Lydia played as "Mrs. Li" in Urban Stages' Off-Broadway run of celebrated Chinese playwright Zhu Yi (Member, Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood) from Wednesday, November 15, 2017 through Sunday, December 10, 2017, directed by John Giampietro, and starred Alan Ariano, Pun Bandhu, Helen Coxe, Lydia Gaston, Wei Yi Lin, and Seth Moore.
Rebecca Kane (Stage Manager), Jeana Caporelli (Assistant Stage Manager), Frank Oliva (Set Designer), John Salutz (Lighting and Sound Designer), Audrey Nauman (Costume Designer), Ryan Belock (Video Designer) and Kim Sharp (Technical Director).
Graphic Design: Sylvia Haber, Perpetuart
"Mrs. Li, the mother, whose deep anguish we feel only toward the end, is gently played by Lydia Gaston."
"A Deal is an exploration of a young woman’s simple dream to “make it” away from home. Directed by John Giampietro, A Deal feels like a series of scenes from a film. From beginning to end, you watch as Wei-Yi Lin’s Su tussle between her love for her family, (Alan Ariano as the hilarious, but easy to anger Mr. Li and Lydia Gaston as the noble, pensive Mrs. Li), and her dream to become the first Asian American, Oscar-winning lead actress."
ABOUT THE PLAY
Like many new upper-middle-class Chinese families, Mr. and Mrs. Li are proud to give their only daughter a life they could only dream of (an Ivy League degree in art and an apartment in Manhattan), until they realize she’s turning into a dangerous stranger.
A DEAL is a dark comedy that features a Chinese family’s home buying journey in New York in winter 2015, a time of increased real estate property ownership by overseas Chinese and a sharp decline in the value of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar. It reveals the ideological conflicts between the East and the West in contemporary society by tracking a little stream of the global cash flow.
This was the first Off-Broadway production for international known playwright Zhu Yi and A DEAL. The play simultaneously toured China in Mandarin.
ABOUT ZHU YI
Zhu Yi (Playwright) is a New York-based playwright and screenwriter, born and raised in Shanghai, China. MFA in playwriting, Columbia University. She received the First Prize at 2015 World Sinophone Drama Competition, and Shanghai Drama Valley's 2015 Outstanding Playwright of the Year Award. She is a 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, a Youngblood alumni at Ensemble Studio Theatre, a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and a member of the Royal Court Theatre's International Playwrights Programme. Stage plays: How Time Flies (National Theatre of China), You Never Touched the Dirt (Spirit of ‘47, Edinburgh International Festival, UK), Holy Crab! (Wellspring Theater, Taiwan; Círculo de Tiza, Mexico), Apene i Himalaya (Hålogaland Teater, Norway), I Am a Moon (Shanghai Grand Theater, China; Theater Emory, Atlanta, GA; FringeNYC; Edinburgh Festival Fringe, UK; 3LD Art and Technology Center, NYC), It Rained on Shakopee (The Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Duluth, MN), Long Life (Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, China; People’s Art Theater, China), Long Distance Affair (Bienal Arte Joven Buenos Aires, Argentina; Edinburgh Festival Fringe, UK), Lifetime Fairytale (Riverside Theatre, NYC). Films: Apolitical Romance (Taipei Film Festival; Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival; New York Asian Film Festival; Udine Far East Film Festival, Italy; Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival), Scrape (Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival; Alcances Film Festival, Spain).zhuyizhuyi.com
ABOUT JOHN GIAMPIETRO
John Giampietro (Director) is a Brooklyn based stage director of Opera and Theatre. Recent credits include La Feldeltà Premiata at The Juilliard School, The Turn of the Screw and Carousel at Chautauqua Institution Festival of Music. He is a frequent director with Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theater’s Obie-award-winning young writers group. At EST John directed the NY Times acclaimed production of Year of the Rooster by Olivia Dufault. Other opera and theatre productions seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Vermont Shakespeare Festival, Curtis Institute of Music, The Flea Theatre, and NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He has directed over 20 operas for the Chautauqua School of Music where he is the principal stage director. John is a faculty member in the Vocal Arts department at The Juilliard School. Writing includes new English dialogue versions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Der Schauspieldirektor. Upcoming, a new English dialogue version of Nicolai’s opera The Merry Wives of Windsor for The Juilliard School, in 2018.
Lydia Gaston is enjoying being part of the ensemble of this beautiful show starring Hoon Lee as the King and Kelli O'Hara as Anna Leonowens. She is reunited with fellow gypsies Paul Nakauchi (the Krahlahome) and Marc Oka (Phra Alak) from the original Miss Saigon B'way cast.