Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew at Ma-Yi Theater Company
Rehana Lew Mirza’s plays include: Hatefuck (productions: Colt Coeur/WP, upcoming at Round House Theater; 2017 Kilroy); A People’s Guide to History in the Time of Here and Now (workshops: AADA, PH School, Tisch; Primary Stages commission); Soldier X (productions: Ma-Yi; Brooklyn College; 2015 Kilroy; NYSCA/Lark commission); Ladybits (readings: Playwrights Workshop at the Lark, Local Lab); Neighborhood Watch (NNPN/InterAct commission); and Barriers (productions: Desipina, Asian American Theater Company). With hubby Mike Lew, she’s co-written the book to the musical Bhangin’ It (with composer/lyricist Sam Willmott) and are working on a trilogy, The Colonialism Project, which is commissioned through La Jolla Playhouse. Additional honors: NYFA Fellow, HBO Access Fellow, Colt Coeur artist residency, Lilly Award (Stacey Mindich “Go Write A Play”), and a TCG/New Georges Fellowship. MFA: Columbia University; BFA: NYU Tisch.
Mike Lew’s plays include Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi at the Public, Donmar Warehouse, Wooly Mammoth, Huntington, Artists Rep); Tiger Style! (Olney, Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, Alliance); Bike America (Ma-Yi, Alliance); and microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct, Next Act). He and Rehana Lew Mirza are joint Mellon Foundation Playwrights in Residence at Ma-Yi Theater where they are cowriting The Colonialism Trilogy in addition to the book to the musical Bhangin’ It with composer/lyricist Sam Willmott (Richard Rodgers Award; La Jolla Playhouse, Project Springboard, and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat workshops). Mike is a Dramatists Guild Council member, Tony voter, and New Dramatists resident. Honors: Lark Venturous and NYFA fellowships; PEN, Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda awards. Education: Juilliard, Yale.
Ma-Yi Theater Company is the country’s leading incubator of new plays by Asian American playwrights. Since its founding in 1989, it has distinguished itself as a leader in challenging popular prescriptions for what culturally specific theater should be, and as a staunch advocate for increasing the national visibility of Asian American Theater artists. Ma-Yi Theater encourages its artists to engage their communities in meaningful conversations even as they stretch themselves to stake new creative territories. The theater continues to be guided by knowing why and for whom it makes theater.
Today, Ma-Yi Theater Company is home to the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. With twenty-nine current active members, it is the largest peer-to-peer assembly of professional Asian American playwrights in the country. In 2010, Ma-Yi Theater committed to only producing works generated by its Writers Lab.
Ma-Yi Theater Company is led by founding member and current Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña, and Executive Director Jorge Z. Ortoll.
Mike and Rehana continue to use the Ma-Yi studio space as their primary collaboration place to meet with composer Sam Willmott on their co-written musical Bhangin’ It. The project recently won the 2019 Richard Rodgers Studio Award, and had a three-week workshop presented by La Jolla Playhouse and Rodgers Foundation in association with Ma-Yi. After prior workshops with Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Goodspeed, and Project Springboard (a dance workshop through the Jerome Robbins Foundation), Bhangin’ It is currently projected to have its world premiere in 2021. Mike and Rehana also continue work on their co-written trilogy about British colonialism, a commission from La Jolla Playhouse. After a read of all three plays at The Lark’s Studio Retreat in the Fall 2018, they are now focusing on creating songs for Play Two of the trilogy and workshopping the entirety once more. Currently Mike is in pre-production for the London premiere of Teenage Dick at the Donmar, following its highly lauded world premiere with Ma-Yi Theater at the Public in June-July 2018. The play has been published with DPS and will be at Wooly Mammoth and The Huntington later in 2020. Rehana’s play Hatef*ck, written in residence, had its world premiere at WP Theater in March 2018, and will have a subsequent production at Round House Theater in Summer 2020. The other play she wrote during residency, A People’s Guide to History in the Time of Here and Now, had a workshop production through AADA and will have a reading at Primary Stages this Fall 2019 after having been commissioned there.