WBEZ | Chay Yew http://www.wbez.org/tags/chay-yew Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Theater nerds rejoice over Playbill Vault http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-02/daily-rehearsal-theater-nerds-rejoice-over-playbill-vault-94547 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-02/playbillvault.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-02/playbillvault.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 196px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Hot news for history buffs: Playbill launched <a href="http://www.playbillvault.com/index.html">PlaybillVault.com</a> yesterday</strong></span></span>, what they're calling a "Comprehensive Broadway Database." The site, which is pretty nice looking, hasn't yet expanded to Off-Broadway content, and it DEFINITELY hasn't expanded into anything we'd consider regional. But for all you theater dorks out there who saved every last Playbill on your trips to the Big City...well, now that was a waste.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Listen to short plays from different authors</strong></span></span> in the <a href="http://chicagoindieradio.org/chirplog/2399/chicago-theatre-off-book-dec-2-2011-ed">latest Chicago Theatre Off-Book</a>, in a very special episode they're calling GAM-fest (it's all their Got A Minute? segment, where they air very very short play excerpts). More excitedly, listen to a few songs from <em>Doyle &amp; Debbie</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. On Sunday night, Chay Yew will be celebrating</strong></span></span> the release of a new book<em> Version 3.0</em>, which Yew edited. The book is an anthology of contemporary Asian American drama, and the event will include a discussion with playwright and poet Luis Alfaro. Included in the book are pieces by Julia Cho, Diana Son, Han Ong and Alice Tuan.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Still celebrating House Manager Appreciation week?</strong></span></span><a href="http://backstageat.backstagejobs.com/?p=835"> Backstage Jobs wants</a> photos of your House Managers. Post them on twitter with <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/search/%20%23HouseManagerAW">#HouseManagerAW</a>&nbsp;or email them to webmaster@backstagejobs.com. Make the unfamous famous, utilizing the power of the internet. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="http://newcitystage.com/2011/11/29/review-ariadne-auf-naxoslyric-opera/">NewCity recommends</a> the Lyric Opera's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lyricopera.org/tickets/production.aspx?pid=10253&amp;gclid=CNLB26mR5KwCFYTsKgodkUsRRQ"><em>Ariadne auf Naxos</em></a></strong></span></span>, starring Amber Wagner. And for those who admittedly know little about the art form, there's some nice history about how Wagner happened into the part. Read it! See it! Tonight at 7:30.&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 02 Dec 2011 17:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-02/daily-rehearsal-theater-nerds-rejoice-over-playbill-vault-94547 Random thoughts on Chay Yew; "White Noise" closes http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-10/random-thoughts-chay-yew-white-noise-closes-86307 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A lot of theater news has gone by in just a week since we broke the story about Lookingglass Theatre Company winning the 2011 Tony Award as outstanding regional theater. Later that same day (May 3), Victory Gardens Theater announced the name of its new artistic director, nationally-recognized playwright and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/what-color-your-theater-86018">director Chay Yew</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="300" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" title="" width="200"></p><p>Some observers reported that he would be the first Asian-American artistic director of a Chicago theater troupe, or at least of a troupe that isn't ethnic-specific such as Stir Friday Night improv troupe (pan-Asian) or the Rasaka Theatre Company (South Asian; "rasaka" is Hindi for "new art"). They are wrong, of course. They seem to forget that actor and director Anish Jethmalani served as artistic director of the Eclipse Theatre Company from 2002-2007, and that Jamil Khoury continues in his role as founding artistic director of the Silk Road Theatre Project. Khoury is of Syrian descent, so some may exclude him from the Asian pool, but look at a map and you'll see Syria is in Asia.</p><p>The importance of Yew's appointment is that it reconfirms Victory Gardens' commitment to the playwright's voice, upon which the company has built its reputation and for which it won the regional theater Tony Award in 2001. With his important career contacts in both New York and Los Angeles, Yew, 46, will be able to expand VG's network of artists in a way that someone from Chicago may not have been able to do.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="336" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-15/white-noise-logo.jpg" title="" width="448"></p><p>Also in showbiz news this week was the announcement that the Broadway-bound rock musical <em>White Noise </em>would close early at the Royal George Theatre. Instead of running through June 9 as originally announced, it will close this Sunday, May 15, after a one-month run. Blog posts I've read suggest that business hasn't been great, even at the intimate (450 seats) Royal George. Reportedly the show has made many changes--as a pre-Broadway show should--and perhaps it will hunker down for a while for serious retooling.</p><p>It would be incorrect to characterize Chicago as the graveyard for pre-Broadway shows, but we DO have a tendency to cut 'em down to size. Call it a reality check. Often Chicago is the first "real world" stop for a show after lengthy development in readings, workshops and, maybe, a production at a non-profit theater. It can be rough, but if the show has any chops at all it's likely to emerge stronger after being mashed in our Windy City crucible.</p><p>At least one show has settled down for what it hopes will be a through-the-summer run: <em>Peter Pan </em>in the tent at Chicago Avenue and the Chicago River. Its next stop is in Boston come October. <em>Peter Pan</em> officially is here only through June 19, but cast members say the hope is to run through Labor Day. A third show, the Bailiwick Chicago production of <em>Passing Strange</em>, continues through May 29 at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. Would they like to keep it running longer? Of course. Will they? Depends on business (reviews mostly were quite positive) and whether or not something else already is booked into the space.</p></p> Tue, 10 May 2011 13:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-10/random-thoughts-chay-yew-white-noise-closes-86307 What Color Is Your Theater? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/what-color-your-theater-86018 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="300" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" title="Chay Yew, artistic director of Victory Gardens" width="200"></p><p>Recently I've been pursuing a story about the many changes in Chicago's African-American theater community. I'll be asking artistic and managing directors from as many companies as I can find what role remains for African-American theaters now that a black man is leading a "white" theater (Remy Bumppo) and a black woman seems to be the heir presumptive at the city's most established "white" theater (Regina Taylor at the Goodman).&nbsp;<br> <br> And then two announcements appear, one right after the other, in my e-mail inbox. First is the announcement that <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop">Victory Gardens has chosen Chay Yew</a>, a leader in the national Asian-American theater community, to be its new artistic director. Next is a press release from Silk Road Theatre Project, Chicago's premier Asian-American theater company, announcing its production of David Henry Hwang's Tony-award-winning play <span style="FONT-STYLE: italic">Yellow Face</span>.&nbsp;<br> <br> And suddenly it all became clear to me: of course the need to do plays by David Henry Hwang and other Asian playwrights--and nothing but--does not disappear because an Asian man will be running a "white" company. I'll still ask the question about the role of black theaters because I'm incapable of embarrassment and want to hear what each of the veteran theater-makers has to say on the perennial subject of race in Chicago theater. But the answer is almost literally staring us all in the face.</p></p> Tue, 03 May 2011 18:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/what-color-your-theater-86018