babble On explores the pursuit of success, its costs and how our drinking habits change with money. Benji, a first generation Asian American struggles in New York City to find his voice as his writing career stalls. As the professional paths of his best friend Sheila and his half sister Laura begin to blossom, he begins to unravel. As We Babble On explores what lengths we are willing to go to realize our dreams, whether morality is tied to upward mobility and whether boxed wine and soda is an appropriate sangria recipe after the age of 24. Winner of of East West Players’ 2042: See Change Playwriting Competition.

The Playwright

Nathan Ramos is honored to share his debut play As We Babble On here on the West Coast. An Ohio native currently in New York City, he splits his time between writing, acting, and teaching. As an actor he has performed regionally and in New York, Off-Broadway. As a teacher he has worked with the Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, OH, as well as various New York City institutions. He is currently penning a musical about an academic decathlon. Nathan has a BFA in Acting from Ohio University.

The Director
Snehal Desai, director
Snehal Desai is the Associate Artistic Director at East West Players (EWP) in Los Angeles. At EWP, he recently directed the rock musical The Who’s Tommy and the world premiere of A Nice Indian Boy. Other directorial credits include: Free Outgoing (Boom Arts-Portland), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Old Globe), Peregrine: Balboa Park (Old Globe) and Shakuntala (James Madison) and Baal (Yale). Snehal was the inaugural recipient of the Drama League’s Classical Directing Fellowship. He is also a member of the inaugural class of Theater Communication Group's Spark Leadership Program and recently named as a Theater Maker to Watch by American Theatre magazine. As a director, Snehal has worked at the Public, the Old Globe, La Mama, the Old Vic, Ars Nova, the Lark and PS122. He is a former resident director with Theater Emory and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Snehal is a recipient of a Doris Duke Grant, the Tanne Award and a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship. He was a literary fellow with the Royal Shakespeare Company and a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. As a playwright, Snehal has toured his solo show, Finding Ways to Prove You’re Not an Al-Qaeda Terrorist When You’re Brown, across the United States. He holds a MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

The Dramaturg
Michael Golamco’s plays (Build, Year Zero, Cowboy Versus Samurai) have been produced at NYC’s Second Stage Theatre, the Geffen Playhouse, Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Guthrie, LA’s Colony Theater and many others both nationally and internationally. He has received playwriting commissions from Second Stage, South Coast Repertory and the Geffen, and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists. As a screenwriter, Michael has sold pilots to NBC, WB Television and ABC Family; he currently writes for NBC’s “Grimm.”  His latest feature film is Please Stand By—from the producers of Juno and Up in the Air, starring Dakota Fanning, Toni Collette and Alice Eve.  

The Cast

Jasmin Savoy Brown, Zoë Chao, Daniel Vincent Gordh, 
Marc Pelina, Daniel Segura.