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The Story of Yu-Huan Receives New Production at Theater for the New City

Joanna Chan directs a multiethnic cast in the bilingual drama of eighth-century intrigue. logo
Ashley Liang (left) stars as Yu-Huan, with Ava Cheung, Alison T. Chi, and Lu Zhao as her sisters, in Yangtze Repertory Theatre's production of The Story of Yu-Huan, written and directed by Joanna Chan, at Theater for the New City.
(© Jonathan Slaff)

The Story of Yu-Huan, written and directed by Joanna Chan, is now being staged by the Yangtze Repertory Theatre at Theater for the New City. The bilingual drama incorporates dance and original music in a colorful spectacle that tells the tragic tale of Yu-Huan, an eighth-century woman whose hanging death marked the decline of the Tang Dynasty. The production will run through June 22.

Written in 1998, the play centers on Yu-Huan (Ashley Liang), an eighth-century woman born of royal lineage. At 15, she marries Prince Shou (Charles Pang), a son of Emperor Xuan Zong (Eric Zhang). When the Emperor falls in love with his daughter-in-law, he takes her from his son as his own. But when General An Lu-Shan (Alexander Reed) rebels against the Emperor, Yu-Huan is forced to bear the brunt of the people's rage and take her own life.

The play is performed in Mandarin and English by a multiethnic cast of 18. The ensemble includes Sheila Romo, Ave Cheung, Allison T. Chi, Lu Zhao, Ricky Lin, Alli Urbanik, XueMing Chen, Elisa Pupko, Sarah Young, Brandi Dyer, Jeremy Rafal, Gary Sugai, Bill Engst, and Michael Chang-Han Liu.

The Story of Yu-Huan features choreography by Ashley Liang, original music by XiRen Wang and Sam Wu, set design by Edward Morris, lighting design by Christina Watanabe, and costume design by Harrison Xu HaoJian.

Chan, whose theatrical career spans over four decades, cofounded Yangtze Rep and led it as artistic director for 22 years.

For tickets to The Story of Yu-Huan, click here.

Alexander Reed as General An LuShan in The Story of Yu-Huan.
(© Jonathan Slaff)