Shrimp Fried Rice

Banff Week 3: For dinner tonight — for the first time — the dining hall served fried rice (w/shrimp). Shrimp Fried Rice was the final order Ming Kuang Chen delivered before getting stuck in the elevator for 81 hours. Is this a sign for our presentation tonight?

While eating, I remembered the night that Stuck Elevator was announced as a Creative Capital Project. As I walked towards the event in the New York City dusk, there were four Chinese takeout delivery men bicycling their orders to hungry mouths. I definitely took this as a sign. Yet in retrospect, I realize that more than a sign, my noticing the deliverymen was about acknowledging their presence.

There are many hidden people and voices. Director Chay Yew spoke kindly to the cast before dinner about reflecting on our character’s desires and reality, to connect his story with our own and to relate them with the many unheard laborers who form the backbone of America.

I am honored to continue working with Aaron Jafferis and Chay with the additional expertise of the Sundance Institute team to develop Stuck Elevator these past few weeks: from the intrepid colorful cast of Julius Ahn, Billy Bustamante, Rona Figueroa, Joseph Keckler and Jon Rua, to virtuosic music director/pianist Andrew Byrne, to organized stage managers Micah Trapp, Kate Duncan and Rachel Motz, plus insightful dramaturg Otis Ramsey-Zoe.

Perhaps shrimp fried rice in the buffet tonight was not so much a sign, but rather a happenstance. Nonetheless, it caused me to savor each bite as I mentally prepared for sharing with the other theatre lab fellows what we have been working on to get Stuck Elevator moving.

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