Sunday, May 26, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | Lily Tung Crystal Departs Theater Mu to Lead East West Gamers


Lily Tung Crystal. (Photograph by by Dani Werner)

LOS ANGELES: East West Gamers has appointed Lily Tung Crystal to be its subsequent inventive director. Tung Crystal, the present inventive director of Theater Mu in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, succeeds Snehal Desai within the place, who departed the corporate in 2023 to grow to be the inventive director of Middle Theatre Group. She’s going to grow to be the fifth inventive director and the second feminine chief within the group’s historical past, working alongside managing director Eugene J. Hutchins in a brand new co-leadership mannequin. Tung Crystal will keep on to program Mu’s 2024-25 season earlier than relocating to L.A., and the theatre’s board plans to work with the workers to decide on her successor.

“The East West Gamers board is worked up to introduce Lily to the East West Gamers neighborhood and to welcome her again to L.A., her first hometown,” mentioned EWP board chair Rose Chan Loui in an announcement. “The search committee was gratified to see what number of certified candidates utilized for the inventive director place, because it demonstrated how a lot progress we’ve made as a neighborhood in growing AAPI expertise. We had been significantly happy to see the variety of excellent Asian American ladies among the many candidates. Out of this spectacular area of candidates, Lily stood out for her spectacular portfolio of inventive work, her cohesive imaginative and prescient for EWP, and her sturdy management and administration expertise. We all know she can be drastically missed by Theater Mu and the Minnesota neighborhood, however we’re thrilled for EWP to be her new inventive dwelling.”

A Chinese language American native of the South Bay, Tung Crystal co-founded Ferocious Lotus Theatre Firm within the Bay Space previous to her five-year tenure at Theater Mu. A longtime stage director and actor, she was additionally a author and producer for movie and tv, engaged on every part from nonfiction programming for the Discovery Channel to the film Steve Jobs. She labored as a contract journalist in Shanghai, the place she launched town’s first English-language journal, Shanghai Discuss, in addition to performing in a singer in a Chinese language blues band known as Sizzling Tofu.

“I’m grateful to each East West Gamers and Theater Mu for believing in me,” mentioned Tung Crystal in an announcement. “This can be a bittersweet second due to my deep love for Mu and the Minnesotan theatre and Asian American communities. My coronary heart is each blissful and breaking. Mu has allowed me to do that work in a deep and joyful approach with a bunch of really unbelievable workers, board, theatremakers, and supporters. I’m grateful to them for giving me such a major inventive and religious dwelling.”

Throughout her time at Theater Mu, the corporate was named a Regional Cultural Treasure by the Ford and McKnight Foundations, doubled the dimensions of its workers, and doubled its price range from $650,000 to $1.3 million. Tung Crystal additionally led the revitalization of the Mu Coaching Institute, created Mu’s fellowship program to spend money on the following era of BIPOC artists, and offered an area for brand spanking new playwright cohorts. She led the group by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, producing not less than three digital occasions every week from late March by Might 2020.

“I’m humbled and honored to be given the chance to guide the nation’s largest Asian American theatre firm and longest-running theatre of shade,” continued Tung Crystal. “My life’s work has centered on the intersection of artwork and social justice; growing illustration of Asian American and different marginalized artists onstage and in TV and movie, and telling extra Asian American tales. I’m wanting ahead to working with East West Gamers’ managing director, Eugene J. Hutchins, and its proficient, dedicated, and welcoming workers, board, and artists to proceed that work nationally in collaboration with artists and organizations throughout the nation, together with Theater Mu.”

Theater Mu is the most important Asian American theatre firm within the Midwest, searching for to inform tales from the center of the Asian American expertise, and to have fun and empower the Asian American neighborhood by mainstage productions, rising artist assist, and academic outreach packages. As of 2022, the theatre had an approximate price range of $1.3 million.

East West Gamers is without doubt one of the nation’s oldest theatres of shade and the most important producer of Asian American theatrical works. East West Gamers is dedicated to elevating the visibility of the Asian American expertise by presenting ingenious world-class theatrical productions, growing artists of shade, and offering impactful youth teaching programs. As of 2022, the theatre had an approximate price range of $1.9 million.

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