Musical Theater creator Ian Yan is set to release the EP of his new musical RE-ORIENT on 10th February 2023. In writing the musical, Yan was supported and guided by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, If/Then, Almost Famous) through the MUSE (Musicians United for Social Equity) One-on-One Program. RE-ORIENT was a semi-finalist in the Eugene O’Neill National Musical Theater Writers Conference in 2022 and continues its development in New York City.
Of Yan, Kitt remarked “It’s been wonderful mentoring Ian and being introduced to his beautiful and skilled writing. Like any great composer, Ian searches his heart for the stories that matter to him, stories that need his voice to tell them. His passion for the art form and his dedication to finding the dramatic weight, humor, warmth, and humanity in his music make him a thrilling new voice in the musical theater. I can’t wait to see where his writing takes him.”.
Re-Orient tells the story of an Asian-American theatre troupe that are commissioned by a prestigious organization to write and perform an original musical that represents their “Asianness” to the world. Amidst frequent infighting that culminates in two outrageous, wildly different musicals-within-the-musical, the members of the community must share and confront their diverse and distinctive perspectives on the importance of tradition, postmemory, and individuality-all reflecting the continued work of being Asian in America.
Yan, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics for RE-ORIENT, observed, “Having grown up in Hong Kong, and then moving to New York City for college, I had the sudden experience of “Asianness” being thrust upon me. I felt different and felt myself being perceived as different too. In first having to navigate this identity for myself, and then in observing how others who looked like me navigated this identity differently, I found so much levity, sadness and triumph. I felt like I had to write it all down.”
Kleban-Award winning lyricist/librettist Sam Carner (Island Song, Unlock’d) who leads the Musical Theater Writers Collective, where Yan currently studies, added, “Ian is one of the most exciting young voices I have ever encountered. He is a wonderful observer, and a hilarious writer. He combines a philosophical mind with keen musical and theatrical instincts.”
The RE-ORIENT EP features six songs from the show: “All I Can Do Is Start,” “Representation,” “All American Asian/I’ve Got A Big Dick,” “When We’re Gone,” “Big Fat f-ing Failure,” “Good Enough/Finale.” The songs are sung by Samantha Seiff and Russell Graviet with orchestrations by Ian Yan and Simon Broucke.
It is now available on Soundcloud and on YouTube.
Ian is a composer and writer from Hong Kong, based in New York City. Having graduated from Columbia University in 2022, he is fast becoming one of the most promising young musical theater writers in New York City.
Ian is currently a participant in the Musical Theater Writer’s Collective, a full-time program for emerging musical theater writers in New York City, directed and founded by Sam Carner (Island Song, Unlock’d). He is also an active theater musician, most recently having been on the music team of the Chess at the Broadhurst Theater, and currently The Harder They Come at the Public Theater.
He is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild and ASCAP. For more of Yan’s work, visit: https://ianyanmusic.com
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