In celebration of the Harvest Moon Festival, Flushing Town Hall is presenting virtual Asian programming this season with a focus on highlighting stories of Asian/Asian American experience. The festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrates the time when the moon is brightest and offers an opportunity to gather together and give thanks for the harvest. Aligning with the spirit of appreciating hard works done in the past and celebrating present time with friends and family, the series bring the audience through a music journey of blending old and new while offer stories of revealing one’s family story and experience of establishing new life in the U.S.
True to its mission to bring people together in a global community, Flushing Town Hall’s presentations are designed for people of all ages and—now that the venue’s programming is virtual amid COVID-19–from all parts of the globe.
The season features psychedelic Korean folk group Coreyah on September 29 (in partnership with Global Music Month 2020); Spica Wobbe’s Hand in Hand storytelling through shadow theater from September 30 to October 15; and, a play reading of Marcus Yi’s Lucky 88 on October 4.
Audiences should tune in on September 29 at 7:00 PM EDT to experience Coreyah, a psychedelic Korean folk music group whose six members integrate traditional Korean instruments, vocals, guitar, and percussion. The prerecorded concert will stream on YouTube at www.youtube.com/flushingtownhall.
Since their 2010 debut, Coreyah has pioneered a new style of Korean music that blends genres of contemporary ethnic and popular sounds while still maintaining the distinctive characteristics of traditional Korean instruments. The group’s unique freewheeling, polystylistic vision combines a variety of influences, including Anglo-American rock, Balkan gypsy, and genres from South America and Africa.
The band consists of Kim Dongkun (daegeum, sogeum, tungso), Ham Boyoung (vocal), Kim Chorong (percussion, Chulhyungeum), Kyungyi (percussion), Na Sunjin (geomungo), and Ko Jaehyeon (guitar).
Coreyah will perform music from their latest album, “Clap & Applause”, which was released in July 2020 and showcases their long-standing effort to infuse pop into traditional music through bold, youthful style, heartfelt lyrics, and a psychedelic sound. The album celebrates their 10th anniversary with a dance-inducing, exciting new vision for Korean world music.
The name Coreyah is a Sino-Korean homonym that refers to the inheritance of the past and also in Korean means “whale”—the group’s totem animal and good luck charm. Coreyah has toured around the world visiting over 50 cities in 34 countries, and continues to delight audiences at home and abroad. Learn more at http://www.flushingtownhall.org/coreyah.
This program is presented in partnership with Global Music Month 2020, a month-long, online festival of global music featuring concerts, presentations and panels, running now through October 1. GMM 2020 combines 19 different U.S. and Canadian festivals and presenters’ events under one banner for a celebration of international music. Each online event is unique — with no repeat performers — offering a mix of livestreams and archived performances. Learn more at https://www.globalmusicmonth.org.
Also on tap, starting September and all through October, Spica Wobbe will present Hand in Hand: Storytelling Through Shadow Puppetry, a three-part series with performance and workshops in English and Mandarin. In the performance (for audiences age 10 and older), a mother holds her daughter’s hand, which conveys how the previous generation took care of the next generation. Through shadow puppets, light, music and storytelling, it also tells how a self-taught artist, Ms. Shia Zhaozhi, used her paintings to document her life stories growing up in Taipei, Taiwan and a moving conversation between a mother and a daughter who moves abroad.
Follow the performance, there will be a storytelling workshop and a shadow theater workshop, and participants will have a chance to create their own story and bring it to life with shadow puppetry.
Spica Wobbe (Shu-yun Cheng) is a puppetry artist – and a Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist – originally from Taiwan. Her work has been seen in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Holland, Germany, Israel, Austria and the U.S. Now based in NYC, she works as a puppetry designer, performer and educator. She received her M.A. in Educational Theater from New York University in 2003. She established Double Image Theater Lab in 2011 to create cross-cultural productions that explore the world of the past and the present. Spica received the Exemplary Teaching Artist Award from New York University in 2014. She is a two-time recipient of the Jim Henson Foundation grant and is a 2015 Sandglass Theater New Vision Series Resident Artist. Spica was the featured artist in Shadow, Light… Hide & Seek Exhibit at WenShan Theater in Taipei in 2015 and “Heaven of Puppets Exhibit” at Taipei Puppet Museum in 2016.
Both the storytelling workshop and the shadow theater workshop encourages participants to create their original stories, make shadow puppets and perform together with their family members.
Hand in Hand will be presented in English on September 30, and October 7 and 13; and in Mandarin on October 1, 8 and 15. All presentations will be at 7:00 PM EDT. To learn more about the program and updates on how to RSVP, please visit: http://flushingtownhall.org/hand-in-hand. Although it is highly encouraged that people attend all three events in the series, audiences can select any number of events (and content will still be understandable).
Wrapping up the special programming will be a play reading of Marcus Yi’s Lucky 88 Food Court the Musical on October 4 at 2:00 PM EDT, presented in partnership with the Queens Council on the Arts as part of the Artist Commissioning Program. The new, two-hour virtual musical theatre play reading is inspired by all of the food courts in Flushing, using this environment to explore the multi-faceted lives of people that the average American might not otherwise get a chance to know. Discover more at http://www.flushingtownhall.org/acp-live.
The show focuses on three food stalls and the people that work there: 60-year-old Shen Zha Wang at the hand pulled noodle stall struggling to put his son through law school; 50-year-old widow Mei Ling Fu at the dumpling stall who is ready to start dating again; and 50-year-old Si Ling Xiu at the boba tea stall hiding her cancer diagnosis from her daughter.
Marcus Yi is an award-winning musical theater writer and composer based in New York. He was the winner of 11th Annual NJ Playwrights Contest (Musical), was named one of Indie Theater Now’s 2014 People of the Year, an inaugural member of the 92nd Street Y Musical Theater Development Lab Collective, and 2018 member of Prospect Musical Theater Lab. His work has been produced by the National Asian Artists Project, Yangtze Rep, Prospect Theater, Pan Asian Rep, and Ingenue Theater. His musicals have been seen at the New York Times Center, Green Room 42, The Duplex, and National Opera Center.
Flushing Town Hall’s facilities are temporarily closed to the public in accordance with COVID-19 safety regulations. Flushing Town Hall’s latest statement pertaining to COVID-19 can be found here.