Mission and History

PCC creates theater and art that reveal beauty, invention, precision, and a commitment to social justice.

Founded in New York City in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator and National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong, the company engages multigenerational and interdisciplinary artists to build on, and expand, Ping Chong’s singular and visionary body of work. The company’s work is centered on innovation, collaboration, and community engagement. Artistic Director Ping Chong has explored and dismantled history, chronology, geography, race, and culture in his interdisciplinary works and the Undesirable Elements form.

Across nearly five decades, the New York City-based company has created over 100 original theater productions, ranging from intimate interview-based works to large-scale multidisciplinary projects featuring puppets, performers, and full sound and projection scores. Reaching audiences throughout New York, the United States, and the world, PCC transcends boundaries, exploring interconnectedness of cultures and how multifaceted identities are addressed in society. The company’s work often seeks to excavate and question dominant historical narratives.

PCC is holistically supportive of the needs of artists, committed to developing and producing work by artists of color, and highly adaptive in its partnerships—working in collaboration with schools, universities, regional theaters, international arts festivals, and grassroots social service organizations. PCC’s works have been performed in venues ranging from a barber shop to a YMCA to BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, La MaMa, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, the Barbican Centre, the Kennedy Center, Walker Art Center, Central Park Summerstage, Lincoln Center Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Toga Festival, the Vienna Festival, the Perth Festival, DMZ 2000 Festival, and many more.

Undesirable Elements is one of PCC’s most enduring and far-reaching projects. It is an ever-expanding series of collaborative, interview-based theater works. It examines issues of place, culture, and identity in the lives of individuals in specific communities. As in many of PCC’s works, Undesirable Elements evokes personal histories’ vivid expression of their political and historical contexts.

In recent decades the artist-driven company has, through various means, emphasized fostering, training, and supporting future generations of artists creating work within and outside the company. It has developed and produced ongoing training and education modules like annual training institutes and Secret Histories arts education program for K-12 students; continued Undesirable Elements; and recently launched a Creative Fellowship.

Today, PCC is a highly adaptive and supportive home base for multigenerational, interdisciplinary artists with generative theater practices.

Press Quotations

About Ping Chong

Ping Chong was born in Toronto in 1946 and raised in the Chinatown section of New York City.  He studied filmmaking and graphic design at the School of Visual Arts and the Pratt Institute.  Ping Chong began his theatrical career as a member of Meredith Monk's The House Foundation.  He collaborated with her on several major works including The Travelogue Series and The Games, for which they shared the Outstanding Achievement in Music Theatre Award in 1986.

In 1972, Ping Chong gathered a group of artists at Meredith Monk’s loft in New York City to create Lazarus, his first independent theatre work.  Since then, he has created over 100 major works for the stage. Over the years, he has expanded the range of his explorations to include video and visual arts installations.  A National Medal of the Arts recipient, Ping Chong is recognized as one of our country's most significant multidisciplinary artists.



Association of Performing Arts Presenters Award of Merit for Achievement in the Performing Arts


Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow
Mary Miss Artist in Residency, American Academy in Rome


National Medal of Arts
Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theater


Falstaff Award for Best Director and Best Script Adaptation/Dramaturgy (Throne of Blood at Oregon Shakespeare Festival)


USA Prudential Fellow, USA Artists Foundation
NY Theatre Wire’s "Top Ten" Shows of the 2005-2006 Season (Cathay: Three Tales of China)


Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters, Kent State University


Peter Ivers Visiting Artist, Harvard University
Out Magazine’s OUT100 Award


NY Theatre Wire’s "Top Ten" Shows of the 2000-2001 Season (Secret History)


OBIE Award for Sustained Achievement of Direction


Bessie Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement (SlutForArt)
After Dark Award (Undesirable Elements/Chicago)
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Cornish College
AMagazine’s A100 Award - 100 most influential Asian Americans of the decade
NY Theatre Wire’s "Top Ten" Shows of the 1998-1999 Season (Kwaidan)


Bellagio Fellow
VITA Award for Lifetime Achievement, Stony Brook
UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry (Kwaidan)


Theater Communications Group ABSOLUT STAGES Award


National Endowment for the Arts Playwrights Fellowship


Yomiuri Theatrical Award (Gaijin)


Wynton Chair, University of Minnesota


Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in the Performing Arts
McKnight Fellow


NEA Choreographer Fellowship
Bronze Star, Sacramento International Film and Video Festival


McKnight Fellow
NYFA Artist’s Fellowship (Choreography)


Guggenheim Fellowship
Maharam Design Award


NEA Visual Arts Fellowship


Grand Prize, Toronto Video Festival


Villager Award


OBIE Award