East West Players, L.A.’s foremost producer of Asian American theater, has announced its 2024 season, which kicks off with Lisa Sanaye Dring’s Kairos. It will play the David Henry Hwang Theater in the Union Center of the Arts April 4-28. Opening night is April 7.
According to an official description, “Kairos is the story of two people falling in love during a tectonic shift in society. Their nascent relationship is tested by the advent of Prometheus, a procedure that grants immortality to a select few. What happens to commitment, meaning, and care when linear time breaks open?” Jesca Prudencio (Interstate: A New Musical) directs.
The season continues with the world premiere of Philip W. Chung’s Unbroken Blossoms, which will play the Hwang Theater June 27 – July 21. According to press material, “Wong, an idealistic family man, and James, a cynical, aspiring filmmaker, are hired as the Chinese American consultants for Broken Blossoms, Hollywood’s first onscreen interracial love story… between a white actress and a white actor in yellowface makeup. If the circumstances weren’t already questionable enough, the consultants must contend with the outsized ego of the film’s director D.W. Griffith, who is attempting to belie criticisms of racism after the release of his controversial film The Birth of a Nation. Based on actual events, this world premiere production illuminates a historical conflict just behind the silver screen.” Jeff Liu directs.
The season concludes with a new production of Stephen Sondheim, John Weidman, and Hugh Wheeler’s Pacific Overtures, which will play the Hwang Theater November 7 – December 1. This unlikely musical tells the story of Japan’s 19th century isolation, and its radical transformation following an encounter with the United States Navy. The company has previously mounted Pacific Overtures in 1979 and 1998. East West Players also staged Sondheim and Weidman’s Assassins in 2022. You can read TheaterMania’s review of that production here.
Additionally, the company will present Alison Minami’s Patsy, about Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress. That production will tour schools, libraries, and community centers in the greater Los Angeles area. Click here for more details.