Late Night with Playwright Daniel K. Isaac – Opening Night of Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME

Performances, Photography, Theater

Ma-Yi Theater Company is presenting the world premiere of Daniel K. Isaac’s ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME. Directed by Obie-winner Ralph B. Peña, Isaac’s epic new play, which marks his playwriting debut, mixes traditional Korean fables with the horrors of the Korean War. ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME began previews on August 23, with performances continuing through September 18, 2022, at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre (74 East 4th Street, Manhattan).

Below is Daniel’s photo diary of opening night on August 31, 2022.

6pm- The evening kicked off with cocktails at The Standard. Daniel is wearing a custom hanbok, a gift from his Aunt and his cousin, Judy Hwang, who took a red-eye from the West Coast to attend the opening night performance and festivities. The tie around his waist was crafted by his Aunt, and the shoes were a gift from his partner, Chad Reed.

Donny Repsher, Clinton Sherwood, Chad Reed, Daniel K. Isaac, Judy Hwang, Keelay Gipson, Ian Ames. Photo by Lia Chang

7:00pm

Lia Chang, Daniel K. Isaac, Judy Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac, Judy Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME is a funny and deeply moving analog for the experiences of the Korean American diaspora. Isaac deftly moves his characters through time, tracing the legacies of trauma that are passed from one generation to the next, and the various coping mechanisms each one uses to soldier on.

7:07pm

Judy Hwang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast for ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME includes Sonnie Brown, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, and Jillian Sun with Daniel K. Isaac and Sami Ma serving as understudies.

8:54pm Opening night curtain call

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME includes Se Oh (scenic design), Phuong Nguyen (costume design), Oliver Wason (lighting design), Yee Eun Nam (projection design), Fabian Obispo (sound design), Alexander Wylie (props design), and Alyssa K. Howard (production stage manager).

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances take place Tuesday-Sunday at 7pm with additional 1pm performances on Saturdays. The closing performance on September 18 will take place at 1pm. Tickets, starting at $45, are currently on sale at www.ma-yitheatre.org

9:02pm Playwright takes center stage.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and his cousin, Judy Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

9:03pm Director Ralph B. Peña and Playwright Daniel K. Isaac

Director Ralph B. Pena and Playwright Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Ralph B. Pena, Chad Reed and Playwright Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang

9:16pm

Michael Thomas, Ida Chavoshan and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

The afterparty was held at Ms. Yoo, Esther Choi’s New Korean American bi-level gastropub at 163 Allen St. The guests noshed on Korean Fried Chicken, Tteok n Cheese, Fried Rice, Tofu Korean Street Tacos, Brussel Sprouts in a Honey Soy garlic glaze with charred scallion sour cream and Japchae, and enjoyed an open bar until 11pm.

Tina Chilip, Teresa Avia Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

9:44pm

Michael Urie, Daniel K. Isaac, Ryan Spahn. Photo by Lia Chang

Diep Tran, Daniel K. Isaac and Dustin Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang

Cindy Cheung, Daniel K. Isaac and Ed Lin. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Mia Katigbak. Photo by Lia Chang

A CHINESE LADY reunion – Daniel K. Isaac, Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Jon Norman Schneider, James Chen, Ka-Ling Cheung. Photo by Lia Chang

James Chen and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Alyssa K. Howard, Daniel K Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeena Yi, Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac, Lydia Gaston, Fabian Obispo, a guest. Photo by Lia Chang

Nancy Bulalacao and Dash. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Clinton Sherwood. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Keelay Gipson. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Erin Quill. Photo by Lia Chang

David Lee Huynh, Daniel K. Isaac, ChiChi Anyanwu. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Julian Leong. Photo by Lia Chang

Clinton Sherwood and Donny Repsher. Photo by Lia Chang

Mi Ryung Song and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

10:28pm Setting up the rainbow company shot

Alyssa K. Howard, Jon Norman Schneider, Sami Ma, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Sonnie Brown, David Shih and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Alyssa K. Howard, Sasha Diamond, Jillian Sun, Jon Norman Schneider, David lee Huyny, Teresa Avia Lim, Sami Ma, Sonnie Brown, David Shih, Daniel D. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Teresa Avia Lim, Sasha Diamond, Jillian Sun, Sami Ma, Sonnie Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

Teresa Avia Lim, Sasha Diamond, Jillian Sun, Sami Ma, Sonnie Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

Carlos Armesto, Daniel K. Isaac and Katie May Leo Porter. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac, David Shih, Jon Norman Schneider and David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac, David Shih, Jon Norman Schneider and David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Nicky Paraiso. Photo by Lia Chang

Zachary Harris, Daniel K. Isaac and James Seol. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac, Lia Chang and James Seol.

Daniel K. Isaac and Sonnie Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

Julian Leong, John Yi and Teresa Avia Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang, Ian Ames, Donny Repsher, Clinton Sherwood, Judy Hwang, Keelap Gipson. Photo by Lia Chang

11pm

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Katie Moses and David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and John Wyszniewski. Photo by Lia Chang

Mia Katigbak, Tina Chilip, Jon Norman Schneider and guest. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac and Sami Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jillian Sun and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

David Shih and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Max King, Sami Ma and Tommy Bo Hansana. Photo by Lia Chang

Chad Reed, Judy Hwang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Chad Reed and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Donny Repsher, Chad Reed, Clinton Sherwood, Daniel K. Isaac, Judy Hwang, David Shih, Keelay Gipson, Ian Ames. Photo by Lia Chang

Sneak Peek: Sonnie Brown, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, and Jillian Sun in Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of Daniel K. Isaac’s ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME at LaMaMa

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on MNN.org.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com

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