All posts by PFPTheatre

Science Fiction Comes to the Stage With These UNLEASHED Playwrights! 

Rounding out our line-up of Unleashed playwrights are Greg Lam and Darren Canady,coming to us from Boston and Kansas. Their tales sit squarely in the tradition of cerebral science fiction, asking “what if?” questions and following the consequences in an exciting and thoughtful way.
Repossessed asks one married couple: if you had the power to edit your personality to “improve” it, would that be the ultimate key to happiness? And can two edited personalities ever really feel love? Reparations asks an African American family: if technology were able to unlock trauma seared into your DNA and bring to light acts of oppression against your ancestors, would you open that Pandora’s box? Even if it revealed shocking answers to secrets long buried?
Check out these two nights of innovative science fiction theatre! Tickets available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/email/3061231

Greg Lam (Repossessed)

Greg Lam is a playwright, screenwriter, and board game designer who lives in the Boston area. Greg was a member of the 2016 Company One Playlab for the development of Boston area playwrights. His plays are scheduled to be read at Fresh Ink Theatre, Pork Filled Players, and The Depot.
What’s Repossessed about?
A married couple discover that their seemingly happy marriage was actually manufactured and implanted in their minds via a new technology they can no longer afford. Through the repossession of the last five years of their lives, they discover the extent that they’re willing to buy and sell their identities.
What inspired you to write this play?
Believe it or not, this started as a 10 minute play inspired by early Radiolab podcasts. In the first seasons they were heavily invested in exploring the mysteries of the human mind, about perception and neurology, making the case that human consciousness was more fungible than we generally think of it. So I imagined the case in which people discover that major parts of their identity weren’t as they believed. I kept writing disconnected scenes set in this universe exploring the world building as I pleased without a grand plan. I did this until I felt I had enough material to make a full play, which is what you will see today.
What kind of theatre excites you?
I like theatre that takes advantage of the entire medium. The live performance aspect, the settings whether one set that you inhabit or whether they figure out a way to move nimbly from place to place, the heightened language, the crowd response. I want there to be a compelling reason that it’s a play and not a movie or a book, something you can’t get anywhere else.
What or who inspires you?
I’ve discovered that I like taking one type of media and mashing it up with another type of media. Playwriting, screenwriting for TV and movies, graphic novels, fiction, oral storytelling, podcasting, webseries, game design. Each of those have aspects that people think are its strong suit, but I think interesting things happen when you take the strengths of one medium and translate it into another medium.
What are your upcoming projects?
In addition to playwriting, Greg is the co-creator and host of a podcast called “Boston Podcast Players” which presents excerpted readings of new full length plays by and interviews with Boston playwrights. This podcast debuted in July of this year, and is available on iTunes and other podcast players. For more information, see bostonpodcastplayers.com. He has also published a children’s book called In Other Words which is stuffed with words that sound like other words but don’t mean the same thing at all. All of his projects can be seen atpair-of-dice.com.

Darren Canady (Reparations)

Darren Canady’s work has been seen at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Alliance Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Fremont Centre Theatre, Congo Square Theatre, the BE Company, American Blues Theater, KC Rep, and Kansas City’s Barn Theater. Darren is an alum of Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, and the Juilliard School. He is a former member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New Writers Group, the T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange, and the America-In-Play theatre collective. He currently teaches playwriting at the University of Kansas.
What’s Reparations about?
Rory’s life is a classic Great Plains dead-end: a job she hates, a sick grandmother who depends on her, and dreams that just can’t seem to materialize. However, a new technology developed to help humans harness the power of their own blood to re-live history promises to give Rory the chance to hit a major pay-day. But she’s completely unprepared for the shocking, divisive truth she uncovers, that stretches from society’s oppression of black people to the very personal injuries that families are forced to inflict on each other.
How did this play come about?
I wrote this play thinking about the instinctual ways my family members respond to violence or hardship. I would look around at my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and think about how there seemed to be just this…*knowledge* that was in us about survival – about processing pain. I made the mistake of thinking it was just some sort of feature of our identities; then I really started interrogating my family members about our origins. There were wonderful things, yes, but there was some real trauma back there. Trauma that we all picked up and carried around, even when we didn’t talk about what the source was. I realized we were marked with it – marked down through generations. REPARATIONS is my way of working through where all of that comes from.
What inspires you?
Right now, I’m inspired by a whole slew of folks from all sorts of disciplines with creative energies. Some are girls of color in incarceration centers I’ve worked with, some are fellow playwrights, some are social workers, some are my own students. I think the thing that unites them all is that they use creativity to survive and push for radical change. Many of them inspire me because they challenge my complacency and call out my complicity by calling us all to do more and be more in whatever environment we’re in. I’m blessed and convicted by encountering people like that on a nearly daily basis.
What’s up next?
Upcoming projects: in November, a short play of mine will be produced in Kansas City as part of a festival of work inspired by dystopian literature. My play, ONTARIO WAS HERE, about the struggles of two front line social workers, will have its premiere production at Atlanta’s Aurora Theatre. There will also be a brief remounting of my play about girls of color in incarceration facilities, BLACK BUTTERFLIES, in Oakland, CA later this year.

Meet More Unleashed Playwrights

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/mail/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.

Meet the Authors of UNLEASHED!

From steamy nightclub noir, to sword and sorcery on the high seas, to imaginative science fiction exploring DNA technology and implanted memories . . . the new play readings at Unleashed will celebrate the hidden imaginations and unfettered creativity of diverse playwrights of color!
We’ll be highlighting our writers over the next month so you can learn more about their work and what makes them tick. This week, meet Lamar Legend and Celeste Mari Williams!
And be sure to grab your tickets to Unleashed, on sale now at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/web/3061231

Lamar Legend (Mirror-Mirror)

Lamar Legend

Lamar Legend is a native New Yorker and began his theatrical training at The High School for the Performing Arts (The “Fame” School/LAG Arts) as an actor. He tuned his dancing technique at The Alvin Ailey Dance School. But it wasn’t until he moved to Chicago that he married his love of Shakespeare with Physical Theatre under the title of Director. Since then, Lamar has written and adapted seven plays, produced, directed, and starred in over forty theatrical works in four US cities, as well as abroad in Tuscany, Rome, Milan, Prague, and Mexico. He’s performed at The MET, The Steppenwolf Theater, The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Teatro Franco Parenti, and was honored with The Rising Star Award by The League of American Theaters & Producers.

About Mirror-Mirror
At first glance, a benign 1950s Tupperware party. But soon we find ourselves peeking upon a secret coven of witches from our favorite fairy tales. What ensues is an entertaining look at feminism, racism, and classicism with a Twilight Zone twist, all arising from the appearance of a vacuum.
What is your favorite genre to see onstage? Classical Theatre, Shakespeare.
What kind of theatre excites you? Physical Theatre and dance.
What or who inspires you? Epic themes. Gods, monsters, heroes, villains, and underdogs.

Celeste Mari Williams (My Samurai)

Celeste Mari Williams

Celeste is a Seattle playwright who has written for SIS Productions as part of Revealed, Insatiable, and LAAFF Fest.  She is also a member of Parley, which has produced workshops of her plays Amelia’s Wall, A Fine Line, and most recently, Best Friend. Celeste is excited to be part of UNLEASHED!

About My Samurai
Trying to meet the right romantic partner is challenging enough when Wanda’s Samurai ancestor infiltrates her dating life and helps her unleash the warrior within. Wanda must learn what truly makes her powerful in this fantastical world of dreams, battles, Bushido, and wine bars.
What inspired you to write this play?
My own Samurai ancestor from the 16th century, Oni Kojima Yataro. My cousin’s husband, local and well known artist, Chris Hopkins, created a beautiful and haunting painting of him. The painting inspired me to want to learn more about this part of my heritage and infuse that into a dark comedy of a modern woman struggling in her dating life.
What kind of theatre excites you?
Stories that are unique, dark, daring, and funny. Stories that engage my mind and soul: make me care, laugh, connect, and feel.

Tickets Now On Sale for UNLEASHED

New Pulp Stories Unleashed On Stage by Pork Filled Productions

Pork Filled Productions celebrates playwrights of color with Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century, a staged reading festival of seven new plays, produced in association with the Theatre Off Jackson, October 30 to November 4, 2017 at the Theatre Off Jackson (409 7th Ave. S. in Seattle’s International District).

From steamy nightclub noir, to sword and sorcery on the high seas, to imaginative science fiction exploring DNA technology and implanted memories, Unleashed helps give a voice to playwrights of color who want to break through the rigid norms and expectations of mainstream theater. With a diverse selection of Korean American, Chinese American, Chinese Canadian, and African American playwrights, Unleashed will showcase the wildly creative and outside-the-box stories that often get overlooked from writers of color.

“Playwrights of colors, like actors get typecast”, says Roger Tang, executive director of PFP. “They’re expected, almost demanded, to write about identity, oppression, and social issues. Many mainsream theatres confine them to the ethnic slot in their season.

“We have more stories in us than that. We want to have fun and tell crackling good tales. That’s the point of PFP doing Unleashed. We don’t avoid race if it comes up, but we want to give our writers free rein to let their full storytelling potential loose on stage. And while they’re staged readings now, we want to guide them to full productions eventually.”

The line up of plays for Unleashed include:

  • Mirror-Mirror, by Seattle actor/writer Lamar Legend: “”No one suspects a woman with a vacuum!” in this zany fractured fairy tale. Directed by Aaron Jin, presented on Monday, October 30, at 7:30 pm (along with teaser scenes from the rest of the festival as a part of our Opening Night Gala).
  • My Samurai, by Seattle’s Celeste Mari Williams, dramaturgy by Sonja Lowe, directed by Shana Bestock: Finding romance is hilarious and frustrating when watched over by a ghostly Samurai ancestor. Presented on Wednesday, November 1, at 7:30 pm.
  • Repossessed by Boston-based writer Greg Lam, dramaturgy by Daniel Rector, directed by David Gassner: Rich and Gretchen believe they have the perfect marriage, until they learn that it must be repossessed by the company that manufactured it. Presented on Thursday, November 2, at 7:30 pm.
  • Reparations, by Wisconsin writer Darren Canady: This innovative science fiction tale asks the question: if our histories are indelibly imprinted in our DNA, can reparations ever be enough to forget the ghosts of black history? Directed by Jay O’Leary, and presented on Friday, November 3, at 7:30 pm.
  • Blood Makes Noise, by Canadian writer Kuan Foo (performer/writer for the Vancouver sketch comedy group Assaulted Fish): An agitated patient is quarantined in a hospital room, while her flesh may or may not be turning undead. Directed by May Nguyen Lee, and presented on Saturday, November 4, at 2 pm.
  • Dawn of the She-Devil of the China Seas, by Roger Tang, dramaturgy by Kate Swenson, spins thetrue (we swear!) origin of China’s pirate queen, who commanded the world’s largest fleet, buckling her swash against the dark forces opposing her. Directed by Linnea Ingalls, and also presented on Saturday, November 4, at 2 pm.
  • Persimmon Nights, by Seattle writer Seayoung Yim (Do It For Umma), dramaturgy by Maggie Lee: A brash young Korean immigrant rises to great heights to risks it all, while balancing two lovers and many debts in the 1960s/70s. Directed by Sara Porkalob, and presented on Saturday, November 4, at 7:30 pm.

Individual tickets are $6 for General Admission. All-Festival Passes to see all readings are $20. Both are available at the door and in advance online at Brown Paper Tickets, at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/web/3061231. For more info, email PFP at info@porkfilled.com.

Spinning off from the long running sketch comedy group the Pork Filled Player, Pork Filled Productions stretches the boundaries of Asian American theatre. Reflecting the imagination and creativity of modern Asian American artists, Pork Filled Products redesigns traditional Asian American theatre to embrace the full spectrum of genres, from steampunk (The Clockwork Professor and The Tumbleweed Zephyr by Maggie Lee), to supernatural comedy (Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love by Prince Gomolvilas), to racial identity farce (Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang), to even Kung-fu zombie Shakespeare (Living Dead in Denmark by Qui Nguyen).

Unleashed is supported by 4Culture and the Office of Arts & Culture Seattle and is an Associated Project of Shunpike. Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides independent arts groups in Washington with the services, resources and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success.

SAVE THE DATE! Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century! October 30th – November 4th!

Pork Filled Productions celebrates playwrights of color with Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century, a staged reading festival of seven new plays, produced in association with the Theatre Off Jackson, October 30 to November 4, 2017 at the Theatre Off Jackson (409 7th Ave. S. in Seattle’s International District).

Top row: Lamar Legend, Celeste Mari Williams, Greg Lam, Darren Canady Bottom row: Kuan Foo, Roger Tang, Seayoung Yim

 

 

Special fundraiser screening of Attack The Block!

Pork Filled Productions presents a special fundraiser screening of ATTACK THE BLOCK at the Grand Illusion Cinema (1403 NE 50th St, Seattle) on Saturday, August 26 at 7pm. It’s one of our favorite genre-smashing, thrill-ride movies of all time, and we are so excited to bring this modern cult classic film back to the big screen for one night only!

Starring John Boyega, in his breakout role before he storm-troopered the universe in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jodie Whittaker, who was recently announced to the world as the 13th Doctor, as well as a fierce and funny cast of diverse young actors!

ATTACK THE BLOCK is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen street gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London housing project into a sci-fi battleground, the low-income apartment complex into a fortress under siege. And it turns a crazy mix of tough street kids into a team of kick ass heroes. It’s inner city versus outer space and it’s going to explode.

Tickets are $15, and include unlimited popcorn! A portion of all ticket sales will help fund our upcoming play reading festival Unleashed: New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century, which will feature exciting new genre plays by playwrights of color. So come on out and ATTACK THE BLOCK with PFP!

Tickets – $15: http://attacktheblock.brownpapertickets.com/
For questions or more info, please email tix@porkfilled.com

The Wong Kids Save the Universe at Dragon Fest

Space dragons! Super-powered siblings! And the Imminent End of the Universe! Join PFP at Dragon Fest for a FREE storytelling staged reading of The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! by Lloyd Suh. There’s only one performance at 2pm on Saturday, July 15, at the Theatre Off Jackson (409 7th Ave. S. in Seattle’s Chinatown International District) so don’t miss this exciting and heartwarming tale that’s perfect for the whole family!
Violet and Bruce Wong just don¹t fit in with the other Earth kids. Sure, they have superpowers, they’re just not very good ones. But when an evil beast called the Space Chupacabra appears, intent on universal destruction, The Wong Kids must travel to far reaches of outer space to stop it . . . if they can only stop bickering. Violet and Bruce ultimately realize that being different isn¹t just okay, it might just be the most important thing, like, ever.
Directed by Harry Todd Jamieson, The Wong Kids features the talents of PFP vets Brad Walker, Stephanie Kim-Bryan, Tadd Morgan and Kevin Lin, as well as newcomers Mi Kang and Rachel Guyer-Mafune!
“The Wong Kids” embeds its messages in fun, and its insistence on being extraordinary proves the upside of standing out. –NY Times
Dragon Fest is the largest pan-Asian celebration in the Northwest, held the weekend of July 15th and 16th in the heart of Seattle’s historic Chinatown-International District. The Dragon Fest event will feature non-stop cultural performances including Dragon and Lion dances, Traditional Korean drumming, martial arts demonstrations, the Chinese Girls Drill Team, and much, much, more!
The Wong Kids was first commissioned and produced by
Children’s Theatre Company – Minneapolis
Developed in the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Ma-Yi Theater Company, NY
Produced by special arrangement with
Plays For Young Audiences

ThanksBIG to All of our GiveBIG Donors!

 A huge PFP roar of appreciation to everyone who supported us for the Seattle Foundation¹s GiveBIG campaign!
We raised over $2,000 on May 10, totally blowing away all of our expectations. With all of the hundreds of local non-profit organizations out there depending on community support, we truly appreciate the fact that so many of you chose to contribute to Pork Filled Productions.
Your donations help us stretch the boundaries of Asian American theatre by producing our unique brand of genre stories for diverse audiences. This fall, we are going further than ever with Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century, our staged reading festival of daring new works by playwrights of color!
Thank you again so much for your support!

This Fall, These Writers Will Be Unleashed!

PFP is pleased to announce the festival lineup for Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century!
These new play readings will embrace imagination and creativity beyond the tethers of our day-to-day world, including fantasy, science fiction, salty pirate tales, sword fights, zombie outbreaks, and so much more:
  • Mirror-Mirror by Lamar Legend (local Seattle writer)
  • Repossessed by Greg Lam
  • My Samurai, by Celeste Mari Williams (SIS Writers Group and Parley playwright)
  • Reparations, by Darren Canady
  • Blood Makes Noise, by Kuan Foo (head sketch writer for Assaulted Fish)
  • Dawn of the She Devil of the China Seas, by Roger Tang (yes, the Head Hawg!)
  • and Persimmon Nights, an original commissioned play by Seayoung Yim (Do it for Umma)
UNLEASHED will be at Theatre Off Jackson (409 7th Ave S., Seattle) in Fall 2017! Look forward to more updates about the plays and the playwrights, as well as details on how you can purchase your tickets to the reading festival…coming soon!

Save the date to GiveBIG to PFP!

PFP and the Seattle Foundation team up on May 10, for GiveBIG, Seattle¹s day of giving where Seattle donors join with the area non-profits to do good.

For PFP,  the Seattle Foundation are collaborators on our mission to stretch the boundaries of Asian American theatre and to center Asian American theatre artists on stage, using genres like steampunk, science fiction, comic books, adventure stories and more!

For GiveBIG, PFP has lined up a pool of matching funds to double the impact of your gifts. The first $500 in gifts will be matched by our producers, so a $10 gift from you will turn into $20 for PFP!

We have a slew of projects coming up that could use your support. Help two young Asian American siblings save the universe in a staged reading of The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! (Coming up at DragonFest this summer!) Help develop new works and new writers for Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 20th Century! 

It¹s coming up quickly, so get ready for GiveBig! And give to PFP at http://www.givebigseattle.org/PorkFilledProductions!