CHING VALDES-ARAN


The Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company, one of the leading Asian-American theater companies, will continue its 2010-11 season with "Flipzoids," a play written by Ralph B. Peña, with previews set to begin Jan. 11, 2011 prior to an official opening on Jan. 18 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (416 West 42 Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) in Manhattan.

"Flipzoids" is directed by Loy Arcenas, who previously directed Ma-Yi's highly-acclaimed and multiple Obie-winning production of "The Romance Of Magno Rubio." Ma-Yi's most recent production was Michael Lew's play "Microcrisis" directed by Ralph B. Peña. 

In "Flipzoids," a 70-year-old woman—a recent immigrant from the Philippines — crosses paths with a young Filipino man on a deserted beach in Southern California.  Far from their native land, a cautious friendship ensues as they attempt to reconcile their very different understandings of their old home, and try to fit in to their new one. 

At home, mother and daughter, a nurse, wanting to embrace all things American, struggle to understand each other and reach peace with one another.

The cast of "Flipzoids" features the multi-awarded Filipino-American stage actress Ching Valdes-Aran (Broadway's Wild Party, Off-Bway's Dogeaters, among many others), Carlo Albán (a regular on TV's "Prison Break" and "Sesame Street"), and Tina Chilip ("Golden Child" and "Joy Luck Club").

"Flipzoids" has set design by Arcenas and lighting design by James Vermeulen (Ma-Yi's "Magno Rubio"; Broadway's "Design for Living"; Off  Broadway's "Mr. Fox: A Rumination").  Sound design is by by Fabian Obispo  (Ma-Yi's "Magno Rubio," "No Foreigners Beyond This Point"), regular sound designer and composer for Ma-Yi and also well-known in the regional circuit throughout the United States.

"Flipzoids" will run at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 W. 42 St.) Jan. 11 to Feb. 6.  Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with matinees at 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  

Tickets are $30 and $40 and can be reserved by calling Ticket Central at 212 279 4200. 

Ma-Yi Theater Company is the most dynamic Asian American theater company in the country today. Margo Jefferson cited Ma-Yi as a "first-rate company" in the New York Times, and Marilyn Stasio of Variety wrote, "Trust Ma-Yi Theater Company to make a classy contribution."

Ma-Yi was founded to develop new plays that explore and affect Asian-American experiences, and challenges the perceptions of what culturally specific theater should be by producing forward-thinking plays by today's emerging playwrights. It strives to address the cultural and artistic needs of the Asian American communities and artists in the tri-state area.

Although most initiatives are basically Asian-American, Ma-Yi forges ties with groups from other cultural backgrounds and experiences. The company believes that theater can play an important part in breaking down barriers and increasing the understanding and appreciation of the cultural and ethnic diversity of our contemporary society.

Its past productions include "Rescue Me" by Michi Barall, "American Hwangap" and "The Children of Vonderly” by Lloyd Suh," "Trial By Water" by Qui Nguyen, the Off-Broadway premiere of Tony Award-winner Warren Leight's "No Foreigners Beyond This Point," Mr. Miyagi's Theatre Company's "Sides: The Fear Is Real," Sung Rno's "wAve," Han Ong's  "Watcher," and Alice Tuan's "Last Of The Suns." The company's best-known production is the multiple OBIE Award-winner, The Romance Of Magno Rubio by Lonnie Carter.

Ma-Yi Theater Company won the 2010 Special Drama Desk Award for more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater. Over the course of its 22-year history, Ma-Yi and its affiliated artists have garnered nine OBIE Awards, and numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations. Ma-Yi is under the guidance of Ralph B. Peña, artistic director, and Jorge Z. Ortoll, executive director.

To date, several prominent organizations have signed on to present a matinee or evening performance at deeply discounted group rates to use as a fund-raising event. These are PACCAL (Jan. 16 matinee), the Ilocano associations in Queens (Jan. 22 matinee), APICHA (Jan. 23 matinee), PIDCI (Jan. 28) and UPMASA (Jan. 30 matinee).

The Philippine Cultural Society of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council present the show on Jan. 21 as its first cultural event for the year 2011.

Call Ma-Yi Theater at (212) 971 4862 (ask for Leslie Caiola or Jorge Ortoll). Visit

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