Video directed & edited by the talented Alex Ciccone.
Beijing Cake will premiere this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, August 2013.
The play will be performed between August 19th-24th, at theSpace on the Mile Theater, located at the heart of the festival.
Cassie Da Costa
Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
ABOUT THE PLAY:
Beijing Cake tells the story of a mistranslation, international heartbreak, and Mao Zedong’s ghost. The play focuses on Lori, an American diplomat, who finds herself enamored with Beijing while on an official trip to China, and decides to settle there despite her inability to speak Chinese. She finds a mentor in the spirit of Mao Zedong, who is eager to dispense his anti-western philosophy and looks a bit blue from his formaldehyde bath. Misunderstandings and mayhem ensue, most egregiously when Lori misnames her own son. Lori goes through great efforts to have her son grow up like an ordinary Chinese child, but assimilation is harder than Lori could have imagined.
Beijing Cake presents an unconventional portrait of immigration and cultural identity where Americans try desperately to start a better life in China, as opposed to the other way around. While the play’s tone is absurdist and surreal, its message is timely and true. In a year when promises of “crackdowns on China” peppered the presidential debates, it seems all the more important to understand both the nuances of Chinese culture and why the US is so quick to polarize foreign policy discussions. As China poises itself to replace the US as the world’s superpower, cultural dynamics between the two nations will inevitably shift. Beijing Cake explores what that future might look like.
WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES:
Your support will make EVERYTHING we do possible. But here are the most important and pressing areas where your generous help will go!
FLIGHTS! Your support will help us fly the cast and crew from New York to Edinburgh (and hopefully back home!).
A ROOF! Your support helps us pay for accommodation for our team while in Scotland.
POSTERS! Your support will help us plaster the town with our beautifully designed posters and leaflets.
FAKE BEARS/GONGS/ETC! Your support will bring our production to life by providing us with a budget for costumes and props.
The money you donate will ensure that this provocative and important play be performed with the utmost creativity and joy! And most importantly, be performed at all!
WHO WE ARE:
Cassie Da Costa: (Actor) is a student at Yale University where she performs in the all-female sketch comedy group, the Sphincter Troupe.
Gabriel Christian: (Actor) is an actor whose past credits include Robert Woodruff's In A Year with 13 Moons at the Tony-award winning Yale Repertory Theatre, as well as numerous other acclaimed undergraduate productions. He's Mao a current student graduating this December.
Rachel Kauder Nalebuff: (Playwright) graduated from Yale two weeks ago, and now she writes plays. She is also the editor of The New York Times best-seller My Little Red Book, an anthology of women's first period stories.
Nathaniel Moore: (Actor) is a New York City based actor, writer and comedian. This is his first time at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Sarah Rosen: (Actor) A Yale grad, Sarah is studying acting at the William Esper Studio. While at Yale Sarah acted in numerous productions and wrote, directed and acted in a short film that has gone on to tour film festivals around the globe.
Maya Seidler: (Director) graduated from Yale University and has spent the past two years doing an array of theatre and film jobs, including directing a new play at the Pleasance Theatre in London and assistant directing in Singapore. She has worked the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for three summers and is excited to be heading back for a fourth with the Beijing Cake team (she's a bit of a Fringe addict).
Risks and challenges
They say nothing is worth doing unless there’s a risk. So not to worry, "Beijing Cake" is plenty worth your while.
Our biggest challenge is taking our production to Edinburgh without any financial support. We are a team comprised of individual artists without any institutional affiliation, and thus depend on our help to make our production possible! Of course, the benefit of a low-budget production is that we have to run a creative and tight ship!
The play itself presents many creative challenges. The story is set in the past and future, Washington D.C. and Beijing. We have 4 actors playing 11 characters (don’t worry, that’s intentional!) and some of the script is in Chinese. That means lots of dramatic transitions, costume changes, and translations that have to happen on stage and that we have to present hilariously (also intentional) and beautifully!
Fortunately, we have a wildly talented and dedicated team for whom all the creative challenges present a chance to think, explore, and enjoy the process of original theater-making.
Thank you again for your support. We can’t wait to get started!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)