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M. BUTTERFLY

Jan 24 – Feb 17 2019

By David Henry Hwang

Directed by Samip Raval

1988 Tony Award Winner – Best Play

1988 Drama Desk Award Winner – Outstanding New Play

1989 Pulitzer Prize Finalist

When we build fantasies to hide the truth, what happens when the walls come tumbling down? Clever parallels to the famous opera Madame Butterfly abound in this fearless play about a French diplomat who falls for a Chinese opera star – the ideal, exotic woman in his mind, but the truth is beyond his imagination. Hailed as a modern classic, M. Butterfly deftly skewers the perception of Eastern culture by the West and the persistent objectification that clouds it.

Photo: Tom Dang and David Quicksall. Photo by Michael Brunk.


“With M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang joins the first string of American playwrights. This is an audaciously imaginative play, big in conception and theme, and a satisfying instance of a talented writer hitting full stride.” —Variety

“It will move you, it will thrill you, it may even surprise you. It is a play not to be missed, and it is a play once caught that will never be forgotten.” —NY Post


Note: this production features nudity and graphic language.


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Join us for a Cast Talk Back! Join members of the M. Butterfly cast for a Talk Back about the play after the Friday, February 15 performance. Tickets >

Additional performance! Now available: Sunday, February 17 at 7:30pm. Get tickets >

Next in the Season: John >

M. BUTTERFLY

January 24 – February 17, 2019

By David Henry Hwang

1988 Tony Award Winner – Best Play

1988 Drama Desk Award Winner – Outstanding New Play

1989 Pulitzer Prize Finalist

When we build fantasies to hide the truth, what happens when it all comes tumbling down? Clever parallels to the famous opera Madame Butterfly abound in this fearless play about a French diplomat who falls for a Chinese opera star: the ideal, exotic woman in his mind, but in reality, a man with a secret mission. Rich with deeper themes, M. Butterfly confronts the perception of Eastern culture by the West and the persistent romanticism that clouds it.


“With M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang joins the first string of American playwrights. This is an audaciously imaginative play, big in conception and theme, and a satisfying instance of a talented writer hitting full stride.” —Variety

“It will move you, it will thrill you, it may even surprise you. It is a play not to be missed, and it is a play once caught that will never be forgotten.” —NY Post


Note: this production features nudity.


Additional performance! Now available: Sunday, February 17 at 7:30pm. Get tickets >

Cast

David Quicksall – Rene Gallimard

As an actor, David has appeared locally at ACT, Seattle Repertory Theater, the 5thAvenue, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Book-It Repertory Theatre.  Most recently, David appeared in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Tacoma Arts Live.  In Seattle, he performed 20 different characters in his original one-man show An Evening With Satan at the performance space, 18th& Union.  As a director, David helmed the critically successful production of Titus Andronicusat the Seattle Shakespeare Company. David is a member of the Seagull Project, a highly regarded collective of Seattle actors dedicated to the works of Anton Chekhov: he has acted in The Seagull, The Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard.  A highlight was when the troupe performedThe Seagull at the internationally acclaimed Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  David dedicates this performance to his wife, Rachel and their daughter, Maia.

Tom Dang – Song Liling

Tom Dang is an actor based in Los Angeles, CA. Regional theatre credits include “KAIDAN: Walls Grow Thin” (East West Players / Rogue Artists Ensemble), “Hamlet”, “As You Like It” (Colonials Shakespeare Company), “Richard III” (REBATEnsemble), “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”, “Owen Meany’s Christmas Pageant”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Maltese Falcon” (Book-It Repertory Theatre), “Shakespeare in Love” (Seattle Shakespeare Company) “The Witching Hour” (Cafe Nordo), “Chatroom”, “Neighborhood3” (Theatre Battery). Screen credits include “Previous Man”, “B.F.E”, “Z Nation” (Syfy), and “The Librarians” (TNT). He received training from the John Kirby Studio and the Michael Chekhov Praxis Studio in Los Angeles as well as the University of Washington. In addition, Tom is also the Artistic Director of REBATEnsemble Theatre Group (Seattle, WA), a founding member of Theatre Battery (Kent, WA) and an artistic associate of Rogue Artist Ensemble (Los Angeles, CA). www.tomdangofficial.com Social Media @tomdangoffical

Jason Marr – Marc/Pinkerton/Others

Jason is delighted to be playing with ArtsWest again! Previously with the company he performed in Emelie, directed by Susanna Wilson. Recent roles include John McClane in the sold-out premiere of A Very Die Hard Christmas, co-produced by The Habit and Seattle Public Theater, and Cornwall in King Learwith Wooden O. Other credits include Timon of Athens,Titus Andronicus, andHamlet(Seattle Shakespeare Co.), The Pitmen Painters andDangerous Liaisons(ACT Theatre), 63Trillion (West of Lenin), Greensward(MAP Theatre), andHumble Boy (Seattle Public). He has performed with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C., Book-It Repertory, Washington Ensemble, Taproot Theatre, and Theatre Anonymous, among others. He is a co-founder of One Lump or Two Productions (Elsinore Diaries, Holiday of Errors). Jason has a BFA in Acting and Directing from UNC Greensboro and an MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. He is married to the extraordinary Jill Marr.

Rachel Guyer-Mafune – Renee/Pinup Girl/Others

Rachel Guyer-Mafune is a Japanese American 4th generation Seattlite, and a 2016 graduate of Cornish College of the Arts. She is a 2018 ACT Core Company member, and a member of Washington Ensemble Theatre. Past credits include: The Wolves, A Christmas Carol (ACT), Prelude to a Kiss, How I Learned to Drive (Strawberry Theatre Workshop), Howl’s Moving Castle, a New Musical (Book-it Repertory Theatre), Teh Internet is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre), A Winter’s Tale (Seattle Shakespeare Company), The Lost Girls, and Puny Humans (Annex). Catch her in Washington Ensemble Theatre’s production of Feathers and Teeth (March 29th to  April 19th). 

Kathy Hsieh – Comrade Chin/Others

Kathy Hsieh is an award-winning actor, writer and director, most recently seen in White Snake with ReAct, as Titania in the ASL Midsummer Night’s Dream with Sound Theatre and Mary Chun in American Hwangap at West of Lenin. She was nominated for an Elly Award for acting for Chinglish in Nevada City, and won Footlight and Gypsy Awards for acting for Chinglish at ArtsWest, and the Gregory Award for Sustained Achievement in 2017. She has also worked with the Seattle Rep, Book-It, ACT, Intiman, Sound Theatre, Taproot, Freehold, Hedgebrook, Living Voices, ReAct, Seattle Opera and more. She is an Executive Co-Producer for SIS Productions and works by day at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Kathy has taught M. Butterfly in the Asian American Theatre class she was invited to create for the University of WA School of Drama and is thrilled to work on this production.

Marianna de Fazio – Agnes/Others

Marianna de Fazio was last seen as Mrs. Boyle in Strawberry Theater Workshop’s Prelude to a Kiss, and over the summer as Parson Hugh in Wooden O’s Merry Wives of Windsor. Professionally, Marianna coaches dialect for theaters around the Sound (including Jane Eyre here) as well as public speaking, voice and accent modification. MFA: UW.  www.mariannadefazio.com  

Mark Waldstein – Toulon/Sharpless/Judge/Others

Mark Waldstein is making his debut at ArtsWest. He has performed with Sound Theatre Company in The Foreigner,One Man, Two Guvnors, and the musicalParade; also in Spring Awakening at Balagan Theatre, The Salesman is Dead and Gone with Splinter Group, Undo at Annex Theatre, The Lower Depths with Theatre Machine, Picnicwith ReAct, My Man Godfreyat Theater Schmeater, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Seattle Musical Theatre, as well as the 14/48 Festival and Theater Anonymous. Mark was a founding member of SecondStory Repertory in Redmond, and appeared frequently there during its first decade.

Margaret Hotchkiss – Dancer

Born in Bangkok, Thailand and adopted while still a toddler, Margaret’s love of dance began in Bainbridge Island, WA when she was two years old.  Now a Seattle based performer and teaching artist, her work is informed by the eternal balance of joy and sorrow, and her discovery of identity as an immigrant adoptee. She is grateful for opportunities to study dance at California State University, Long Beach; The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance; American Dance Festival, New York; and Strictly Seattle which have all enriched her experience. A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts (B.F.A. Dance, 2012), she has performed work by Wade Madsen, Alicia Mullikin, Noelle Price, Mary Tisa, and Alice Gosti. She has also performed with Au Collectiveas a guest artist. Margaret currently teaches at Bainbridge Ballet and Cornish Preparatory Dance. She is thankful for her most recent collaboration with NOCCO Seattleand dancing role in M. Butterfly with ArtsWest.

Ayako Shapiro – Dancer

Ayako Shapiro hails from a small town in upstate NY. After graduating from Skidmore College with a BA in Dance and Asian Studies, she moved to Seattle where she currently works as a free-lance dancer and as a program coordinator at a non-profit. She has had the opportunity to perform in pieces choreographed by Brian Brooks, Take Ueyama, Stephanie Liapis, Imana Gunawan, and Alicia Mullikin. Ayako has performed in several festivals throughout Seattle and is interested in the intersections of dance and the human experience. Currently, Ayako is choreographing for the Tint Dance Festival and excited to continue creating work in Seattle.

Creative Team

Samip Raval – Director

Seattle directing credits include the world premiere of Lindsay Joelle’s A Small History Of Amal, Age 7 (Forward Flux/Pratidhwani), The Who And The What (ArtsWest Playhouse/Pratidhwani), Guards At The Taj (ACTLab/Kenan Fellowship), and other works with Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Children’s Theater, and Pratidhwani. International: (DISGRACED) PingPong Arts, China. Regional credits include Arena Stage, Playmakers Repertory Theater, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Shakespeare Theater Company, and assistant directing with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has held workshops and residencies with the Kennedy Center, Sonnet Repertory/Signature Theater, Emerging Artists Theater, and Lincoln Center Education. Samip is a member of the Actors Equity Association and holds a BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts. 

Alyza DelPan-Monley – Choreographer

Alyza DelPan-Monley is a Seattle-based dancer and choreographer, seeking to brighten her surroundings with splashes of whimsy, human connection and goofy possibilities. Her work has been performed Seattle International Dance Festival, Cafe Nordo, Annex Theater, Book-it Repertory, Washington Ensemble Theater, Evoke Productions and Strawberry Theater Workshop. She performs regularly with Tim Smith-Stewart and Jeffrey Azevedo, Alice Gosti and DONNA. Known for her quirky non-sensical non-sequiturs and character-ridden theatrics, Alyza believes that dance can burst bubbles and repurpose awkward into awesome.

David Hsieh – Stage Manager

David is thrilled to return to ArtsWest where he previously stage managed Chinglish. Other recent stage management credits include Emboldened at Freehold and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever for Seattle Public. David is also a freelance actor and the Artistic Director for ReAct Theatre where some of his directing credits include the acclaimed Seattle premieres of The White Snake, The Aliens, Time Stands Still, Yellow Face, Rabbit Hole, Closer and The Joy Luck Club. Seattle audiences may remember him performing in the sell-out world premieres of A Very Die Hard Christmas, Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and Royal Blood. He’ll be co-directing Kim’s Convenience at Taproot this spring, and dedicates this show in the memory of Christopher Zinovitch, who tapped David to play Song in a production of M. Butterfly that never came to pass 15 years ago.

Kathy Hsieh – Dramaturg

See bio in cast.

Emily Leong – Lighting Designer

Emily is excited to be back at ArtsWest after her design of Peerless last January. She is a freelance lighting designer in the Seattle area whose previous work has been seen with Cafe Nordo, Pony World Theater, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, and Intiman’s Emerging Artists Program.She is on staff at Theatre Off Jackson as the technical liaison and resident lighting designer. In 2015, Emily received The Gregory Awards: Melissa Hines Award for her work as a theatre practitioner.

Lex Marcos – Scenic Designer

Lex is from Manila, Philippines. He studied Painting and Art History at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He designed sets in Manila for eight years, working with acclaimed Filipino directors, designers, visual artists, and playwrights. He recently got his MFA degree in Scenic Design last March 2017 in UW School of Drama. After that, he then started designing shows in town: We are Pussy Riot and Everything is PR for Theater Battery; back to back designs for ArtsWest, The Who and The What and The Nance; American Huwangap for West of Lenin; Welcome to Arroyo’s for Theater Schmeater; Seattle premiere of the Musical ‘Disenchanted’; #Nowall for Theater Battery; Native Gardens for INTIMAN Theatre; Parliament Square for Pony-world Theatre. An upcoming design collaboration for Washington Theater Ensemble production of ‘B’. He received an award from Broadway World Philippines for best scenic design in a musical for Manila premiere of The Little Mermaid. His works Ang Post Office ng Hari and Umaaraw Umuulan Kinakasal Ang Tikbalang have been selected for Philippines exhibit in the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in 2011 and 2015.

Brian Murphy – Sound Designer

Brian has been thrilled to collaborate with Artswest on their most recent production, M. Butterfly. His previous work with Samip includes A Small History of Amal, Age 7 (West of Lenin), as well as The Who and The What (Artswest). Brian would like to thank his loved partner, family, and friends for their constant support.

Natalie Shih – Costume Designer

Natalie Shih is a Seattle-based costume designer. Since graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in 2017, she has designed for a number of companies in the Seattle area. Recent credits include The Rules of Charity for Sound Theatre Company, Persimmon Nights and the Kimchi Kittensfor Café Nordo, and Straight White Menfor Washington Ensemble Theatre. Additionally, she designed costumes for Gregory Award nominated play of the year Ironbound with Seattle Public Theatre. Her aim is to promote inclusivity and diversity in the arts, and focus on pushing the boundaries of conventional theatre to start conversations about social issues. On weekends, she enjoys cooking with her husband and spending time with her fur-babies. www.natalieshih.com

Andrea Spraycar – Properties Master

Andrea’s credits include Santa Fe Opera, the Cenver Center Theatre Company, Ocean State Tehater Company, as well as numerous productions at ArtsWest and Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle. She would like to thank her parents, friends, and cohorts for their love, support, and thrift store adventures. 

Katrin Hosseini – Apprentice Director

Katrin Hosseini is a recent graduate of the University of Washington with a double degree in Drama and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Her focus has been on acting. But after writing and directing Rainbow In The Dark Sky as her capstone project, she’s acquired a passion for directing. She is very grateful for the opportunity to work with the ArtsWest and wants to thank the director, Samip Raval who made this journey a joyful experience. She believes in the impossible! 

 

Photos from FIRST LOOK: M. BUTTERFLY, held Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at ArtsWest. Featuring the cast of M. Butterfly – David Quicksall, Tom Dang, Jason Marr, Rachel Guyer-Mafune, Kathy Hsieh, Marianna de Fazio (not pictured) and Mark Waldstein – and director Samip Raval.

Photos of M. Butterfly by John McLellan.