Mia Chung is the author of You for Me for You, Catch as Catch Can, This Exquisite Corpse, Skin in the Game, an adaptation of The Orphan of Zhao, and We Spend Our Lives.
You for Me for You will have its UK premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in December 2015. The play premiered in 2012 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in DC (in association with Ma-Yi Theatre Company and supported by an NEA grant), with a second production at Company One in Boston. This upcoming season it will run at Portland Playhouse and Mu Performing Arts Center.
She has received awards and fellowships from Southern Rep, RISCA, TCG, and others; and her work has been developed by the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Civilians’ R&D Group, Doorway Arts Ensemble, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, Inkwell, Kennedy Center, LAByrinth Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Page Salon, Playwrights Realm, and Stella Adler Studio.
She is a member of New Dramatists, a playwriting fellow of the Huntington Theatre, and an emeritus member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. She attended Yale (BA); the University of Dublin, Trinity College (M.Phil.); and Brown (MFA).
YOU FOR ME FOR YOU
As they attempt to flee the Best Nation in the World, North Korean sisters Minhee and Junhee are torn apart at the border. Each must race across time and space to be together again—navigating the perilous Land of the Free and the treacherous terrain of personal belief.
Premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with Ma-Yi Theatre Company (2012); second production at Company One (2013). UK premiere at The Royal Court (2015). Regional premieres at Mu Performing Arts Center (MN) and Portland Playhouse in 2016.
Workshopped and read at Playwrights Realm, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Inkwell/Page to Stage Festival, Washington DC (2011); Icicle Creek/ACT, Seattle (2011).
“FOUR STARS: Superbly disorienting drama.” - The Guardian
“Surreal and satirical.” - The Stage
“…(a) magical universe…a dizzying, sometimes surreal tale…endlessly creative…”- The Washingtonian
“Mia Chung’s world premiere about North Korean defectors is one of the more original productions to cross the Washington, D.C., stage this season.” -Baltimore Post Examiner
“…compelling and brilliantly staged…” -Washington City Paper
"...it’s hard to find a play that’s more timely. “You for Me for You” makes our refugee crisis human in scale, painfully vivid and impossible to look away from." - SF Gate
"this mysterious, beguiling Bay Area premiere offers myriad rewards...Chung’s contrasts between a society of scarcity and one of abundance feel not trite but harrowing, thanks to a heightened, whimsical tone and committed performances by the five-person ensemble... it’s nonetheless a pleasure to feel oneself ceasing to care about the usual markers of good storytelling, to let strictures melt away and simply listen and feel." - SF Chronicle
CATCH AS CATCH CAN
The Phelans and the Lavecchias grew up in each other’s homes in a tight-knit middle class community, sharing the good times and the bad together. But when Tim Phelan comes home with some news, a shifting crisis is set in motion that tests the bonds and identities of each member of this extended family. The play employs the theatrical convention of character doubling in an unconventional way to help us look again at the roles we play when at home with family.
Workshopped in July 2015 at the Huntington Summer PlayLabs.
THIS EXQUISITE CORPSE
Solbi moves from Korea to New Jersey with her GI husband and their son. The effort to build a life and make friends—as well as learn English—has literally split Solbi into pieces. She is even alienated from her own tongue. This surreal “chorus” of Solbis struggle to express themselves despite misinterpretation and cultural appropriation.
SKIN IN THE GAME
Three of “the best and the brightest” prepare to take their places in life.
Read at The Civilians’ R&D Group reading series (2011)
THE ORPHAN OF ZHAO
(an adaptation of the classic Chinese drama)
The streets of Jin are awash in the blood of the noble Zhao Clan. The vicious slaughter ignites a succession of individual acts of virtue and sacrifice—as the hope for retribution and a return to a humane social order is pinned to the survival of a baby boy. The eternal swing of the pendulum of justice—powered by the momentum of personal courage—resounds in this new adaptation of a stirring and resonant Chinese classic.
Produced by Brandeis Theatre Company (Mar 2008). Read at Mu Performing Arts “New Eyes” Festival (Jan 2009).
WE SPEND OUR LIVES
Mrs. Song asks her sister, Mrs. Kim, for money.
Received a workshop production at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival (2004).