American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) begins performances of the world premiere production of Wild Swans, the first stage version of Jung Chang's astonishing personal memoir, in a majorinternational collaboration with the Young Vic and Actors Touring Company. Performances run from Saturday, February 11 through March 11, 2012. The production will run at the Young Vic in London from April 13 through May 13, 2012.
China, at the heart of the 20th Century became a nation transformed beyond recognition. Through the eyes of one fiercely courageous family, Wild Swans takes us on a journey from the early days of Communist hope and struggle, through the chaos and confusion of Mao's Cultural Revolution, to the birth of a superpower.
Jung Chang commented: 'This production means a lot to me. To see Wild Swans on stage – transferred into another art form – will be fantastic. It feels great to know that my book is in such good hands.'
Actress Katie Leung, best known as Harry Potter's girlfriend Cho Chang in the film series, will play Er-Hong, the character based on Jung Chang; and joins an ensemble that is made up of British and American actors including Oliver Biles as Weimin, Eric Chan as Dr. Wan, Annie Chang as Dai, Ka-Ling Cheung as De-Hong, Victor Chi as Heng, Celeste Den as Ting, Joanne Fong as Huifen, Jon Kit Lee as Bolin, Orion Lee as Shou-Yu, Jennifer Lim Ai Hua as Teacher Shu, Les J N Mau as Team Leader Chi, Ron Nakahara as Governor Lin, Zenghui Qiu as Zhen, and Julyana Soelistyo as Yu-Fang. The cast will also include a community chorus recruited from the greater Boston Asian American community.
Wild Swans unites the talents of director Sacha Wares (Sucker Punch, Royal Court), playwright Alexandra Wood (The Eleventh Capital), and designer Miriam Buether (Anna Nicole, Royal Opera House; King Lear, The Public Theater NYC). The production will include specially commissioned video designs by groundbreaking Beijing artist Wang GongXin, whose work has been seen at MOMA in San Francisco, the V&A and many other major galleries throughout the world. Costume design is by Tom Rand, sound design by Gareth Fry, lighting design by D M Wood, movement direction by Leon Baugh, projection by Tim Reid, music by Zenghui Qiu and puppet design and direction by Michael Fowkes.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:
Celebrated writer Jung Chang was born in Sichuan Province, China in 1952. She became a Red Guard at the age of fourteen and then worked as a peasant, a barefoot doctor, a steelworker and an electrician before becoming an English language student. In 1978 she moved to Britain and in 1982 became the first person from the People's Republic of China to earn a PhD from a British university. Her most recent book is the bestseller Mao: The Unknown Story that she co-wrote with her husband Jon Halliday.
Director Sacha Wares is an Associate Director of both the Royal Court and Young Vic Theatres in London. Her recent work includes Roy Williams' Sucker Punch, Debbie Tucker Green's random, and Mike Bartlett's My Child (all at Royal Court). Other work includes generations (Young Vic), trade (Royal Shakespeare Company), Platform (ICA), and Caryl Churchill's A Number at Theatre Project Tokyo. She was also co-director of Guantanamo: "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom" at the Tricycle Theatre in 2004, which transferred to London's West End and New York.