Chiori Miyagawa

BROKEN MORNING

In the sewing factory at the Ellis One Unit of the Huntsville Prison in Texas men awaiting execution go to work every weekday. Interwoven with their stories of violence, poverty and personal demons are the stories of people who surround the business of death row and the sorrow and hopes of the victims’ families.

DREAM ACTS

Imagine that you don’t have a country. It doesn’t matter if you believe you’re American, because no one else believes you—not potential employers, not banks that issue student loans, not the government. There is no way to become legally American. You don’t exist. Worse, you are hunted for deportation. You love this country, but the country does not love you back.

DREAM ACTS

Imagine that you don’t have a country. It doesn’t matter if you believe you’re American, because no one else believes you—not potential employers, not banks that issue student loans, not the government. There is no way to become legally American. You don’t exist. Worse, you are hunted for deportation. You love this country, but the country does not love you back.

I HAVE BEEN TO HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR

In “reconstructed” Hiroshima in 1959, a French actress and a Japanese architect have a passionate one-night affair, which conjures memories of their respective first loves, both of whom died during WWII.

THOUSAND YEARS WAITING

A storytelling piece with music and movement, threading three generations of women’s memories through time and space. A woman today, in New York City, is reading a memoir written one thousand years ago by a woman in Japan; the woman writing her memoir in old Japan is reading The Tale of Genji. The history of storytelling is woven like a spider’s web, and the woman in present steps in and out of real and fictional worlds in the past.

WOMAN KILLER

Adapted from the 1721 Japanese Bunraku puppet play by Chikamatsu, the story of two ordinary upper-class American families and a murder that destroys the façade of the American Dream.

Chiori Miyagawa is a NYC-based playwright and a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists. Her plays vary in subject and style, yet they bear a unique signature—always theatrical, often with elements of magic realism, and they consistently revolve around a theme of memory and identity. Her characters often time-travel. Being bicultural, traveling is second nature in her life and work. Among other places, Miyagawa has traveled multiple times to Texas to interview men on death row in the Huntsville Prison (Broken Morning, supported by TCG’s Extended Collaboration Grant and Dallas Theater Center) and to Bath, England, where the first recognized woman astronomer lived in the 18th century (Comet Hunter, supported by the EST/Alfred P. Sloan Commission).

Miyagawa’s other plays include I Have Been to Hiroshima Mon Amour (Voice & Vision at Ohio Theatre; published in TheatreForum, June 2010), America Dreaming (Vineyard Theatre, directed by Michael Mayer; published in Global Foreigners), Nothing Forever and Yesterday’s Window (at New York Theatre Workshop, directed by Karin Coonrod; Nothing published in Positive/Negative Women, Yesterday published in TAKE TEN) Woman Killer (Crossing Jamaica Avenue in co-production with HERE Arts Center; published in Plays and Playwrights 2002), FireDance (Voice & Vision Theater at the Connelly Theater), Antigone’s Red (Virginia Tech; published in TAKE TEN II), Red Again/Antigone Project (Women’s Project; published by NoPassport Press), Woman Killer (Crossing Jamaica Avenue and HERE Arts Center; published by NoPassport Press) and Thousand Years Waiting (Crossing Jamaica Avenue in co-production with Performance Space 122). A collection of seven of her plays, Thousand Years Waiting and Other Plays, is published by Seagull Books.

She is a recipient of many fellowships including a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, a McKnight Playwriting Fellowship, a Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship, an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, a Rockefeller Bellagio Residency Fellowship, and a Radcliffe Advanced Studies Fellowship at Harvard University. She is Playwright-in-Residence at Bard College where she runs the playwriting program she designed under the theater chair, director JoAnne Akalaitis.