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Young Jean Lee

The Brian Lehrer Show

Middle East News; Blackstone CEO; Young Jean Lee

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Jonathan Tepperman, the managing editor of Foreign Affairs, discusses violence in Egypt and U.S. diplomacy in the region. Plus: Merryl Tisch, the chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, discusses the new Common Core standards in New York and the drop in test scores; playwright, performer and director Young Jean Lee on her show “We’re Gonna Die;” The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman on his new scholarship program in China and the state of the U.S. economy; and a psychiatrist’s take on dealing with the trauma of everyday life.

→ Tonight at 7pm: Live Public Advocate Debate | Watch and Chat

Studio 360

Willem Dafoe & Homemade Hunger Games

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kurt Andersen talks with Willem Dafoe — the shapeshifting actor is starring in three movies in theaters now. We’ll hear from fans of The Hunger Games who made their own film versions of the books long before Hollywood. And we’ll turn trash into treasure with the help of talented writers: ...

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Studio 360

Aha Moment: Beastie Boys

Friday, March 23, 2012

Young Jean Lee is a playwright who’s become an it-girl of experimental theater in New York City. But as a kid in the late 1980s, Lee was mainstream, dressing in Esprit and listening to New Kids on the Block. But a Rolling Stone review convinced her to splurge on Paul’s Boutique ...

Video: "Hey Ladies" by the Beastie Boys

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WNYC News

A Spectacular Anti-Climax

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez
Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez

WNYC Guest Blogger: Young Jean Lee

I’m at an inauguration party hosted by singer/songwriter Mike Doughty. Almost everyone here is either a theater person or musician, so all of us are simultaneously judging the event as an entertainment. Rachel Murdy points out that Dick Cheney in his wheelchair looks like Dr. Strangelove, while Mike thinks he looks more like the evil Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life.

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WNYC News

"I Need to Make a Gay Show Soon"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WNYC Guest Blogger: Young Jean Lee

I’m thinking I need to make a gay show soon. The double-whammy of Prop 8 and Rick Warren is starting to give me a really bad feeling. Obama’s defense of his choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation sounds as reasonable as everything else he says, but I’m not buying it. His whole “agree to disagree” stance sounds okay on the surface, but if we follow that logic to its conclusion, then where does that leave us?

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WNYC News

Can Obama Make a Post-Racial Society Reality?

Monday, January 19, 2009

WNYC Guest blogger: Young Jean Lee

Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez
Young Jean Lee, photo by Raul Vincent Enriquez

I'm a Korean-American playwright/director, and I've spent the past two years working on a black identity-politics show called THE SHIPMENT (you can read the Times review here). Nothing excites me more than a masochistic challenge (my artistic mission is to make the last show in the world I've ever want to make), and the goal was to collaborate with a black cast to make a show that addressed racism against black Americans in a way that a jaded and defensive audience couldn't dismiss. Usually it takes me a year to make a show, but this one was so difficult that it took two. I worked on it for a year and ended up throwing out everything I'd worked on and starting over from scratch. (I documented this second process in a blog).

I mistakenly thought that the biggest challenge in making the show was going to be the fact that I'm not black. Bizarrely, that ended up being the least of my problems. As soon as the cast knew that the show was going to be collaborative and that that had full creative agency, they were on board and my race never came up as a problem. When we did the show (first at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH and now at The Kitchen in NYC) there wasn't a single audience member, black or white, who brought up the fact that I wasn't black. Maybe it's because the show never attempts to achieve any kind of cultural 'authenticity' (whatever that means).

The Shipment,  (c) 2009 Paula Court

The Shipment, (c) 2009 Paula Court

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