LOS ANGELES: East West Players (EWP) has announced its 55th anniversary season, “Between Worlds.” The fully digital season, which will begin in March, features three world premiere projects and a co-production between theatres in the U.S. and Canada.
“The pandemic has upended our world in unimaginable ways,” said producing artistic director Snehal Desai in a statement. “EWP’s 55th season is a bridge towards a new world: A fully virtual season where we bring together artists from across the Asian diaspora of North America.”
To kick off the season, EWP will present Rogue Artists Ensemble’s Kaidan Project: Alone, an immersive, five-episode ghost encounter. A follow-up to 2017’s Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, this new installment takes place via smartphone app and features a walking tour of the Little Tokyo, Los Angeles neighborhood. Written by Rogue members Lisa Sanaye Dring and Chelsea Sutton, the interactive experience will launch in March.
Next, EWP will present Kristina Wong’s From Number to Name, in which formerly incarcerated Asian Americans will take the audience on a journey through their experiences. From Number to Name will run April 10-11 in partnership with API Rise, a nonprofit that seeks to empower Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American community members who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.
Following will be the world premiere of Sitayana by Lavina Jadhwani, an artful transposition of the Hindu epic The Ramayana told from the perspective of the goddess Sita. Directed by Reena Dutt, Sitayana will be produced in partnership with San Francisco’s EnActe Arts and will premiere in May.
In June, EWP will present Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production of 1 Hour Photo by Tetsuro Shigematsu. The play follows a Japanese Canadian man’s journey from finding love in a World War II incarceration camp to rebuilding his life as a scientist, businessman, and father, and is inspired by the life of Mas Yamamoto.
Finally, EWP will present Running, the playwriting debut of actor Danny Pudi. Running is an interactive play in development that follows Danny after the sudden death of his estranged father. A co-production with Hypokrit Theatre Company and EnActe Arts, Running will premiere next summer.
Tickets to all shows are available via the 2021 East West Passport. EWP is the nation’s longest-running theatre of color and largest producer of Asian American work.
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