In The Silence Of The Heart at the Johnson Theater
Theater for the New City presents In The Silence Of The Heart, written and directed by Joanna Chan, opening at Theater For The New City's Johnson Theater on 30 May 2009, following previews from 28 May and running through to 14 Jun 2009.
Produced by the Yangtze Repertory Theatre, In The Silence Of The Heart is set on Labor Day weekend in 2008 - and tells of a fictional African-American family that has adopted a young Chinese boy ten years earlier. The boy's father had served in the same firehouse as the father of the black family, but was killed on duty. Soon after the tragic incident, the father of the black family left home and had not been seen again until his sudden appearance on this holiday weekend. The ensuing revelation and conflict throw the tightly knit family into turmoil.
Joanna Chan, Artistic Director of Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America, is an author of numerous plays about epic events of Chinese history. She breaks her usual form with In The Silence Of The Heart, a new family drama set in the U.S., dealing with racial biases, the concept of family and the nature of forgiveness. The play was created for the inmates in Sing Sing Correctional Facility and was first produced there by Rehabilitation Through The Arts in November 2008.
Chan writes, "This work was created as a token of my gratitude to all the inmates Iï¿½ve been working with since the spring of 2002 in Sing Sing Maximum Security Correctional Facility, from whom Iï¿½ve learned much about courage, kindness and generosity in immensely adverse circumstances, especially in face of injustice, grief, loneliness and despair. As with the experience in the past few years, the work marks a crossing of boundaries. Once crossed, however, one finds that there are actually no boundaries at all because just as fear and cowardice know no color, so do loyalty, goodness, self-giving and nobility of soul."
She adds, "After having tackled immense historic topics such as Chinaï¿½s Cultural Revolution, the civil war between Mao and Chiang, Great Leap Forward and the human cost of the countryï¿½s one-child policy, I think of this work of a small family story as the culmination of my 33 years writing career. To the individuals Iï¿½ve been privileged to work with in Sing Sing, I owe my eternal gratitude."
The drama will feature Tamala Baldwin, Carl Hendrick Louis, Hector L. Hicks, Bruce Le, David Brandon, Corey Campbell, Conrado De La Rose, Rachel Filsoof, Mimi Jefferson, Dennis Johnson, Michael A. Jones, Ming Kwai, Victor Landol, Saoko Okano, Annie Q and Sen Yang.
Set design is by Pavlo Bosyy, costume design is by David Chien-Hui Shen and lighting design is by Joyce Liao.
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