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The World of Extreme Happiness

In co-production with Seattle Public Theater

Written by Francis Ya-Chu Cowhig
Directed by Desdemona Chiang

When Sunny is born in rural China, her parents leave her in a slop bucket to die because she’s a girl. She survives, and at 14 leaves for the city, where she works a low-paying factory job and attends self-help classes to improve her chances at securing a coveted office position. When Sunny’s attempts to pull herself out of poverty lead to dire consequences for a fellow worker, she is forced to question the system she’s spent her life trying to master – and stand up against the powers that be. Savage, tragic and desperately funny, The World of Extreme Happiness is a stirring examination of a country in the midst of rapid change, and individuals struggling to shape their own destinies.

October 13 – November 5, 2017
Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm

See Seattle Public Theater

95 minutes with no intermission
Every performance is followed by a brief post-play discussion

Mika Swanson, Kevin Lin, Allen Go, Nina Williams-Teramachi, Van Lang Pham, Kathy Hsieh, and Maile Wong

Desdemona Chiang – Director
Eliza Wu – Assistant Director/Dramaturg
Jay Weinland – Sound Designer
Christine Tschirgi – Costume Designer
Emily Leong – Lighting Designer
Robin Macartney – Props Designer
Annie Yee – Choreographer
Emily Cioc – Stage Manager

The Seattle TimesDesdemona Chiang on DirectingDesdemona Chiang on Directing
International ExaminerIt’s a Co-Pro!

That’s WOW (Women of WA)
Interview with Desdemona Chiang

FRANCES YA-CHU COWHIG‘s plays have been produced at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre of Great Britain, Manhattan Theater Club, the Goodman Theatre, Trafalgar Studios 2 [West End], Crowded Fire, Page 73 Productions, Interact Theatre, Borderlands Theatre and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Her work has been awarded the Wasserstein Prize, the Yale Drama Series Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the David A. Callichio Award and the Keene Prize for Literature.

Frances has received artist residencies from Yaddo, Macdowell, Hedgebrook, Ragdale, the Sundance Playwright Retreats at Ucross and Flying Point, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. She has been Playwright-in-Residence at Manhattan Theater Club and Marin Theater Company and is currently under commission from South Coast Rep, the Goodman Theatre and the National Theatre. Her work has been published by Yale University Press, Glimmer Train, Methuen Drama, Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service.

Frances received an MFA in Writing from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin, a BA in Sociology from Brown University, and a certificate in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.  She was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Northern Virginia, Okinawa, Taipei and Beijing. Frances is currently an Assistant Professor of Playwriting at UC Santa Barbara.