GBH will broadcast Tiger Style! on 89.7 FM on February 6, 2021;
Huntington to release podcast version of play in 4 installments
(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company in partnership with GBH presents the audio version of the comedy Tiger Style! by Mike Lew and directed by Tony Award nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God on Broadway).
GBH will broadcast the audio play on the radio on Saturday, February 6 from 6pm to 8pm on 89.7 FM and stream it on wgbh.org and the GBH News app. The Huntington will also launch the audio production as a podcast in 4 weekly installments, starting Thursday, February 4, along with a companion podcast series “Exploring Tiger Style!” — a bonus content series of insightful conversations with actors, artists, and community members, curated by the Huntington education and artistic departments.
The Huntington previously produced Tiger Style! on stage at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in 2016 to great acclaim. The Boston Globe called it “a sharply observed comedy,” and GBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen said it was “uproariously funny.”
“Mike Lew has brilliantly adapted his hit play Tiger Style! for audio, and this production helmed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel highlights all of the play's wit, insight, and imagination,” says the Huntington’s Director of New Work Charles Haugland. “This smart comedy was an audience favorite on our stages in 2016, and now we can’t wait to share this play with new audiences both on GBH and as a podcast. Mike’s play explores a tension that feels universal to the children and grandchildren of immigrants — what would it mean to break free from racist preconceptions and projections? What does it mean to feel a sense of belonging in America? The way that Tiger Style! echoes these questions will have everyone laughing out loud.”
“In the midst of the pandemic, it is exceedingly challenging to build community and connect with each other in the ways we want to most,” said Pam Johnston, General Manager for News at GBH. “Our hope is that the Tiger Style! radio play will allow listeners to enjoy an entertaining audio experience that invites our community to come together around a shared artistic experience. We are looking forward to this broadcast and to sharing it with our listeners.”
Tiger Style! features squabbling siblings Albert and Jennifer Chen, who reached the pinnacle of academic achievement and graduated from Harvard. But as adults, they’re epic failures: he’s just been passed up for a promotion and she’s been dumped by her loser boyfriend. So, naturally, they confront their parents and launch an Asian Freedom Tour!
Tiger Style! explores what happens when educational achievements and hard work don’t lead to personal or professional success. Travelling from California to China, this hilarious contemporary play examines the immigrant experience, racial stereotypes, parenting, and notions of success with wit and sharp humor.
“I’m honored to come back to this deeply personal play about my Chinese American upbringing,” says playwright Mike Lew. “Americans’ perceptions of the Chinese and of Asian Americans have been evolving so rapidly since I wrote Tiger Style! a few years ago. For this audio production, I had to refresh some aspects of the script and think through how I would integrate COVID and the trade wars. The structure of the play has stayed the same, but the lens is a little different now, and I considered the emergence of COVID, the scapegoating of the Chinese, and how the veneer of civility was wiped away quickly in the pandemic.”
Lew and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel are long-time collaborators – von Stuelpnagel is a Boston University alumnus and the two met over a decade ago as interns at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. “Mike deals with complex social issues like racial bias and the immigrant experience in a way that's couched in madcap misadventure,” says von Stuelpnagel. “It's boisterous fun that's smart. And no one is spared from his satiric wit. Making a podcast recording of a play is a whole new way of making art. While we won’t get the immediate satisfaction of being in the same room as our audience, we can still reach people near, far, and wide. It’s a beautiful and egalitarian way to tell the story.”
The Huntington will also launch a video of an American Sign Language reading of Tiger Style! to be directed by Monique Holt (I Was Most Alive with You at the Huntington) in mid-February. Additional information will be announced shortly.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
The cast includes Ruibo Qian (Tiger Style! at the Huntington and Water by the Spoonful at The Old Globe) as Jennifer, an over-achieving, rigid doctor and a Harvard graduate. Her brother Albert, a smart and hardworking software programmer with a Harvard education, is played by Jon Norman Schneider (Tiger Style! at the Huntington and Tokyo Fish Story at The Old Globe). Their parents are played by Francis Jue (Tiger Style! at the Huntington and Pacific Overtures on Broadway) and Emily Kuroda (Tiger Style! at the Huntington and Mrs. Kim in “Gilmore Girls”). Albert’s lackadaisical co-worker “Russ the Bus” is played by Nate Miller (Junk on Broadway, Peter and the Starcatcher Off Broadway and “The Good Wife” on CBS).
Mike Lew (Playwwright) is the author of Teenage Dick (Donmar Warehouse, Wooly Mammoth, Ma-Yi at the Public, and Artists Rep productions; Public Studio, O’Neill, OSF workshops), Tiger Style! (Olney, Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, and Alliance productions; O’Neill and CTG workshops), Bike America (Ma-Yi and Alliance productions), microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct, and Next Act productions), and Moustache Guys, and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It (Kleban and Richard Rodgers Awards; upcoming La Jolla Playhouse production, Jerome Robbins Project Springboard and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat "Triple R" workshops). He is a Tony voter, Dramatists Guild Council member, and a resident of New Dramatists. Mike’s honours include a Mellon National Playwrights Residency at Ma-Yi and La Jolla Playhouse Artist-in-Residence, both with Rehana Lew Mirza; Lark Venturous and NYFA fellowships; and the PEN Emerging Playwright, Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda awards. Education: Juilliard, Yale. Website: mikelew.com
Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Director) Broadway: Theresa Rebeck’s Bernhardt/Hamlet starring Janet McTeer (Roundabout), Noël Coward’s Present Laughter starring Kevin Kline (three Tony nominations including Best Revival), Robert Askins’ Hand to God (five Tony nominations including Best Play and Best Director). West End: Hand to God (Olivier nomination). Off-Broadway: Theresa Rebeck’s Seared starring Raul Esparza (MCC Theater), Larissa Fasthorse’s The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons), Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi/Public Theater), Nick Jones’ Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (Manhattan Theatre Club), Nick Jones’ Verité (Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3), Mike Lew’s Bike America (Ma-Yi), Nick Jones’ Trevor (Lesser America), Robert Askins’ Love Song of the Albanian Sous Chef (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Mel & El (Ars Nova), Michael Mitnick’s Spacebar (Studio 42), and Adam Szymkowicz’s My Base and Scurvy Heart (Studio 42). Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, and more. Moritz is the former artistic director of Studio 42, NYC’s producer of “unproducible” plays. moritzvs.com
Palmer Hefferan (Sound Design and Original Music) previously designed sound for the Huntington's production of Tiger Style! (2016). Podcast productions include The Public Theater’s audio play of Shipwreck by Anne Washburn and “Fields of the Future,” an ongoing interview series by Bard Graduate Center. Her Broadway credits include Grand Horizons (Second Stage) and The Lifespan of a Fact (Studio 54). Select Off Broadway sound design credits include Marys Seacole (Lincoln Center), Fefu and Her Friends (Theater for a New Audience), The New Englanders, Sugar in Our Wounds, and Important Hats (Manhattan Theater Club), Fabulation and The Death of the Last Black Man… (Signature Theatre), Samara and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Soho Rep), Something Clean and Bobby Cleary (Roundabout Theatre). In 2019, she received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design. In both 2018 and 2020 she received a Henry Hewes Award in Sound Design. She has her MFA from Yale School of Drama. palmerhefferan.com.
The sound engineer is Valentin Frank, stage manager is Sam Layco, and dramaturg is Charles Haugland. The Huntington line producers are Rebecca Bradshaw, Caley Chase, and Rosalind Bevan, and the Huntington’s Manager of Curriculum and Instruction is Regine Vital.
Tiger Style! is partly supported by a donation from George and Moira Yip.
ABOUT THE BROADCAST:
GBH will broadcast Tiger Style! on GBH 89.7 FM on Saturday, February 6pm – 8pm (available through radio, wgbh.org and the GBH News app). Listeners can sign-up here to receive a reminder.
ABOUT THE PODCAST:
Tiger Style! will be available as a 4-episode weekly podcast beginning February 4. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes, and will be found on the Huntington and GBH websites, as well as on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
- Thursday, Feb. 4 – Podcast episode 1 launches
- Thursday, Feb. 11 – Podcast episode 2 launches
- Thursday, Feb. 18 – Podcast episode 3 launches
- Thursday, Feb. 25 – Podcast episode 4 launches
ABOUT THE “EXPLORING TIGER STYLE!” PODCAST SERIES:
Additional bonus content will be found in “Exploring Tiger Style!” a series of insightful conversations to complement the Tiger Style! broadcast and podcast, curated and moderated by Regine Vital, the Huntington’s Manager of Curriculum and Instruction, and edited by Sound Engineer Valentin Frank. The Huntington is also planning several virtual panel discussions to be announced.
- “From Stage to Podcast: This Tiger Changes Its Style,” a conversation about adapting Tiger Style! as an audio play and creating a world through sound
Launches Tuesday, Feb. 9Moderator: Regine Vital
Panelists: Playwright Mike Lew, Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel, and cast members Nate Miller and Jon Norman Schneider
- “What is Parenting… Tiger Style!?,” a conversation around Chinese parenting styles, the expectations and hopes that immigrant parents have for their children
Launches Tuesday, Feb. 16Moderator: Regine Vital
Panelists: Tiger Style! cast member Francis Jue and Huntington staff member Trisha Pham
- “No More Projections or Preconceptions: Seeing Yourself and the Many Dimensions of Asian American Identity,” Asian American stereotypes and how the play pushes against them
Launches Tuesday, Feb. 23Moderator: Regine Vital
Panelists: Cast member Francis Jue, playwright Mike Lew, Huntington staff member Megan Berry, and business leader, author, and Huntington board member George Yip
- “Chinatown: Creating Home and the Idea of Place,” how Chinatown shapes Boston’s Chinese American community
Launches Tuesday, March 2Moderator: Regine Vital
Panelists: Huntington Playwriting Fellow Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, actor and assistant director Michael Hisamoto, Pao Arts Center Director Cynthia Woo, and teacher and writer Cynthia Yee
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Huntington brings together superb local and national talent and produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions. The Huntington runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington has long been an anchor cultural institution of Huntington Avenue, the Avenue of the Arts, and will remain so on a permanent basis with plans to convert the Huntington Avenue Theatre into a first-rate, modern venue with expanded services to audiences, artists, and the community. Under the direction of Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.
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