This round of writers cannonballs into sword and sorcery on the high seas and the zombie not-quite-Apocolypse. Hailing from British Columbia and from Seattle, these two authors coincidentally are also veterans of the sketch comedy world, as the prime architects of Assaulted Fish and Pork Filled Players.
Tickets ($6/reading, $20 for a festival pass) are at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/web/3061231
Kuan Foo (Blood Makes Noise)
Kuan Foo was born in England and still retains an air of awkward introversion. He has written extensively in many genres including a stint as managing editor for Banana magazine. For the last 14 years, he has been a writer/performer with the critically acclaimed Asian-Canadian comedy troupe, Assaulted Fish. His play “Self-ish” recently debuted at the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival. He lives in Vancouver, Canada with his partner who thinks he needs to put more stuff in his bio.
What’s Blood Makes Noise about?
It’s not quite a zombie apocalypse, more of a zombie annoyance. Across the country, a small number of corpses have mysteriously reanimated and quietly gone into hiding. But what happens when these “After-Lifers” try to step out of the shadows and join the rest of humanity? Is being dead a barrier to getting a life?
What inspired you to write this play?
I am fascinated with the idea of the self and what it means to be an autonomous individual. If a zombie inhabits the body of a dead person and has all of the memories of their former life, is it the same person or is it a different person? Also at what point does it stop being a person at all and start being a thing that we will happily take a flamethrower to? Also, not really being a horror movie aficionado, I naively thought that zombies were somewhat underrepresented in popular culture and I figured that writing about them would be like frolicking in fresh snow. Holy crap was I wrong about that.
What kind of theatre excites you?
I like theatre that pushes or challenges me and takes me out of my comfort zone, that explores new ideas or old ideas in a new way, theatre with an element of risk and danger. Unless it’s interactive. Then I become shy and start noticing interesting things on the floor.
What is your favorite genre to see onstage?
I’m kind of a theatre omnivore so I like to watch all kinds of theatre. As far as I am concerned there are only two genres of theatre: good theatre and awesome theatre. I prefer awesome theatre but will settle for good theatre in a pinch.
What or who inspires you?
The many, many people who are better writers than me. My family and friends from whom I steal dialogue. Otherwise, the same things that inspire all writers: love and fear … and deadlines.
What are your upcoming projects?
My previous play “Self-ish” debuted at the Toronto Fringe earlier this summer so I’m working on revisions with an eye to trying to mount a production in Vancouver. Also next year will be the 15th anniversary of my sketch comedy troupe, Assaulted Fish, so we’re talking about putting a show together. Stay tuned! (www.assaultedfish.com,www.twitter.com/assaultedfish)
Roger Tang (Dawn of the She-Devil of the China Sea)
Roger Tang takes off the producer hat forUnleashed and dons his author hat. As a playwright, he’s written The Jade Con, Shadowed Intent, Truth and Lies, Third Generation Heritage and Mac n Dex. He has worked with Seattle’s 14/18 Festival, penned numerous sketches for the Pork Filled Players and several pieces for SIS Productions’ Revealed series of site-specific theatre work. Nationally, he serves on the board of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA), advocating for Asian American theatre everywhere.
What’s She-Devil about?
The true (cross our heart!) origin of China’s pirate queen, who commanded the world’s largest fleet—and the black forces that gather to oppose her.
What inspired you to write this play?
Ching Shih has one of the most kickass histories I’ve ever read…and no one has written a story about her. It has everything…rags to riches, women claiming power, sexy/intelligent/powerful protagonist and pirates…and no one’s wrote a story about her???? Hollywood you’re failing your job! You promised us at least a Maggie Q miniseries, but I got tired of waiting! I added a little Conan and a little Red Sonja and here we are!
What’re your favorite genres?
This follows my interests in theatre: strong characters, strong plot elements, high stakes. While I enjoy a little introspection and character heavy shows at time, I think theatre, like any other art, goes best when it embraces spectacle, adventure and more than a little fun in its storytelling.
What’s on tap for the future?
Currently working hard on the national level with CAATA, trying to organize the 2018 National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival, organize CAATA’s first membership program and initiate a CAATA Rolling World Premiere program for Asian American playwrights.