America. Family values.
The Human genome.DNA.
Precedent/Wen Ho Lee.
National security. FBI/CIA.
THE LEGACY CODES
By Cherylene Lee
Directed by Ron Nakahara
Inspired by the nuclear espionage case of Dr. Wen Ho Lee, the Chinese American scientist accused of giving nuclear secrets to the People's Republic of China, THE LEGACY CODES explores the many ways codes are used to pass on information - not just in espionage, but in families, culture, genetics, computers and romance. What is betrayal, who can you trust, what is justified in protecting America's national security?
OCT. 29 - NOV. 23, 2003
OPENING NIGHT GALA - Wed, Nov. 5 @ 7pm
At the West End Theatre
263 West 86th Street, 2nd Floor in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew
(Between Broadway & West End Ave.)
$45 VIP Seating · $175 & $100 Opening Night Gala
Special discounts available for school matinee groups, student,group(10+), senior, rush tickets.
call Pan Asian Rep at 212-868-4030 for more info
for regular tickets call ticket central at 212-279-4200
on Saturday, November 1st, 2003 at 4:15 PM to follow 2PM Matinee
Under Suspicion: Lessons Learned from the Wen Ho Lee case
A Symposium Suggested by Cherylene Lee's THE LEGACY CODES
Even though the U.S. government's investigation of Dr. Wen Ho Lee has ended and he has now regained his freedom, many issues surrounding the case of suspected espionage are still as fresh as ever.
"Under Suspicion: Lessons Learned from the Wen Ho Lee Case" is a Symposium suggested by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre's New York Premiere of Cherylene Lee's play, THE LEGACY CODES which runs Oct 29 through Nov.23 at the West End Theatre.
The Panel is designed to educate the public on the roles of art, science, race, media, civil rights and issues of national security, as suggested by THE LEGACY CODES, which explores the many ways codes are used to pass on information - not just in espionage, but also in families, culture, genetics, computers and romance.
The Participants in the distinguished panel will include:
Cherylene Lee, an Asian American playwright
Prof. Eugene Chudnovsky, a Russian physicist and human rights activist
Prof. Peter Kwong, of Asian-American Studies at Hunter College
Jim Naureckas, an investigative reporter and media critic from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Michael Ratner, an attorney with the public interest litigation organization, The Center for Constitutional Rights
The Panel is moderated and organized by Randy Gener, a playwright/director and associate editor of American Theatre Magazine
Family Night (Saturday 8PM Performances) - Buy two individual adult tickets ( $30 preview, $39 regular) and bring a third family member or relative FREE !
Wednesdays at 7pm, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays & Sundays at 3pm.
Opening Night Gala on Nov. 5th, Wednesday at 7pm.
Special Press Preview on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 7pm.
School Matinees (for school groups of High School level and under) at 11am on selected Wednesdays, Oct. 29, Nov. 12, and 19
OCT 29 **
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Opening Nigh Gala @ 7PM ++
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FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL PAN ASIAN REP AT 212-868-4030
The Legacy Codes
by Cherylene Lee
directed by Ron Nakahara
Diane Fortier Bonnie Black
Minna Fortier Lindsey Gates
Ming Liu Wai Ching Ho
Richard Fortier Scott Klavan
Erling Liu Jackson Loo
Dr.Tai Liu Les J.N. Mau
Costume Design Ingrid Maurer
Sound Design Christopher Plummer
Set Design Eric Renschler ---- Lighting Design Victor En Yu Tan
Words from the Playwright Cherylene Lee
As soon as I saw a NY Times newspaper article in March of 1999 stating that a Chinese-American scientist at a national lab was under suspicion for giving the “legacy codes” of nuclear weapons to the People’s Republic of China, I knew I was going to write this play. The term “legacy codes” resonated on so many levels on me, not just as a computer term, but also biologically through DNA codes and culturally through what is passed on from one generation to the next. The term became a metaphor for me about how information can be passed on in espionage, in families, in music, in dance, in cooking recipes, in the many ways codes are used, interpreted, or misinterpreted. I fictionalized the characters and setting of this play to allow myself the freedom to explore the many threads of the term “legacy codes”, though the circumstances of the play were certainly inspired by what actually happened to Wen Ho Lee.
Though I began writing this play even before Wen Ho Lee had been arrested and completed the play before he was released 9 months later, I felt that I understood how Chinese-Americans often face a gap between how they perceive themselves and how non-Asians see them. It is this gap that I often explore in my plays. I try to find the common emotional ground that can bridge this gap by exploring universal familial relationships. In Arthur and Leila, produced by Pan Asian in 1994, a brother and sister bargain over family history and how each of them is perceived as a failure or a success by society. In the play, Carry the Tiger to the Mountain, based on the Vincent Chin murder of 1982, and produced by Pan Asian in 1998, a mother’s relationship to her murdered son transform her from a working class, non-political immigrant, into a national symbol for Asian-American civil rights seeking justice for his memory. In The Legacy Codes, I explore how this gap in perception has major political and national security ramifications through the interaction of two families, but also how the gap can be generational between father and son with powerful personal consequences. In The Legacy Codes, the personal becomes political and today when Americans are asked to report on any suspicious activity to prevent terrorism, that is true more than ever.
CHERYLENE LEEis a former child performer, dancer/actress, paleontologist/geologist, and wastewater treatment consultant. As a fourth generation Chinese-American, her writing examines the broad spectrum of Asian-American experience. Some other plays produced by Pan Asian Rep include: (Mainstage) Arthur & Leila, and Carry the Tiger to the Mountain; (Staged Readings) Lost Vegas Acts and Yin Chin Bow. Her poetry and fiction have been widely published and her short stories anthologized in American Dragons (Harper Collins, 1993) and Charlie Chan is Dead (Viking/Penguin, 1993). She is also a recipient of many grants and fellowships, including the Fund for New American Plays Grant and a Rockefeller MAP Grant.
Presented by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, THE LEGACY CODES will begin Oct. 29 - Nov. 23, 2003 at the West End Theatre 263 W. 86th Street, in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew. For ticket information and all other inquiries, please call the Pan Asian office at 212-868-4030 (Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm).
SYNOPSIS from the Director Ron Nakahara
THE LEGACY CODES is a play about family relationships: how they are developed or undermined over time; how we pass things on to our children, and how and why we take things from our parents.
Dr. Tai Liu, a naturalized Chinese-American physicist, entertains after a long time, Richard Fortier, the son of his mentor. Richard is a Dept. of Energy computer security specialist who is put in charge of Tai’s laboratory. Under the guise of re-vamping the lab’s security and its codes, Richard tries to trap Tai into showing his colors, which Richard assumes to be Chinese, as in spy for China.
Richard’s wife, Diane, an FBI agent, meanwhile, in a two-pronged attack, tries and approach through Tai’s wife, Ming, who at one time was asked to report to the CIA about Chinese scientists that she met through her husband’s work, which she did for awhile and then stopped. In the process of trying to entrap and expose Tai, Richard and Diane’s daughter, Minna, falls in love with the Liu’s son, Erling. He responds to her but their developing relationship is strained to the breaking point when her parents try to use her to get information from Erling about his parents. She refuses and tells Erling. Before Erling can tell his father, Tai, in order to preserve the work that Richard’s father had begun and Tai had continued, downloads the codes used in the work. They are called legacy codes.
Tai is arrested and interrogated. Erling visits and Tai gives him written directions to the downloaded tapes. Tai feels that if his son can turn his father in, incriminate him, he, Erling, will achieve what Tai was never able to, acceptance as an American. The sacrifice will be worth it. Erling refuses and burns the directions. In a long, emotional confrontation, they come to understand each other better, and accept each other on their own terns,
The play ends with what we saw at the beginning, a dinner party with Richard, Diane, and Minna Fortier as guests at the Liu home.
Presented by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, THE LEGACY CODES will begin Oct. 29 - Nov. 23, 2003 at the West End Theatre 263 W. 86th Street, in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew. For ticket information and all other inquiries, please call the Pan Asian office at 212-868-4030 (Mon-Fri 11am-5pm).