Reston Community Center welcomes renowned theater artist Ping Chong for his 2022-2023 residency

The Reston Community Center is pleased to welcome theater artist and National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong to CenterStage for events that will engage the community, especially Reston area high school students. This artist-led adventure will be an immersive experience for attendees, with events taking place throughout the 2022-2023 season of professional touring artist series performances.

New York-based Ping Chong and Company has a residency format that has been developed over many years in dozens of locations across the country. Ping and her artists create performances showcasing the stories of local communities with a particular focus on people and communities not usually represented in theatrical works.

At Reston, they will work with students to create a performance inspired by their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s exciting for us to connect with an artist of Ping Chong’s stature,” said Bev Cosham, Chair of the RCC Board of Directors. “He and his colleagues will offer us a chance to dive deep into our emotional wells and uncover the compelling stories of how we have navigated these past traumatic years. It promises to be both an eye-opening experience and a healing experience.

Chong, who has captivated audiences for 50 years and recently announced his impending retirement, is recognized as one of the country’s most important multidisciplinary artists. He has created more than 100 major works for the stage. Ping Chong and Company transcends borders, exploring the interconnectedness of cultures and how multi-faceted identities are addressed in society.

“Fifty years have passed since I began my life as a theater practitioner. I am now about to retire,” Chong said. “I’ll be 77 this year and it’s time to reflect on a happy and rich life. Time flies. I’m thrilled to share this moment of transition here in Reston with a piece of documentary theater close to my heart, Unwanted items. It is a work that encourages connection in a terribly disconnected world. If theater can do one thing, it’s to bring the community together. Thank you for this opportunity to remind us all that we are all connected by our humanity, that we are all human beings, no matter where we come from. All islands connect underwater.

The work will be supported by RCC staff and documented on video by Storycatcher Productions, Inc.,” said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon. “Being part of this kind of experience can be life changing. We also want to remind people of our fee waiver program which can support participation in this program and all of our programs, regardless of financial resources.

Here is the program of events for the Ping Chong residence:

Awkward conversations

Mondays
September 19, October 25, November 14, December 19
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

RCC Hunter Woods

$45 Reston/$36 Reston 55+/$75 Non-Reston

Local artists Tuyet Pham and Kelly King, working side by side with Ping Chong, will host four evenings called “Awkward Conversations”. These movement-focused evenings only require the desire to share and explore the world of possibilities with others. A demonstration by the artists at the start of each lesson session will provide a common point of reference for all participants. No previous dance or performance experience is necessary. Register for one or all sessions.

Story Circles with Ping Chong and Company

Mondays
January 23, February 13, March 13
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

RC Hunters Woods

$45 Reston/$75 Non-Reston

Join artists from Ping Chong and Company and connect with other members of the Reston community to share, listen and learn about our individual and collective relationships with where we live. Story Circles invite us to share our unique individual stories with others in our community in a guided and facilitated way. By listening and sharing, we will discover connections, differences and intersections in our stories that inspire us to learn more about our individual and collective relationship with Reston.

An evening with Ping Chong

Wednesday March 15
20:00

RCC Hunters Woods – the center stage

$15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston

Theater artist and National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong will join the Reston Community Center for a conversation about theater and social transformation. Chong will share his visually compelling work – ranging from puppet theater to large-scale multi-disciplinary projects to community programs – which have been featured in some of the world’s most illustrious venues.

Chong will lead a discussion on the evolution of his theatrical work in relation to changes in contemporary arts and culture over the past 50 years. It is recommended that children under 16 be accompanied by an adult.

Generation Boost: Reston

Friday March 24
20:00

Saturday March 25
20:00

RCC Hunters Woods – the center stage

$10 Reston / $15 Non-Reston

Renowned New York theater troupe Ping Chong and Company will partner with Reston Community Center and local theater artist Tuyet Pham to create Generation Boost: Restonto elevate and share real-life stories made by teenagers in Reston, VA, reflecting on the challenges and joys of growing up in Reston during a time of pandemic and global upheaval.


About Reston Community Center

Each year, RCC provides thousands of positive personal development experiences that improve the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in Reston. RCC offers a wide range of programs in the arts, water sports, enrichment and lifelong learning. The agency also creates and maintains community traditions through special events, outreach and facility rentals. To find programs or events, visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com or call 703-476-4500.

About Ping Chong and Company

Ping Chong and Company (PCC) creates theater and art that reveals beauty, invention, precision, and a commitment to social justice. Founded in New York in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator and National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong, the company engages multi-generational, interdisciplinary artists to build on and expand a prolific catalog – at the origin of which is Ping Chong and his singular and visionary body to work. The company’s work centers on innovation, collaboration, community engagement and amplifies underrepresented voices. www.pingchong.org/ @pingchongco.

Fairfax County is committed to non-discrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request. For more information, contact the Reston Community Center at 703-476-4500, TTY 711 or visit the website at www.restoncommunitycenter.com. Reston Community Center’s business address is 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191. Both RCC facilities are located at Hunters Woods Village Center and Lake Anne Plaza in Reston.

Enriching lives. Build a community.

Jill E. Washington