SPIRIT & SWORDED TREKS: 1 hr, 50 min including a 15 min intermission; solo; written, directed and performed by Maria Cheng; a satirical look at one woman’s attempt to pursue a spiritual path, from which she keeps straying; tai-chi forms - weapons and solo, bad singing, stand-up comedy, storytelling, live wok-cooking of Buddhist noodles; performed in 4 continents to rave reviews; will be on the 2018 Int’l Theatre Festival in Venice, Florida.
“exquisitely crafted… wickedly funny.“ The New York Times
“Cheng is a consummate theatre person, a complete company unto herself!” NPR
“a magnificent work…richly textured with high energy, pathos and lots of hilarious moments.
A masterful performance that is not to be missed... Cheng is an artist of the first magnitude.”
DUST STORM: 50” one-act or 1’ 45” including a 15” intermission; Japanese-American intern-ment during WWII; written by Rick Foster; performed by Michael Chen or Zachary Drake; directed by Maria Cheng.
This award-winning coming-of-age story of Seiji, interned and rebellious, redeemed by a wise old painter; with projections of the spectacular paintings of Chiura Obata, a world renowned artist who was interned at Topaz, Utah and attacked by his compatriots for being disloyal to the Emperor.
FERMATA: 1’ 40” including a 15” intermission; China; written by Maria Cheng; directed by
Cecilia Pang, originally directed by Lorraine Scott; performed by Maria Cheng, Munam Goodwyn, Lori Hansen, Samantha Saunders; a Grandma, her 2 middle-aged daughters and her granddaughter converge at an Italian villa to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the passing of the patriarch, Grandma’s philandering husband and harsh father to the daughters. All are brilliant world renowned classical musicians who have survived, yet damaged, by the Cultural Revolution, family rivalry, betrayal of one’s own artistic integrity and abuse. What price, the sublime? Yes, sibling fights, generational gaps and artistic blocks, but also doing the tango with the Pope, secrets revealed and redemption, all to the strains of Bach, Beethoven and Johann Strauss.
“...engaging and subtle...loaded with rich ideas about artistic legacy, familial love, a
father's failings…Cheng is a formidable force." Lisa Kennedy of The Denver Post
COMING TO AMERICA: a series of 6 immigration stories, all solos, flexible in length, so a full evening of theatre can be 2 or 3 works, plus a 15” intermission.
ANTECEDENTS: 30”- 45” one-act or 90” 2-act including a 15” intermission; China; written, directed & performed by Maria Cheng; plays 9 characters; story spans 70 years; from old China through Japanese occupation to British colonia-lism and passage to America to nerdy teenager to widowed Grandma who still has issues with the American Dream. Chinese spoken.
BOAT PERSON: 27-35”; Vietnam; written and performed by Peter Trinh; directed by Maria Cheng; story of boat refugees who brave the perils of the high seas after the fall of Saigon, to eventually finding safe haven in America. Vietnamese spoken
Boat Person and Antecedents took Best Production, Actress, Lighting, Set Design and Peoples’s Choice at the statewide 2016 Colorado Community Theatre Festival.
FOUNDATIONS: 30”; Iran; written by Jon Vogels; performed by Illiana Barron, directed by Maria Cheng; a young woman survives the fall of the Shah, war with Iraq and the fundamentalist Islam regime to escape to America where she becomes a successful architect; plays 5 characters. Farsi spoken.
The above 3 plays were premiered at TEA in 2015. All 3 plays have been performed at various lengths and combinations at Colorado Academy, Unitarian Universalists Churches, Bas Bleu Theatre of Fort Collins, Theatre Company of Lafayette and the 2017 National Festival of the American Association of Community Theatre.
ALL OF THE ABOVE: 35”; Iran; written by Jon Vogels; performed by Sohrab Haghverdi; directed by Cecilia Pang; nerdy Iranian-America male techie, brilliant but with ironic chip on his shoulder, struggle with anti-Muslim sentiments/dating/sexism/capitalism. Farsi spoken.
GUNPOWDER MAN: 35”; China; written by Rick Foster; performed by Samantha Saunders; directed by Cecilia Pang; story of 2 Chinese siblings, who helped build the railroad in the American West in the early 1880s and the subsequent racism that drove them back to China.
THE OCCIDENTAL MOON: 30”; India; written by Pavithra Prasad; performed by Eric Bear; directed by Cecilia Pang; a heady and humorous meditation on how a nation’s prestige might be tied to its space program and exploration of Vedic scriptures on the moon.
YOHEN: written by Philip Gotanda; directed by Tony Garcia of Su Teatro; in the round or proscenium; 1’ 50” with a 15: intermission; with Maria Cheng of TEA and Don Randle of the Source Theatre, originally on Broadway with Danny Glover and Nobu McCarthy. It’s a powerful story of racism within races and the price to be paid for deception, fear and loss of passion.
In Japanese, Yohen means “an accident in the firing” of a clay pot. Sometimes a flaw makes one see the beauty in an otherwise flawless work. Shamans say that it’s the crack that allows the light to enter and heal what needs to be healed. YOHEN brings to life the story of the marriage of a middle-aged couple, an immigrant Japanese woman and an African American G.I.
Bryan Miller’s minimalist scenic design suggests that this couple’s living space is a perfectly balanced zen garden. At first glance it reflects the soft, feminine feng shui and ordered sensibility of Sumi. However, in short order we are made aware that the space also contains the imprint of a boxing ring reflective of the masculine potency of Sumi’s athletic husband, James. “
“Watching Mr. Randle’s sweaty intense delivery of air-jabs, hooks and upper-cuts…allows one
to easily imagine his opponent in the ring. As Sumi, Ms. Cheng’s studied acting is both
poignant and brilliant.” David Marlowe of Marlowe’s Musings
Theatre Esprit Asia's Tourable Productions
Want to diversify your repertoire offerings? Theatre Esprit Asia has a roster of 10 powerful and poignant, humorous and riveting plays that speak to the joys and mysteries of the human condition.
All require minimal set-up. We travel with our own light/sound operator/technical director. We provide the actors, costumes, props, set pieces, projections and sound. Just give us 5 hours and we are ready to perform!
Fees depend on the size of your house and number of performances, We want you to have a guaranteed net. We want to get our stories out.
That’s it! Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-492-9479