NoMad Theater Presents The President's Invitation

Friday, March 29, 2024
7 – 9PM

NoMad Theater will make its New York City debut by presenting The President’s Invitation by Fangyi Wen, directed by Xiqian “Sissi” Chen. Opening on Friday evening, March 29, 2024, at 7 pm EDT, at the Chain Theatre (312 W 36th St. 4th floor, New York, NY 10018), this production is a limited engagement through Sunday evening, March 31, 2024. The production will be performed in Mandarin with English subtitles.

The cast, comprised of all international students and first-generation immigrants, includes Yunpeng “Mason” Zhang as Congzhou Bian, Xianglong “Along” Rong as Congzhou Bian (elder), Hailu Kong as Congzhou Bian (elder), Yiwei “Will” Lu as Rendao Shi, Yiqing “Lana” Zhang as Jingyuan/Ms. Shi, Zhi Qu as Rendao Shi (elder), Qi as Xiaoshan Xia, and Die Fu as Xiaoshan Xia (elder).

In 1943, Chiang Kai-shek, the new president of the Central University of China and the President of the Republic of China, invited three professors of the Chinese Literature Department to dine with him; but the professors all hesitated, each with their own concerns. In 1967, during the upsurge of the Cultural Revolution, the three professors were summoned for “struggle sessions” and asked to reminisce about that dinner. But the truth from 24 years ago was hard to tell, and the dinner remained a mystery.

Dabbling in a period of time where history and memory are mundane, The President’s Invitation presents one-of-its-kind dark humor and Chinese political satire. Commenting on The President’s Invitation, Tian Luo of The New York Times had this to say: “The President’s Invitation is becoming more and more unique… this drama uses traditional methods and relies solely on the power of text to win word-of-mouth and audiences.” (August 1, 2013)

The creative team for The President’s Invitation includes Yejia Sun (Dramaturg), Junran “Charlotte” Shi (Sets), Chun “Mira” Han (Costumes), Yidi “Wendy” Weng (Hair & makeup) Yang Yu (Lighting), Panzhen Wu (Sound), Chenyan Yu (Projection), Yuqing “Amelia” Wang (Production Stage Manager), Zuiyi “Zoe” Feng (Production Manager), Ningyao “Melvin” Yan (Production Consultant), and Chen “Carl” Chen (Technical Consultant).

Founded by first-generation Chinese immigrants and Chinese international students, NoMad Theater aims to promote Chinese language theater in New York. Since its formation in 2022, NoMad is the first theater company in the NYC area to explore comedy in traditional Chinese language theatre. Starting in spring 2023, NoMad Theater has offered over ten comedy and theater workshops and has engaged over 700 audiences. On March 2024, NoMad will present its debut production – The President’s Invitation – in the city.

Xiqian “Sissi” Chen is a New York-based director, producer, and co-founder of NoMad Theatre. An adamant advocator for cross-cultural communication through theatre and Chinese language theater, Ms. Chen has extensive experience in engaging English-Mandarin audiences. Recent credits in New York include Once Upon a Story (2023), Murder Up in the Air (2023), and The Beat (2022). Ms. Chen also specializes in theater education and community engagement and has collaborated with Tony Awards China, Roundabout Theatre Company, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and Theatre Communications Group. Her multifaceted background and commitment to excellence position her as a driving force in showcasing the richness of Chinese theatrical works on and off stage.

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