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Red Thread
An Adventure of Ancient China
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Conceived and Directed by Stephen Legawiec

Assistant Director/Movement Coach: Dana Wieluns
Costumes by Robert Velasquez
Lighting by Leif Gantvoort
Fight Masters: Tim Storms, Matt Emery
Stage Manager: Anne Belle Gilbert
Musical Director: Mary Kate Karr
Set Design by Stephen Legawiec
Original music by Susan Christiansen
Silk choreography by Ivo
Publicity by Gail Matsunaga, Long Pine Communications

Luis Zambrano
Michelle Tenazas
Jenny Woo
Ogie Zulueta

Dean Purvis
Sebastian Kunnappilly
Garon Michael

Dian Kobayashi
Constance Hsu
Yelena Strelkoff
Emily Liu
Angie Lieuw
Hamzah Kasom
Elena Goss

The tale of a Governor’s maid who is secretly an assassin was written by an author from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 a.d.). Over its 1200-year history the story has been used as a theme for various arts, including Beijing Opera.

A tale that seemed to call for martial arts onstage was exciting to us. The original story is quite simple: During a turbulent time in Ancient China, a governor decides to marry his daughter to the son of a rival to cement a political alliance. But the rival is treacherous and plans to invade the governor’s province. The governor’s secret assassin infiltrates the rival’s bedroom and steals his plans for the invasion. When the rival discovers this he realizes he is faced with a superior adversary and he backs down.

The story intrigued me but it seemed unusual that the assassin did not kill her prey. In our play Hongxian the assassin has newly converted to Buddhism. In most hero myths the hero enters an unfamiliar world in order to wage his/her conflict for good. In this play, the strange world was not geographical; rather, Hongxian’s internal world of morality - once clear - had become unfamiliar. How she wages her battle against evil without killing is her greatest conflict.

- Stephen Legawiec

Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble
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