A comically disastrous homecoming…the soaring musicality of a colorful and misunderstood state.” – Los Angeles Times
“Funny and touching…imaginative elements…” – LA Downtown News
“Stuns and enthralls…it’s certainly worth the trip” –Broadway World

Kentucky – WEST COAST PREMIERE

By Leah Nanako Winkler
Directed by Deena Selenow

November 10, 2016 – December 11, 2016

“Refreshing and witty. A fresh, affecting play.” – Time Out, New York
“Kentucky marks the full-length debut of a distinctive new voice — mouthy, sly and bourbon sweet, with the expected kick.”  – New York Times

Hiro is self-made, single, and almost making it in NYC when her born-again Christian baby sister decides to marry a man she hardly knows. Hiro resolves to stop the wedding, returning to Kentucky and the past she put behind her. Will she save her sister and escape back to Manhattan? Will years of therapy unravel in one weekend back home? Identity, religion, and love collide in this rollicking coming-of-age story.

In community partnership with the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative.

Running time: 2 hours and 10 minutes, includes a 15 minute intermission

Cast

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Creative Team

Scenic design by Sara Ryung Clement
Lighting design by Hilda Kane
Costume design by Lena Sands
Sound Design/Composition & Musical Direction by Howard Ho
Asst Scenic Design/Prop Master: Glenn Michael Baker
Dialect Coach: Samara Bay
Stage Manager: Brandon Hong Cheng*

LOS ANGELES TIMES

“In her new work for the stage, “Kentucky” — about a half-Japanese woman who returns to the South to attend her evangelical sister’s wedding, now on view at the East West Players theater in downtown Los Angeles — playwright Leah Nanako Winkler tackles a host of cultural divisions at the heart of contemporary American debate: racial, economic, religious, rural vs. urban. Margaret Gray talks with the playwright.” Los Angeles Times

RAFU SHIMPO

A PICTURE OF HER ‘KENTUCKY’ HOME
East West Players’ latest is imagined through the multicultural eye of playwright Leah Nanako Winkler. Rafu Shimpo

LOS ANGELES FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS INITIATIVE

The FPI Files: Playwright Leah Nanako Winkler and Director Deena Selenow. LAFPI

ASIAN AMERICAN: THE KEN FONG PODCAST

Listen to Leah Nanako Winkler as she talks about her irrepressible drive to write, working with other artists of color, and the hypocrisy of white evangelicals. Asian American: The Ken Fong Podcast
(Intro: Trumped; interview with Winkler begins at 16:50).

LA STAGE ALLIANCE

Watch playwright Leah Nanako Winkler as she discusses her play Kentucky with LA STAGE Alliance, directed by Deena Selenow.

Production Photos