The award-winning Firefly Theater & Films, in association with THINK TANK GALLERY and Vs. Theatre, is proud to present the Los Angeles Premiere of the 2016 Obie-winner for playwrighting, CAUGHT, by Christopher Chen. The show will be the first fully immersive production of CAUGHT - set "inside" and integrated into a real art show at Think Tank Gallery in Downtown LA - and will be directed by New York's rising star director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. It will feature Louis Changchien, Jackie Chung, Jessica Kaye, and Steven Klein. CAUGHT will begin previews Friday, October 27; will open on Friday, November 3 at 7:30pm and run through Sunday, December 10 at Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave in Downtown LA.
You walk into a gallery hosting District 798, a show of new work inspired by a legendary Chinese dissident artist who was imprisoned in China for a single, epic work of art. Recently profiled in The New Yorker, the Chinese artist himself is present, and begins his presentation by sharing the details of an ordeal that breaks your heart and stirs your sense of justice. But... his lecture is interrupted; then that interruption is broken. Soon, you find yourself in a labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice, and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears.
The production brings Christopher Chen's work to Los Angeles for the first time and does so with cross-disciplinary innovation. Whereas previous productions have been set in theaters that have had to approximate an art gallery, Firefly & Vs Theatre's production is fully immersive. In Los Angeles, CAUGHT will be performed as an exclusive performance art event inside DISTRICT 798, a specially curated contemporary art show at Think Tank Gallery that explores a theme central to the play's: "Whose story is it?". Going further, this production deepens the experience of the play and joins LA's immersive theatre scene by wrapping the entire evening, including the art show of real new work by LA artists, in the fiction of the play, presenting CAUGHT as the work of the Chinese dissident artist invented by Christopher Chen.
CAUGHT will have performances Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at 7:30pm. Previews will be held Friday, October 27, Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29th as well as Thursday, November 2 at 7:30pm. CAUGHT will open Friday, November 3 and will run through until Sunday, December 10. Ticket prices are $45 - $80 for all performances. $45 tickets are for general admission, $50 tickets include one drink & hors d'oeuvres, $65 ticket includes 3 drinks & hors d'oeuvres, and $80 tickets include VIP access with 3 drinks & hors d'oeuvres. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST
ED SYLVANUS ISKANDAR (Director): Considered "an alien of extraordinary ability" by the U.S. government, Ed Sylvanus Iskandar is a director, dramaturge and educator of new works, musicals, classics, immersive theatre and unique social events who celebrates the power of art to cultivate community. Ed's "view of theatre as a kind of long-form hospitality" results in "extravagantly interactive" productions "loaded with stylistic garnishes" that always "pack a lot of theatrical panache" and offer an experience that is, "above all else, entertaining and fresh" (New York Times). Ed has commissioned, developed and directed 150+ playwrights globally (most recently, repertory productions of Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners and Her Portmanteau at New York Theatre Workshop, both NYT Critics' Picks). Ed is the recipient of the inaugural SDCF Breakout Award recognizing "the 'rising star' moment of a director" for his 2015-16 season: Charles Francis Chan Jr.'s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery* (NAATCO, NYT Critics' PIck, one of Playbill's 'Most Impactful Shows of '15'), Sojourners (Playwrights' Realm) and The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company). In 2014, Ed was honored with a Drama Desk Special Award for "bold and visionary direction" of The Golden Dragon (PlayCo, TONY Critics' Pick) and The Mysteries (The Flea, NYT Critics' Pick), a collaboration with 54 New York playwrights to create new versions of the medieval York mystery plays presented in a 6-hour marathon evening.
Ed is a two-time Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Direction of Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy and Sean Graney's These Seven Sicknesses (The Flea, NYT Critics' Pick). Ed received the 2013 NTC Emerging Artist Award for his body of work as Founding Artistic Director of Exit, Pursued By a Bear, serving 12,000 homemade meals to audiences in New York City over the course of 150 nights of socially immersive theatre, admission free. Ed is also an officiant and director of weddings, recently for Tony winner Patina Miller and Younger star Dan Amboyer. NYTW Usual Suspect, Director of Lincoln Center Global Exchange and proud alumnus of Stanford, Carnegie Mellon and the Drama League.
CHRISTOPHER CHEN (Playwright): An Obie award-winning playwright whose plays have been performed across the United States and abroad. SELECTED PLAYS: The Hundred Flowers Project (Glickman Award, Rella Lossy Award, James Tait Black Award shortlist), Into The Numbers (Belarus Free Theater International Playwriting Competition-2nd Place), The Late Wedding, Mutt, Caught (Obie Award for Playwriting, NY Times Critics Pick, Barrymore Award, Drama League Nomination for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Production), You Mean To Do Me Harm and Passage. SELECTED HONORS: Lanford Wilson Award, Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellowship, Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. PUBLICATIONS: Theatre Bay Area, American Theater Magazine, Theater Magazine (Yale), Dramatists Play Service. CURRENT COMMISSIONS: American Conservatory Theatre, The Aurora, LCT3, Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Playwrights Horizons. A San Francisco native, Chris is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and holds an M.F.A. in playwriting S.F. State.
FIREFLY THEATER & FILMS (Producer): With equal footing in both media, Firefly Theater & Films has been telling compelling stories for more than 20 years. Firefly's theater productions - including the world premiere and subsequent runs of Geraldine Hughes' Belfast Blues - have won more than two-dozen awards for shows in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Off-West End London, and Off-Broadway. Firefly's films - including notable documentaries "Finders Keepers," "Make Believe," and "Print The Legend" - have won awards at dozens of leading festivals internationally.
It's most recent stage production was the off-Broadway, US premiere of Robert Hollman's Jonah and Otto in February 2017. It is now in post-production on two documentaries, including the next film by Oscar-nominated documentary director Clay Tweel, and is developing a new musical based on its documentary "Make Believe," to be directed by Neil Patrick Harris.
VS. THEATRE COMPANY (Producer): Is a collection of passionate artists devoted to producing World, West Coast and Los Angeles Premieres by the best contemporary playwrights in America. Playwrights include John Patrick Shanley, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Adam Rapp, Itamar Moses, and Neil LaBute, among others. Vs. was founded in 2004 based on a shared passion for riveting stories and live performance in an intimate setting. Named "one of the top theatre companies of the last decade" by the LA Weekly, Vs. productions have won numerous theatre awards, enjoyed sold out runs and received widespread critical acclaim. On deck in 2018 will be the Off Broadway Premiere of Ron Klier's Cops And Friends Of Cops.
The cast of CAUGHT features: Louis Changchien (The Bourne Legacy, The Man in the High Castle), Jackie Chung (Different Worlds for the Same Thing, Someone Else), Jessica Kaye (Inheritance, One Life to Live), and Steven Klein (Completeness, The Circle).
CAUGHT features an award-winning design team lead by the Bob Z Award-winning Set Designer Stephen Gifford (Dream Boy - Celebration Theatre, Cassiopeia - The Theatre @ Boston Court). Lighting Design is by Vs. Theatre's resident Lighting Designer Derrick McDaniel (The Mercy Seat - Vs. Theatre, On An Average Day - Vs. Theatre). Sound Design is by Drama Desk and Tony-nominee Cricket Myers (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo). Costume Design is by Ovation nominee Halei Parker (The Hairy Ape - Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Gruesome Playground Injuries - Rogue Machine). The show will be stage managed by Amanda Bierbauer and Assistant Directed by Garret Baer. CAUGHT is produced by Steven Klein, Stephanie Barnes, and Natalia Duncan Macker for Firefly Theater & Films and by Jacob Patterson for Think Tank Gallery.