We said a bittersweet final good-bye to our First National/North American Equity tour of "Come From Away" on May 24 - and I want to thank all of you who have come out to see us and support us over the past 5 years. It's been an incredible gift to be a part of telling such a beautiful story. I will miss seeing you out on the road! (The "Second National Tour" of the show, which is being advertised in many cities right now is being produced by an entirely different group of people than those who brought you the show on Broadway, the West End, Toronto, Australia, and our North American tour. It will feature a non-union cast of actors - so none of us - and a different set.)
I'm excited to head back to NYC to gear up for the continuation of some of my own projects that will be happening over the second half of 2023.
First up: I'll be giving a keynote at the National Women's Theatre Festival's "WTCon" on June 22 and participating in a panel with the festival's 2 other keynote speakers, 2023 Tony nominee Katy Sullivan, and Chelsea Pace on June 23.
My solo play with music, "A Little More Blue" recently completed a workshop with some generous grant support from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and just received a new grant from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone to bring a performance to NYC on December 11 at the Riverside Theatre, following a production in another part of the country in late November/early December that I am excited to be able to announce very soon!
We are currently in post-production for a short movie musical I wrote screenplay & lyrics for with composer Michael Mott, directed by Bruce Johnson (who also is directing "A Little More Blue"). This film, "Riding Out the Storm", just received a grant award to bring a public screening to NYC on October 30 at the Tribeca Screening Room. Stay tuned!
The musical I wrote with Jason Ma, "Broken Ground" continues its development. We're proud to have been named a Finalist for the O'Neill Theatre Conference this year and are brainstorming other avenues for the show's journey. And I can't share any details yet, but I'm also super excited to be collaborating with another new team on an adaptation of a very exciting novel. In addition, my play "The Secret Wisdom of Trees" will have a fantastic workshop opportunity this summer, which I'll let you know about when details can be made public.
An organization that I co-founded 11 years ago, the Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) was given a Tony Award Honor for Excellence in the Theatre in 2022. I am thrilled that our work, advocating for AAPI representation on NYC stages, is being recognized in this way and attending the Tonys last year as an honoree was an experience I'll never forget! You can read more about it here.
It's been quite a challenge to navigate the still ongoing pandemic while out here, and I had a chance to talk to the New York Times about it back in January of last year. Unfortunately, a year later, we are still dealing with the ramifications of the virus and our company remains vigilant.
I also had the privilege and joy of appearing in the concert version of the show in front of the Lincoln Memorial on September 10, 2021, right before the tour relaunched after the shut down. Here's a beautiful piece about it from the Washington Post.
I continue to be deeply honored to be serving as Treasurer of the Dramatists Guild, along with Amanda Green (our first female President), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins as VP and Kristoffer Diaz as Secretary. To read more, here's the press release.
Also, as Chair of the Dramatists Guild's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access committee, I worked with our Business Affairs Staff, Council members, & committee to create the first Inclusion Rider of its kind, for writers to use while advocating for full inclusion in productions of our works. You can read more about it (as well as see the rider) here.
Seasons 1,2, 3, and 4 of the podcast that I host for the Guild, "The Dramatists Guild presents Talkback" are available to listen to on the Broadway Podcast Network, Apple, and Spotify. We are in post-production of Season 5, which will debut in October.
I've been doing tons of interviews, panels and discussions surrounding these tumultuous times and ongoing efforts to #StopAAPIHate. Here is one that I did alongside Leslie Ishii, with Gordon Cox for Variety, back in 2021.
On a lighter note, it was a joy to join the effervescent Michael Kushner on his podcast Dear Multi-hyphenate, where we talked all thing multi-hyphenate! Keep an eye out for his upcoming book, in which I'm also featured.
New York Theatre Barn hosted my collaborator Jason Ma & I in their New Works Series to talk about our new musical BROKEN GROUND, commissioned by Village Theatre. Recently named a Finalist for the O'Neill Center National Theatre Conference, you can watch the episode here.
I'm also super proud to share this song that I wrote with Kim Sherman & Scott Killian in Fall of 2020 in support of the Biden Harris campaign. Spoken word section is by Notorious Pink. Sung and played by members of the Broadway community.
Peace and Love to All.