Brava Studio Sessions presents A Wife of Buddha
written by Lisa Kang
directed by Rose Haag
November 18 7pm
Lisa Kang has worked as an actor and educator for several years with Bay Area theater companies such as Word For Word, Asian American Theater Company, Impact Theater Company, Aurora Theater Company, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. She has more recently turned her attention towards writing plays, and has had her short plays A Simple Life performed by the 06 Ensemble and San Jose Repertory Theater Company's Emerging Artists Lab and Obsession #5 performed by the Seoul Players (in Seoul, Korea.) Her plays have been given readings at the Asian American Theater Company (Dublin), City Lights Theater Company (Faith, Molly Shines the Floor) and Calaveras Repertory Theater Company (Yi Ha Go (or Doing Lee), Return Running, among others.) Lisa's has received the honor of being featured in Theater Bay Area's Playwright's Showcase and is a co-founder of City Light Theater Company's Light Source playwriting workshop, as well as a member of Asian American Theater Company's New Works Incubator.
What Lisa says about the play:
A Wife of Buddha is about people who are grappling with leaving behind old identities defined by culture, tradition or societal expectations and creating new ones for themselves. I was inspired to write the play by ancient bas relief work on display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco depicting the life of Buddha and knew I wanted to present a similar series of scenes in a play. I began to do research and discovered that Siddharta, who was later to become the Gautama Buddha, had abandoned his wife, Yashodara, and their newborn child so that he may discover a way of ending suffering in the world. I decided that I wanted my play to tell the story of not the life of Buddha, but the wife of Buddha, with a parallel story of a modern woman literally sculpting out the story of the Buddha and the wife he found it necessary to abandon. My original idea in writing the play was to show a parallel between Siddharta and the sculptor’s husband, a Korean-German-American orphan who is also struggling to find his true identity As the play evolved, however, it became clear to me that it was the woman, herself, who was making the difficult and unexpected decisions, demonstrating, in the end, that she is the Buddha in the choices she makes.