Performing Arts

The Great Leap
May 1 - 9, 2021 General Admission $15.00 | Senior/Student $9.00 | Household $25.00
Times: Matinee (2:00 p.m.) May 1, 2, 8, & 9 | Evening (7:00 p.m.) May 5, 6, & 7

Playwright: Lauren Yee
Director: Desdemona Chiang

Following on the success of playwright Lauren Yee's enhanced stage readings of King of the Yees at the Portland Chinatown Museum in 2018, the Museum will present the Portland premiere of another of her popular works, The Great Leap, directed by Desdemona Chiang. Performances of the enhanced virtual online readings will run from May 1 - 9, 2021 and a live Q&A will follow each reading.

***All ticketholders will receive an invitation to the May 8, 2021, 4:00 p.m. talkback following the matinee performance, which will feature a live conversation with Lauren Yee and Desdemona Chiang!***

The Great Leap tells the story of Manford Lum, a local star of the sidewalk basketball courts in San Francisco's Chinatown who strong-arms his way onto an American college team traveling to Beijing for a “friendship” game in 1989. The story leaps back and forth in time in a tale that weaves together political and family history with the notion that sometimes there's more to life than making the shot. Please note that this play contains strong language as well as racial and ethnic slurs.

The reading will be directed by Desdemona Chiang with sound design by Robertson Witmer and visuals by Adam Wiley. The cast will include three actors from Desdemona's 2019 Guthrie Theater production of The Great Leap. Lawrence Kao will reprise his role as the impulsive basketball hotshot, Manford. Lee Sellars will play Saul, the American basketball coach, and Kurt Kwan will portray the unwitting Chinese official trained by Saul who becomes the Beijing University coach. They will be joined by Portland area actor, Barbie Wu, who will play Connie, Manford's friend and de facto guardian.

Look for more great work from Lauren Yee next season at Portland Center Stage.

Press: Follow the bouncing basketball through a story of history and identity in ‘The Great Leap’ - By Amy Wang | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Desdemona Chiang - The Great Leap - Stage & Studio with Dmae Roberts

Photo: Actor Lawrence Kao (left) as Manford Lum, and Kurt Kwan (right) as Wen Chang. Photo from the Guthrie production of The Great Leap by Dan Norman.


Gold Patron:
Chin’s Import Export Co., Inc. 

Silver Patron:
Innovative Housing, Inc.

Susan Matlack Jones & Associates, providing quality accounting, bookkeeping, and consulting services to nonprofits since 1986

Tracy Quan - In loving memory of Peter W. Quan, who would have enjoyed this play immensely

Craig Wong and Kathleen Kee Family

Bronze Patron:
Oregon Historical Society