From a media release:
Theatre Smash and fu-GEN Theatre Company present the Canadian premiere of
DURANGO by Julia Cho
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In association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre May 16 to 31, 2015
Toronto, ON – Theatre Smash and fu-GEN Theatre Company, in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, present DURANGO – a play by Julia Cho that follows a Korean American family’s impromptu road trip as it uncovers growing rifts between father and sons. Directed by Theatre Smash’s artistic director Ashlie Corcoran, and featuring Ardon Bess, Hiro Kanagawa, Philip Nozuka, Adrian Shepherd and fu-GEN’s artistic director, David Yee, DURANGO is on stage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.) from May 16 to 31.
“I am thrilled to be staging Julia Cho’s beautiful play, one which is inspired by both traditional American naturalistic family dramas, and mesmerizing theatrical feats of magic realism,” said Corcoran. “What is most captivating, for me, is how Julia Cho builds upon and subverts American family dramas, subtly and slowly drawing out the family’s secrets, at almost every step giving the audience more information than the characters themselves.”
One of American theatre’s rising stars, Cho is a playwright with a reputation for creating intricate narratives that blend fact and fantasy. Although she has received numerous awards, this is the first time Cho’s work will be produced in Canada. In DURANGO, Cho explores the entanglement of family values and personal responsibilities through the lives of a Korean immigrant and widower, Boo-Seng Lee (Kanagawa), and his two sons (Yee and Nozuka) as they take an ill-advised vacation to Durango, Colorado.
Told in the style of the American classics, DURANGO is more than a family road trip; tackling ideas of racism, homophobia and generational secrets in an intimate and complex story of a family’s disintegration. The design from set & costume designer Jung-Hye Kim – a family home sinking into the ground – uses visual metaphor to express this idea, bridging the two aesthetics of DURANGO’s world: magic realism and stark naturalism.
DURANGO also marks the first collaboration among the three producing companies: Theatre Smash, fu-GEN Theatre Company and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
“We have been looking for an opportunity to partner with both Smash and Buddies for a while, always thinking it would have to be two separate projects,” said Yee. “What Julia Cho does so beautifully is seamlessly weave disparate dramatic narratives together within a theatrical aesthetic that all three of our companies responded to quite viscerally. The play has the quiet and stillness of that Arizona desert they’re travelling along on the surface, while there is a storm raging just below. That tension spoke to all of us, the nature of it pulled our companies together, and it made the decision to program Durango rather simple.”
DURANGO will be presented at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.) from May 16 to 31. The performance is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets from $20 to $37 are available online at buddiesinbadtimes.com or by phone at 416.975.8555.
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Twitter: @theatresmash; @fuGENTheatre
Twitter Hashtag: #DurangoTO
DURANGO by Julia Cho
Venue: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.)
Dates: May 16 to 31; Opening and media night: Wednesday, May 20, 8 p.m.
Tickets on sale: General tickets $25 to 37 (with $20 previews, PWYC Sundays; Arts Worker and Under 30 Discounts available), at buddiesinbadtimes.com or by calling 416-975-8555.
Produced by Theatre Smash & fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre