East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is pleased to announce its 52nd Anniversary Season, The Company We Keep, which takes place from Fall 2017 through Summer 2018 and features co-productions with Rogue Artists Ensemble, The Robey Theatre Company, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC), and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, including two world premieres, an acclaimed revival, and the Los Angeles premiere of an award-winning Broadway musical.
“For our 52nd Anniversary Season, I thought a lot about the company we keep—the vital artistic and community partnerships that have supported and nurtured East West Players over the past 52 years. To that end, we are offering something no other theater company is doing: an entire season of co-productions. These extraordinary works reflect on and refract a wide range of Asian Pacific Islander experiences as seen through the lens of gender, race, and sexuality. We don’t shrink or hide. Instead, we stand taller, unafraid, and, most importantly, together. Welcome to The Company We Keep,” says EWP Artistic Director Snehal Desai.
EWP’s 52nd season commences with the world premiere of Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, a special event presented in association with Rogue Artists Ensemble—a collective of multi-disciplinary artists that creates Hyper-theater, an innovative hybrid of theater traditions, puppetry, mask work, dance, music, and modern technology—with support from Venturous Theatre Fund of The Tides Foundation, the Jim Henson Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Written by Lisa Dring, Rosie Narasaki, and Chelsea Sutton with Rogue Artists Ensemble, and directed by Rogue’s Artistic Director Sean T. Cawelti, Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin is a multi-sensory, site-specific experience refracting ancient Japanese ghost stories through a modern, multi-cultural lens, revealing the noise of our histories and the silences that haunt us. Performances run from October 5 – November 5, 2017 and will be staged at a secret Mid-City, six-story warehouse built in 1927, to be revealed after tickets have been purchased. More information at www.rogueartists.org.
EWP and The Robey Theatre Company—which explores, develops, and produces provocative plays written about the Global Black Experience—present the revival of Yohen, written by Philip Kan Gotanda, directed by The Robey’s Producing Artistic Director Ben Guillory, and starring Danny Glover, with support from the S. Mark Taper Foundation. In Japanese pottery, the term “yohen” refers to unpredictable changes that take place in the kiln. James and Sumi Washington are an interracial couple struggling to maintain their 37-year marriage after James retires from the US Army. The dramatic change in routine prompts questions about life, love, and aging, as the couple attempts to repair what’s broken and decide what is worth saving. Performances run from October 26 – November 19, 2017 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. More information at www.eastwestplayers.org
EWP and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)—one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the United States and a hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture in Southern California—and by special arrangement with Sing Out, Louise! Productions and ATA, present the Los Angeles premiere of the Broadway musical Allegiance. With music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito, Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione, Allegiance is inspired by the true childhood experiences of TV/film actor and social media icon George Takei (Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek”). Allegiance tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. Performances run from February 21 – April 1, 2018 at JACCC’s Aratani Theatre at 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. More information at www.eastwestplayers.org
EWP’s 52nd season closes with the world premiere of As We Babble On, presented in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and with support from the S. Mark Taper Foundation. Written by Nathan Ramos, winner of EWP’s “2042: See Change” playwriting contest, As We Babble On explores the pursuit of success, its costs, and conquering the Swedish BIGBOX. 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. Performances run from May 31 – June 24, 2018 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. More information at www.eastwestplayers.org
Single ticket sales will be announced at a later date. Season subscription options will be forthcoming in June 2017. For additional information about the 52nd season, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.
As the nation’s premier Asian American theatre organization, East West Players produces artistic work and educational programs that foster dialogue exploring Asian Pacific Islander (API) experiences. Founded in 1965, at a time when APIs faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape, EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation in the economy.
For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.