Saturday, March 12, 2022

MOCA Presents Original One-Act Play BY YOUR SIDE







By Your Side

An original one-act play by Charly Wenzel


Writer/Director: Charly Wenzel
Performers: Kevin Hobaichan, Fernando Rockenbach, N. Yao, Nya Yeanafehn
Sound Design/Piano: Charly Zastrau
Technical Manager: Roy Chang
Hair and Makeup: Leslie Gutierrez and Gabrielle Elise


WHEN: Thursday, March 17, 6:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. EDT; Friday, March 18, 8:00 P.M. EDT; Saturday, March 19, 5:00 P.M. EDT
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013



An elderly Chinese woman is immersed in a daydream in her apartment on the Lower East Side of New York City. A frantic knock on her door yanks her back into reality. It’s a young Black man looking for a place to hide. Will she grant him refuge?

Inspired by a true love story, By Your Side explores the possibility for a moment of shared humanity despite the divisive world we live in.

The original version of By Your Side won an Audience Choice Award at the Chain Theatre One Act Festival in 2021.

The show runs approximately 25 minutes with no intermission. Bring your friends or come and make some new ones for an unforgettable night out! Kindly note that registrations are not required.


We are continuing to closely follow federal, state, and New York City leaders as COVID-19 safety guidelines change. Review our visitor guidelines before visiting.





CHARLY WENZEL is a German actress, dancer, choreographer, writer, director, and award-winning filmmaker. Charly was the Artistic Director of her own company Charly Wenzel & Dancers; she was the Associate Artistic Director of Naganuma Dance and she worked as the Rehearsal Director for Bodystories: Teresa Fellion Dance. She worked as the choreographer for several recording artists, and she choreographed for a number of dance films and music videos. BY YOUR SIDE marks her playwriting and directorial debut in theatre. More information at

N. YAO is thrilled to be a part of the cast. During the pandemic, N. was in Nina Ki’s digital production of Somethings Never Die. Previously, N.’s lead roles include Eling in David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, Miss Julie in August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and Betty in David Ives’ The Sure Thing. N. is committed to writing plays about the Asian American experience. N. was an early member of the Here and Now Theater Company based in LA.

NYA YEANAFEHN is an actor, writer, and comedian based out of New York. He has performed all over New York City, Los Angeles, and London. He’s appeared in short films and web series such as Hotline and Uninspired. Nya was accepted and attended the LAByrinth theatre company’s 2021 Summer intensive ensemble, studying with Stephen Adly Guirgis, David Deblinger, and others.

KEVIN HOBAICHAN For my brother.

FERNANDO ROCKENBACH is a Brazilian actor. He has been in small plays ever since he was a kid. During his teenage years, he took a break from theater and eventually graduated college with a degree in Architecture and Urbanism. He kept studying theater after graduation and performed in some plays in Brazil, mostly in the "theater of the absurd" style. Eventually, he moved to NYC to really focus and ground his abilities as an actor, training full time at HB Studio.

ROY CHANG is an all-around technician. He studied Entertainment Technology at New York City College of Technology. He has worked in such places as Henry Street Settlement, 59E59 Theaters, Theater for the New City, and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre.

CHARLY ZASTRAU is a German pianist and arranger based in the Netherlands and has worked professionally in the international music and theatre sector for almost two decades. Zastrau tours up to 48 weeks a year having become an established and in-demand pianist and keyboarder, musical director, composer, and arranger. This has seen him work in a wide range of musical genres ranging from modern/experimental music ensembles to jazz groups to pop acts including jazz saxophonists Tineke Postma, Francesco Bearzatti, Benjamin Herman, Trombonist Nils Wogram, and classical singer Claron McFadden. He performed with a.o. New York Downtown Icons Joey Arias and Justin Vivian Bond, punk legend Nina Hagen, the Tiger Lillies, and many more.

LESLIE MARYCRUZ GUTIERREZ is originally from Atlanta, Georgia where she started off in Theatre, then moved to New York City to attend Makeup Designory. She’s very excited to be apart of the show!

As well as her assistant GABRIELLE ELISE who came from Puerto Rico originally, began a career in Biology, then found her passion in makeup and attends Makeup Designory, as well.





Free Digital Guide



Discover more about the Museum in our bilingual digital guide on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and culture app. Explore our permanent collection, get a behind-the-scenes look at our Responses exhibition, and more with exclusive audio content and commentary. Download the app here.



MOCA has not skipped a beat since its temporary closure in March 2020. We've been creating new digital content through multiple platforms, always free of charge—because history matters. We hope you'll consider making a gift to become part of a continuing lifeline for MOCA. No amount is too little, and we greatly appreciate your generosity. Your contribution helps sustain our beloved institution and supports the creation of new, online programming that will bring comfort and inspiration to more communities.




This program is brought to you by MOCA friends and partners, including Bloomberg Philanthropies.

This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs , in partnership with the City Council.





MOCAKIDS: Drag Story Hour with Yuhua Hamasaki in Cantonese & English

March 17, 2022, 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Join MOCA and Yuhua Hamasaki for an IN-PERSON Drag Story Hour for kids ages 3-8. Stories, songs, and crafts! 

Drag Story Hour (DSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children. DSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In these spaces, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.

Drag Story Hour NYC provides a range of fun and fabulous educational experiences for children and teens from 3 to 18 years old in libraries, schools, museums, and community spaces in all five boroughs of New York City. Through storytelling and creativity, DSH teaches children about gender diversity and all forms of difference to build empathy and give kids the confidence to express themselves however they feel comfortable. Learn more here: #DSH

This event is funded by the Office of former Council Member Margaret Chin.

MOCAKIDS programs are free to the public. To join, simply register here! Registration recommended. 


Please note that this program will be held in-person at the museum at 215 Centre Street. Click here for directions and information you should know before your visit. 

About the Storyteller

Always 25-years-old, Yuhua Hamasaki is a fun and campy queen from New York City! Yuhua’s drag character is her own invention of her superhero that has given her courage, confidence, and happiness. She especially loves to explore the city and be creative during her spare time!


From Our Partner



Gong Lum’s Legacy takes place in 1925 in the Mississippi Delta. Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South, we witness the unexpected romance that blooms between Joe Ting (played by Hansel Tan), a Chinese Immigrant and Lucy Sims (played by DeShawn White), a Black school teacher.

Joe’s father, Charlie, is adamantly opposed to their relationship. When Charlie’s friend, Gong Lum, sues the local school board to permit his daughters to attend a white school. Charlie is confident that Lum will prevail and that Chinese people will soon have the same rights as whites. Charlie does not want those rights jeopardized by his son being romantically involved with a Black woman, and he does everything in his power to separate the young couple.

Lum v Rice, an actual civil rights case, eventually reached the Supreme Court which ruled that the exclusion on account of race of a child of Chinese ancestry from a public school did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The decision effectively approved the exclusion of any minority children from schools reserved for whites.