Mia Chung’s ‘You for Me for You’ explores two sisters’ attempted escape from N. Korea | Arts & Culture

Mia Chung’s ‘You for Me for You’ explores two sisters’ attempted escape from N. Korea

Mia Chung’s ‘You for Me for You’ explores two sisters’ attempted escape from N. Korea

Levana Wang (left) as Junhee and Amanda Kuo as Minhee, in “You for Me for You” by playwright Mia Chung. Photo by Peter Smith Photography.

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Department of Theatre & Drama’s production of You for Me for You, written by Mia Chung, and presented in collaboration with the U-M Nam Center for Korean Studies.

You for Me for You, which is the first work by award-winning playwright Mia Chungplays Feb. 15–18, 2018 at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre in Ann Arbor.

When it debuted by the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. in 2012, the play drew immediate acclaim for its magic realism and view of two contrasting cultures, and has since been produced across the U.S. and in the U.K. Chung’s writing has been supported by awards, commissions, fellowships, residencies, and workshops around the country. She is currently a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

The story centers on two devoted sisters, living in the Best Nation in the World, as they struggle to simply survive. Taking their chances, the women attempt to escape North Korea but only one manages to cross the border. As one sister navigates the bewildering culture, language, and freedom of her new home in New York City, the other remains in a state of suspended animation in a world where double-speak is one’s only hope of moving forward.

The play is directed by Priscilla Lindsay, Chair of the Department of Theatre & Drama.

“Over a year ago, while attending the National Theatre Conference in New York City, I watched Chung receive the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, and saw an excerpt of her play, You for Me for You,” she said. “I came back to Michigan knowing I had to direct it. The story of two sisters, so loving, so desperate to save each other—juxtaposed with the craziness that is North Korea and the equal insanity of big city living in the U.S.—brought to life by Mia’s incredible ear for prose and poetry, was irresistible.”

The Nam Center for Korean Studies will hosts a month-long celebration of Korean Arts of which the performances of the play are a highlight. The play will be performed February 15-18, 2018 at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. On Friday, February 16 in Weiser Hall, a panel featuring playwright Mia Chung, director Priscilla Lindsay, and David Chung from Stamps School of Art & Design will discuss the play.

Show times are as follows:

Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16, 8:00 p.m.

Feb. 17, 8:00 p.m.

Feb. 18, 2:00 p.m.