Kristina Wong presents “Going Green The Wong Way”

L.A.-based artist Kristina Wong brings her successful new show Going Green the Wong Way to UMASS for two “After-Festival” performances in the Campus Center Reading Room on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 22-23 at 8pm.

Tickets will be $5.00 for Students and $10.00 for General Admission.

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“A smart, brazen and raunchy parody of political correctness.” -LA Weekly

“Wong’s energy, off-color stories and pitch-perfect comedic timing play well for enthusiastic audiences.” -laist.com

“Going Green the Wrong Way brings our contemporary urban environment to life, revealing just how tricky it is to ‘do the right thing’.”-Miami Art Guide

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This short artistic residency by Kristina Wong will include two performances of Going Green the Wong Way, a self-satirical solo play, two talk-back sessions, and at least one classroom visit to discuss the performance and the challenges of its subject matter. Wong’s play confronts issues facing all students today: how can a single person affect the enormous environmental challenges the current generation faces?  How can we be responsible citizens who care about global warming and pollution, help to change the world, and yet do so in a sane and sensible way? Wong doesn’t suggest that “saving the environment is all rainbows and butterflies.” Rather, she unashamedly calls attention to the struggles she has faced on her own quest to go “green” while living as a single woman in Los Angeles. Among her difficulties: an eco-friendly car that might or might not be a deathtrap, committing to reusable feminine products, and being identified from a young age as “hell bent on saving Mother Earth,” to the detriment of her own love life. A trailer of this show can be viewed at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7TYz7qm_Ec.

Produced by Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, Going Green the Wong Way was featured this year at the world-renowned Edingburgh Fringe Theatre Festival.  There she performed for UMASS students and met with them informally after her show. The students who participated in the program this year are all eager to bring her show to campus.  As a typical “After-festival” event, this performance showcases the kind of cutting-edge, first-rate drama that is featured during the Fringe festival, and it addresses a relevant political issue that should engage students and the broader community in a larger conversation about environmentalism.

Kristina Wong is an accomplished comedian and performer.  Her most recent play, “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” addresses the sad fact that depression and suicide among Asian American women in the U.S. is higher than for any other demographic.  That production has successfully toured throughout the U.S. for several years and was slated for performance at UMASS before New World Theatre was closed down.  This new performance is more upbeat, but equally compelling and politically important.  According to published reviews, her show has been enthusiastically received by audiences in both the U.S. and UK.

Although “After-festival” events at UMass usually take at least a year to organize, we have a unique opportunity to bring this production to campus Oct. 22nd and 23rd of this year, before Kristina begins a month-long residency in Putney, Vermont.  Despite the compressed time frame, bringing her now will be much more cost effective since it saves us the cost of two airfares from the West Coast. We have booked the Reading Room in the Campus Center for the event, which will allow for 75-100 person audience (similar to the Curtain Theatre). If we can raise sufficient funding, we will not charge for the event. Several students have volunteered to work on the production, both in a technical capacity and for publicity. Wong will also be visiting Priscilla Page’s Theatre 130 class “Playwrights of Color”, a large lecture that meets on Tuesday, and meeting with dramaturgy and other interested students from across the Five Colleges informally and during the talk-back sessions after the play.

Finally, the subject matter of this play provides a unique opportunity to seek sponsorship from Asian American student groups, AALANAI, Women’s Studies, and programs involved in the environment and conservation efforts. The performance also addresses a diverse student population and extends to a wider audience the experience of the 14 students who attended the Fringe Festival this year as part of the Edinburgh Program, showcasing the opportunities that are available to students every year in that program.