New Works Play Reading: Paper Dream

Open to all at no cost

Time and Location

2020, Nov 05

by Lyra Yang


From 1910-40, roughly 175,000 Chinese immigrated to the United States through Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. Paper Dream is the story of four Chinese women: a self-proclaimed aristocrat, her husband’s second wife’s obedient daughter, a working-class mother, and a talented young courtesan as they find themselves trapped like prisoners in a “land of freedom.” It is about the ghosts they left behind, the spirit of who they are, and the dream of what they might become. A haunting period drama that reckons with the spectre of nationalism still stalking immigrants at America’s borders.

Guest Artist Bios

young playwright with black hair and a floral blouse

Lyra Yang - playwright, Paper Dream

Lyra Yang is a DMV-based playwright originally from China. Her play Paper Dream won the 2020 Judith Royer Excellence in Playwriting Award, and

received staged reading at Spooky Action Theatre’s New Play Series (D.C.), Avant Bard Theatre’s Scripts in Play Festival 2019 (Arlington), Silk Road Rising (Chicago), Three Cats Production’s New Play Festival 2019 (Chicago), Chicago Brokenbell Read, was nominated for L. Arnold Weissberg Award and Playwright Center's fellowship, and a semi-finalist for O'Neil National Playwriting Conference. World Behind the Fence was commissioned by Nothing Without a Company for Chicago New World Play World Festival (2019). Her other plays have been showcased at the Kennedy Center, American Dramatist Guild’s New Play Workshop, Adventure Theatre, Chicago Dramatist, Round House Theatre (D.C.), Chicago Livingroom Playmaker and Tradewind Arts Asian American Artist (Kansas). Alumna of Northwestern University (MFA) and Television Academy Program. Currently a playwright fellow at Cohesion Theatre.

theatre director in tan leather jacket sitting in audience seats

Desdemona Chiang - Director, Paper Dream

Desdemona Chiang is a stage director based in Seattle, WA and Ashland, OR. Co-Founder of Azeotrope (Seattle). Directing credits include Guthrie Theater, Alley Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, California Shakespeare Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Playmakers Repertory Company, Studio Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, ACT Theatre Seattle, American Shakespeare Center, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Village Theatre, Theatre Latte Da, Heritage Theatre Festival, Book-It Repertory, Aurora Theatre Company, Theatre Latte Da, Seattle Public Theatre, Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire Theatre Company, Azeotrope, Impact Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, Golden Thread Productions, Washington Ensemble Theatre, One Minute Play Festival, Ohio Northern University, University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts, among others. Assisting and dramaturgy credits include: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Playmakers Repertory Company, A Contemporary Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, Intiman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Magic Theatre, Theatreworks, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, among others. Intersection for the Arts Triangle Lab Artist-Investigator. Adjunct Faculty, Cornish College of the Arts. Awards/Affiliations: Princess Grace Award (Robert and Gloria Hausman Theater Honor), Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Theatre, SDC Sir John Gielgud Directing Fellowship, Drama League Directing Fellowship, TCG Young Leader of Color, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and Directors Lab West. Gregory Award Recipient for Outstanding Direction. BA: University of California at Berkeley. MFA Directing: University of Washington School of Drama.

Disability Accommodations

For disability accommodations, please contact the department presenting the event. Disability access information is available online at Parking Services, and further resources can be found on Western's Disability Resources website.

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