Man Who Helped Lead Student Protests in 1989 is Part of Production for
Tiananmen: A New Musical From the Conceiver of Arizona and Off-Broadway’s Original Work — ¡Americano!
Cast With Broadway Stars To Be Announced In Coming Weeks
With over three decades having passed since the tragedy on China’s Tiananmen Square, and in what promises to be one of the most important new American musicals to premiere in 2023, Quixote Productions is proud to present Tiananmen: A Brave and Necessary New Musical coming to The Phoenix Theatre Company for its World Premiere on October 6th, 2023.
Tickets are now on sale for the five-week run. Visit https://phoenixtheatre.com/the-season/tiananmen.
Tiananmen is an original musical that follows the story of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing. With the onset of a new “Cold War” between the United States and China and authoritarian tendencies rising around the world, Tiananmen is a timely musical for the modern era.
Tiananmen is written by Scott Elmegreen (Straight) and directed by Darren Lee (Mr. Holland’s Opus). Lee will also serve as the Choreographer for Tiananmen.
Composer Drew Fornarola, best known as a composer for DreamWorks, is contributing the music and lyrics.
Elmegreen and Fornarola were most recently represented in New York by their play Straight, a New York Times Critics’ Pick now in development as a major motion picture.
Lee has directed and choreographed numerous productions around the country and internationally. He has performed in 11 Broadway shows and in addition to Tiananmen has recently developed the world premieres of Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Gifted Prince, Brain. Storm., and Disney Wishes for Disney Cruise Line. (www.darrenlee.com)
Wu’er Kaixi, who helped lead the protests in China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 and now lives in Taiwan as an activist for democracy, is serving as Tiananmen’s conceiver and creative consultant.
“I believed in democracy when we took to the streets in 1989, and I think it even more so today. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing the events as a musical, and I hope it serves to ensure that the world remembers the unfinished business of this celebration of bravery,” said Kaixi.
“He has made our script better. It is more authentic and more powerful since we first rehearsed Tiananmen in New York last September and as we get ready for our World Premiere at The Phoenix Theatre Company,” said Tiananmen author Scott Elmegreen.
The Music Supervisor is Steven Cuevas (Kinky Boots), and the Casting Director is Chelsea Anderson. The Scenic/Projection Designer is Michael Downs, Costume Design by Lex Liang and the Associate Choreographer is Kristine Bendul.
Tiananmen will debut at The Phoenix Theatre Company, the same 384 seat theatre where its Lead Producer and Quixote Productions, founder Jason Rose debuted ¡Americano! just before the pandemic hit in 2020. ¡Americano! was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music by Composer Carrie Rodriguez in 2022 during its Off-Broadway run last year. The show was also used by President Obama to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of his Executive Order to protect “DREAMers” living in the United States.
“Like Americano, Tiananmen is an incredibly thought provoking, socially impactful and an important new work that needs to be told,” said Lead Producer Jason Rose, an Arizona entrepreneur. “These are the stories of what happened to those in the streets of Beijing 34 years ago. It’s where world history hinged. It’s powerful to hear the story of these freedom fighters and could not be more important.”
The Phoenix Theatre Company will announce the cast later this summer.
The World Premier of Tiananmen comes a year after an industry-staged reading was held in September of 2022 in New York City.
For the New York reading of Tiananmen, the 100% Asian American and Pacific Islander cast included Cáitlín Burke (The Sound of Music), Kai An Chee (Miss Saigon), Grace Choi (Avenue Q), Karl Josef Co (Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Revival), Troy Iwata (Be More Chill), Austin Ku (2021 Grammy Nominee for Soft Power), Kelvin Moon Loh (Beetlejuice), Jason Ma (Miss Saigon), Sami Ma (Vietgone), Rommel Pierre O’Choa (My Fair Lady), Gen Parton-Shin (Next To Normal), Sam Tanabe (Allegiance), Elena Wang (Allegiance), Steven Eng (Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Revival), and Olivia Oguma (Brooklynite).
To arrange interviews with any of the principals involved with Tiananmen please contact Media@QuixoteProductions.com.