Kit Yan is a Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kit is a 2019 Vivace Award winner, Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, 2019 Lincoln Center Writer in residence, a 2019 MacDowell Fellow, 2019-20 Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow, a 2019-2020 Playwrights' Center Many Voices Fellow, and a 2019 NAMT selection for Interstate.
Kit's forthcoming musical works along with collaborator Melissa Li include a production of Interstate at Mixed Blood Theater in March 2020, a first draft commission of Miss Step from 5th Avenue Theater, a commission from Keen Company for a Keen Teens one act musical, and a co-commission from Company One and Pao Arts for a new chinatown based musical.
Kit's forthcoming playwriting works include a rolling world premiere of their play t(estosterone), a documentary play based on interviews with trans people about hormones developed in the Civilians R&D Lab and produced at the Artists' Theater of Boston and The Hub in D.C., a forthcoming reading of their new play Mr. Transman, an alternative pageantry play in NYC, and a workshop of a new play Pepper at the Playwrights' Center about childhood sexual abuse and the intersection of trans identity.
Their work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, Diversionary Theater, and Dixon Place. They have been a resident with the Civilians, Mitten Lab, 5th Avenue Theater, and the Village Theater.
In 2018 Kit founded Translab, an incubator for Transgender and Non-binary voices in the American Theater along with MJ Kaufman and supported by WP Theater and the Public Theater.
Artistic statement: My work is a dreamspace where queer and transgender folx can time travel in order to witness, remember, and heal our herstories. I hold writing as a spaceship into the borderless ancestral past, the puzzle pieces of an imagined queertureverse, and a lifeline back onto this earth. Here, we can ground, explore, and discover stories on our own terms—messy, ugly, and wholly beautiful. My dreams lead me to write about the fractures in my life and in this world, times I fucked up, times I was held accountable by my family and communities, and times of collective struggle on a path towards collective liberation. Above all else, I write about queer love smashing racism, patriarchy, and systemic oppressions.
Kit Yan has been awarded the 2019 Vivace Musical Theatre Award by the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation along with Melissa Li, the other half of their composer/lyricist team. The award will support the duo's work on their new piece MISS STEP, a big-idea musical. More information here.