Caught

Caught, my Philadelphia theatrical debut - was three years in the making. My company, 2by4, was initially established because I was motivated to develop Chen’s script in San Francisco in 2012. We spent over a year in workshops and readings which culminated in a week-long Design Development Workshop. The play takes the audience on a disorienting journey that begins in an art gallery that goes through a complete transformation. During the workshop, I experimented with visual storytelling by establishing microenvironments and video landscapes to which the audience moved for different scenes. This was followed by a public workshop performance at the Costume Shop Theatre (second stage for San Francisco’s highly acclaimed regional theatre, ACT). After this energetically charged and successful workshop production, Caught was further developed at the Sundance Theatre Festival, and received its world premiere at InterAct Theater, Philadelphia. Much of my experience and ideas that came from developing the piece in San Francisco was well received by director, Rick Shiomi, and my design directly shaped the direction, movement, and total experience of the show. Elizabeth Frino, Lehigh Design Apprentice, served as my assistant for this professional production by model-building, attending meetings and technical rehearsals. She was instrumental in building the large scale interactive video installation sculpture, and learned first-hand how a world premiere is mounted. Caught received unprecedented critical acclaim in major Philadelphia papers and is now being produced at numerous theatres across the country and London, and has just been published in its entirety in American Theatre Magazine, including three full color images of my scenery in the premiere.

Winner of the 2015 Independence Foundation Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play
Nominated for the 2015 Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Scenic Design, Outstanding Direction, and Outstanding Overall Production of a Play

InterAct Theatre was named Best Established Theatre in 2015 by Philadelphia Magazine.

Playwright: 
Christopher Chen
Director: 
Rick Shiomi
Rick Shiomi has been a leader in Asian American theater for over thirty years, as a playwright, director and artistic director. He received the McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Award in 2015, the Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2012 and the Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Vision in 2007. He has written over twenty plays, including the award winning Yellow Fever. He was a co-founder of Mu Performing Arts and the artistic director from 1993 to 2013. He has directed for Mu Performing Arts, InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, Theatre Esprit Asia in Denver and the Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco. For Mu, he directed Into The Woods set in Asia, The Mikado set in Edwardian England and Yellow Face at the Dowling Studio of the Guthrie Theater. For Interact Theatre he directed Caught by Christopher Chen in 2014 for which he received a Barrymore Award nomination for Outstanding Direction. He played taiko for thirty years and was the founder (in 1997) and the leader of Mu Daiko until 2010. He recently received a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant in the Building Demand For The Arts program to work with InterAct Theatre, to develop Asian American theater in Philadelphia.
Lighting Designer: 
Peter Whinnery
Costume Designer: 
Rachel Coon
Projection Designer: 
Melpomene Katakalos
Student(s): 
Elizabeth Frino, Assistant Scenic Designer
Venue : 
InterAct Theatre, Phildelphia

InterAct is a theatre for today's world, dedicated to commissioning, developing, and producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. Through both its artistic and educational programs, InterAct utilizes theatre as a tool to promote civic discourse and stimulate dialogue around the most pressing and complex issues we face in contemporary society. InterAct values ARTISTIC RISK, which we express by maintaining a robust commitment to producing new plays. Through its world premiere productions, Young Voices Monologue Festival, active involvement in play development, 20/20 Commissions, Core Playwrights program, leadership role with the National New Play Network and Philadelphia New Play Initiative, InterAct has established itself as the region’s leading proponent of new plays.

InterAct values CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, which we express by tackling plays of societal relevance, and fostering positive social discourse around the important, complex, sometimes controversial stories, issues and ideas contained in those plays. Through our Speaker Sunday and Coffee Conversation post-performance talk backs, our free public convenings and symposia, and our partnerships with community and academic organizations, InterAct consistently offers its constituents opportunities to deepen their engagement with the thematic content in its plays. InterAct values DIVERSITY, which we express by being extremely mindful in our play selection, our artistic and administrative hiring practices, our venue design and long-term efforts to develop non-traditional theatergoing audiences.

InterAct Theatre was named Best Established Theatre in 2015 by Philadelphia Magazine.