Ping Chong + Company
Ping Chong + Company creates theatrical works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, striving to reach the widest audiences with the greatest level of artistic innovation and social integrity. The New York City-based company was founded in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator Ping Chong with a mission to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of race, culture, history, art, media and technology in the modern world. Today, Ping Chong + Company produces original works by a close-knit ensemble of affiliated artists, under the artistic leadership of Ping Chong. Productions range from intimate oral history projects to grand scale cinematic multidisciplinary productions featuring puppets, performers, and full music and projection scores. The art reveals beauty, precision, and a commitment to social justice. For more information about Ping Chong + Company, visit www.pingchong.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@pingchongco).
Undesirable Elements Series
Undesirable Elements is Ping Chong + Company’s ongoing series of community-specific interview-based theater works examining issues of culture and identity of individuals who are outsiders within their mainstream community. It's not a traditional play or documentary-theater project performed by actors. Instead, Undesirable Elements is presented as a chamber piece of story-telling; a “seated opera for the spoken word” that exists as an open framework that can be tailored to suit the needs and issues facing any community. Each production is made with a local host organization and local participants.
The development process includes an extended community residency during which Ping Chong + Company artists conduct intensive interviews with potential participants and get to know the issues and concerns facing that community. These interviews form the basis of a script that weaves cast members’ individual experiences together in a chronological narrative touching on both political and personal experiences. The script is performed by the interviewees themselves, many of whom have never before spoken publicly.
Since 1992, over 50 productions have been made in communities around the country and the world, exploring issues and themes such as the experience of refugees in the U.S, the disability experience, Native American identity, and the experiences of survivors of sexual violence. Ping Chong + Company has also created accompanying documentaries, toolkits, training workshops, and in-school arts education programs for communities who wish to use the arts to address social justice and community dialogue in their own work.
The live performance of Aan Yátx'u Sáani: Noble People of the Land is the latest project in the Undesirable Elements series. This website is a partner project to the live performance, showcasing photos and stories from the participants who generously shared their stories of this place.
Visit Ping Chong + Company's page for more information about the project.