- This event has passed.
Yellow on the Outside, and White on the Inside – FACTORY Presents BANANA BOYS
November 3, 2015 - November 22, 2015$35
What exactly is a banana boy? To a group of Asian-Canadian men in their twenties, it’s a peculiar predicament; “growing up yellow on the outside, and white on the inside.” Factory presents BANANA BOYS, written by Leon Aureus, adapted from the novel by Terry Woo, and directed by Factory Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino.
Nina Lee Aquino revisits BANANA BOYS, a seminal work of Asian-Canadian theatre in a powerful new production that examines the deep challenges of being torn between cultures and identities. Drawn together by the death of their friend and unofficial leader, five young Asian-Canadian men must confront unrealized potential, devastating loss, and time travel . . . all while trying not to punch too many white boys in the face. This wickedly funny play, adapted from the celebrated book, is a call to everyone who has felt out of place in the world.
“The first production of BANANA BOYS was a watershed moment for the next generation of Asian Canadian theatre artists. It was a bold, unapologetic, angry, loud and wildly funny play for a generation who grew up without a voice,” explained Nina Lee Aquino. “It’s a rare and sublime pleasure to go back and attack the text with wiser directorial eyes, and find a whole new layer to the ever changing Asian Canadian identity. More than anything, I’m really excited to share the talents of these five next-NEXT generation Asian actors with our audiences.”
In 2003, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, devoted to the development of professional Asian-Canadian theatre artists, presented a sold-out reading of BANANA BOYS at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. In 2004, marking their auspicious mainstage debut, fu-GEN produced the world premiere of BANANA BOYS, directed by Nina Lee Aquino. The production garnered high critical acclaim, played to sold-out houses and was invited to the prestigious Magnetic North Theatre Festival. In 2005, fu-GEN and Factory co-produced a remount to more critical praise, box office success and a Dora Award-nomination for the Ensemble.
Leon Aureus (playwright) is one of the founding Artistic Directors of fu-GEN, as well as an actor, playwright and producer. BANANA BOYS was his debut as a playwright. Aureus also wrote and directed the short film Friends Like These, and co-wrote the play People Power (Carlos Bulosan Theatre Company).
Nina Lee Aquino (director) is an award-winning director, dramaturge and the current Artistic Director of Factory. Nina was the Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company in 2002, the Artistic Producer of the CrossCurrents Festival at Factory, and served as Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre Company from 2009-2013. She is the editor of Canada’s first Asian-Canadian two-volume drama anthology love + relasianships (Playwright Canada Press), and the co-editor of the award winning New Essays on Canadian Theatre Volume One: Asian Canadian Theatre (Playwrights Canada Press).
BANANA BOYS proudly boasts an intercultural Canadian cast, future generation theatre stars, including: Darrel Gamotin, as Sheldon Kwan (Waiting for Godot, Modern Times Theatre); Matthew Gin, as Mike Chao, a new graduate of the joint acting conservatory program at Sheridan College and U of T making his professional debut; Oliver Koomsatira, as Dave Lowe, (Ching Chong Chinaman, fu-GEN); Simu Liu, as Rick Wong (Blood and Water, OMNI tv); and Philip Nozuka, as Luke Yeung, (Durango, fu-GEN).
Stripped down to the most fundamental and striking elements, The Naked Season pares down theatre to a series of pure encounters between the audience, the actors, and the text. BANANA BOYS is presented as part of a seasonette that also includes: AGE OF AROUSAL, written by Linda Griffiths and directed by Jennifer Brewin, October 20 – November 8 in the Mainspace Theatre; and BOMBAY BLACK written by Anosh Irani and directed by Peter Hinton, November 17 – December 6, 2015 in the Studio Theatre.