Resources

This section provides information for students, researchers, scholars, and artists who wish to watch and read more about Ping Chong and Company’s body of work.

Ping Chong Archive at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Ping Chong’s works from 1975–2000 are archived at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Included in the archive are scripts, production files, and video recordings.

The NYPL for the Performing Arts is located in Lincoln Center between The Metropolitan Opera House and the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

NYPL Performing Arts Catalog

Book Appointment

La MaMa Archive

Ping Chong and Company has been a long time resident company at La MaMa. Our offices are located in a La MaMa building and many of our productions have been presented by La MaMa. The La MaMa Archive collects, preserves, exhibits records of permanent historical value relating to La MaMa and the Off-Off Broadway movement.

To request information or schedule a visit, email [email protected], or view online the Ping Chong and Company Archival Materials in the La Mama Archives Digital Collection

View Collection

Email

Video and Media Resources

Books and Published Scripts by Ping Chong

Undesirable Elements: Real People, Real Lives, Real Theater
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group (October 30, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1559363975 / ISBN-13: 978-1559363976
This compilation features four complete scripts as well as interviews with Ping Chong and past collaborators, presenters, and cast members.

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The East/West Quartet
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group (January 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 1559362294 / ISBN-13: 978-1559362290
A compilation of the four plays of the East-West Quartet: Deshima (1990), Chinoiserie (1995), After Sorrow (1997), and Pojagi (1999).

Purchase Book

Between Worlds: Contemporary Asian-American Plays
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group (January 1, 1993)
ISBN-10: 1559360043 / ISBN-13: 978-1559360043
This anthology features plays focused on themes relating to the duality of the Asian-American experience including Ping Chong’s Nuit Blanche (1981). Edited by Misha Berson.

Tokens?: The NYC Asian American Experience on Stage
Publisher: Temple University Press (January 20, 2000)
ISBN-10: 1889876100 / ISBN-13: 978-1889876108
A collection of plays and performance pieces from the 1999 Asian American Writers’ Workshop featuring Ping Chong and Muna Tseng’s SlutForArt collaboration. Edited by Alvin Eng.

Version 3.0 Contemporary Asian American Plays
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group (August 2, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1559363630 / ISBN-13: 978-1559363631
An anthology of contemporary Asian American drama, including the series of short plays, The Square, for which Ping Chong created Excerpts From the Diary of a Chinese Envoy (2000). Edited by Chaw Yew.

Cocktail
Publisher: Silkworm Books (May 21, 2009)
ISBN-10: 9749511689 / ISBN-13: 9789749511688
A play about the life and HIV drug development work of Dr. Krisana Kraisintu.

Cathay: Three Tales of China
Publisher: Theatre Forum, no. 28, Winter/Spring 2006, pp. 48-67.
A puppet theater work about China's ancient past, its tumultuous recent history, and its 21st century reemergence as a global economic force.

Snow
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group, Plays in Process 10, no. 9 (1989)
An anthology, consisting of multiple narratives framed by a single recurring one, loosely adopted from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s In The Labyrinth.

Kind Ness
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group, Plays in Process 8, no. 9 (1988)
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group, New Plays USA 4, no. 1 (1988)
A poignant but surreal coming of age comedy that follows the friendships of six characters from their elementary school days through their college years.

Nuit Blanche
Publisher: VRI Arts Publishers, (1986)
Performance composed of interwoven narratives spanning history and countries across the world that create a dreamlike meditation on the state of human existence.

Truth & Beauty
Publisher: American Theatre Magazine, vol. 18, no. 3, March 2001, p. 29-44.
A multi-media exploration of the American psyche in an advertising, marketing and gun obsessed age.

SlutForArt
Publisher: PAJ: A Journal of Performance & Art 22, no. 64 (2000), pp. 11-128.
Muna Tseng’s stunning and moving visual dance-theater solo performance, on the life and work of her brother Tseng Kwong Chi, a photographer, performance artist, downtown personality who died of AIDs in 1990.

Articles by Ping Chong

“Notes for ‘Mumblings and Digressions: Some Thoughts on Being an Artist, Being an American, Being a Witness…’” MELUS, vol. 16, no. 3, Fall 1990, pp. 62-7.

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“Being Contemporary.” PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, vol. 34, no. 1, Jan 2012, pp. 56-7.

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“Performance and Film: A Statement.” Millennium Film Journal, no. 10, Fall/Winter 1982, pp. 83-6.

“Introduction to Cathay: The Three Tales of China.” Theatre Forum, no. 28 Winter/Spring 2006, pp. 44–47.

Selected Articles, Features, Interviews

Chong, Ping, et al. “Ping Chong & Pablo Vela.” BOMB, no. 15, Spring 1986, pp. 58–61. 

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Christopherson, Jody. “Interview: Ping Chong on the Undesirable Elements Festival.” HuffPost, 6 Dec 2017.

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Dudley, David. “Your Guide to Theatre Education: Ping Chong + Company.” Howlround Theatre Commons, 15 Feb 2016.

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Gehman, Geoff. “Theatrical Scientist Ping Chong Explores How It Feels to be an ‘Undesirable Element.’” The Morning Call, 12 Nov 2006

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Grode, Eric. “Congo’s Pain, Told by Those Who Lived It.” NYTimes.com, TheNew York Times, 11 Oct 2012.

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Parenteau, Amelia. “From Muslims in America to Child Soldiers in the Congo: Ping Chong Values Unheard Voices.” Extended Play, 2 Apr 2015

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Parenteau, Amelia. “Real Talk: Some of Documentary Theatre’s Leading Lights Discuss the Art of the Interview—And the Deeply Personal Playmaking That Comes After.” American Theatre Magazine, vol. 34, no. 7, Sept 2017, pp. 24–27

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Sterritt, David. “The Fascinating Theater Art of Ping Chong; He Sees the Western World through an ’Outsider’s Eyes.” The Christian Science Monitor, vol. 76, 29 May 1984 

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Dillon, John. “Three Places in Asia.” American Theatre Magazine, vol. 13, no. 3, Mar 1996, pp. 19–22.

Gener, Randy. “A Nation of Outcasts: Ping Chong’s Oral History Project Gives Voice to the Experience of Displacement and Loss.” American Theatre Magazine, vol. 19, no. 10, Dec 2002, p. 29.

Hong, Terry, et al. “Through the Looking Glass: Leading Asian-American Theatre Artists Reflect on the Past Four Decades.” American Theatre Magazine, vol. 20, no. 1, Jan 2003, pp. 73–85.

Kalb, Jonathan. “Ping Chong: From Lazarus to Anna into Nightlight.” Theater Magazine, 1 May 1983, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 68-75.

Zinman, Toby. “Only Connect: An Interview with the Playwright.” American Theatre Magazine, vol. 18, no. 3, Mar 2001, p. 28.

Academic Journal Articles

Bacalzo, Dan. “Portraits of Self and Other: SlutForArt and the Photographs of Tseng Kwong Chi.” Theatre Journal, vol. 53, no. 1, Mar 2001, pp. 73–94.

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Carroll, Noel. “A Select View of Earthlings: Ping Chong.” The Drama Review: TDR, vol. 27, no. 1, (Spring 1983), pp. 72-81.

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Chambers-Letson, Joshua Takano. "A Race So Different": Staging Racial Exception in Ping Chong's Chinoiserie,” MELUS, vol. 36, issue 4, Dec 2011, pp. 115-139.

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Frieze, James. “The Mess Behind the Veil: Assimilating Ping Chong.” Theatre Research International, vol. 31, no. 1, Feb 2006, pp. 84-100.

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Kurahashi, Yuko. “Search for Home and Identity: Ping Chong and Michael Rohd's ‘Undesirable Elements: Berlin.’” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, vol. 38, no. 1, Spring 2005, pp. 85–100.

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Moynihan, D. S. “Ping Chong's Nuit Blanche.” The Drama Review: TDR, vol. 25, no. 1, Mar 1981, pp. 101–105.

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Samson, Florence. “Drama in Aesthetic Education: An Invitation to Imagine the World as if It Could Be Otherwise.” The Journal of Aesthetic Education, vol.39, no. 4, (Winter 2005), pp. 70-81.

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Shimakawa, Karen. “The Things We Share: Ethnic Performativity and ‘Whatever Being.’” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. 18, no. 2, 2004, pp. 149-160.

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Wehle, Philippa. “Citizen of the World: Ping Chong's Travels.” PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan 2004, pp. 22-32.

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Benea, Diana. “‘Turning Setbacks into Comebacks’: Representing Disability in Ping Chong’s Inside/ Out...Voices from the Disability Community.” BAS - British & American Studies, vol. 23, Jan 2017, p. 109-120.

Frieze, James. “Channelling Rubble: Seven Streams of the River Ota and After Sorrow.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 12, no. 1, Fall 1997, pp. 133-142.

Kurahashi, Yuko. “Celebrating the ‘Historical’ Community through Different Voices: Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks’s ‘Women of the Hill.’” Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theater and Performance, vol. 3, no.1, May 2016, pp.1-20.

Lee, Josephine. “Between Immigration and Hyphenation: The Problems of Theorizing Asian American Theater.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 13, no. 1, Fall 1998, pp. 45–69.

Neely, Kent. “Ping Chong’s Theatre of Simultaneous Consciousness.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 6, no. 2, Spring 1992, pp. 121–135.

Books About and Featuring Ping Chong

The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong
By Yuko Kurahashi
Publisher: McFarland (December 24, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1476674191 / ISBN-13: 978-1476674193
Drawing on primary sources and her own attendance of Ping Chong’s productions, this book takes a broad and informative approach to Ping Chong’s work as a performer, playwright, and director.

Out of the Shadows: The Henson Festivals and Their Impact on Contemporary Puppet Theater
By Leslee Asch
Publisher: InForm Press (July 8, 2020)
ISBN-10: 0578665344 / ISBN-13: 978-0578665344
Examines the five International Festivals of Puppet Theater presented by the Jim Henson Foundation between 1992-2000, and their continued legacy in the contemporary puppet theater landscape. The book also includes production photos and details from their 136 productions, including the work of Ping Chong among others.

A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America
By Joshua Chambers-Letson
Publisher: New York University Press (December 2, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0814769969 / ISBN-13: 978-0814769966
Taking a performance studies approach to understanding Asian American racial subjectivity, Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson argues that the law influences racial formation by compelling Asian Americans to embody and perform recognizable identities in both popular aesthetic forms (such as theater, opera, or rock music) and in the rituals of everyday life.

Hearing Difference: The Third Ear in Experimental, Deaf, and Multicultural Theater
By Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren
Publisher: Gallaudet University Press (May 15, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1563682902 / ISBN-13: 978-1563682902
This book investigates the connections between hearing and deafness in experimental, Deaf, and multicultural theater, focusing on how to articulate a Deaf aesthetic and employing a model using a device for cross-sensory listening across domains of sound, silence, and the moving body in performance that she calls the “third ear.”

Vanishing Acts: Theater Since the Sixities
By Gordon Rogoff
Publisher: Yale University Press (September 10, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0300087772 / ISBN-13: 978-0300087772
In this collection of 75 essays and short pieces, Rogoff tells the story of live theater in America over the past forty years and explores the topics of acting, directing, playwrighting, Shakespeare productions, opera, and theatre criticism, including a look at a production of Ping Chong’s Kind Ness.

National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage
By Karen Shimakawa
Publisher: Duke University Press (December 5, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0822328232 / ISBN-13: 978-0822328230
This book explores the vexed relationship between "Asian Americanness" and "Americanness” through a focus on drama and performance art. Karen Shimakawa argues that the forms of Asian Americanness that appear in U.S. culture are a function of national abjection—a process that demands that Americanness be defined by the exclusion of Asian Americans, who are either cast as symbolic foreigners incapable of integration or Americanization or distorted into an “honorary” whiteness.

Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative
Edited by Claire Syler & Daniel Banks
Publisher: Routledge (July 23, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1138594474 / ISBN-13: 978-1138594470
Drawing on the notion of a "welcome table"—a space where artists of all backgrounds can come together as equals to create theatre—the book’s contributors discuss casting practices as they relate to varying communities and contexts, including Middle Eastern American theatre, Disability culture, multilingual performance, Native American theatre, color- and culturally-conscious casting, and casting as a means to dismantle stereotypes. Includes the chapter, “Collidescope 2.0: Performing the ‘Alien Gaze,’” by Priscilla Page.

Aesthetic Practices and Politics in Media, Music, and Art: Performing Migration
Edited by Rocío G. Davis, Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, & Johanna C. Kardux
Publisher: Routledge (February 14, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0415835917 / ISBN-13: 978-0415835916
This volume analyzes innovative forms of media and music (art installations, televisions commercials, photography, films, songs, telenovelas) to examine the performance of migration in contemporary culture. Includes the chapter, “‘All Islands Connect Underwater’: Ping Chong’s Undesirable Elements Series,” by Roberta De Martini.

Reading the Literatures of Asian America
Edited by Shirley Lim & Amy Ling
Publisher: Temple University Press (October 19,1992)
ISBN-10: 0877229368 / ISBN-13: 978-0877229360
Presents a collection of essays that examines Asian American literature from the late 19th century up through the contemporary experimental drama of Ping Chong. This book addresses the work of writers with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, East Indian, and Pacific Island ancestry. Includes the chapter, “Ping Chong’s Terra In/Cognita: Monsters on Stage,” by Suzanne R. Westfall.

Yellow Light: The Flowering of Asian American Arts
Edited by Amy Ling
Publisher: Temple University Press (April 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 1566396700 / ISBN-13: 978-1566396707
A volume of poets, novelists, dramatists, musicians, songwriters, composers, filmmakers, choreographers, and performance artists who span three generations and represent the broad spectrum of ethnicities that make up Asian America. Includes the chapter, “Ping Chong’s Terra In/Cognita: Monsters on Stage,” by Suzanne R. Westfall.

Enacting History
Edited by Scott Magelssen & Rhona Justice-Malloy
Publisher: University of Alabama Press (March 18, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0817356541 / ISBN-13: 978-0817356545
A collection of new essays exploring the world of historical performances. The volume focuses on performances outside the traditional sphere of theatre, among them living history museums, battle reenactments, pageants, renaissance festivals, and adventure-tourism destinations. Includes the essay, “Ping Chong & Company’s Undesirable Elements/Secret Histories in Oxford, Mississippi,” by Rhona Justice Malloy.

Refugee Performance: Practical Encounters
Edited by Michael Balfour
Publisher: Intellect Books (November 15, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1841506370 / ISBN-13: 978-1841506371
Exploring theater works created for, by, and with refugees, this hybrid collection of essays combines newly commissioned scholarly work with examples of writing by refugees themselves. Includes the chapter, “Theatre as a Healing Space: Ping Chong’s Children of War,” by Yuko Kurahashi.

Translation, Adaptation and Transformation
Edited by Laurence Raw
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (January 2, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1472531299 / ISBN-13: 978-1472531292
In recent years adaptation studies has established itself as a discipline in its own right, separate from translation studies. The bulk of its activity to date has been restricted to literature and film departments, focusing on questions of textual transfer and adaptation of text to film. It is however, much more interdisciplinary, and is not simply a case of transferring content from one medium to another. This collection furthers the research into exactly what the act of adaptation involves and whether it differs from other acts of textual rewriting. Includes the essay, “Adapting, Translating, and Transforming: Cultural Mediation in Ping Chong’s Deshima and Pojagi,” by Tanfer Emin Tunç.

Querying Difference in Theater History
Edited by Scott Megalssen & Ann Huago
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (October 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1847183034 / ISBN-13: 978-1847183033
Terms such as race, ethnicity, otherness, and pluralism are becoming increasingly problematic as we grapple with issues of identity in the post-multicultural discursive landscape of the twenty-first century. Querying Difference in Theatre History comprises sixteen scholarly case studies in which authors tease out the limitations of contemporary discourse concerning ideas of difference in theatre history today. Includes the chapter, “Haunted Landscapes: Ping Chong’s East/West Productions,” by Kay Martinovich.