Redemption Story

May 4 – May 19, 2024

The Associates Theater Ensemble presents the world premiere of
by Peregrine Teng Heard
directed by Sarah Blush

INT. DINER - LOS ANGELES, 1971. CONNIE LEE (50s, hardened glamor) drinks coffee, fingers her cigarettes. Her eyes glint with magnetism, even after years of playing clichés instead of characters. A MAN (20s, blond and eager) pushes through the door, and Connie does a double-take, then turns away. She’s already made the worst mistake of her life, and a fresh face can’t fix it. A new play about alienation, conditional love, and our distorted senses of self.

“After nine years of digging into the complexities of American identity with The Associates, I’m thrilled to launch this new play into the world during AAPI Heritage Month,” says playwright Peregrine Teng Heard. “Redemption Story is the fantasy of a woman who has crafted herself from Hollywood tropes—she’s played the enigmatic Asian, the devious Asian, the doomed Asian—and she can’t give up that mask, even when her real relationships demand a dose of reality.”

Featuring Christine Toy Johnson*, José Espinosa*, Dee Beasnael, Emily Stout*, Gregory Saint Georges*, and Mitchell Winter* (*appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association)

Performances run May 4-18 at 7:30pm and May 19 at 2:00pm.
Tickets $15-45.

Special events:

May 9—AAPI Community Night
Join us for drinks and a post-show discussion with members of the cast and Mei Ann Teo, Artistic Leader of Ping Chong and Company. Discounted $20 tickets for AAPI community members.

May 12—One for the Mothers!
In honor of Connie and everyone who is somebody in addition to being a mom, mothers who attend our Mother’s Day performance get discounted $20 tickets. If you bring your mother or your child as your date, get two tickets for $30.

May 13—Post-show Discussion with David Henry Hwang
Obie-winning playwright and Pulitzer Prize finalist David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face) joins actor-writer Christine Toy Johnson (Broken Ground) and playwright Peregrine Teng Heard for a conversation about bringing AAPI stories to the stage.

About the artists:

Peregrine Teng Heard (Playwright) is an actor, playwright, and Artistic Director of The Associates Theater Ensemble. Her plays Redemption Story and On The Prowl with Ada Tsiao are O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Semifinalists, and her short play Maggie and Winnie in The Thirteenth Time received its premiere at Actors Theatre of Louisville as a finalist in the National Ten-Minute Play Competition in 2018. Peregrine’s writing has been supported by Fresh Ground Pepper, 59E59, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. With The Associates she has devised, performed, and produced The Cousinhood (The Center at West Park), Sheila (A.R.T./New York Theatres), Black Protagonist (124 Bank St Theatre, NYIT nomination for Best Original Script), and Freesome (The Brick). Most recently, The Associates presented the New York premiere of Grownup by Emily Stout (MITU580). She graduated from Yale with a handy BA in East Asian Studies.

Sarah Blush (Director) directs, writes and develops original projects for theatre, TV and more. She has developed and presented new plays and devised work with The Public Theater, Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, The Playwrights’ Center, JACK, The Bushwick Starr, The Brick, The Hearth, Lightning Rod Special, Williamstown Theatre Festival, HERE, Dixon Place, 59E59 and more, associate/assistant directed extensively, and directed/taught at NYU Graduate Acting, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and NYU Meisner, Playwrights Horizons, and Atlantic studios. She is a recipient of the Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellowship, New Georges Audrey Residency, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Colt Coeur Artist Residency, Barn Arts Residency, and New York Society Library’s Emerging Female Artist Grant. Currently, Sarah has an original TV series (co-created with Sofya Levitsky-Weitz) in development with Lionsgate and Peacock.

The Associates create, develop, and produce new plays that expose and examine the paradox at the heart of American modes of identity. With a fierce appetite for contradiction and complexity, we give audiences the experience of sinking into another person’s existence: a deep, unnerving experience, and one that can enrich our perception of difference and of commonality. We make our theater through a process of long-term collaboration with generative artists—whether playwrights, devisers, or performers—by nurturing their curiosity and daring in a radically experimental environment.

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