LOS ANGELES: East West Players has announced its 2016–17 season, entitled “Radiant” with selections featuring strong roles onstage and off for women.
“When I became artistic director in 1993, I inherited a season of women playwrights and female characters from artistic director Nobu McCarthy,” said producing artistic director Tim Dang in a statement. “That season really shaped my perspective of the inspirational stories we would tell over the next two decades as not only providing entertainment, but enlightening and educating our community. With this in mind, I pass on to my successor a season filled with women in empowering leading roles both on stage and behind the scenes.”
The season will launch with two special events. First up will be Mama Bares in Concert: Once Upon a Play Date (Aug. 25–Sept. 4), a concert from EWP alumni and real-life mothers Joan Almedilla, Ai Goeku Cheung, Deedee Magno Hall, and Jennifer Paz.
The second event will be dance-theatre piece Road to Kumano (Sept. 15–25), a collaboration between EWP and TAIKOPROJECT. Chieko Kojima will star in the show, which is based on the Buddhist tale Dojoji.
The season will officially start with Leah Nanako’s Kentucky (Nov. 10–Dec. 11), about a self-made, single woman making it in Manhattan whose life is halted when her born-again younger sister decides to marry a man she hardly knows.
Next up will be Free Outgoing (Feb. 9–March 12, 2017), by Anupama Chandrasekhar, about a middle-class family in Chennai, India, who are torn apart by an indiscreet cell phone video that goes viral.
The season will conclude with Gypsy (May 11–June 11), with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee’s memoirs about her stage mother parading her and her sister through the Vaudevillian circuit in the 1920s.
Founded in 1965, East West Players’s mission is to share the Asian Pacific culture through the arts.