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Pride Voices: New Plays from Taiwan with Li-Ying Chien and Pao-Chang Tsai

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Jun 26, 2018
Jun 26, 2018
Segal Theatre

Left: Li-Ying Chien’s The Possible Memoirs of a Traitor. Photo by Chin Jung Chun.
Right: Pao-Chang Tsai’s Solo Date. Photo courtesy of the artist

Tuesday, June 26
Segal Theatre

6:30pm Readings + Discussion

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for an evening with two leading contemporary Taiwanese playwrights, Li-Ying Chien and Pao-Chang Tsai.

The evening will feature excerpted readings from The Possible Memoirs of a Traitor by Li-Ying Chien (directed by Knud Adams) and Solo Date by Pao-Chang Tsai (directed and performed by Tsai; dramaturgy by Soriya Chum). Followed by a panel discussion with the playwrights Li-Ying Chien and Pao-Chang Tsai, director Knud Adams, dramaturg Soriya Chum, James Wilson (Professor of Theatre, The Graduate Center), Yu-Yun Hsieh (Comparative Literature scholar, The Graduate Center), and Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li (Director). Moderated by Frank Hentschker.

The excerpt of The Possible Memoirs of a Traitor will be read by Alton Alburo, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Stephanie Ho, Abrielle Kuo, Kristine Haruna Lee, Jordan Rutter, and Nicholas Yenson.

Through their plays and stage works Chien and Tsai have reinvigorated the Taiwanese theatre-scape. Blending new media, real-life event, and various performative techniques, their highly political and engaged works give voice to an emerging cultural movement in Taiwan. As established queer artists, their creative processes and cultural productions also shed light on the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ community in Taiwan and Asia today.

Based on a comprehensive field study of the LGBTQ movement, HIV/AIDS medical treatment, and family and religious issues in Taiwanese society, Li-Ying Chien’s The Possible Memoirs of a Traitor (2017) uncovers stories from a Taipei gay shelter in the 90’s. Pao-Chang Tsai’s Solo Date (2016) takes place in the 2030’s. Using traditional Taiwanese ritual and AI technology, a man reaches back in time in search of his deceased lover. But after decrypting the lover’s private data, new truths come to light.

Co-curated by Yu Chien Liu (Martin E. Segal Theatre Center) and Chi-Ping Yen (Taipei Cultural Center in New York), with support from Ministry of Culture, Taiwan and Taipei Cultural Center in New York.



Photo by Bien Dong

Li-Ying Chien is a Taiwanese playwright and director. Li-Ying received her BA degree in Theatre Arts from Chinese Culture University and majored in MFA Playwriting at Taipei National University of the Arts. Selected as one of the “Top 10 Promising Theatre Artists” by Performing Arts Review magazine in 2011, she was also named “Outstanding Theatre Artist” by the same magazine in 2012. Li-Ying was the Artist-in-Residence of The National Theater & Concert Hall in 2015.



Photo courtesy of the artist

Pao-Chang Tsai graduated from the Department of Drama and Theatre at the National Taiwan University and received his master in music theatre from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He was the co-artistic director at Tainaner Ensemble from 2009 to 2018. The Common Wealth Magazine has selected Pao-Chang Tsai as the Future Young Leader in Performing arts. He also went to America Repertory Theater at Harvard University for further study in Voice and Speech sponsored by Asian Cultural Council, and visited Moscow Art Theatre for three months.




Photo courtesy of the artist

Knud Adams is a director of new and experimental plays. His recent productions include Tin Cat Shoes (Trish Harnetiaux, Clubbed Thumb), Aloha, Aloha, or When I Was Queen (Eliza Bent, Abrons), The Workshop (Torrey Townsend, Soft Focus), Asshole (Justin Kuritzkes, JACK), On a Clear Day I Can See to Elba (Eliza Bent, The New Ohio), Every Angel is Brutal (Julia Jarcho, Clubbed Thumb), Tom & Eliza (Celine Song, JACK), That Poor Girl and How He Killed Her (Jen Silverman, U. of Rochester), Krazytown (Jenny Schwartz, NYU), and Snore (Max Posner, Juilliard). He is a Drama League Artist in Residence and a former Drama League Directing Fellow, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab member, and Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident. www.knudadams.com



Photo courtesy of the artist

Soriya K. Chum is a dramaturg and producer of talks, performances, and live events. He is currently the Manager of Humanities & Studio Programs at Theatre for a New Audience. Previously, Soriya has held roles at the Asian American Arts Alliance, the Martin E. Segal Center, Theatre Communications Group, and HERE Arts Center. MFA in Dramaturgy, Columbia University.




Photo courtesy of the artist

James F. Wilson is Professor of English and Theatre at LaGuardia Community College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is a former executive director of CUNY’s Center for LGBT Studies (CLAGS), and his articles and reviews have appeared in numerous academic journals and chapter anthologies. He is co-editor of The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, published by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, and the author of Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies: Performance, Race, and Sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance (University of Michigan Press, 2010; paperback 2011).



Photo courtesy of the artist

Yu-Yun Hsieh is a Taiwanese writer and academic, currently a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and an adjunct lecturer in English at Hunter College. She is the recipient of the 2004 UNITAS Emerging Writers Award and the 2009 Taipei Literature Award. Her Chinese translation of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 was published in 2014.  She is also a former fiction fellow of the Writers’ Institute of CUNY. Her work has appeared in n+1Open Letters MonthlyWorld Literature TodayTimes Literary Supplement and The New York Times Book Review.



Photo courtesy of the artist

Originally from Taiwan, Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li earned his MA in Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He works as a director, playwright, and performer, having created productions addressed upon sexuality, philosophy, and politics, to give his unique perspectives on time, space, and power relations. Dennis is an Associate Artistic Director of the Living Theatre, is also a former fellowship recipient of the Institute of Target Margin Theater. His directing credits include L.ear (Dixon Place), Blind (Theater for the New City), The (New) Trial (Theater for the New City), and Civilization and Its Discontents (Judson Memorial Church). Currently, Dennis is the New York Directing Fellow of Drama League.