Written and Directed by Kyoung H. Park
Performed by JP Moraga and Basit Shittu
Set in Brooklyn 2017, PILLOWTALK brings to life one night in the lives of Sam and Buck, a recently married interracial couple. Through a formal exploration of theatrical naturalism and the codified gender norms of ballet's pas de deux, PILLOWTALK queers the intersections of race, gender, and class to challenge our assumptions of love and marriage. PILLOWTALK confronts the backlash against marriage equality and #BlackLivesMatter, illuminating how liberation and oppression co-exist in our most intimate spaces.
Choreography by Katy Pyle
Original Music by Helen Yee
Set and Lighting design by Marie Yokoyama
Sound design by Lawrence Schober
Costume design by Andrew Jordan
Dramaturgy by Jess Applebaum
Assistant Direction by Dana Greenfield
Stage Management by Jamie Rose Bukowski
“Pillowtalk is a political work, and feels very much of this moment. Buck is Asian-American, Sam is African American, and they are two gay men trying to build a marriage and a life together. What gets in their way what keeps them up at night — is that it’s never just the two of them in bed together. The effects of all the homophobia in the outside world climb in after them. So do the strains and legacies of racism that each lives with every day, and sometimes unwittingly inflicts on the other. Given all of that, how do they create a space for themselves that not only feels secure but also holds the hope of a future?" --Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times
“In Pillowtalk by writer and director Kyoung H. Park, two frames of symbolic white illumination surrounded a gay married couple, one Asian American and one African American. Each time they came together onstage, it was within an area defined by this shrill white light. Who this couple was with each other had been impacted by years of dealing with, reacting to, rebelling against, and being oppressed by whiteness... the myriad questions posed about survival, suffering, and activism provided a rich background. It addressed sex/race/power/marriage in ways I’ve never seen before." --Nicole Serratore, American Theatre Magazine
Click here for full press coverage of PILLOWTALK.
Consortium of Asian-American Theaters and Artists "Revolutionary Acts" Festival," Victory Gardens, Chicago, Aug. 13-18, 2018.
World Premiere: The Tank, New York. Co-produced by Kyoung's Pacific Beat and The Tank, presented by The Exponential Festival. Jan. 11-27, 2018.
PILLOWTALK received a public reading at the Ma-Yi Writer’s LabFest (June 2014) and was developed in Target Margin Theater’s Institute for Collaborative Theater-Making (March 2014) and the Lark Play Development Center (June 2015). A workshop production of PILLOWTALK was developed in part during a BRIClab Residency at BRIC House, Brooklyn, NY (September 2015), followed by a post-showing artist and audience dialogue featuring Katy Pyle, Artistic Director of Ballez. Kyoung's Pacific Beat hosted a long-table titled "PILLOWTALK- Post Gay Marriage Politics" moderated by and Stephanie Hsu, Prof. at Pace University, at Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies "After Marriage" Conference (October 2016) and was featured in CUNY's 2016 Prelude Festival at the Martin Segal Center Theater (October 2016).
PILLOWTALK was written with support from a Creative Mellon Fellowship at the University of Washington (February 2017) and was developed in part during a residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York NY (March 2017) and presented in LPAC’s Rough Draft Festival 2017 (April 2017). The World Premiere of PILLOWTALK was co-produced by Kyoung's Pacific Beat and The Tank (Rosalind Grush and Meghan Finn, Co-Artistic Directors) and presented by The Exponential Festival.
Production Stills by Tahir Karmali, Walter Wlodarczyk and @andytoad