(The playwright interviewed by Leila Brillson and Christine Smallwood)
INTERVIEW MAGAZINE BLOG
This January, Korean-born Young Jean Lee went from emerging playwright to the new voice of Downtown theatre with the acclaim for her race-skewing "THE SHIPMENT." Lee was awarded as a director and writer (with an OBIE, to name just one), and received accolades from The New York Times, The New Yorker, and WNYC's Brian Lehrer; now it's on a world tour. Consisting of an entirely African American cast, "THE SHIPMENT" takes on the tensions that result from its production—an Asian woman directing black actors for a white audience. We spoke to Lee as she prepares what would seem an unlikely next project, Shakespeare's "King Lear," which mounts at Soho Rep this Winter. Concurrently, and at the age of just 34, Lee's first six plays will be released by TCG Books. Lee's work is filled with moments so gracefully scripted in their awakwardness, that the audence laughs not just at the stage, but at the director, and themselves. (PHOTO BY GENE PITTMAN, COURTESY WALKER ART CENTER) . . .
(read more) http://www.interviewmagazine.com/blogs/
Back Talk: Young Jean Lee
Young Jean Lee is an Obie Award-winning experimental playwright and director whose most recent play, The Shipment, recently closed a three-week run at The Kitchen. The Shipment is structured in three parts and was performed by a cast of five black actors. In the first part, a comedian delivers an abrasive, obscenity-laden stand-up routine. In the second, a "minstrel show," the actors sing and dance in a stereotypical story of an inner-city kid who becomes a rapper. In the third part, the actors perform a dinner party scene where, in a final twist, their characters are revealed to be white. Lee's next play, King Lear, seems unlikely to bear much resemblance to Shakespeare's original. –Christine Smallwood
(read more) http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090427/smallwood
(Young Jean Lee’s work is included in the Applause books: One on One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century and the upcoming August title Duo!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century.)