work with ping chong

This just in:

651Arts and Ping Chong & Company seek NYC participants for new interview-based theater production on the lives of people from the Mississippi Delta.

Ping Chong & Company, in collaboration with 651 ARTS, is seeking participants for a theatrical production exploring the histories of people living in New York City whose roots lie in the Mississippi Delta. Directors Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks are seeking 5 men and women, of various ages and backgrounds who have migrated from the Delta, or whose family histories include a migration from the Delta to another part of the United States. This production is being produced as part of a larger Mississippi Delta Heritage project which is exploring the historical and cultural impact of the Delta on the rest of the United States. We are looking for people over 18 years of age, with schedules that will accommodate approximately three – four weeks of rehearsal and two days of performance (approximately 12-15 hours per week). No previous performance experience required. No memorization required. All participants will be paid.

more info after the jump…


The production will be developed, rehearsed and performed in New York City. Potential candidates will be selected through an interview process. Selected participants will perform from a script based on their interviews. All performers will be telling their own stories and participating in the stories of other participants. Participation will require a multi-week commitment (primarily evenings) in New York in April and May 2008. Evening rehearsals will take place during April and May, approximately 3 weeks total, 12-15 hours per week. Participants must be available for an evening performance in Brooklyn on May 28th, and day and evening performances on May 29th. Deadline for inquiries: March 15th.


This production is part of Ping Chong’s ongoing series of oral-history theater works known as the Undesirable Elements project, exploring issues of race, culture, identity, and “otherness” in America. Each production is made in a specific community, with local participants testifying to their real lives and experiences. Their stories are interwoven into a script, which is performed by the participants themselves, not actors. Since 1992, Ping Chong & Company has made over 30 works in this series, in communities around the United States and abroad. The series is designed to help communities confront and overcome cultural insularity by encouraging dialogue and giving voice to individuals whose stories frequently go unheard. Ping Chong is a world-renowned theater director, choreographer, and visual installation artist. He founded Ping Chong & Company in 1975, which has since created over 50 productions that have been presented at major venues around the world. Talvin Wilks is an award-winning director and dramaturg. He has collaborated with Ping Chong on seven Undesirable Elements productions. For more background, please visit

Since its founding in 1988, 651 ARTS has been committed to developing, producing and presenting arts and cultural programming grounded in the African Diaspora, with a primary focus on contemporary performing arts. 651 ARTS serves the cultural life of New York City, with a particular focus on Brooklyn, one of America’s most culturally diverse communities.

For inquiries or to request application materials (deadline March 15, 2008):

email to  or call (718) 230 – 2527.

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