"The activist, like the artist, is not a balm for society, placating our guilt and saying, “It’s all ok.” Their role is to make us uncomfortable, push us out of our comfort zone, which Kathy did–beautifully, gracefully, and disturbingly. She envisioned a more beautiful world, a more positive world, and exposed some gnarly truths about who we are today. Her call to peace, in all its disturbing prescience, lives on through Chang(e)."
--Quiara Alegria Hudes, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright for “Water By the Spoonful”
Inspired by the life of Kathy Chang(e)
Fighting for global social transformation, performance artist and activist Kathy Change (formerly Kathleen Chang) was on a mission to save the world from disaster. As a final act of protest, she self-immolated on the campus of UPenn in October 1996. Chang(e) is a live-staged biographical docudrama that slips between reality and fantasy, plunging viewers inside the mind of Kathy Change. Through a phantasmagorical blend of dance, text (interview and performance transcriptions and Change's own writings), video and original score, Change’s prescient defiance comes to life in this real life account of a modern day "Cassandra."
Creative team: Suzi Takahashi- director and co-deviser, Bryce Cutler- set, Kevan Loney-video, Lucrecia Briceno- lighting, Alexandra Beller-choreographer, Machine Dazzle- costumes, Adam Rogers- composer, Iggy Hung- sound
Cast: Soomi Kim, Criena House, Kiyoko Kashiwagi, David Perez-Ribada, Ben Skalski, Adi Spencer, Zeke Stewart
Chang(e) was developed through the HERE Artist Residency Program and premiered Nov. 2015. This project is made possible in part by support from the National Performance Network's (NPN) Creation and Forth Fund grants and the Hemispheric Institute (Performance and Politics) Artist in Residence. Chang(e) was a featured selection from the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists, presented at the 2014 National Asian American Theater Festival and Conference in partnership with Asian Arts Initiative and Interact Theatre Company.
"Chang(e) alternates between reality and illusion, and its visual and aural environment is so alluring you want to bathe in it..." - Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times
"Soomi Kim is fearless as Change, simultaneously attracting and repelling the audience with her convictions, while showing a startling vulnerability..." (★★★★) - Diep Tran, Time Out New York
" At the center of it all is an awe-inspiring performance by Soomi Kim, who is on stage the entire ninety minutes... Kim captures all that was so mythic about the troubled activist."- Arpita Kukherjee, Stagebuddy.com
ArtsWatch review of Chang(e) in Portland, Or.
The Philadelphia Dance Journal
Interview for Dan Bacalzo's Asian American Performance site
Interview for WHYY radio with Peter Crimmons
Philadelphia Daily News article featuring Chang(e)
Past workshops and performances:
Headwaters Theater in Portland, Oregon presented by Boomarts. Dec. 7-11th, 2017 with Jo-anne Lee, Zeke Stewart and special guest Robert Guitron
Consortium for the Asian American Theater Conference and Festival (CAATA)Philadelphia PA., at the InterAct Theatre Oct. 2014
Encuentro Conference in Montreal June 2014
NPN Conference New Orlenas, LA Dec. 2013
Culturemart festivals (2013 & 2014) at HERE Arts Center
Women Center Stage Festival at Culture Project, July 2013
Asian Arts Inititative Dec. 2012
Outdoor performance at the Encuentro Conference Montreal 2014