Ping Chong/ Jon Ludwig/ Mitsuru Ishii

La MaMa
September 15-20, 23-26

Conceived & Directed by Ping Chong
Puppetry Coordinated by Jon Ludwig
Art Direction & Production Design by Mitsuru Ishii
Based on the book by Lafcadio Hearn
Sound Design: David Meschter
Projection Design: Jan Hartley
Lighting Design: Liz Lee
Assistant Director: Ariel Goldberger
Performed by David Ige, Pamella OıConnor, Lee Randall, Fred C. Riley III, Don Smith
Managing Director: Bruce Allardice Executive
Director: Vincent Anthony

PING CHONG is a theater director, choreographer, video and installation artist, born in Toronto, Canada and raised in New York Cityıs Chinatown. He is the recipient of an Obie Award, six National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Playwrights USA Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two McKnight Playwrights Fellowships, a TCG/Pew Charitable Trust National Theatre Artist Residency Program Fellowship, a National Institute for Music Theatre Award and a 1992 New York Theatre and Dance Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement. His works for the stage include Nuit Blanche, a.m./a.m. The Articulated Man, Nosferatu, A Race, The Games, Angels of Swedenborg, Kind Ness, Maraya, Snow, Noiresque, Brightness, 4am America, Elephant Memories, American Gothic, Undesirable Elements, Deshima, Chinoiserie, And After Sorrow. His work has been presented at major museums, festivals and theaters throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. He directed Benjamin Brittenıs Curlew River for the 1997 Spoleto Festival USA. During a residency at New York Cityıs Artist Space in 1992, Ping Chong created the first production of Undesirable Elements in Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle, southern California, Holland and Tokyo, where the piece, performed under the title Gaijin, or Foreigners, received a Best Play of 1995 citation from the Yomiuri News Company.

JON LUDWIG, Associate Artistic Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts for 20 years, is an accomplished performer, director and theater designer of adult and childrenıs puppetry who has worked in Atlanta, New York, and abroad. His The Body Detective was named as one of the highlights of Atlantaıs 97-98 theater season by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In ı97, he was featured guest artist at the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene OıNeill Theater Center (CT) where he workshopped a new production, Home. His adaptation of Mary Shelleyıs Frankenstein, commissioned and produced for the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival, was heralded internationally as a Festival highlight by art critics, including Newsweek. Safe As Milk has toured throughout the USA, was staged at PS 122 as part of the 1994 Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, and received and award of distinction in 1995 from UNIMA-USA, the US division of the international organization for the art of puppetry. Works commissioned by the Atlanta Arts Festival include Zeitgeist: Der Geist Der Stets Vennient (The Spirit of Our Times: The Spirit That Always Denies) in 1990, and Beatnik Monsters From Outer Space (1986). Heaven-Hell Tour and Cirque Pataphysique had extended runs during 1989 and 1987 respectively at the Center. Heaven Hell Tour also received an award of distinction from UNIMA USA. For television, Ludwig writes, designs and puppeteers the shadow puppet segments for the Disney Channel/Jim Henson Company program Bear In The Big Blue House. He has often collaborated with other national and international artists. In 1995, he created Fire, a collaboration with scenic designer Petr Matasek from Theatre Drak, (Czech Republic). His performance credits include Theodora Skipitares Defenders Of The Code, Bruce Schwartzıs Marie Antoinette Tonight, Lee Breuerıs The Warrior Ant, and many works by Janie Geiser. He has taught puppetry at colleges and universities around the nation.

MITSURU ISHIIıs set, costumes and lighting designs have received great recognition, both in his native Japan and internationally. Born in Tokyo in 1948, he graduated from Kokugakuin University in 1970 with a degree in Law. Always maintaining an interest in theatre, he accepted in his first major assignment the same year as an assistant director to Joe Layton with the musical version of Gone With The Wind at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo. In 1971, Ishii left Japan to study theater in London; he completed the National English Opera Design Course (Ph.D.) in 1975 and then returned to Japan to work. There, his numerous productions of ballets, operas, and plays have been produced at the Haiyu‹za Theatre, the Nissei Theatre, the Tokyo Geijutsu Theatre, and the Kobe-Oriental Theatre, among others. His work has been awarded the highest honors including the 1995 and the 1996 Yomiuri Theatre Award for design of the year for a Diary Of Fallen Leaves written by K. Kishida and directed by R. Sueki, and for My Down Town, written and directed by S. Fukuda, as well as several Art Festival Awards from the Cultural Affairs of Japan (1996, 1995, 1993). He is President of PRO 208, Inc., a theatrical design company located in Tokyo.