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of Chinese in America announces complete casting for its Double Happiness production.
Written by Emily Locke, directed by Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li, and produced by MOCA, this original production Double
Happiness will be an immersive theatre
Claire and Alex as they (attempt) to combine cultures and merge
families at their wedding banquet. Will love conquer all? Which
family is more traditional?
As the wedding begins, conflicts start to emerge. Double
Happiness is a comedic immersive dinner and theatrical show
that unpacks the complexity and explores the nuances within the
Chinese American/Immigrant identity while allowing the audience to
enjoy a (somewhat) traditional Chinese wedding.
As the ceremony gets underway, the wedding guests (the
audience) see the dynamics of the bride and groom’s families unfold
– and unravel. After a dramatic ceremony, the cast and the audience
move to another event space inside the museum, where the banquet
dinner begins and Double Happiness continues.
The cast includes Evan Billups
(Anna), Asha Devi (Cindy), Penelope Hsu (Joyce), Philippe Leong
(Ted), Nancy Ma (Claire), Jeremy Rafal (Eric), Jeffrey Roth (Alex),
Miguel Sutedjo (Elliot), N. Yao (Mary), Lora Yuen (Grandmother),
Kristi Donna Ng (Claire Understudy/Bridesmaid), and Luke Wilcox
Double Happiness will premiere on Saturday, June 11, as part of the Festival of New York's
This is NY: Celebrating Our Immigrant Heritage and Communities.
Spearheaded by the Queens Night Market, This is NY is an
unprecedented movement to marshal the creativity, resiliency,
diversity, and spirit of collaboration that makes New York one of
the strongest and most inspiring cities as well as celebrate our
city’s immigrant communities through programming across the five
boroughs from June 11 - June 20, 2022.
Evan Billups (Anna)
Evan Billups is currently an actor in the MFA Acting Program at Columbia University. Evan previously acted in student productions at Yale University where she graduated with a BA in American Studies. Evan has a background in dance, and alongside her acting, she has also dabbled in filmmaking, writing, and cooking.
Asha Devi (Cindy)
Asha Devi is a West-Indian and American actress, writer, activist, and educator based in NYC. She is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch, where she earned a BFA in Drama and has also trained at NYFA, The Terry Knickerbocker Studio, and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. As an artist, she is committed to honest and empowering work and is especially interested in questions concerning ambition, maternity, and self-efficacy. Asha can be seen this August in Around the World in 80 Days at the Gretna Theatre in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania.
Penelope Hsu (Joyce)
Penelope is a doctor and has played one on TV. For the last 15 years, she has pursued her professional acting and medical career, enabling her to honor her passion for science and the arts. Theatre highlights include stage managing and directing at Here and Now Theater Company in Los Angeles, originating the role of Rebisa in The Chip by Michael Higgins, selected as one of the Best 10 min plays of 2018, and participating in TRUSpeaks showcase 2022.
Philippe Leong (Ted)
Philippe Leong is very excited to work with MOCA on this production. He has worked in OBIE Award-winning production of Benten Kozo and worked with Karen Finley in The Return of The Chocolate Smeared Woman. He has also been privileged to work with the National Playwrights Conference. He was also a founding member of the “Mellow Yellow Theatre Company.” Film and TV credits include Law and Order: SVU, A Wu-Tang clan music video, and an Oscar-winning student film. He has also produced several award-winning films. Works of Art is available on iTunes under short films for download.
Nancy Ma (Claire)
Nancy Ma is an actor, writer, and teacher who grew up in Chinatown, New York. Her solo show, Home, produced by The Latino Theater Company, has been performed at schools, theaters, and festivals around the country. Recent credits: Bull (CBS), Barry (HBO), Hacks (HBO), The Joy Luck Club (Sierra Madre Playhouse). BA from Williams
Jeremy Rafal (Eric)
Jeremy Rafal is a New York-based actor, musician, writer, and educator. He was born in the Philippines and raised in Hawaii. Theater credits include his own solo plays The Boy from Bantay (FringeNYC) & Funhouse Funk (NYWinterfest), as well as I'll Never Love Again (Bushwick Starr), King John as Philip the Bastard, Richard III as Hastings (American Theater of Actors), among others. He has appeared in film, TV, several commercials, and industries. Besides being an actor-musician, Jeremy is also into linguistics, CrossFit, and jump roping.
Jeffrey Roth (Alex)
Jeffrey Roth is an actor/musician with a BA in Theater from Drew University and studied Shakespeare at the London Dramatic Academy. Recent credits: The Pillowman (Katurian/BBPAC), The 39 Steps (Clown #1/Cornwell’s Dinner Theater), The Life/Times of Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO/La MaMa ETC), Almost, Maine (Jimmy/TDC NYC), Much Ado About Nothing/Antigone (Don Pedro/Haemon/SIST, in rep.), Murder on the Links (Hastings/Players Theater), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Dr. Caius/Stag & Lion), Street Scene (Harry Murphy/Brave New World Rep.), and the world premiere reading of Lisa Kron's The Verizon Play (dir. Anne Kaufmann). Alex can be seen in Timelapse, streaming on Amazon, and in the upcoming series Lipstick Traces (Mick Lexington).
Miguel Sutedjo (Elliot)
Miguel Sutedjo is an actor, musician, and rising senior at Fordham University studying Music and International Political Economy. Previous credits include P.B. Jones in Illegal: A New Musical (YAYA Kids Theater), Dr. Gibbs in Our Town (Fordham), Shrek in Shrek the Musical (Fordham), Rev. Shaw Moore in Footloose (Fordham), and Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening (Fordham).
N. Yao (Mary)
N. has had the pleasure of working with Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li on his original works and readings at the Queens Theatre. 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.
Lora Yuen (Grandmother)
Lora Yuen is excited to be a part of this production which shares what it means to be an Asian American - meaning it is not just one “thing.” She is an actor who is American-born and raised in the Bronx by parents of Chinese roots. She was a member of the Four Seas Players (an NYC Chinatown-based community theater) back in the 80s and is currently a member of the Westchester Collaborative Theater based in Ossining, NY, where she currently resides. In addition to performing on stage, Lora worked in film and TV (as a background).
Kristi Donna Ng (Claire Understudy/Bridesmaid)
Kristi Donna Ng is an award-winning screenwriter, actress, and producer. Her films have been screened at the Boston Asian American Film Festival, Syracuse International Film Festival (1st Place Winner), The Barrow Group's 48 Hour Film Festival (Two-time Audience Award Winner), Asian Film Lab's 72 Hour Film ShootOut, and at The Sparrow Film Project where she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Award. Select theatre credits: Joker (National Queer Theatre), Love/Sick (PaperKids Theatre Company), Same Time Next Week (Joust Theatre Company). She trained at The Barrow Group.
Luke Wilcox (Alex Understudy/Groomsman)
Luke Wilcox is a recent graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He studied Acting under Actor’s Studio Member Maggie Low, Timothy D. Stickney, David Dean Bottrell, and more. Through the two-year conservatory, he played the role of Cinesias in Lysistrata, directed by Ioanna Katsarou, as well as Tuzenbach in Moscow Moscow Moscow, directed by Jose Zayas, and Mr. Daldry in The Vibrator Play, directed by Susan Pilar. He has found work by doing short films for NYU, School of Visual Arts, The New School, Montclair, and appearing in a short film he directed.