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Pan Asian Repertory Theatre's Presents Virtual Reading of "My Man Kono." One Performance Only April 2 at 5PM
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 08:22 pm EDT 03/29/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 08:16 pm EDT 03/29/21

PAN ASIAN REPERTORY THEATRE
PRESENTS
VIRTUAL READING OF THE NEW PLAY
MY MAN KONO
PHILIP W. CHUNG
DIRECTED BY JEFF LIU

FEATURING
DAVID DEAN BOTTRELL, KATIE LEE HILL, LILY HOLLEMAN, DAVID LEE HUYNH,
ZACH LUSK, JONATHAN MEDINA, RON NAKAHARA, ARMIN SHIMERMAN

ONE-PERFORMANCE ONLY!
FREE AND AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2021 AT 5:00PM (EST)

New York, NY (March 29, 2021) - Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (Tisa Chang, Founding Artistic Director), continuing their educational initiative, presents a reading of the new play, My Man Kono by Philip W. Chung. Directed by Jeff Liu, the 8-member cast will feature David Dean Bottrell, Katie Lee Hill, Lily Holleman, David Lee Huynh, Zach Lusk, Jonathan Medina, Ron Nakahara, and Armin Shimerman. The FREE virtual presentation is set for Friday, April 2, 2021 beginning at 5:00PM (EST). Link to access reading: https://forms.gle/43uwwRnatiM3QDHA8

My Man Kono is based on the life of Toraichi Kono, who worked as Charlie Chaplin's personal valet for two decades before being arrested as an enemy spy during the anti-Japanese hysteria of World War II. My Man Kono was awarded second place in the East West Players' Pacific Century Playwriting Competition.

Playwright Philip W. Chung had this to share about his new play, "I had no idea Toraichi Kono existed until I attended a Charlie Chaplin retrospective at the L.A. County Museum of Art. The Adventurer was one of the shorts screened and I noticed an Asian man in the film playing the chauffeur of Chaplin's character. I was surprised to see an Asian in a non-stereotypical role in a 1917 Hollywood production and wondered who this was. I became fascinated by how this Asian American man who had somehow become the confidant to the most famous person in Hollywood could also end up imprisoned as a Japanese spy. As more Asian-American stories are being discovered, rediscovered, and amplified, the time feels right to share Toraichi Kono's story and reclaim his place in Asian-American history."


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Philip W. Chung (Playwright) is a writer/producer and is the creative director for YOMYOMF, a production company founded by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin. He was the co-founder/co-Artistic Director for the L.A.-based Asian American theater, Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. His past and current producing and writing work includes projects for WarnerBros, Disney, eOne, IFC Channel, Legendary Pictures, Gunpowder & Sky, Netflix, Buzzfeed Studios, and others. His next play Poop! The Musical (a family musical) will premiere at the Adventure Theatre MTC in Washington, DC in early 2022.

Jeff Liu (Director) is a writer and director for theater, film and web, also a Resident Dramaturge for the Ojai Playwrights Conference. His productions include the world premiere of The Brothers Paranormal by Prince Gomolvilas at Pan Asian Rep, as well as the LA premiere of Chinglish by David Henry Hwang, Two Mile Hollow by Leah Nanako Winkler, and The Golden Hour and Grace Kim and the Spiders From Mars, both by Philip W. Chung. He also adapted the Pulitzer nominated play Yellow Face by DHH for the YOMYOMF Network on YouTube.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, celebrating its 44th Milestone Season, is the most veteran Asian American theatre company on the East Coast. Tisa Chang founded Pan Asian Rep in 1977 at Ellen Stewart's La Mama ETC with the vision to promote equity and access that Asian Americans artists can equally follow, focusing on stories of probing social justice issues with distinctive Off-Broadway Productions, Tours, National Outreach, and Community Service. Mel Gussow of The New York Times described it as "A Stage for All the World of Asian -Americans" and wrote that "Before Pan Asian Rep, Asian Americans had severely limited opportunities in the theater...." The company has nurtured thousands of artists and is a "who-is-who" of Asian American theatre history, with notable alumni/ae: Ako, Ernest Abuba, Tina Chen, Philip Gotanda, Wai Ching Ho, David Henry Hwang, Daniel Dae Kim, Lucy Liu, Ron Nakahara, R.A. Shiomi, Lauren Yee, and Henry Yuk.

Pan Asian Rep Programs are made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; City Council member Margaret Chin; and major support from Howard Gilman Foundation, Shubert Foundation, NY Community Trust COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels, Lucille Lortel Foundations; and many generous individuals.

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