Thrilled to see my play, Three Trees, along with my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town, in the window of my local NYPL New Amsterdam branch on Murray Street in Tribeca! Proud that these two books, along with an oral history/play anthology that I compiled and edited, Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience On Stage, are all part of the New York Public Library’s collection. The Year of the Rabbit (2023) got off to a hopping start!
OUR LAUNDRY, OUR TOWN: A Memoir
The memoir culminates in Hong Kong and China. There, Eng was invited to perform his solo performance work, The Last Emperor of Flushing, in English, in a former People’s Hall of the Cultural Revolution in his family’s ancestral Guangdong province. That performance was an extension of a Fulbright Specialist Devised Theatre/Oral History Residency that Eng co-conceived and directed with his wife, director/dramaturg Wendy Wasdahl, at City University of Hong Kong. In this devised theatre/oral history project, students wrote and performed English language plays in response to Thornton Wilder’s classic Americana play, Our Town. As Wilder spent part of his childhood in China, when his father was U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Shanghai, Our Town has many Chinese influences.
Our Laundry, Our Town was covered by The New York Times in a “Sunday Routine” profile, NPR/WNYC’s All of It with Alison Stewart and The Brian Lehrer Show, NY1’s Live at 10 with Cheryl Wills and CUNY-TV, among many others. In-person and virtual Author Events, Book Talks and Readings and Podcast profiles have also been enthusiastically received. Please see the News & Events page and the Our Laundry, Our Town Media/Press Coverage page for more reviews, interviews and profiles.
The book has also been acquired for the collections of The New York Public Library and numerous public and academic libraries. Our Laundry, Our Town is also being taught in Asian American Studies, Urban Studies and Creative Writing courses at the City University of New York and other colleges and universities throughout the country.
The memoir will be published in paperback in October 2023.
Click here to order Our Laundry, Our Town
THREE TREES: A Portrait Play
A Dramatic Portrait of Alberto Giacometti & Isaku Yanaihara
This first Portrait Play had its World Premiere Off-Broadway with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in 2013. In 2012, Three Trees had two English language presentations in Paris. Moving Parts Theatre presented a staged reading of the play. Selected scenes were also presented at the Sorbonne’s conference, &Now 2012 New Writing in Paris: Exchanges and Cross-Fertilizations. At the Sorbonne, the playwright had the honor of performing the role of Isaku Yanaihara. In 2016, Baltimore Center Stage presented the play in a workshop production directed by Hana S. Sharif (currently Artistic Director of Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). Otterbein University and Monterey Peninsula College have also presented workshop productions.The book has also been acquired for the collection of the NYPL, as well as numerous colleges throughout the country.
Click here to order Three Trees
TOKENS? The NYC Asian American Experience On Stage
An Oral History and Play Anthology
SELECT ANTHOLOGY PUBLICATIONS
“IT’S ONLY A PAPER SON”
Like Light: 25 Years of Poetry & Prose (Bright Hill Press, 2018)
Prose portrait of my father’s relationship to NYC’s Chinatown Bachelor Society in the 1960s. This group was a direct result of the Chinese Exclusion Act. (This piece was also revised for Our Laundry, Our Town.)
Excerpts from THE FLUSHING CYCLE
Performing Arts Journal (MIT Press, 2003)
Spoken word texts from a solo performance piece.
“SOME PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY”
The Color of Theater: Race, Culture and Contemporary Performance (Continuum, 2002)
Oral History profile of Ellen Stewart, pioneering producer and founder of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, East Village, NYC.
During the world-changing Summer of 2020, I was commissioned by the Reset Theatre Coalition (RTC) to write and perform a dramatic/spoken word piece, CHI CAN’T BREATHE: For George Floyd. The piece was published in the anthology, We’re Not Neutral – Reset Series 2020 Collected Short Plays––a call to action for all theatre artists and readers driven by a desire to effect social change in America. Sparked by the profound social unrest and uncertainty that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this collection of original plays challenges the reader to reflect on the potential of language and performance to reach deep into the hearts and minds of all members of society and shift centuries-old misconceptions and prejudices.
For the We’re Not Neutral book launch in April 2021, I performed the piece as part of RTC’s Playwrights Keeping Vigil virtual performance. That spoken word performance video can be viewed here.
Also in response to our national reckoning, I was commissioned by National Sawdust to create a spoken word performance video, HISTORY, NOT NOSTALGIA, CROSSROADS, 2021: FOR JAMES BALDWIN, for their Fire This Time Virtual Festival honoring Baldwin.
My first post-rock journalism publications came courtesy of the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe. My play, The Goong Hay Kid was included in Action: The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Theatre Festival (Touchstone, 1997). Spoken word works, “Twas The Night Before Chinese New Year” and “Rock Me, Goong Hay” were included in the iconic Aloud: Voices from The Nuyorican Poets Cafe (MacMillan, 1994).
…as a rock journalist, I published pieces in such publications as The Village Voice, Newsday and The Island Ear, and was a regular columnist for Tower Records’ Pulse! Magazine. For the latter, I had the honor of interviewing Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Diamanda Galas, The Roches, Kurtis Blow, Jennifer Warnes, Suzanne Vega, ex-Temptations David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks and Buster Poindexter among many others. Analog still makes me smile.