Book Wings China 2013 (Drama)

Click the icon (at left) to view the program and read the plays

Performance date: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013, 9:00p.m. (U.S. central time) / Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, 10:00a.m (Shanghai time) (Estimated run time: 2 hours)

Location: Theatre B of the University of Iowa Theatre Arts Building, Iowa City, IA / Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, Shanghai, China / Via free live internet stream
Genre: Drama
Theme: Migration

A PDF of discussion questions about the performance.

Commissioned Plays (8-10 minutes each):

Journey by Naomi Iizuka: A heartbroken traveler encounters a woman in a remote and desolate airport while a snowstorm looms in the background. Will they ever leave?

Kandahar to Canada by Dan O'Brien: A Pulitzer-Prize-winning photo journalist helps a young Afghan woman travel to Ottawa to pursue her educational dreams. Based on real events.

And Two, If By Sea by Chay Yew: In "a corner of memory in the last 300 years in American history," three Chinese immigrants share their stories of coming to a new land to make a new life.

Subway by Qian Jue: In a subway station in Tokyo, a Japanese businessman sets up shop: for five dollars, anyone can hit him. A young, unemployed Chinese artist competes with him for space, and considers taking him up on his offer.

I Am Not Woyzeck by Wang Haoran: A Hong Kong stage is set for a clash of cultures as run after run pushes a Chinese actor and his Taiwanese partner to the edge. As they step back and forth across the fine line between rehearsal and reality, they break character. But how much can the tension build before it snaps too?

I Am an Eagle Hen by Xu Yaqun: A visionary hen flies the coop in search of a better life. But there's a price to pay for her non-conformity.

Commissioned Playwrights (United States):

Naomi Iizuka’s plays include The Last Firefly, Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West, 36 Views, Strike Slip, Anon(ymous), Polaroid Stories, Language of Angels, War of the Worlds (in collaboration with Anne Bogart/SITI Company), Tattoo Girl, and an adaptation of The Scarlet Letter.  Her plays have been produced by Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Huntington Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Joseph Papp Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival, Children’s Theater Company, Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, and Soho Rep.  Iizuka is a member of New Dramatists and the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Joyce Foundation Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, a McKnight Fellowship, Princeton University’s Hodder Fellowship, and a Jerome Fellowship, among others.

Dan O’Brien’s current projects include The Body of an American, winner of the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and premiering at Portland Center Stage in 2012, and Theotokia / The War Reporter, an opera with composer Jonathan Berger and director Rinde Eckert, premiering at Stanford University in 2013. Off-Broadway and regional productions include The Cherry Sisters Revisited (Humana Festival), The Dear Boy (Second Stage Theatre), The Voyage of the Carcass (SoHo Playhouse; Page 73 Productions), Moving Picture (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Am Lit (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The House in Hydesville (Geva Theatre Center), Key West (Geva), and Lamarck (Perishable Theatre). He has served as a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, a Sundance Institute Time Warner Fellow, the Djerassi Fellow in Playwriting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and, twice, as the Tennessee Williams Fellow at The University of the South (Sewanee). Residencies include the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Yaddo, and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. O’Brien’s poetry has appeared recently in Missouri Review, Malahat Review, Poetry Review, North American Review, and elsewhere. O’Brien lives in Los Angeles. At www.danobrien.org.

Chay Yew's plays include Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, Red, A Beautiful Country, Wonderland, Question 27 Question 28, A Distant Shore, 17 and Visible Cities. His other work includes adaptations of   Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, and a musical, Long Season. His performance work includes Vivien and Her Shadows and Home: Places Between Asia and America. His work has been produced, among other places, at the Public Theater, the Royal Court Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, the Wilma Theatre, Portland Center Stage, East West Players, Dallas Theatre Center, the Smithsonian Institute, and Carolina Performing Arts. Overseas, his work has been produced by Fattore K and Napoli Teatro Festival in Naples, Italy, La Mama in Melbourne, Australia, Four Arts in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Toy Factory, Checkpoint Theatre and TheatreWorks Singapore. He is also the recipient of the London Fringe Award for Best Playwright and Best Play, the George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting Award, GLAAD Media Award, Asian Pacific Gays and Friends’ Community Visibility Award, the Made in America Award, AEA/SAG/AFTRA 2004 Diversity Honor, and the Robert Chesley Award. The Hyphenated American Plays and Porcelain and A Language of Their Own have been published by Grove Press; the latter was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. The anthology Version 3.0: Contemporary Asian American Plays is forthcoming from TCG Publications. An award-winning director, he is also an alumnus of New Dramatists and the artistic director of Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.

Commissioned Playwrights (China):

Qian Jue is a lecturer in the Department of Literature at Shanghai Theatre Academy. She holds an MA in Playwriting and Creative Writing and a PhD in Directing. Her plays include Hua Mulan, nominated for the First Lao She Young Playwright Award, Wind of the Qiang, and the modern dance play The Stone with Eternal Life. Floor Eight and Half, a human and puppet play, received the Wenhua Award at the 9th Chinese Art Festival, first-prize in the 10th Guangdong Art Festival, and was named the 6th most Outstanding Children’s Play Repertory Performance, as part of the 8th Lu Xun Literature and Art Awards. Tan Citong, a Xiang opera, received first place in the 4th Hunan Art Festival, and was included in the 2012 China Outstanding Repertory Performance. She is the co-author of A Night Banquet and Treasure House in Literature, a children’s play, which received the 1998 China TV Drama Flying Award as well as the TV series, The Flooded City of the Spring and Autumn Period. She is also a screenwriter and director, having written the made-for-TV movie Mrs. Ah Zhen and Her House Ladies and directed Koichi Master, a multi-media musical.

Wang Haoran was born in China’s Hunan province, grew up in the city of Shenzhen and holds a MFA in Playwriting from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and an undergraduate  degree from Shenzhen University in English and Japanese.  Wang writes in English, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and two Hunan dialects.  His recent plays include The Shackle (Shenzhen University), The Barbecued Pork (Prospects Theatre in Hong Kong), Blast (to be produced as part of the 41st Hong Kong Arts Festival), and A Red Mansion within the Forest Sea (to be produced by the Hong Kong Repertory). He has also directed various productions, including Death of a Writer, The Anxious Women, and Phaedra’s Love. He has appeared in leading roles on stage in The Merchant of Venice, Woyzeck, and The Little Dinosaur with a Golden Tail.

Xu Yaqun, English name Melon Xu, is Commissioner of the Literature & Arts Department of the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (SDAC) and the editor of DRAMA magazine. Her one-act comedy, Mom, I’m Back, was honored with a 2012 Outstanding Play Award  from the Shanghai Mass Arts Center and the Shanghai Dramatist’s Association. Her novels and novellas have been widely published, appearing in magazines and newspapers.