Playwright • Educator • Acoustic Punk Raconteur
NEWS & EVENTS
Thrilled to be featured in The New York Times’ “Sunday Routine” on June 12, 2022.
OUR LAUNDRY, OUR TOWN News
May 20, 2022 Two-Part Book Launch
Media & Press Coverage • May-June Events
“If you wept while reading the memoir Crying in H Mart, ached at the injustice in Minor Feelings, and laughed during graphic novel Messy Roots, then Our Laundry, Our Town is the sweet spot between these three.”
From GoodReads book review by @the_pundlit
Virtual Book Launch, May 20 5:30pm – 7pm (EST)
Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York
In-Person Book Launch May 20 at City Lore (7-9PM), at 56 East 1st St, East Village, Manhattan
Also excited to share that the book has been receiving positive press/media attention. This week I was interviewed on NY1’s Live at Ten with Cheryl Wills, as well as for a future “Sunday Routine” feature in The New York Times. A full index of press/media coverage on the memoir will soon be available on my website. Here’s a link to the NY1 interview.
NY1 Live at Ten interview with Cheryl Wills, May 9, 2022
Finally, this book has been acquired for both the New York Public Library and the Queens Public Library. I am honored that my memoir will be part of these collections that have nurtured me and so many.Grateful that we are on this journey together. Thank you for your interest and support all of these years.
MAY 19 – POETRY IN NEW YORK
Book Club Bar, 197 East 3rd St., East Village – 8pm
Doing a 20-minute spoken word set, including some a cappella acoustic punk raconteur “Johnny Yen” songs” and memoir excerpts, on an amazing bill with Mel Chanté and host/curator Galinsky.
MAY 25, AARP Houston Virtual Talk
4pm-5pm (Central Time)
Asian-American Family Secrets: Hidden in Plain Sight
Virtual reading and talk with genealogist and
community advocate Amy Chin.
MAY 26 – Virtual Reading & Talk 7-8pm
KEW & WILLOW BOOKS
Fantastic Female-owned Independent Bookstore in Queens!!!
Virtual Reading & Book Talk with AMY CHIN,
Genealogist and Think!Chinatown Board President
MAY 31 – WNYC/NPR Interview – app 12:30pm
ALL OF IT with ALISON STEWART
NPR/WNYC radio wnyc.org
JUNE 2, Virtual Reading & Talk, 4-5pm
Queens Public Library Literary Thursdays
Our Laundry, Our Town With Author Alvin Eng
Presented by Cambria Heights branch
Wed. JUNE 8, Book Signing, Meet & Greet, 5-7pm
Yu & Me Books, 44 Mulberry St., Chinatown, Manhattan
Only Asian American female-owned indie bookstore in NYC!
Sat., JUNE 25, NYPL Author Talk, 2-3PM
Hudson Park Branch
66 Leroy Street, West Village, NYC
NYPL event link
Eventbrite Registation Link
To Order the Book:
Fordham University Press
Bookshop (please select a favorite indie bookstore!)
PLEASE SAVE THE DATE
Friday, MAY 20, 2022
Two-Part BOOK LAUNCH!
Virtual & In-Person/NYC
OUR LAUNDRY, OUR TOWN
My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond
A memoir by Alvin Eng
Part I (May 20)
Virtual Book Launch
Reading & Talk 5:30pm–7pm (ET)
AAARI/CUNY’s online Friday Lecture Series
Part II (May 20)
In-Person Book Launch / 7pm – 9pm (ET)
CITY LORE Gallery, 56 East 1st Street,
East Village, NYC
“Alvin Eng’s masterful, sweeping memoir about growing up with his five siblings in a dysfunctional family in the back of the Foo J. Chin Chinese Hand Laundry in Flushing, Queens is laced with his marvelous humor, family anecdotes and metaphors that bring a century of the Chinese American Experience to life. I was deeply touched, especially by the spirits parallels between the folks in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and the laundry and the beautiful idea that his parents didn’t really see each other either––like the characters in the play. Just a beautiful book.”
STEVE ZEITLIN author Poetry of Everyday Life, Founding Director of City Lore
Hope you can join us online or in-person to celebrate the publication!
More details soon!
OUR LAUNDRY, OUR TOWN
My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond
Publication date: May 17, 2022
Our Laundry, Our Town
to the Downtown Stage and Beyond
Happy Lunar Year of the Tiger, one and all!!!
As we enter this new year, I am thrilled to share that on May 17, Fordham University Press will publish my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond. Being a Tiger, I couldn’t be happier that my memoir is coming out this Year of the Tiger!
For more info, press/media queries or to pre-order the book, please click on one of the following links.
Gung Hay Fat Choy / Gōnɡ Xǐ Fā Cái!
44 Mulberry Street, Chinatown, NYC
firstname.lastname@example.org / (646) 559-1165 / @yuandmebooks
Also, please consider supporting Yu & Me Books by purchasing Three Trees (and any other books!) virtually through their bookshop.org link
THREE TREES explores the haunting relationship between sculptor Alberto Giacometti and his primary muse/model of the 1950s, Japanese philosopher, Isaku Yanaihara. It is the first of my Portrait Plays series of historical dramas about artists.
A Dramatic Portrait of Alberto Giacometti and Isaku Yanaihara
Published by No Passport Press
Excited to share that my play, THREE TREES, has been published as a print-on-demand book by Caridad Svich’s No Passport Press. The book includes an amazing Foreword from Hana Sharif and a beautiful cover design by Zonia Tsang.
Thank you, Caridad, for creating this outstanding platform for playwrights and for your invaluable support of them. The book is available for $8 from Lulu and Amazon. A brief description of the play follows, along with links to order the book.
THREE TREES explores the haunting relationship between Parisian sculptor Alberto Giacometti and his primary muse/model of the 1950s, Japanese philosopher, Isaku Yanaihara. It is the first of my Portrait Plays series of historical dramas about artists.
To order the book:
2021 CHINATOWN ARTS WEEK
Performances & Reading
Sat. Oct 16 at app. 3:45pm and 5:10pm
Here Comes Johnny Yen Again (or How I Kicked Punk)
10-minute excerpts from solo acoustic punk raconteur work
Outside 21 Pell Street, NYC
Sat. OCT 23, btw. 5:30 – 7pm
Reading of “It’s Only a Paper Son” from Our Laundry, Our Town,
a memoir to be published by Fordham University Press in May 2022.
Inside 21 Pell Street, NYC
Both events are Free
I am honored to be performing for the second time in Chinatown Arts Week. Please check out the entire schedule and come on down to Chinatown!!!
HISTORY, NOT NOSTALGIA,
CROSSROADS, 2021: For JAMES BALDWIN
Essay, Spoken Word Video and Playlist for
National Sawdust’s Fire This Time Project
Excited to share HISTORY, NOT NOSTALGIA: CROSSROADS 2021, for JAMES BALDWIN, an essay, spoken word video, and Baldwin-inspired playlist––all created at the invitation of the Brooklyn-based music/arts venue, National Sawdust, for their website. The five-minute video was shot on location at City Hall Park, NYC. The current Public Art Fund installation of sculptures by Melvin Edwards seemed the ideal visual counterpoint to contemplate the impact of the great James Baldwin’s words on this unique moment in American and world history.
Click for National Sawdust page
Click for Video only
This project was created in conjunction with National Sawdust’s salon project, Fire This Time, hosted by poet Lynne Procope. You can also checkout these amazing salon sessions on their website.
a spoken word offering for George Floyd
––posted on the eve of sentencing of his murderer,
the former Minneapolis cop.
Video link: https://youtu.be/V67gY9MyHLk
The reading was a book launch for their anthology, “We’re Not Neutral: Reset Series 2020 Collected Short Plays.” Shout out to Antonyio Artis and Tanya E. Taylor, performer and director of the first version of this piece. That clip is also on my YouTube channel.
Book link: https://www.amazon.com/Were-Not-Neutral…/dp/B092P9NWWG
24 Hour Plays Benefit:
2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship: Nonfiction Literature!
I am forever grateful to the New York Foundation for the Arts for their long-term support. This is my third Artist Fellowship but first one in 24 years! (Previously awarded a 1996 Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellowship and a ’91 Performance Art/Emergent Forms Fellowship.) Thank you, NYFA, for recognizing myself and other “mature artists” in this era of rampant ageism as well as lifting up so many artists––decade after decade in your ongoing essential work. The Arts matter in every era and at every stage and age of our individual and collective journeys. Keep on doing!
CHI CAN’T BREATHE (Reset! Video)
Now available on YouTube channel
CHI CAN’T BREATHE (Reset! Video)
Now available on YouTube channe
HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN news:
SPECIAL GUEST PERFORMANCE
Friday, 9/25, from 8-9pm EST
Tell Me a Story, Annie: A City Lore Virtual Salon
With Annie Lanzillotto & Alvin Eng
GUEST SPEAKER- CENTER FOR ETHNIC STUDIES
BMCC / City University of New York
Tue., October 6 – Asian American Literature course
Hope everyone is staying safe and resilient during this time like no other. Just wanted to share some news regarding my new acoustic punk raconteur solo work-in-progress, HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN (or How I Kicked Punk). Of course, the re-scheduled Dixon Place Workshop Residency performance has been cancelled.
But this Friday, September 25, from 8-9pm (EST), I am excited to be performing part of the show as a Special Guest in a City Lore Virtual Salon hosted by Annie Lanzillotto. The salon will include performances from Annie and myself, followed by a discussion on Asian American/Immigrant disenfranchisement––from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the spike of anti-Asian violence and immoral ICE raids during the Pandemic.
Joining the conversation will be actor/activist Ariel Estrada from Racism is a Virus and City Lore board member and Think! Chinatown president, Amy Chin.
Then on October 6, I am honored to discuss HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN as a Guest Speaker in my colleague, Dr. Linta Varghese’s, Asian American Literature course in BMCC/CUNY’s Center for Ethnic Studies.
If you cannot join us on Friday, the piece will eventually be archived on my YouTube channel. As it looks like we will be sharing work on the streaming screen and not the stage for the foreseeable future, hope you will also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.
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
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 supporting efforts to demand that NYC officials recognize that Chen Dance Center and the Arts must have a home in the “new 70 Mulberry St.” For more information, email Dian Dong at email@example.com
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.
HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN
…on Video from Dixon Place, NYC
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)
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
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.