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This project was successfully funded on December 20, 2012

Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey [solo show]

by Elizabeth Liang


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Over the last two years, I’ve developed Alien Citizen (originally titled Unpacked) at the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute, Terrie Silverman’s “Start to Finish Solo-Show” Master Class, and on my own.  I performed segments of it at the “5,000 Women” Festival at Wesleyan University, the Hollywood Fringe Festival, East West Players, and Beyond Baroque.  This production will be my first step toward the much larger goal of taking a self-contained theatrical work around the country (and world, hopefully).  I am doing it now because of an irrepressible need to share the Third Culture Kid experience, which is extraordinary yet rarely told.

Who are you when you’re from everywhere and nowhere?  And what’s more important to a Guatemalan-American teen in Egypt: the Pyramids of Giza or the prom?  Alien Citizen is a funny and poignant one-woman multi-character show about growing up as a dual citizen of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England.  Alienation and the search for identity, as well as the sometime refusal to search and learn, weave thematically through the narrative.  Another recurring theme is the challenge of growing into womanhood in environments that can be hostile to females (including the USA).  The main character struggles with being a “perfect guest” in each host country, which often involves stifling herself.  Where is the line between respecting others and betraying yourself?  Naturally, humor is a great survival mechanism!

Rehearsals begin now, as the piece includes over 35 characters from around the world, some of whom are iconic and require precise interpretation (Clark Gable, for instance).  My designers will be designing sound and projections that will enhance the narrative (for example, when my character gets caught in a sandstorm, the sound effect will help to viscerally pull the audience into that experience).  I’m planning a 5-to-6-week run between January and May in Los Angeles; the dates are flexible in case securing a good space proves challenging between the fundraising deadline and opening night.

I have $1000 seed money from funds raised last year, which will support the rental of a rehearsal space and the security deposit for the theatre.  Your tax-deductible contributions toward the $8,500 minimum fundraising goal will support the fees of the director, sound designer, lighting designer, projection designer, stage manager, house manager, and artist (that's me).  It will also support the theatre rental; publicity (printing/mailing of postcards; ads in local papers); PR rep and press kits; production photos; creation and printing of programs; concessions; registration with LA Stage Alliance and the Ovation awards; and insurance if the theatre doesn't provide it.  If the project is overfunded, I would put that toward travel expenses to take the show on the road in the USA and abroad.  (I have already received inquiries about performing it in Central America!)  Thank you so much for your generous donation!

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