June Is The First Fall


Chun Cho and Alton Alburo in JUNE IS THE FIRST FALL. Photo by Maria Baranova.

Written by Yilong Liu
Directed by Michael Leibenluft
Produced by Yangtze Repertory Theatre

March 31–April 20, 2019
New Ohio Theatre

The award-winning contemporary play by Yilong Liu exploring the themes of identity, sexuality, and immigration. Directed by the 2016 OBIE winner Michael Leibenluft, the play tells a story of a gay Chinese man who comes back home to Hawaii and begins a journey of reconciliation between his chosen identity and the heritage he left behind. The production features dramaturgy by Gaven D. Trinidad, set design by Jean Kim, costume design by An-Lin Dauber, lighting design by Cha See, and sound designby Michael Costagliola. Casting by Wayne Chang. The performers are Alton Alburo*, Chun Cho, Stefani Kuo, Fenton Li*, and Karsten Otto.

*Equity Member appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association without the benefit of an Equity contract in this Off-Off-Broadway production.

Yilong Liu interview by Adam Szymkowicz (I Interview Playwrights)

Michael Leibenluft and Yilong Liu in conversation with Culturebot’s Ned Moore

“We can’t ignore the magnitude of the gift a piece like June Is the First Fall delivers: bridging the cultural divide with a reminder that it’s our familiar stories that connect us.” – Elyse Orecchio, Theatre’s Leiter Side

“In the relatively small New Ohio Theatre, the creative team has done an excellent job… Well directed by Michael Leibenluft, this story is smoothly paced to unravel this family’s secrets and hopes and learnings.” – Joe Lombardi, BroadwayWorld

“While many plays deal with issues of race, culture, and sexuality, few weave them all together – and leave the same potent emotional impact – that this play manages to do. Without a doubt, it’s already a strong contender for the best play I’ve seen so far in 2019.” – Anthony Piccione, Onstage Blog

“Compelling… a wonderful slice of life.”– Tami ShaloumRound The World Stage

“Well acted and finely presented… In addition to steering sensitive performances, director Michael Leibenluft’s staging is technically accomplished with scenes fluidly flowing to various locations and time periods with clarity.” – Darryl Reilly, Theatrescene.net

“Written with sensitivity toward all its players, the piece offers a compassionate window into the intersection of Chinese culture, queerness, and gender roles… June is the First Fall is a tight, compact evening of drama.” – Caroline Cao, Exeunt Magazine

“A worthy play that addresses immigrant, LGBTQ and cultural issues.” –  Debbie Gray Bloom, Motherhood Later.com

“Ambitious drama…Yangtze Rep should be commended for making a much-needed space for a uniquely queer Asian story.” – David Kennerley, Gay City News

“The  performances,  framed by Cha  See’s expressive  lighting design, are  uniformly outstanding… June  is the  First Fall   is  a funny,  affecting and  affectionate, and  well-observed family  drama that addresses timely  issues with deep historical roots.” –   Leah Richardson and John Ziegel, Thinking Theatre NYC




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