A festival of short plays returns on June 15-18, 2023, at La MaMa Theater


| Poster via Ma-Yi Theater Company

NEW YORK – Short Stack 2, a 2nd annual festival of short plays by Asian American playwrights, will be presented on June 15-18, 2023, at La MaMa Shares’ Downstairs Theater (66 East 4th St, Manhattan). The festival is a partnership between Second Generation Productions (2G) and Ma-Yi Theater Company. $5 tickets benefit Heart of Dinner, a community organization aiding and feeding working-class AAPI seniors throughout the city.

2G and Ma-Yi commissioned nine Asian American playwrights to write short, five-minute plays that incorporate randomly assigned props and costumes, including a severed leg, dinosaurs, a baby, bubble guns, and a camel head, to name a few.

Short Stack 2 will showcase short new plays by Vichet Chum, Lisa Sanaye Dring, Jesse Jae Hoon, Nina Ki, Roger Q. Mason, Rehana Lew Mirza, Seayoung Yim, Max Yu, and David Zhen.

Participating directors include Nana Dakin, Cara Hinh, Kalina Ko, Ralph B. Peña, Carol Ann Tan, and Shannon Tyo.

Short Stack aims to create opportunities for Asian American theater artists in various stages of their careers to work together, build lasting relationships, and foster a more meaningful sense of community. New York City is fortunate to be the chosen destination of so many young Asian American theater artists, and it is incumbent upon organizations like 2G and Ma-Yi Theater to introduce them to our existing communities.

In addition to Short Stack 2, G2 and Ma-Yi Theater will present two evening-length readings at La MaMa. Both readings are free with reservation. On June 15 at 2 p.m., a new play by David Zheng will get a reading directed by Raelle Myrick Hodges. In Kidnapping Jane Doe, two friends from The Bronx kidnap their local congresswoman by mistake, inadvertently showing her the best time of her life.

On June 16 at 2 p.m., Seayong Yim’s Jar of Fat gets a reading directed by Seonjae Kim. Joining the cast is Kelly Marie Tran (Raya and the Last Dragon, Star Wars: The Last Jedi). Jar of Fat is a fantastical fairytale world, and two Korean American sisters are deemed too fat to fit in their family grave. Will the sisters’ close bond survive under the pressure of their community and fretful parents, who will spare no effort to get them tinier? Jar of Fat is an absurdist comedy that explores desire, ugliness, and beauty.

On June 17 at 4 p.m., 2G and Ma-Yi Theater will host The Business of Performance, a public forum with working professionals focused on what it takes to do theatrical work in New York City. Organized by Nancy Bulalacao and moderated by Ralph B. Peña, participants include Daniel K. Isaac, Francis Jue, and Nandita Shenoy.

The cast for Short Stack 2 includes Alton Alburo, Sergio Mauritz Ang, Brandon Bautista, Sayali Bramhe, Emma Callahan, Amanda Centeno, Andre Chan, Emy Coligado, Esther Chen, Patrick Elizalde, Jamie Gamonez, Annaporva Green, Elijah Guo, Daniel K. Isaac, Marshall Joun, Kenneth Kang, Kyosin Kang, Ashil Lee, Estelle Lee, Christina Liang, Ed Lin, Jesse Cao Long, Peter Mah, Evan Ohbayashi, Phoenix Ra, Sara Rahman, Heen Sasithorn, Sarah Shin, Ray K. Soeun, Xiaoxiao Sun, Eric Yang, Paul (Sang Yun) Yoon, and Matt Zhang.

The creative team for Short Stack 2 includes Clinton Sherwood (choreographer), Jonathan Cottle (lighting consultant), Elliot Yokum (sound designer), Borna Barsin (line producer), Burkett Horrigan (production stage manager), and Jakob Carter (producer).

Since its founding in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Please visit www.ma-yitheatre.org for more information.

–With Jay Domingo/PDM

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