Alvin Eng

Playwright • Educator • Acoustic Punk Raconteur

At Wei Hing Theatre, City University of Hong Kong / Photo by Sunny Wong

2020 NEWS & EVENTS

New Video:
The Last Emperor of Flushing at 70 Mulberry St.


Restore Chen Dance Center & the Arts to 70 Mulberry St.

Now you can tear a building down, but you can’t erase a memory…”
From “Open Letter (To a Landlord)” by Living Colour & Tracie Morris

Last October, Wendy and I had the honor of presenting a 10-minute excerpt from my memoir monologue, “The Last Emperor of Flushing,” at Chen Dance Center in the historic 70 Mulberry St., building in Chinatown, NYC. This work humorously recalls Alvin’s odd odyssey of growing up in one of Flushing’s few Chinese families in the 1970s––that ran a Hand Laundry on Union St, no less!––to later becoming one of its few citizens who could not speak fluent Chinese. Flushing had become NYC’s second Chinatown! (Eng is currently expanding this work into a prose memoir.) Please click here to see The Last Emperor of Flushing at 70 Mulberry St. 
 
As many of you know, 70 Mulberry St., a longtime artistic and spiritual hub of the Asian American/NYC Arts world and Chinatown, suffered a devastating fire on Lunar New Year’s Eve, 2020. The building is being razed by the city right now. Please consider joining us in a crucial action… 
There is a Community Board 3 Meeting on Thursday, May 14 at 6:30 pm. Please consider writing a Letter of Support to demand that NYC officials assure that the displaced Chen Dance Center and the Arts have a home in the “new 70 Mulberry St.” Please submit Letters of Support by COB Tuesday, May 12 to Dian Dong at diandong@chendancecenter.org so that she can submit them to the Community Board.
 
New Video…
The performance was part of Chinatown Arts Week presented by Think!Chinatown. In many ways, this elegy to a pivotal turning point in NYC/Asian American history was a perfect fit on that storied Chen Dance Center stage…please join us in the fight to restore this home to the Arts in Chinatown, so we can once again create and celebrate our history and legacy at 70 Mulberry Street.

(Still photos courtesy Chen Dance Center Think!Chinatown

 

HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN

…on Video from Dixon Place, NYC

20-10-24, ALVIN ENG, photo by WROLF COURTNEY

Photo by Wrolf Courtney

Hope this finds everyone staying safe and engaged in all that moves you.

A quick update on the Dixon Place Workshop Residency of HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN––an acoustic punk rock raconteur work written and performed by Alvin Eng and directed by Wendy Wasdahl.

Tonight (April 18) would have been the third and final performance. Of course, this has been cancelled (but rescheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020!). To have the show go on tonight, and keep running in a different way, we are excited to share on YouTube, a two-camera video from the March 7th performance at Dixon Place. The video will be available indefinitely.

Please click here for HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN…on Video!

This 25-minute video is from the second of three workshop performances. We were joined by Special Guests, Rick Ebihara and Perry Yung from the Slant Performance Group, for a “Tai Chi Music-Meditation Tribute to Lou Reed”…with Wendy also appearing!

The video was directed, filmed and edited by Wrolf Courtney with second camera by John Quincy Lee.  

As this is a work-in-progress, we welcome any feedback, comments or questions.

Finally, we greatly appreciate everyone who worked on this video and performance––as well as everyone who joined us onstage and off in February and March at Dixon Place. Hope to see you again on October 24!

Until we can reconvene, take good care,
Alvin & Wendy

DIXON PLACE Presents 2020 Workshop Residency

HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN (or How I Kicked Punk)

Dixon Place Presents a Three-Performance Workshop Residency a new solo work Written and Performed by Alvin Eng

Direction and Dramaturgy by Wendy Wasdahl

A solo acoustic punk rock raconteur work, Alvin Eng’s ‘HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN (or How I Kicked Punk)’ explores the impact of opium on the Chinese Diaspora as well as NYC’s punk/counterculture through the dual prisms of William S. Burroughs’ character, “Johnny Yen”––immortalized in Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s ”Lust For Life”––and Eng’s own Grandfather’s opium overdose on the streets of NYC’s Chinatown. 

(Card design by Ivy Arce, photo by Jim Goodin)

Link to Dixon Place listing: 

Acoustic Punk Rock Raconteur  Saturday Nights @ 7:30pm -Free Admisssion

February 8,  March 7,  April 18, 2020

The Lounge at Dixon Place, 161-A Chrystie Street, New York City

(btw. Rivington & Delancey Streets) / 212.219.0736 / dixonplace.org

Fall 2019 Events follow… (full new website soon!)

THREE TREES A Staged Reading and Workshop

OCTOBER 7, OTTERBEIN UNIVERSITY, Westerville, Ohio

Otterbein University Department of Theatre & Dance will present a staged reading and host workshops around THREE TREES, a play that explores the complex relationship between philosopher Isaku Yanaihara and sculptor Alberto Giacometti. THREE TREES is the first work of Alvin Eng’s Portrait Plays, a cycle of historical dramas that examines the parallels between portraiture, history and power as manifested in the convergence of different disciplines, eras and cultures. This play was presented Off-Broadway with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in NYC, as well as in staged readings with Baltimore Center Stage and The Moving Parts Theatre in Paris. https://www.otterbein.edu/theatre-performances/

THE MOURNING AFTER: A Play Reading and Discussion

City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Tuesday, September 10, 7-8:30pm

On the Eve of the 18th Anniversary of 9/11, the BMCC Theatre Department presents The Mourning After, a one-act play written and directed by Professor Alvin Eng featuring Dominick Allen and Simone Zalusky. After the play reading, there will be a discussion and open mic: 9/11 themed poems and reflections of 2–3 minutes in length are welcomed!
The Mourning After was written on 9/11/03 aboard the A train as part of the “A Train Plays” 24-hour play festival. The play explores the then two-year aftermath of 9/11 through the prisms of class and perception as two strangers meet aboard a Queens-bound A-train. How far have we come as a country since then? Where do we need to go from here? RSVP to Facebook Event Page

Coming Soon:

THE LAST EMPEROR of FLUSHING: Our Laundry, Our Town, a memoir travelogue through Chinese America. The story begins growing up in a 1970s Chinese Hand Laundry in what was then one of the few immigrant Asian families in Flushing, Queens, to performing his one-man show, “The Last Emperor of Flushing,” in English in a former People’s Hall of the Cultural Revolution in his family’s ancestral Guangdong province.