Join SDC Foundation and director Art Manke as he sits down with director Leigh Silverman, choreographer Sam Pinkleton, playwright David Henry Hwang, and composer Jeanine Tesori; the artistic team behind Soft Power.
A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award® winners David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Flower Drum Song) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home). Soft Powerrewinds our recent political history and plays it back through a Chinese lens: a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. A Chinese executive visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader, as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election. As original as it is topical, Soft Power overflows with the romance, laughter, and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. Hwang and Tesori have created one of the most eagerly anticipated new works of the year.
Soft Power will premiere at the Ahmanson, May 3- June 10, 2018. More information on the production is available at http://ctgla.org
Location: CTG Annex at Center Theatre Group, 601 W Temple Street
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Parking Information: $9 at Music Center Garage, located at 135 North Grand Avenue (underneath the Music Center Plaza). The entrance is on Grand Avenue between Temple and First Streets.
Violet (Roundabout; Tony nomination), Chinglish, Well. Recent Off – Broadway: Sweet Charity (New Group), Harry Clarke (Vineyard); On The Exhale (Roundabout), The Outer Space (Public Theater), All The Ways To Say I Love You (MCC), The Way We Get By (Second Stage), Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb), American Hero (Williamstown Theater Festival, Second Stage), No Place To Go (Public Theater), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre), The (Curious Case Of The) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons), The Madrid (MTC), Golden Child (Signature Theatre), In The Wake (CTG/Berkeley/ Public Theater, Obie Award, Lortel nomination), The Call (Playwrights Horizons), Go Back To Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons, Obie Award), From Up Here (MTC, Drama Desk nomination), Yellow Face (CTG/Public Theater). Encores: Really Rosie, The Wild Party; Violet. Recent Regional: Wild Goose Dreams (La Jolla Playhouse), Hurricane Diane (Two River Theater).
DAVID HENRY HWANG
David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works include the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, and he co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop star Prince. Hwang is currently a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. His screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate. Hwang was a Residency One Playwright at Signature Theatre, which produced a season of his plays, and M. Butterfly was recently revived on Broadway. His opera An American Soldier, with composer Huang Ruo, will premiere in June 2018 at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Recent honors include 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and a 2015 Ford Foundation “Art of Change” Award. He serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center, as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts, and as Chair of the American Theatre Wing.
Sam Pinkleton is a Tony-Nominated choreographer and director based in New York City. As a choreographer, his work on Broadway includes Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Significant Other; Amélie; Machinal; and Heisenberg. Other recent work includes Trouble in Tahiti (Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam); Burn All Night (American Repertory Theatre), Rimbaud in New York (BAM); Kansas City Choir Boy with Courtney Love (CTG, ART, Art Basel); Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Playwrights Horizons); Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep), Peter and the Starcatcher (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Tamburlaine the Great (Theatre for a New Audience), Hair: Retrospection (Kansas City Rep), and The Understudy (McCarter Theatre). Sam is a frequent collaborator with Pig Iron Theatre Company, The Civilians, and The Dance Cartel. Sam directed Liz Swados’ Runaways for City Center Encores Off-Center, which will be revived by The Public Theater in Summer 2018. He is currently developing an original intergenerational Great American Ballet, a modular all-night dance party, a dance theatre piece about 14 different people named Marie Curie, and a musical based on that 90s movie Dave. He does not own any dance shoes.
Jeanine Tesori has written a diverse catalog for Broadway, Opera, film and television. Her Broadway musicals include: Fun Home (2015 Tony Award Winner, Pulitzer finalist); Violet; Caroline, or Change; Shrek the Musical; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Twelfth Night (LCT); John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. Delacorte: Mother Courage (starring Meryl Streep). She has received five Tony nominations, three Obie Awards and three Drama Desk Awards. The hallmarks of her work have been described as “close-to-the-surface emotion, structural rigor and rhythmic drive”. Her operas include: The Lion, the Unicorn and Me; Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (MET/LCT Opera/Theater and Glimmerglass Opera commission); and her upcoming collaboration with Tazewell Thompson, Blue was commissioned for Glimmerglass Opera company and will premiere there next season. She wrote the musical featured in the 2016 revival of Gilmore Girls and has also written special material for artists such as The Girl in 14G for Kristin Chenoweth and has been featured in documentaries Show Business and Theater of War.
Jeanine Tesori became the founding Artistic Director of a new concert series at New York City Center called Encores! Off-Center for which she has helmed seasons joined by artists such as Stephen Sondheim, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Randy Newman, William Finn, Alan Menken, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff. After producing four seasons of Off-Center concerts, she took one of those concerts, Sunday in the Park with George (starring Jake Gyllenhaal) to Broadway where she produced the 2017 revival, with ATG and Riva Marker. She was the recording producer for Sunday as well as the Original Cast Recordings of Violet; Caroline, or Change; Shrek; Twelfth Night; etc. A lecturer in music at Yale and on faculty at Columbia University, Tesori has spoken and taught at universities and programs all over the country. She is the founding Creative Director of the non-profit A BroaderWay, an arts empowerment program for young women. She was given the Einhorn Mentorship Award by Primary Stages for her exceptional work with young artists. Her daughter, Siena Rafter, is a sophomore at Brown University.