Chinglish
by David Henry Hwang
Directed by Leigh Silverman
SEGERSTROM STAGE
January 25, 2013 - February 24, 2013

ChinglishDaniel’s sign-making company is in trouble, but he has a great idea: score a fat contract in China, where signs for English-speaking tourists are mangled by hilarious mis-translations.   But he forgets the first rule: always bring your own translator because business deals involve much more than wining and dining.  And when Daniel falls in love with a beautiful bureaucrat, even feelings take on different meanings.  The repartee is fast and funny, and the timing is spot-on in this East-West comedy that embraces both sides of the cultural divide.

Previews: January 25 –31, 2013
Opening Night: February 1, 2013
Regular Performances: February 2-24, 2013

Recommendation: This play contains adult language and situations.

Running Time:  Approximately two hours with one intermission.

A co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

David Henry Hwang was awarded the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and John Gassner Awards for his Broadway debut, M. Butterfly, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His play Golden Child, which premiered at South Coast Repertory, received a 1998 Tony nomination and a 1997 Obie Award. His new book for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song earned him his third Tony nomination in 2003. Yellow Face won a 2008 Obie Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, Chinglish, won a 2011 Chicago Jeff Award before moving to Broadway, where it received a 2012 Drama Desk nomination. Other plays include FOB (1981 Obie Award), The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk nomination), The Sound of a Voice and Bondage. He co-authored the book for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, which ran almost five years on Broadway, and was the bookwriter of Disney’s Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins. As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s The Silver River (1997), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt Magazine). Hwang penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate and Possession (co-writer), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with composer/performer Prince. He won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, and the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. A 2013 US Artists Donnelly Fellow, he is currently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre, which is producing a season of his plays in 2012-13, including the premiere of his newest work, Kung Fu.

Cast
Vivian Chiu
Vivian Chiu (Zhao) is making her SCR debut. She last appeared in Chinglish at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Her New York credits include Agamemnon, directed by Gisela Cardenas at Vortex Theater Company; Limbs: A Pageant at HERE Arts Center; and an off-Broadway revival of Night Over Taos, directed by Estelle Parsons at Intar Theatre. Regionally, she has appeared in Drums on the Dame, written by Hélène Cixous, at Northwestern University; The King and I at The Cider Mill Playhouse; and South Pacific at Metropolis Performing Art Centre. Her television and film credits include Closed, “Infinite Challenge” (Korean MBC networks), Kids in Suits, Nom Wah, a Sesame Workshop Mandarin pilot, and TWV Project. A native of Taiwan, Chiu earned her MA in theatre from Northwestern University and is a founding member of DreamLab. iamvivianchiu.com.

Celeste Den
Celeste Den (Miss Qian/Prosecutor Li) makes her SCR debut in Chinglish following the Berkeley Repertory Theatre run. She appeared in the world premieres of 11 Septembre 2001 and Peach Blossom Fan at Center for New Performance; Between Two Friends and Island at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Laws of Sympathy at Playwrights’ Arena; Spit, Shine, Glisten at Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts; and Wild Swans at American Repertory Theatre and Young Vic in London. Her regional credits include Attrapee at Poor Dog Group, Conjunto at Borderlands Theater, The Joy Luck Club at East West Players, The Merchant of Venice with Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, Othello at The Theatre @ Boston Court and The Waste Land at Filament Theatre Co. Her film and television credits include “Criminal Minds” (CBS), “The Doctor” (WB), Larry Crowne (NBC Universal) and Powder Blue (Eleven Eleven Films). Den received her BFA in theatre from the University of Florida and MFA in acting from the California Institute of the Arts.

Michelle Krusiec
Michelle Krusiec (Xi Yan) is making her SCR debut after performing the lead role of Xi Yan in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre production. Krusiec is best known for her starring role opposite Joan Chen in the romantic comedy Saving Face, directed by Alice Wu. The role garnered her a Best Actress nomination for the Chinese Language Oscar, also known as the Golden Horse, in 2005. On stage she originated her tour-de-force solo show Made in Taiwan, which premiered at the 2002 HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, the 2003 LA Women’s Theatre Festival, the 2005 New York Asian American Theatre Festival and the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival and Fringe Encores. Her selected film credits include Duplex, Far North, A Helping Hand, Henry Poole Is Here, Knife Fight, Nanking, Nixon, Pumpkin, Saving Face, Sweet Home Alabama, What Happens in Vegas, and Zoom Hunting (Taiwan). On television, she starred in the series “One World,” “Travelers,” and her favorite recurring/guest appearances include “Blue Bloods,” “Community,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Fringe,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Mind of the Married Man,” “Monk,” “Nip/Tuck,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Touch” and “Weeds.”

Austin Ku
Austin Ku (Bing/Judge Geming) is making his SCR debut. He appeared in Chinglish at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. New York City credits include the off-Broadway production of Tokio Confidential (Akira), Whatever Man at New York Musical Theatre Festival, and many other new works; he is also a regular performer with the USO Show Troupe (the Liberty Bells). Regional theatre credits include principal roles at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Foothill Music Theatre (Dean Goodman Award recipient, Anthony in Sweeney Todd), Kansas City Starlight Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse (IRNE nominee, Thuy in Miss Saigon), Stoneham Theatre (BroadwayWorld Boston nominee, Monk in Sunfish), Walnut Street Theatre (Barrymore nominee, Lun Tha in The King and I), and more. Ku has also played lead roles in festival award-winning independent films, and appeared in national commercials and print ads. He received his education at The Boston Conservatory, UC Berkeley and Rice University (Sammy Award, The Emcee in Cabaret; several other nominations). Thanks to CTC/Dave and as always AG. Austin-Ku.com.

Raymond Ma
Raymond Ma (Minister Cai) is making his SCR debut. After a 25 year absence from the stage, he recently played Old Man Chong and Canning in The Joy Luck Club at California Theatre of the Performing Arts and will be on a national tour with that production in 2013-14. He is an established character actor and has been in numerous films and television shows including Lethal Weapon 4, Old School, Animal, The Informant, The Muppets, “West Wing,” “NYPD Blue,” “CSI,” “Lost,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Boston Legal” and “Suburgatory.” He wants to thank SCR for giving him this opportunity, also Tim Dang and Quentin Lee for pushing for the chance for him to come to SCR for this production.

Alex Moggridge
Alex Moggridge (Daniel Cavanaugh) is delighted to be making his SCR debut in Chinglish after performing in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre production. He has appeared regionally in Three Sisters (Berkeley Repertory Theatre/Yale Repertory Theatre); The Beard of Avon, A Christmas Carol, The Threepenny Opera (American Conservatory Theater); It’s a Wonderful Life (Long Wharf Theatre); Eat Your Heart Out (Actors Theatre of Louisville); The Weir, By the Bog of Cats (San Jose Repertory Theatre); The Entertainer, Betrayed (Aurora Theatre Company); The Pillowman (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre); as well as productions at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Artists Repertory Theatre, B Street Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival and MCC Theater in New York. His film and television credits include “Trauma,” Batman Begins and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Moggridge is also a playwright. His play The Squirrel appeared off-Broadway as part of the 2006 Summer Play Festival. He received his MFA in acting from ACT.

Brian Nishii
Brian Nishii (Peter) is thrilled to be making his debut at SCR. Originally from Tokyo, he has collaborated with many New York dance and theatre companies over the past 20 years such as Crossing Jamaica Avenue, Fluid Motion Theater & Film, Imua! Theatre & Film Company, Great Jones Repertory Company at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Maura Donohue/In Mixed Company, Project 400 Theatre Group, Robert Wilson, The South Wing and Velocity Theatre Company. His film and television credits include Greg Pak’s Robot Stories and Super Power Blues, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Sex and the City.” In his spare time, he provides lead vocals and antics to the Japanese/Okinawan folk band HappyFunSmile.
Creative Team
David Korins - Scenic Design
Nancy A. Palmatier - Costume Design based on the original design by Anita Yavich
Brian MacDevitt - Lighting Design
Darron L West - Sound Design
Jeff Sugg and Shawn Duan - Projection Design
Candace Chong - Mandarin Chinese Translations
Oanh X. Nguyen - Associate Director
Michael Suenkel - Stage Manager

Want to learn more about the cast & creative team of this production? Peek into our production program.

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HONORARY PRODUCERS

Dr. S.L. & Betty Huang/Huang Family Foundation

Yvonne & Damien Jordan

MEDIA PARTNERS

 PBS SoCal Media Partner