Red Pavilions in New York

A Dream of Red Pavilions, adapted by Singaporean playwright Jeremy Tiang from the classic Chinese novel by Cai Xueqin, will be staged by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre at the Clurman Theatre (Theatre Row), New York City, from January 23 – February 14, 2016. Just in time for Chinese New Year!



Photo by Michael Blase

From the press release:

The cast stars Vichet Chum and Kelsey Wang as Baoyu (Precious Jade) and Daiyu (Dark Jade), two beings from the heavenly kingdom – a stone and a flower – who are reborn on earth as cousins and fall in love, and Leanne Cabrera (IMELDA, SHANGHAI LIL’S) as their cousin Baochai, who is the favored match for Bao Yu. The cast also includes Pan Asian veteran artist, Shigeko Sara Suga as Matriarch, with E.J. An, Amanda CentenoAllison Hiroto (FISHING FOR WIVES)Fenton LiAudrey Wang, and Mandarin Wu as members of the noble Jia family and their household heading for social disgrace and financial disaster.

Set in 18th-century China during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the story centers on the cousins’ ill-fated romance, and explores a crumbling society as the Chinese aristocracy finds itself increasingly unable to maintain the façade of noble infallibility.

Playwright Jeremy Tiang says – “A Dream of Red Pavilions (Hong Lou Meng) is regarded as one of the ‘Four Great’ novels of China. Since its publication in the 18th Century, it has become one of China’s best-loved and most widely-read literary works, adapted multiple times in opera, film and television. Yet this work is little-known outside of Asia – something I feel is overdue for change… Pan Asian Repertory Theater has worked tirelessly to put the best of Chinese culture before American audiences, and is the ideal home for my play. “

Co-director Lu Yu says – “The 4 Chinese Classics: A Dream of Red Pavilions, Journey to the West, The Tales of the 3 Kingdoms, and Water Margin (All Men are Brothers), are required reading for students in China but it is A Dream of Red Pavilions that encompasses grand passions of greed, deception, usury, and adultery… Throughout history, China has suffered drought, famine, floods, civil wars, and invasions from foreign powers, but our culture still survived, because we always go back to our classics, to learn to forgive, forget, and move on.”

Co-director Tisa Chang says – “Pan Asian is proud to present this World Premiere – a celebration of Chinese culture in time for Lunar New Year – with a new exploration of this monumental challenge. While examining the privileged 1% of a fading aristocracy, A DREAM OF RED PAVILIONS continues Pan Asian’s mission of exploring the contemporary relevance of timeless classics, and mirrors today’s economic disparities seen on a global scale.”


TICKETS are $66.25. Contact Telecharge at 212-239-6200 or For discount codes for various groups (seniors, previews, military personnel and veterans, students, industry, 2-for-1 Tuesdays), visit the production’s website or call 212-868-4030.




Jeremy Tiang’s (playwright) previous work includes Butterfly and The Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth, London) and Floating Bones (Arts House, Singapore); development readings at New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Soho Theatre. He was a finalist for the NYTW 2050, Playwrights Center Many Voices and David TK Wong fellowships; and received honorable mentions for Alameda, East West Players 2042 See Change Award and Theatre503 Playwriting Award. Jeremy is also a fiction writer (his short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was published by Epigram Books in 2015, and he is a recipient of Singapore’s Golden Point Award, Singapore) and translator from Chinese (of more than ten books, including work by best-selling writers Zhang Yueran and Yan Geling; he is the recipient of a 2016 NEA Literary Translation Fellowship and a PEN/Heim Grant).

PAN ASIAN REPERTORY THEATRE, celebrating its 39th Season, was founded in 1977 by Tisa Chang and core artists at La Mama with the help of the late Ellen Stewart, where she created a platform to break stereotyped casting, and to broaden the theatrical vocabulary of American theatre. PAN ASIAN REP is regarded as a pioneer for artistic excellence and service – with an off Broadway season, training and play development- and praised by press, diverse communities and the American theatre mainstream. Mel Gussow of The New York Times described it as “A Stage For All the World of Asian –Americans” and wrote that “Before Pan Asian Rep, Asian Americans had severely limited opportunities in the theater…” The company has nurtured thousands of artists and is a “who-is-who” of Asian American theatre history, with notable alumni/ae including Lucy Liu currently seen on CBS TV’s Elementary, and Daniel Dae Kim on Hawaii 5-0.


About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.

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