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Peach Blossom Fan

Production Conceived and Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng

Poldly poetic and contemporary, Chen Shi-Zheng’s post-pop vision made its West Coast debut with this 21st century reimagination of classic Chinese opera. With Stephin Merritt’s (69 Love Songs) soulful and irreverent new music, Peach Blossom Fan defied cultural boundaries in a boldly poetic fusion of traditional Chinese movement, multi-media spectacle, martial arts, and karaoke.

This staging of the opera The Peach Blossom Fan, a classic of Chinese literature originally written by K’jun Shang-jen in 1699, was based on an adaptation by Edward Mast. The historical epic, which relates the last days of the Ming Dynasty through a series of interlocking stories, was further developed by Chen, Mast and Erik Ehn in a series of workshops at CalArts.

Renowned for his landmark production of The Peony Pavillion at the Lincoln Center Festival, Chen’s work has been described by the New York Times as “lovely and compellingly strange” and by the Boston Globe as “utterly ravishing…profoundly musical… searchingly emotional.”

Developed with support from the A.S.K./REDCAT Music-Theater Program, funded by The Skirball Foundation.

Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting the development and production of The Peach Blossom Fan.

Photos: Steven Gunther

Production Team

Edward Mast, Adaptation
Stephin Merritt, Songs and Lyrics
Chen Shi-Zheng, Conception and Direction
Song Yang, Choreography
Marc Lowenstein, Musical Direction
Christopher Barreca, Scenic Design
Anita Yavich, Costume design
Shaun Fillion, Lighting Design
Matt Carpenter, Sound Design
Jacob M. Davis, Sound Design
Austin Switzer, Video Design
Jonathon Stearns, Video Design
Joshua Moyse, Assistant Director
Erik Ehn, Dramaturgy
Michael Casselli, Technical Direction
Michael Darling, Associate Technical Director
Lorrie Snyder, Associate Technical Director
Margaret Goddard, Dragonfly Sculpture
Sandy Huse, Dragonfly Sculpture
Lisa Iacucci, Production Stage Manager
Dan Friedman, Erin McCann, Bai Yu, Associate Producers (CNP)
Carol Bixler, Producer (CNP)
Ja’Nai Amey, Shiang-Jun
Fran Bennett, Madame Plum
Jon David Casey, Yang Long-Yo
Alan Loayza, Hou Fang Yu
David Patrick Kelly, Yuen Da-Cheng
Zhou Long, Shih Ko-Fa
Mary Lou Rosato, Ma Shih Ying
Matthew Steiner, Fu
Hilario Saavedra, Shen
Jason Bonduris, Cheng
Matt Bailey, Lu
Alison Brie, Pussy Willow
Celeste Den, Black-Eyed Susan
Monica Forouzesh, Poison Ivy
Sarah E. Harold, Five Finger Fern
Christopher Melohn, Narcissus
Michael Avolio, Jack-In-the-Pulpit
Korinne Loynes, Lily-of-the-Nile
Amanda Ostroff, Catnip
Cecily Strong, African Violet
Janae Burris, Venus Fly Trap
Muriel Hofmann, Honeysuckle
Chen Li, Yangqin
Zach Behrens, Marimba
Ivan Johnson, Bassist
Dan Savell, Percussion and Steel Pans
Ken Yashiro, Assistant Scenic Designer
Matt Downs-McAdon, Assistant Scenic Designer
Justin Townsend, Assistant Scenic Designer
Diane Zeng, Properties Design
Karen Murk, Assistant Costume Designer
Erin Jones, Assistant Lighting Designer
Jeanette O-suk Yew, Assistant Lighting Designer
Adam Howarth, Assistant Sound Designer
Veronika Vorel, Assistant Sound Designer
Johnny Bradley, Assistant Video Designer
Tiffany Almudarris, Assistant Stage Manager
Trish Hausmann, Assistant Stage Manager
Celeste Den, Dance Captain
Christopher Melohn, Dance Captain
Michael Casselli and Michael Darling, Spiral Staircase Design
Mary Heilman, Scenic Art and Props Consultant
Kim Manuel, Scenic Artist
Erik Holden, Assistant Technical Director