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Byron Au Yong And Aaron Jafferis In Conversation On Stuck Elevator

RSVP by Tuesday September 152009-09-17

Join us in welcoming A/P/A Institute Artists-in-Residence for 1009-2010 Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis at this kick-off and welcome reception. The creative team will discuss their current operatic solo performance project “Stuck Elevator,” which they will be developing during their tenure at NYU.

“Stuck Elevator” recalls the April 2005 incident in which Chinese restaurant deliveryman Ming Kuang Chen became trapped in an elevator. Working at Happy Dragon Restaurant, Chen pays off his $60,000 debt to smugglers for his passage from China to the United States; from a country touted as the next global economic superpower to a country founded on the ideals of democracy and freedom. After three days, he emerges dehydrated and terrified into a New York media blitz. “Stuck Elevator” is a solo performance opera prompted by the true story of an undocumented immigrant/indentured slave in 21st century America.

Byron Au Yong writes: “According to the World Journal, of the 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, about 1million of them are from China. Many are from Fujian Province, the area where my ancestors come from. Born in Pittsburgh, I enjoy the privileges of being an American citizen by birthright. I ride a bicycle for fun and travel without hiding, yet if circumstances were different, I could be Chen caught in an elevator after a routine job of delivering an order of shrimp fried rice.

Suspended between the upward mobility of the American dream and the downward plunge into an empty abyss, “Stuck Elevator” explores the place between Refuge/Prison, Freedom/Safety, and Voice/Silence as an Asian man in America.

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: Casa Italiana
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