Fast Company
by Carla Ching
directed by Bart DeLorenzo
October 6, 2013 - October 27, 2013

Fast Company

Mable Kwan is the best grifter who ever lived. And this tough cookie raised her kids to be just like her. Son Francis is the top roper around and H, the number one fixer. When daughter Blue surprises them all by putting together the score of the decade, will the entire family get in on the action or will one of them walk away with it all? Fast, funny dark and dangerous—this skewed look at family and ambition keeps us guessing about who’s on top and who’s getting conned.

Previews: October 6-10, 2013
Opening Night: October 11, 2013
Regular Performances: October 12-27, 2013

Recommendation: This play contains adult language and humor that treats criminal situations lightly and herbal cigarette smoking.

Running Time:  Approximately two hours, including one intermission. 

This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays award.  To see all the award winners, please visit the TCG website.

Carla Ching is a Los Angeles native whose theatre career started when she stumbled into New York City’s pan-Asian performance collective, Peeling, writing and performing with them for three years—her first theatre training. Since then, she has written TBA (2g, directed by Denyse Owens, published in Out of Time and Place), The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi Theatre Company, dir. Daniella Topol), Dirty (finalist for the Cherrylane Mentorship Project), Big Blind/Little Blind and The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up. Other production and/or development includes Ensemble Studio Theatre (First Light 2011 and 2012), The Lark Play Development Center (Meeting of the Minds and Lark Playwright’s Workshop), Partial Comfort, Desipina & Company, The Hegira, Vampire Cowboys and The Women’s Project (2008-10 Lab). She was a 2008 New York Urban Artists Initiative fellow and a 2009-10 Teachers and Writers Collaborative fellow. She’s been in residence at Voice and Vision, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Pocantico Center and New York Stage and Film. She served as artistic director of the Asian American theatre company 2g for three seasons. She’s currently a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, New Dramatists and the 2013-14 CTG Writers’ Workshop. Ching is currently working on a CrossRoads commission for SCR.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Jackie Chung, as Blue, is making her SCR debut. Chung’s off-Broadway and regional credits include Macbeth 1969 (Long Wharf Theatre), microcrisis, The Children of Vonderly (Ma-Yi Theater Company), You For Me For You (Woolly Mammoth Theatre/Ma-Yi), Mother Courage and Her Children (The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival) and Trickle, Japanoir (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Her other New York credits include After. (Partial Comfort Productions), The Sporting Life (Studio 42) and The Director (The Flea Theater). Her film, television and web credits include Going Local, 4 Dates, Pretty Precious Unicorns, “Fortune Son” and the upcoming independent film Someone Else. Chung recently workshopped Jiehae Park’s Hannah and the Dread Gazebo at the Ojai Playwrights Conference. She volunteers with the 52nd Street Project.

Lawrence Kao
Lawrence Kao, as Francis, is making his SCR debut. The Hacienda Heights, Calif.-native grew up as an only child, left to his imagination, which drew him to acting. Playing Lysander in a high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, furthered his interest in pretending. While studying theatre at UCI, he began dancing with Kaba Modern, which led to his participation on MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.” He played Norman Lee in East West Player’s Krunk Fu Battle Battle. His television credits include “Franklin & Bash,” a recurring role as Tim on “The Walking Dead,” “Hawaii Five-0,” and non-union bootleg films he sells out of the back of his trunk. 

Emily Kuroda
Emily Kuroda, as Mable, is thrilled to be back at SCR, where she appeared in Our Town, Ballad of Yachiyo and the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of Dogeaters. She has performed in more than 25 shows and workshops at East West Players. Other theatres include Kirk Douglas Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Singapore Rep, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Doolittle Theater, Huntington Theatre Company (Boston), Los Angeles Theatre Center, Zephyr Theatre, LA Women’s Shakespeare and The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. Her television credits include seven years as Mrs. Kim on “Gilmore Girls,” Suho in “Under One Roof” with Flavor Flav, “Drop Dead Diva,” “Medium,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Bloodline.” Her feature films include About Love (Emmy nominated), and the upcoming Justice Angel. She is the recipient of five Drama-Logue awards, a Garland Award for outstanding performance, an L.A. Ovation award nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Play, Playwrights Arena Award, the East West Players Award for Outstanding Contribution to LA Theatre and the Entertainment Today Best Actress Award for Winter People.

Nelson Lee
Nelson Lee as “H”, is making his SCR debut. Most recently, he reprised his role of Ryu in Maple and Vine at The City Theatre in Pittsburgh after having completed its West Coast premiere at A.C.T. in San Francisco. Lee’s off-Broadway credits include David in the world premiere of Zayd Dohrn’s Outside People, with Naked Angels at the Vineyard Theatre in New York; his other New York credits include 7 Stories and Hardly with Rocketship Theatre. His film and television credits include Virtuality, “Blade: The Series,” “Oz,” Traffic, “Covert Affairs,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Longmire,” “Bones,” “The Chicago Code,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and HBO’s Strip Search, directed by Sidney Lumet. Lee trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and earned his degree from the University of Toronto.
Creative Team
Bart DeLorenzo (Director) returns to SCR where he directed the world premieres of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Doctor Cerberus and Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, as well as Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone. He is the founding artistic director of Evidence Room theatre in Los Angeles, where he directed many premieres, including plays by David Greenspan, Naomi Wallace, Martin Crimp, Philip K. Dick, Gordon Dahlquist, Kelly Stuart, David Edgar and Edward Bond. Other directing credits include Donald Margulies’ Coney Island Christmas (Geffen Playhouse), Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (A Noise Within), King Lear (The Antaeus Company), and Michael Sargent’s The Projectionist (Kirk Douglas Theatre). He is on the faculty at CalArts. For his work, he has received six LA Weekly awards, three Backstage Garlands, three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, and is the 2012 recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s Alan Schneider Director Award.

Keith Mitchell (Scenic Design) is delighted to return to SCR after last designing Anastasia Krupnick. Before that, he designed two Junie B. Jones shows, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Ben and the Magic Paintbrush. By day, Mitchell is an Emmy Award-winning art director and works on a variety of television and film projects. He has designed productions for A Noise Within, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Geffen Playhouse, Getty Villa, Bootleg Theater, Evidence Room, Lewis Family Playhouse, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, The Matrix Theatre Company, Artworks, Celebration Theatre, 24th Street Theatre and created a 24-hour installation for Glow at Venice Beach. He has designed over 20 shows for The Falcon Theatre. He was the principal developing artist for the Childsplay production Rock, Scissors, Paper, which was awarded a Rockefeller Grant. He just concluded his 10th season as scenic consultant for Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Summersounds, Music and Art for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl.

Ann Closs-Farley (Costume Design) is making her SCR debut. Her recent credits include ModRock: The Musical, Annapurna, American Misfits, Coney Island Christmas, Eric Idle’s What About Dick?, The Pee-wee Herman Show (on Broadway), Disney’s Toy Story: The Musical, An Evening Without Monty Python, Gronholm Method, Beat Goes On, Cabaret of Souls, Margo Veil and Around The World in 80 Days. She has received multiple Ovation Awards and the Center Theatre Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award for Emerging Artists. She is a long-time member of the Evidence Room and The Actors’ Gang theatre companies in Los Angeles. Closs-Farley also styles the World Poker Tour, designs for Kaiser Permanente Theatricals, and is an art director for Big Machine Productions.

Tom Ontiveros (Lighting Design) designs with light and projection for theatre, dance and live music. His credits include The Motherfucker with the Hat, Sideways Stories from Wayside School (SCR); The Exonerated (New York City premiere); The Tune In Festival (Park Avenue Armory); Schick Machine (Hong Kong Cultural Centre); The Tyrant (Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art); Garden of Deadly Sound (Hungarian National Theatre Festival); The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (with conductor Marin Alsop);; Slide, directed by Rinde Eckert (Ojai Music Festival); Garden of Lila (Japan America Theatre); Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse); Placas, directed by Michael John Garcés (San Francisco International Arts Festival); and Seed, Café Vida, Making Paradise and On Caring for the Beast (Cornerstone Theatre). He also designed for venues including San Diego Museum of Art, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Mondavi Center, Joyce SoHo, Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, Zellerbach Studio Theatre and The Culture Project, New York City. He is an assistant professor of lighting design at USC.

John Ballinger (Original Music/Soundscape) returns to SCR, where his previous shows include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (composer/sound design/musical director) and The Borrowers (composer/sound design). He is an award-winning composer/sound designer/musical director and CalArts alumnus. He has recorded, toured or performed with Moira Smiley and VOCO, Tracy Bonham, Rufus Wainwright, Van Dyke Parks and “Dancing With the Stars.” His work as a composer includes scores and songs for television, short films, theatre and live events. His notable collaborations include original music, design and musical direction for the “Joan Rivers Show” and Coney Island Christmas at Geffen Playhouse; Celebration of the Lizard (The Doors musical) at San Diego Repertory; Cymbeline at A Noise Within; Echo’s Hammer, 1001, and The Government Inspector at Theatre @ Boston Court; and Annapurna at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble.

Jason H. Thompson (Projection Design) returns to SCR where he designed Ordinary Days (directed by Ethan McSweeny) and A Wrinkle in Time (directed by Shelley Butler) Broadway and New York credits include Baby It’s You!, Venice (The Public Theater), Remember Me (Parsons Dance Company, Joyce Theatre/national tour) and This Beautiful City (Vineyard Theatre). His recent credits include Citizen Twain (Val Kilmer, national tour); Tales from Hollywood (Guthrie Theater); Cage Songbooks (San Francisco Symphony, Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony); Heart of Darkness (The Actor’s Gang, Los Angeles); The Great Immensity (Kansas City Repertory, TED Conference); No Good Deed (Furious Theatre Company, LADCC nomination); Re:Union (Vancouver, Jessie Award nomination); Venice (Kirk Douglas Theatre, Kansas City Rep, LA Ovation Award); Bad Apples (Circle X Theatre Company); and Justin Love (Celebration Theatre, LA Weekly Award nomination). He has also designed video for Stars on Ice for the last seven years.

Kelly L. Miller (Dramaturg) is the literary director of SCR and the co-director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Regionally, she has worked at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and as the literary manager of Long Wharf Theatre and Playscripts, Inc. In 2008, she co-founded Creative Destruction, a company dedicated to the support of playwrights and the development of new work. Her favorite dramaturgy at SCR includes The Parisian Woman, The Whale, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, The Prince of Atlantis, Completeness, Circle Mirror Transformation, Becky Shaw, Doctor Cerberus, Saturn Returns and Emilie; Big Love, War of the Worlds and Creditors (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Hearts, Wintertime and Going Native (Long Wharf Theatre). Miller has worked as a freelance consultant and writer for The Playwrights’ Center, The Public Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, New Dramatists, NEA/Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, PlayPenn, Carnegie Mellon and The Kennedy Center.

Jennifer Ellen Butler (Stage Manager) has been a part of the stage management team at SCR for 11 seasons and more than 40 productions, and is thrilled to be kicking off the 50th Season in the Argyros. Her other theatre credits include Laguna Playhouse, Utah Shakespearean Festival, California Shakespeare Theatre, TheatreWorks, Perseverance Theatre, Spoleto Festival USA and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. She has also stage managed operas for Long Beach Opera and Pacific Repertory Opera. Butler has a BA in theatre arts from UC Santa Cruz and has been a member of Actors’ Equity since 2007.
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From the Blog
South Coast Plaza Throws a Party for Fast Company
When Carla Ching’s Fast Company opened, the First Night audience gave loud applause. And then mingled with the cast at the After Party at South Coast Plaza. The setting: SCR’s 50th Season display.
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Fast Company The Fast Company Bond Between Playwright and Director
Playwright Carla Ching and director Bart DeLorenzo have created a tight-knit working style leading up to the premiere of, Fast Company. Read about how they view the working relationship.
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Fast Company May the Best Con Win
Be mindful of how you teach your kids. In Fast Company, Los Angeles-based playwright Carla Ching takes on three kids raised by their grifter mom. Read more about the lessons they learned from Mom Mable.
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Merrily They Grift Along: Meet the Cast of "Fast Company"
What happens when four strangers gather in a studio…—no, it’s not “The Real World.” It’s a cast drawn together as a family of grifters in the world premiere of Carla Ching’s Fast Company.
meet the cast



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