A Hand of Talons (2016)

  • Gregory Award Winner, Outstanding Costume Design
  • Nominated, Gypsy Award, Excellence in Set Design
  • Nominated, Gypsy Award, Excellence in Lighting Design
  • Nominated, Gypsy Award, Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Female): (Small Theaters): Stephanie Kim-Bryan
  • Nominated, Gypsy Award, Excellence in Production (Small Theaters), A Hand of Talons
  • Nominated, Gypsy Award, Excellence in Local Playwriting, Maggie Lee

TALONSposter_text_v5.jpgFor generations, the Yao clan has ruled the criminal underworld in New Providence with an iron fist. But as the family empire threatens to crumble, Wilhelmina Yao must do whatever it takes to win at in a high-stakes game of power and betrayal. Descend into the hazy underground gambling den of the Fortuna Mews to explore the dark world of steampunk noir in this thrilling third installment of the New Providence series.

Who was in it?


Bernadette “Bernie” Martillo – Jenn Ruzumna
Wilhelmina Yao  –  Stephanie Kim-Bryan
Lawrence Howell – Ben Burris
Anders Yao – Sean Schroeder
Lin Curtis – Kenna Kettrick
Delphine Yao – Mariko Kita
Kenzo Yao – Tim Gagne
Preston Hodge – Ahbijeet Rane

Staff and Desginers

writer – Maggie Lee
director- Amy Poisson
stage manager – Michael Massey
assistant stage manager – Maile Wong
set / prop designer- Brandon Estrella
costume designer – Jocelyn Fowler (Gregory Award nominee)
lighting designer – Tess Malone
sound designer- Joseph Swartz
fight choreographer – May Nguyen
poster design- Phil Foglio
production photography – Joe Ianno
producers – Maggie Lee, May Nguyen and Roger Tang

What did people say?

IANO_20160424_211738_DSC_1769A Hand of Talons is a very clever play. Maggie Lee has done an exceptional job of creating a very layered, intricate and complex world. But, she’s also managed to make this world accessible to the casual viewer. You don’t need to have seen the other plays set in this world to enjoy and understand Talons. Lee has created a complex world but to any fan of this genre of literature, it’s clear and concise. It’s a broadly drawn, melodramatic world of violent passions and emotions….”
Michael Strangeways, Seattle Gay Scene 
IANO_20160424_200052_DSC_1530“…the production of A Hand of Talons, running through May 21 at Theatre of Jackson does NOT disappoint!”
“…one of the best-produced shows I’ve seen in Seattle.”
“…the ingenious direction of Amy Poisson…A good director entertains: a great director elevates the art form of storytelling.”
Copious Love Productions 
IANO_20160424_192108_DSC_1313“Lee is clearly gaining mastery of her dialogue and characters and part of the real enjoyment of this outing is the full-blown character of Wilhemina. Kim-Bryan exercises lots of acting technique as she ranges from giddy young woman, carefree and sexually casual, to discovering how her family protected her and what price they have paid. The transition for her eventual need to choose to take the reins of the family dynasty is credible and clearly earned.
“This is a really fun evening and a strong contender for awards time. It represents the best of what small theater productions can achieve. Don’t miss it! ”
Miryam Gordon, Seattle Gay News


The International Examiner interviews the cast, staff and producers.

Audience reactions:
DAMN. y’all who are going to see this show- you are in for a TREAT.

Fantastic, fabulous preview tonight!!!! Congratulations!!

just saw the preview last night: A Hand of Talons by Maggie Lee opens tomorrow,

This episode is like part of Joss Whedon’s Firefly verse coming back to life. Intrigue, family infighting and a bit of unrequited love. You’ll be in for a terrific couple of hours at the edge of your seat. Oh and those costumes once again — GORGEOUS! Tix available at

So it’s intermission at the preview and someone just said ‘ I’m so sad it’s already half over’.

Yes!! This show is some SERIOUS fun! You should all go see it!! So happy to see the clan Yao again!!! /react-text

SO GREAT and also so different in feeling and tone from the previous two (which I loved) (but still playful and fun) (but I was TOTALLY freaking out).I think the darkness in this story kind of sets up the tone that you have in the other plays, which take place later even though you produced them first. PS it occurs to me that I was freaking out so much because this is the first time I didn’t get to see a reading of the play first.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the play A Hand of Talons at Theatre off Jackson as a guest of Kyoko Matsumoto. What a fascinating play. The story was a bit above me but the costumes, staging, lighting, props and acting were absolutely spectacular!

I love this line from the director… “How do you know which choices will forever alter your life? Does some part of you know in the moment, or do you only realize it after the fact?”

Hey, YOU! You like great theatre with strong direction and a fantastic cast, right? I heard you also enjoy slick and exciting crime dramas too. Then go see this show! Heck, I’d like to see it again; I’ll go with you!

Breaking my facebook fast to say how much I LOVED this show! Mother. Of. Doom. Y’all slayed it (figuratively and literally) Thank you for a brilliant night of hilarious, sexy, dark and wonderful steampunkery. heart emoticon

If you’re a steampunk fan and like multicultural, women-centered shows featuring kick-ass women, then you’ll enjoy watching Stephanie Kim-Bryan, Jenn Ruzumna, Kenna M. Kettrick and Mariko Kita take stage, especially when the action careens towards a more dastardly direction at the end of Act I in this latest play set in the imaginatively fictional world of New Providence. Plus, fab costumes by Jocelyn Fowler and fun set by Brandon Estrella elevate the visual pleasure of the experience. #?SEAthtr

If you’ve ever seen Maggie Lee’s work, you know what a treat you’re in for with this show. Pork Filled Productions has an amazingly well-crafted show on their hands with A Hand of Talons“, playing at Theatre Off Jackson. Great script, acting and direction, and the set is incredible…Make the time to see it!

I saw this show on opening night and loved it. And despite how packed my schedule is, I’m seeing this show A SECOND TIME. It’s that good! Make time to see this one, folks. Trust me.

A very good play – action and violence, and a good deal of fun. With a wonderful, tough API woman lead!! Go see Hand of Talons by Pork Filled Productions!

Strong characters – great show!

Oh, Maggie Lee! Hand of Talons was so good! Seattle is lucky to have you.

Just got back from this. It was amazing. Seriously. You should go see it. To say anything more would spoil it.

Hey Seattle people, you have GOT to go see Hand of Talons by Maggie Lee. Stephanie Kim-Bryan does an AMAZING job and makes the descent into viciousness absolutely beautiful. I’ll be going back next week with Joanna. No, Mom, you don’t get a say, we’re going back grin emoticon

Wow! Absolutely blown away by your performance tonight! Talons has always been my favorite one in the trilogy and I always wonderful how one would pull off the Whilhemina character. You were absolutely magnificent smile emoticon Congratulations!!

Absolutely brilliant, all of you! Congrats on an excellent show!

The show was great. It was awesome meeting you, Maggie, and Miko before seeing it. It really shows how connected you folks are to the theater and the audience.

Tell Maggie I loved the concept and especially her writing. I see a lot of steampunk shows get too caught up in themselves to form a plot, but she more than pulled it off. Her characters were very credible and motivated, and there was solid material for the actors to pull from.

It is truly one of THE BEST SHOWS I have seen ALL YEAR!!!!! Don’t miss this!!!!!

That is a hilarious script!

Hand of Talons was brilliant! My friends were squeeing throughout. Start up New ProvidenceFest if only to remount The Clockwork Professor.

It’s no surprise at this point that the play was awesome (the writer & director & everyone else have this down to a (ahem) science!), but it’s worth saying anyway: the play was awesome! So intense–a bit different from the others, as we learn just why the often-mentioned but never seen Wilhemina Yao is considered so fearsome…Bravo!

Congrats to all! I’m very grateful I got to see your work and play. I used to dream about seeing these sorts of heroines onstage when I was a girl – I wish I could take it back in time and share it with my 12 year old self. Oh wait, I guess that’s what I just did…..

It’s so good!! Sexy, enthralling and super high stakes. I was riveted!!

Friends. I am headed to Seattle Public Theater for the opening of Caught tonight, and if you aren’t joining me… You need to go see A Hand of Talons by Maggie Lee: May 9 – 21. This is not only one of the best plays I’ve seen this year, it is by far the most entertaining.

The performances are delightful & sincere. Stephanie Kim-Bryan helms the show with ease & wit. Watching her evolve as circumstances change was incredible. And you know I love me some Ben Burris & Sean Schroeder, and neither disappoint.

Maggie Lee doesn’t just write a play, she creates an entire universe, with culture, traditions, language & more, that like many nerdoms creates the possibility of exclusivity but instead Maggie’s universe invites you in. In A Hand of Talons, we all get to be a part of the club at Fortuna Mews. And it is a club you want to be in.

I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again. I want to live inside of Maggie’s imagination… as long as I get to carry a really cool sword with me.

Go see this play y’all. Support all the stuff we say we want to see in Seattle Theatre – female writers, female directors, female voices, strong female leads, diverse casting, and more. We all talk the talk, it’s time to walk the walk. This play is worth every word.

Guys. Go see this show! Wonderful job all round and tonight is closing night!!!