The world premiere of Livian Yeh's Memorial has found its cast and creative team. Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will kick off its 46th season with the play at Off-Broadway's Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./New York Theatres beginning January 19 ahead of its January 22 Lunar New Year opening. The run is set through February 19
In a tribute to Chinese architect Maya Lin, Angel Lin and Nancy Ma will alternate in the role of Maya. Joining them in the cast will be Glenn Kubota as Hideo Sasaki, Rachel Lu as Julia Lin, Robert Meksin as Wolf von Eckardt, and James Patrick Nelson as Colonel James Becker.
Jeff Liu directs the play, which follows Maya Lin, a 21-year-old architect selected to design a memorial for Vietnam veterans on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall, only to find her "untraditional" design questioned by veterans and Congress.
“Standing at the center of the National Mall, I was struck by how different the Vietnam Veterans Memorial looked from the other memorials," Yeh said in a statement. "It was dark. It went underground. It presented the names of American casualties in the Vietnam War. When I discovered it was designed by Chinese American architect Maya Lin, who fought for her memorial despite fierce opposition from both the veteran community and the United States Congress, I knew I had to dramatize her story."
As the playwright has previously said, “At its heart, Memorial is a play about stories. What is considered an American story, and who gets to tell it?" Director Liu added to Yeh's words, “Most importantly, the play captures democracy in action, dramatizing the often painful nature of negotiation and compromise, which in this case resulted in one of the great works of American art."
The creative team will include set designer Sheryl Liu, costume designer Karen Boyer, lighting designer Victor En Yu Tan, sound designer Da Xu, projection designer Gregory Casparian, and graphics designer Brit Godish. Kristine Schlachter serves as production stage manager with Ingrid Pierson as assistant stage manager.
For tickets and more information, visit PanAsianRep.org.