Tha Chink-Mart

A photo of the playwright Ray Yamanouchi
by Ray Yamanouchi
In person: Tuesday, January 17, and Wednesday January 18 at 7:00 p.m. Available online: Thursday, January 26 – Wednesday, February 1

2004. A small, suburban town in Long Island, New York. Five Asian American teenage friends battle through a high school telling them they’re too Asian and a home life telling them they’re too American. Finding solace only amongst each other, they attempt to define for themselves what it means to be Asian in America… for better or for worse.

From Ray: “I’m glad to finally (FINALLY—third time’s the charm!) be able to have this reading to close out my Core Writer residency. This is my most personal work and Playwrights’ Center has been my artistic home these past few years so it feels incredibly fitting to do this play among, what is essentially, my Minnesota family. The play has had quite a journey to get here and I'm excited to see how it continues to evolve from this process.”


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The Funders of the Ruth Easton New Play Series

The funders of the Ruth Easton New Play Series
Actress Ruth Easton (nee Edelstein) was born in North Branch, Minnesota and graduated from North Branch High School. She attended the University of Minnesota for one year and the following year attended Macalester College before finishing her collegiate career at Cumnock School in Los Angeles. She went on to New York where she studied acting with Oliver Morosco. Mr. Morosco opened a stock theater company in upstate New York where Ms. Easton starred in several plays. After performing with other stock theater companies she returned to New York City where she appeared in five Broadway plays over a period of seven years. They included Exceedingly Small, Privilege Car, Town Bay, Buckaroo and Charlie Chan. Exceedingly Small was directed by Ethel Barrymore and Easton played opposite Eric Dressler. New York critics praised her performance as “thoroughly touching” and “highly spirited and excellent.” She starred in radio dramas on the Rudy Vallee Hour and the Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour opposite such actors as Walter Huston, Judith Anderson and Lionel Barrymore. She also appeared with Clark Gable, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson during the course of her career. Ms. Easton’s legacy, her commitment to theater and the development of new works continues through the charitable gifts made by the Ruth Easton Fund of the Edelstein Family Foundation.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.