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The Dragon Plays

LoNyLa produced The Dragon Plays, an initiative to bridge the East-West divide and develop new work by Asian writers or writers of Asian descent.

A joint effort by LoNyLa London, LoNyLa Hong Kong (in partnership with Hong Kong Dramatists) and LoNyLa Singapore, the January-February 2012 reading series involved broadcasting new work over the Internet and conducting a three-city feedback loop. Similar to the transatlantic vLab, audiences clicked on a hyperlink to view the reading from offices and homes.


BEDOK RESERVOIR by Wesley Leon Aroozoo, director Elina Lim. Cast: Chio Su-Ping, Erwin Shah Ismail, Ruzaini Mazani, Lyon Sim.

The recent mysterious spate of drownings at Bedok Reservoir bring a rescue diver and a distraught mother on a journey of remorse and lost possibilities. Were these accidents suicide or…

Wesley Leon Aroozoo (Singapore) graduated from Nanyang Technological University and is now pursuing his Master of Fine Arts at NYU Tisch Asia. In 2010, he was selected as one of Tokyo Filmex’s Next Masters. His short films have screened in over 80 festivals such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Film Festival of Experimental and Different Cinemas of Paris. He is part of 13 Little Pictures, a film collective in Singapore and as well as Studio Thirteen, a collective of visual artists, filmmakers, writers, curators and educators based at the Goodman Arts Centre.

THE BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING by CHONG Tze Chien (Singapore), Oliver Chong (Singapore), Antonio Ianniello (Italy) and Nambi E. Kelley (USA). Director: Drayton Alexander Hiers. Cast: Gerald Chew, Oon Shu An, Glory Ngim, Jon Cancio, Chio Su-Ping, Bright Ong, Pavan J. Singh, Vanessa Ann Vanderstraaten.

In the last days of her life, an old tranny has a premonition that the universe will collapse. She envisions herself as the next messiah, performing miracles and saving humanity while her adopted daughter tries her best to convince her delusional parent that she is experiencing death itself.

CHONG Tze Chien (Singapore) is an award-winning and published playwright/director in Singapore. Some of the awards he has won include the Singapore Dramatist Award and The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards: Best Director, Best Script and Production of the Year. He also writes frequently for local television channels, such as Channel 5, Okto/Arts Central and Vasantham Central. In 2009, he co-wrote Singapore’s first Tamil feature film, Gurushetram-24 Hours of Anger, which has been sold to India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia since. In 2002, The Necessary Stage published his first collection of plays PIE to SPOILT. In the same year, his contribution to the US publication of Monologues for Men by Men, Vol. 2, which was published by Heinemann Press. Not only have Tze Chien’s works been seen in the local scene, his works have also been read and dramatized by Royal Court’s Exposure: Young Writers 2000 in 2000 and Singapore London Playhouse’s double bill adaptation of his published plays PIE to SPOILT in 2005. In August 2006, his work Furthest North, Deepest South made its international premier in Budapest, Hungary. In 2011, Epigram Books published his sophomore collection of plays, which includes Charged, 2011’s Best Script for the The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards. For his contributions to Singapore Theatre, he was awarded the Young Artist Award by the Singapore’s National Arts Council. He is presently the Company Director of The Finger Players.


NEWS TO A MUSE by Richard Chang, director Wilson Milam. Cast: David Lee-Jones, Kristian Hart, Meghan Treadway, Zara Tempest-Walters, Charlie Carter, Zina Badran, Thomas Rushforth, Katherine Templar, Julian Hoult, Elizabeth Menabney, Melissa Ulloa, Andrew Futaishi.

A Farcedy of Terrors: Five journalists are trapped in a short-staffed newsroom during a freak storm and an epic financial crisis that threatens to destroy the world. A suspected terrorist attack drives the staff to seek safety in the ladies restroom — where their individual closets are exposed and the truth is bared. Set against the News of the World scandal, the farce reveals how we comply with the media to glamorize stress at the expense of sanity.

Richard Chang (New York City) is a Malaysian-born playwright-performer based in New York. An Urban Artist Initiative fellow, he is a long-time collaborator with Chinese Theater Works where he has served as co-writer and co-director, and originated many roles. His solo comedy, Goy Vey! Adventures of a Dim Sun in Search of his Wanton Father, debuted at Pan Asian Rep and has toured as far as the Leeds Jewish International Performing Arts Festival. He is completing a play about Wong Chin Foo, a 19th century civil rights activist who was the first to call himself Chinese American. Richard’s principal screen roles include New York, I Love You, No Menus Please, Saving Face, Windhorse and KidnappedĀ (NBC).

THE EVOLUTION OF GOD by Shawn Hirabayashi, director David Lee-Jones. Cast: Elizabeth Tan, Siuhun Li, Haruka Kuroda, Leo Ashizawa, Andrew Leung.

“The Evolution of God” is comprised of three one-act plays: two are adaptations of established Japanese fairy tales and one is an original fairy tale. In each unrelated and complete tale five actors play similar roles, thus creating a story for the actors and audience that is greater than any individual piece. Each tale deals with different understandings of and interactions with god.

Shawn Hirabayashi (Louisville, KY) has been working at his craft since 1989 during which time he has authored 18 plays that have been produced at various theatres (e.g., Southern Rep, Vital, Ripple Productions, Circle Rep Lab, Sundog, One Dream). During that time he has garnered three awards (Berrilla Kerr, OOBR, and New Play Bacchanal), a residency (New River Dramatists), been commissioned (Wildcard Productions, Starfish Theatreworks, and Reckless), and earned an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

Hong Kong

HOME.LAND by Janice Poon, director Rico WU. Cast: Margaret CHEUNG, Jai DAY, Santayana Li, Billy SY and Yu Mui WONG.

When an American journalist meets with an activist among the post-80s generation in Hong Kong, they reconcile with their own history in an unexpected way.

Janice Poon (Hong Kong) is a writer and theatre professional based in Hong Kong who has been awarded the Asian Cultural Council Lee Hysan Foundation fellowship to pursue research on dramaturgy and new play development in the United States for twelve months in the year 2010-11. Poon created Hong Kong’s first literary department as a member of PIP Theatre Limited. She has edited six publications on Hong Kong theatre and culture; created and performed original solo works and collaborated on major productions with some of the most important experimental theatre companies in Hong Kong. Four of her plays received staged readings in the Hong Kong Playwright Scheme, the Lark Play Development Center and the Martin E. Segal Theatre in New York.

THE ISLE by POON Wai Sum, director Janice Poon. Cast: Louisa So, Lawkin Law.

One couple has an encounter on a remote island where past and present overlap. As they ask the question “Do we stay or leave?,” a battle of wills unfolds that leads to a surprising and dramatic finale.

POON Wai Sum (Hong Kong) is the Artistic Director of Prospects Theatre Co., Hong Kong and Teaching Consultant/Visiting Lecturer in Playwriting and Dramatic Literature At Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He has been commissioned by almost all of the professional theatre companies in Hong Kong for new works. Some of the awards he gained include Award for Arts Achievement, Hong Kong Arts Development Council, 2003; Awardee of The Secretary for Home Affairs’ Commendation Scheme, Home Affairs Bureau, 2006. Spiders In Meditation, one of his award-winning plays, was translated into German and stage-read by Germany’s Dusseldorf Theatre House.