Kyoung Update: Rave Reviews for TALA!


Rafael Benoit in TALA

I’m so happy to share with you great news! The World Premiere of TALA is receiving rave reviews and I want you to come see it! Our final two performances will be this Thursday, Jan. 22nd and Friday, Jan. 23rd at 8PM and the show must close on the 23rd. I hope you’ll join us for this thrilling ride–and if you’ve already come seen the show, thank you and please help us spread the word. I really want us to end the show with a bang and have no seats left in the house!

Tickets are only $18 ($10 for Students/Seniors) and are available here. Get them now, as we have more reviews coming out next week and I suspect they’ll become harder to get as we get closer to our final two performance dates.


Flor De Liz Perez and Rafael Benoit in TALA. Photography by Talya Chalef

“This is a play of ideas and poetry collaged together; at times, it felt dream-like with its fluid, animal-like choreography by Yin Yue and music by Svetlana Maras. The sparse set by Jason Krugman suggested the idea of a modern installation piece you might find in a warehouse in Williamsburg. And the trio of performers — a breathe of fresh air to see such diversity on stage — were all impressive, especially when they switched into different roles. At one point, all three performers inhabit the persona of Kyoung (Benoit’s is particularly heartbreaking to watch) and the fluidity of that role-switching fits nicely with the overall messy journey of uncovering identity.”– Teddy Nicholas, Theater is Easy

“Tala tackles large, almost mythical dilemmas, such as the burden of inheriting a national identity and the complexities and confusions that arrive when we inherit more than one. Park explores what we must accept and how we can grow, pushing beyond what is expected of us as obedient sons, daughters, and citizens. Kyoung is fearless in his willingness to leave his life and the trials of his past out in the open, and by merging the story of Pepe and Lupe with that of the playwright, he shows the intersection between the personal and the political, exploring the implications of following a cause to the extreme, given the potential that in doing so you may have to give up on the hope of ‘normalcy’… Park tells his story, perhaps the first about a “gay Chilean-Korean terrorist,” and escalates his hope and belief one step further, leaving us with the possibility that perhaps the pen is indeed more powerful – far more powerful – than the sword.” –Emily Gawlak, Stage Buddy

Daniel K. Isaac in TALA. Photography by Andy Yao

Casting its net across time, place, culture, the search for self and the need for a greater purpose, playwright Kyoung H. Park’s script for Tala is as tangled and conflicted and contemplative as you’d expect from that messy melting pot of thematic ingredients. Dashes of surrealism may sweeten the dish, but their presence has no ambition to overwhelm the bitter taste that lingers on the palate of every righteous fighter or melancholy searcher in the cast — even the ones who seem poised to find what they’ve been looking for. First-born son Park bases much of Tala on a fictionalized version of his own experience as a Korean-Chilean in America during 9/11, whose emerging identity as a gay man and an artist parallels our country’s defensive shift into a new era of military aggression abroad and paranoia at home… Never mind that only portions of that assessment have any basis in fact. Kyoung, like countless other immigrants and struggling artists, is in for a world of hurt when he charts a course for home, then dares to stray from the set path.”–Scott Stiffler, Chelsea Now

TALA Public Programming. Click Image to Read.

“Trauma is confusing. Disorienting. Colored deeply with shame. Navigating memories of trauma, whether you are a nation or a person, is a messy thing, and honoring that messiness, witnessing it without falsely tucking the edges into tight little hospital corners, is part of the play’s ambition. The process of writing from trauma is the process of staring at a vast clusterfuck mess, wading in, and trying to put it in order one memory piece at a time. TALA has that—the feeling of raw struggle as its characters try to make sense of their shifting worlds, as well as palpable tension between that desire for order and the shame that tries to hold things under the surface.”-Jiehae Park, Culturebot

“Enthralling…comically metatheatrical. The three actors are all compelling performers. Isaac is particularly enthralling, with a mischievous quality that helps to sell some of the more comic moments in the script. He adopts a Southern drawl when speaking as Matt, Kyoung’s ex-boyfriend (Benoit performs as Kyoung during these scenes). And there’s a poignancy to the couple’s breakup that brings a welcome complexity to their relationship dynamic.”–Dan Bacalzo, Dan Bacalzo’s Asian American Performance Site

For more information about our show, including my interviews with New York Theater Review or Theater in the Now, please visit our website.

Looking forward to seeing you for our FINAL TWO PERFORMANCES of TALA! Get your tickets to the show!



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