UNRIVALED

MAR 16 - APR 23

A Co-Production With PlaywrightS’ Arena

By Rosie Narasaki
Directed by Margaret Shigeko Starbuck
World Premiere Production

11th century Ladies-in-Waiting Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon are, to this day, two of Japan’s most beloved writers. 

They also kind of hated each other. 

This play is about friendship, heartbreak, and what it means to be a female artist. Perhaps most of all, it’s about how no matter how much things change, the more they stay the same… even after a thousand years.


THE CAST

CINDY NGUYEN

CINDY NGUYEN
EMPRESS TEISHI
Raised in Las Vegas by a strong Vietnamese mother, Cindy likes to enter the room with a big smile, a loud laugh, and usually carrying delicious food.Theatre: The $5 Shakespeare Company (The 6th Act); Hamlet (The New American Theatre); Diana of Dobson’s (Antaeus); Cymbeline, King John, Pericles (The Porters of Hellsgate); That Pretty Pretty or the Rape Play, Love & Information, If You Can Get to Buffalo (Son of Semele Ensemble). TV/Film: 911 (Fox), For the People (ABC), Dear White People(Netflix), A Cinderella Christmas. Special Awards/Training: BFA, Chapman University. www.imdb.me/cindynguyen

KATIE KITANI

KATIE KITANI *
MURASAKI SHIKIBU
Katie is honored to return to the role of Murasaki Shikibu in this world premiere of Unrivaled after originating the role in the play’s first public reading. Other world and regional premieres include: Jerry Springer: The Opera (Ovation Award winner – Best Musical); Psyche: A Modern Rock Opera; Cinnamon Girl; Who’s Your Baghdaddy?; and Scary Musical: The Musical. Regional credits include: Little Drummer Bowie; Ordinary Days; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; and The Pirates of Penzance. Katie is also a proud volunteer with Southern California Bulldog Rescue. No bulldog left behind.

CHELSEA YAKURA-KURTZ

CHELSEA YAKURA-KURTZ*
SEI SHONAGON
Chelsea is a bicoastal theater and television actress. Previously she’s been seen at Boston Court as Kat in How The Light Gets In. Other favorite theater credits  include Elena in Pasadena Playhouse’s Uncle Vanya and Vera in Antaeus Theater Company’s Three Days in the Country. Favorite tv credits include guest starring roles on Scandal, Law & Order: SVU, and the upcoming Donald Glover series Swarm. She is thrilled to be sharing the stage with this incredible group of artists. Shout to the best cheerleader ever- her mama, Kris Yakura

DAVID HUYNH

DAVID HUYNH *
MICHINAGA
David is thrilled to be making his Boston Court stage debut, David is excited to be part of this Playwrights Arena / Boston Court co-production of Rosie Narasaki’s Unrivaled. David has previously appeared at East West Players in Prince Gomolvilas’ Brother’s Paranormal and Mysterious Skin, in Actor’s Co-Op’s Rope and at The Colony theatre in Michael Golamco’s “Year Zero”. David can currently be seen in season 4 of USA Network’s anthology series The Sinner on Netflix. David’s feature film appearances include M.F.A. (SXSW world premiere) and Baby for which he won a Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival for Outstanding Newcomer/ Best Emerging Actor for his role as the titular character. David will next be seen in season 5 of Magnum P.I. and in season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds where he will be seen as Zacarias Nguyen.

*Indicates a member of Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage members in the United States.


THE CREATIVE TEAM

Scenic Designer: Yuki Izumihara
Costume Designer: Jana Ai Morimoto
Lighting Designer: Henry Tran
Sound Designer: Alyssa Ishii
Casting Director: Fran de Leon
Properties Design: Jesse Soto
Production Stage Manager: Letitia Chang
Research Dramaturg: Lynne K. Miyake

Interested
“. . . saucy, à la CLUELESS banter, skillfully articulated and elegantly styled. It was clear, UNRIVALED is masterfully done.” – Gia On the Move

UNRIVALED IS A CO-PRODUCTION WITH PLAYWRIGHTS’ ARENA


ILLUMINATIONS

Sun, Mar 26: Post-show discussion on Playwriting
Sun, Apr 2: Post-show discussion on Acting
Sat, Apr 15: Post-show discussion on Acting
Sun, Apr 16: Post-show discussion on Theme
Sat, Apr 22: Post-show discussion on Directing and Design


SPECIAL PERFORMANCES

Mon, Apr 3: Pay What You Choose
Thu, Apr 6: AAPI Affinity Night
Sat, Apr 8, 2pm: Community Matinée (all tickets $5)
Sat, Apr 15: Student Night


ENGAGEMENT EVENTS

Unrivaled: Sneak Peek
Sun, Mar 19, 6pm
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 244 San Pedro St

Join the Japanese Cultural and Community Center, Playwrights’ Arena, and Boston Court Pasadena for a sneak peek of Rosie Narasaki’s new play Unrivaled! Featuring one- night only performances from Keiko Agena, Emily Kuroda, and Dian Kobayashi, the evening will include a reading of excerpts from the play followed by a discussion with director Margaret Shigeko Starbuck. All event attendees will receive a discount code to see the show during the full performance run March 16th- April 23rd! Click Here to RSVP!

 

Then & Now
Sun, Apr 9, 4pm
Boston Court Pasadena

This special engagement event will feature readings from Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji and Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book to provide a deeper understanding of the real Murasaki and Sei, and the brilliance and legacy of their writing. These excerpts will be paired with readings by contemporary AAPI poets writing in Los Angeles today to honor the legacy of poetry from the Heian Period all the way to 2023 Los Angeles.


BECAUSE COVID-19 IS STILL A THING
  • All patrons, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a N-95, KN-95 or surgical mask fully covering their nose and mouth at all times while inside the theater. No cloth masks or bandanas will be permitted.
  • While full vaccination is no longer required, it is highly recommended.
  • If at any time prior to your performance, you are not feeling well, are unable to meet our mask policy, or feel uncomfortable attending, please stay home and contact the box office. We will happily exchange your tickets for another performance or offer a full refund.

 

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