2012 Festival Selection, Manhattan Theatre Mission
1 - Suppose
Tsang-jieh, a minister to the Yellow Emperor, welcomes the audience and introduces them to the Silkweb Empress, the feckless minister Feng Hou, and other courtiers. Feng Hou has forgotten a message he was supposed to deliver to the court, even though he tied a knot in silken cloth to remind him. Tsang-jieh has a better idea for remembering messages: writing. The Emperor is intrigued, and decides to hold a competition. His estranged wife, the Silkweb Empress, will tell a story in her usual fashion, by painting a scene on silk and then describing the characters and situation. Tsang-jieh will continue the story with his new invention, writing.
Characters : Tsang-Jieh, Yellow Emperor
2 - A Very Serious Family
The Silkweb Empress’ story begins: Redgold, a servant in the Lin household, greets the new maid, Pomegranate, and gives her inside information about members of the Lin family.
Character : Redgold
Lady Phoenix, wife of the eldest son Skyquill, studies her prized possession, a bronze mirror.
Character : Phoenix
Skyquill returns from a diplomatic journey and rekindles his romance with Phoenix while Pomegranate – somewhat embarrassed – looks on. The dissolute younger son, Second Master, seduces Redgold, to Pomegranate’s horror.
Characters: Skyquill, Pomegranate, Second Master, Redgold
Skyquill has been called away from home again. Phoenix tries to find peace in her unhappy situation; she is joined by Pomegranate and the others.
Characters: Phoenix, Pomegranate, Company
Redgold, ostracized and abandoned, has committed suicide. In the nether world she calls down a curse of fire on the Lin household. The Dragon Lord is delighted to fulfill her request.
Character : Dragon Lord
Second Master has stolen the bronze mirror from Phoenix. Redgold travels through the mirror from the world of the dead to tempt Second Master with knowledge about the afterlife.
TSANG-JIEH: Orville Mendoza
YELLOW EMPEROR: Hansu Kim
REDGOLD: Deborah Lew
LADY PHOENIX: Anne Fraser Thomas
SKYQUILL: Jeong Min Lee
POMEGRANATE: Lisa Yuen
SECOND MASTER: Hansu Kim
SPINNER: Lisa Yuen
DRAGON LORD: Orville Mendoza
Dave Roth, percussion
Milton Granger, keyboard