The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong

Exploring Curiosity and Otherness on Stage


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About the Book

This first-ever biography exploring the life of Ping Chong (1946), successful avant-garde artist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, focuses on his valuable contributions to modern theatre. Drawing on primary sources and her own attendance of Chong’s productions, the author takes a broad and informative approach to his work as a performer, playwright and director over 48 years.

About the Author(s)

Yuko Kurahashi is a professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Yuko Kurahashi
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 246
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7419-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3686-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
I. Transpacific Journey of Two Opera Artists 11
II. Moving into the Metaphorical Theatre World: Encounter with Meredith Monk, Fiji Company, and Otherness in Lazarus and I Flew to Fiji, You Went South 30
III. Staging the Fear of the Unknown, Demons and Others: Fear and Loathing in Gotham, Nuit Blanche, AM/AM: The Articulated Man, Kind Ness and Nosferatu 43
IV. The Quest for Myth in the Unknown Territories of the World and a New Observation of Humans and Their State of Being 59
V. Ping Chong and Modern Dystopia: Chong’s ­Post-Apocalyptic World 75
VI. Staging Revisionary History of the ­East-West Relations: Ping Chong’s East/West Quartet 82
VII. Staging Voices in the Community: Undesirable Elements 98
VIII. Memories and Stories of Local Communities in the Undesirable Elements Series 116
IX. Mirroring People: Three Puppet Theater Pieces 132
X. Collaborating with Educational Institutions: BLIND NESS, Cocktail and Collidescope 3.0 150
XI. Future: ALAXSXA | ALASKA and Beyond—Quest for Identity, Otherness and Humanity 168
Appendix 1: A Chronology of Ping Chong 181
Appendix 2: Honors and Awards 183
Appendix 3: List of Interdisciplinary Works 185
Appendix 4: List of Undesirable Elements 203
Chapter Notes 211
Bibliography 234
Index 239

Book Reviews & Awards

“Will serve as a useful introductory resource for scholars and classrooms, helping to deepen critical understanding about one of the most important and, unfortunately, overlooked theatre artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries…I found myself longing for more.”—The Journal of American Drama and Theatre