Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, under the artistic direction of Tisa Chang, will celebrate its 36th Anniversary Season in tribute to Japan with the world premiere production of Alvin Eng's THREE TREES, a new play that explores Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti's relationship with his muse, Japanese Existentialist Isaku Yanaihara, March 23 - April 14, 2013 at the West End Theatre, 263 West 86th Street, 2nd floor. The production's official opening will be on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7:30PM. Ernest Abuba directs.
Paris: 1950s and 60s; among the artists and philosophers at the tables of Café Didot are Alberto Giacometti and his muse, the Existentialist, Isaku Yanaihara. Their relationship, along with Giacometti's wife Annette and brother Diego, unfolds over sculpting sessions in the artist's studio, and forms the basis of THREE TREES' exploration of art and creation.
The cast of THREE TREES stars Jean-Pierre Stewart, Marcus Ho, Scott Klavan, and Leah Cogan.
Set design is by Gian Marco Lo Forte, costume design is by Carol Pelletier, lighting design is by Marie Yokoyama and sculpture and art works are by Danielle Baskin.
"THREE TREES is an out-of-the-norm choice for us," says Artistic Producing Director, Tisa Chang. "Pan Asian is known for its intercultural productions cast predominantly with Asian American artists, but this particular production beautifully captures the atmosphere of Paris in the 50s with a focus on the Swiss as well as the Japanese. We are delighted to welcome Jean-Pierre Stewart from Paris, who will play Alberto, and we are thrilled to be re-uniting with Marcus Ho and Scott Klavan last seen in Pan Asian's productions of SHOGUN MACBETH and THE JOY LUCK CLUB, respectively, and to introduce Leah Cogan."
THREE TREES has had two presentations in Paris-the city where it is set. Moving Parts Theatre presented a staged reading and selected scenes were performed at the Université De La Sorbonne's international conference, "&Now 2012 New Writing in Paris: Exchanges and Cross-fertilizations." (The playwright portrayed the philosopher at the institution where Yanaihara met Giacometti.)
THREE TREES is the first work of Albert Eng's PORTRAIT PLAYS cycle about artists and portraiture. 33&1/3 CORNELIA STREET, the second Portrait Play, is about Greenwich Village bohemians, painter Alice Neel and poet/oral historian manqué, Joe Gould. In 2011, Eng was in residence at Hong Kong City University as a Fulbright Specialist scholar in U.S. Studies/Theatre. At CityU, in collaboration with his wife, actress/director Wendy Wasdahl, he conceived and directed OUR TOWN: CHINA/USA, a devised theatre/oral history project. That year he also made his Asian debut performing his memoir monologue play, THE LAST EMPEROR of FLUSHING (LEOF) at XiaoZhou People's Hall in his family's ancestral Guangdong Province. Eng first developed LEOF with Pan Asian Rep in 2005. Currently, Eng is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at Goucher College in Baltimore.
Ernest Abuba is an Obie Recipient, Actor, Director, Playwright, and Performance Artist. Directing credits with Pan Asian Rep include: SHOGUN MACBETH, by John Briggs, LETTERS TO A STUDENT REVOLUTIONARY, by Elizabeth Wong, PLAYBALL, by Rick Shiomi, ROWHER, by Lionelle Hamanaka, writer/Director of THE DOWAGER. La Mama E.T.C. productions: 49, by Hanay Geiogamah, writer/Director for NIGHTSTALKER, LEIR REX, PAPA-BOY. THE AMERICAN DREAM, by Edward Albee for NAATCO. New York Performance Works: LE ORCHESTRA, by Jean Anouilh, 27 WAGONS OF COTTON, AUTO-DE-FE, THE LADY OF LARKSPUR LOTION by Tennessee Williams, and LOOK BACK IN ANGER, by John Osborne. BIRDBATH, by Leonard Melfi at Brecht-West Theatre, N.J. SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, by Ariel Dorfman, MIDDLE CREST, by Angela Santillo, IMPERCETIBLE MUTABILITIES OF THE THIRD KINGDOM, by Suzan-Lori Parks, and CRAZYFACE, by Clive Barker at Sarah Lawrence College. He collaborated with Shigeko Suga and performed Butoh in SPLEEN (Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil) at HT Chen&Dancer's Mulberry Street Theatre where he also authored the text LEMON MOON for their modern ballet. Most recently co-created and performed in BAUDELAIRE: LA MORT with Shigeko Suga, produced by Pan Asian Rep. For the past 17 years has been a faculty member at Sarah Lawrence College. He can be heard as the voice of His Holiness The Dalai Lama on the audio book The Art of Happiness, Vol. 1. He is a member of SDC (Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.