UofL to offer unique adaptation of ancient Chinese play


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville will present a unique adaptation of the classic 13th century Chinese play, “The Orphan of Chao” by setting the play in the year 2111 in a world marred by war and environmental disasters.

    Lundeana Thomas, director of the AATP, said the adaptation will provide the audience with a fresh look at the play, which will be shown at 8 p.m. Feb. 2-5, and at 3 p.m. Feb. 6, at the Thrust Theatre, 2314 S. Floyd St.

    “The story will be told as seen through African American eyes, introducing elements of hip-hop and Yoruba themes of color, music and movement,” Thomas said. The Yoruba culture of West Africa is known for its distinctive traditions involving drumming and dance.

    “We will take a play from its Yuan Dynasty China setting to an ecosphere dome surrounded by a toxic wasteland of biological and electronic waste,” Thomas said. “It is a story about family, sacrifice, revenge, murder and redemption.”

    The play has three directors. Assisting Thomas will be Obie Award winner Paul Carter Harrison, who helped the student performers learn Yoruba theater traditions, and Kathryn Ervin, a California State University theater professor who is an expert on hip-hop expression and movement.

    Northern Kentucky University theater professor Daryl Harris will direct costume design and United Scenic Artist member and Tony Award nominee Felix Cochren of Syracuse, N.Y. will oversee scene design.

    The play includes performers from the community as well as UofL students. The AATP is part of the university’s Department of Theatre Arts.

    Tickets are $10 or $15 based on seating location, $6 for students. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more.

    For more information about the play or tickets, call 502-852-6814 or visit the ticket office 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Thrust Theatre in the Studio Arts Building, 2314 S. Floyd Street.