Los Angeles' East West Players (EWP), the nation's largest producer of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) theatrical work, has announced the lineup for its 2024 season. Each of the productions will play the David Henry Hwang Theater in the Union Center of the Arts.
The season will kick off with Lisa Sanaye Dring's dystopian love story Kairos running April 4-28, with an official opening set for April 7. The new sci-fi play follows two people falling in love during a tectonic shift in society. Jesca Prudencio will direct. Kairos is produced as part of a National Play Network rolling world premiere, and was originally developed with the Geffen Writers' Room.
Next, EWP will stage Philip W. Chung's Unbroken Blossoms June 27-July 21, with an official opening June 30. Jeff Liu will direct the play, which follows a pair of Chinese American consultants hired to work on Broken Blossoms, an onscreen interracial love story which features two white actors with one in yellowface makeup. The world premiere play is based on true events.
The 2024 season will end with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Tony-nominated musical Pacific Overtures, which will run November 7-December 1, with an official opening November 10. Featuring music and lyrics by Sondheim, a book by Weidman, and additional material by Hugh Wheeler, the musical explores the 19th century opening of Japan to the Western world after years of isolation. The story unfolds through the perspective of two friends, Kayama and Manjiro, as they navigate the time's complex cultural and political changes.
Beginning in fall 2024, EWP will also launch its annual Theatre for Youth tour, which commissions a playwright each year to create an original piece about a historical AAPI figure. This year, Alison Minami's Patsy will be presented throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District and at other community hubs in the greater LA area. Patsy tells the story of Patsy Mink, the first woman of Asian ancestry and the first non-white woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Performances are free and open to the public.
EWP's 2024 season will be celebrated at an invitation-only preview February 25. The event will feature a presentation from Dring, a conversation with Chung moderated by Prince Gomolvilas, and a performance from Pacific Overtures, featuring original Broadway cast member Gedde Watanabe. A waiting list for free entry will be available at a later date.