Berkeley Rep Blog

September 2012

Chinglish's set changes

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Sep 27

Audiences are just loving David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, but they’re almost buzzing as much about the set. And with good reason! The set changes feature two turntables, automated armchairs, moving walls, flying screens and curtains, even actors crossing the stage as the set moves -- all to the energetic beats of c-pop.

Check out the scene changes in this video! It was shot with three cameras, including a handheld one backstage and one mounted on our catwalk for the overhead shots. Of course, some of this wasn’t filmed during a performance – otherwise all the backstage shots would be totally dark.

Chinglish (The Set Changes) from Berkeley Repertory Theatre on Vimeo.

While Chinglish’s set looks fully automated, what really happens literally behind the scenes is a complex dance between computers, stagehands, scene pieces, wardrobe, and even the actors.

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C-pop 2: Electric boogaloo

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, Sep 18

By Jacob Marx Rice

We got the fever, and the only prescription is more C-pop! A few weeks ago we posted about the origin of the music in David Henry Hwang's Chinglish (which has been extended until October 21) with clips from a couple of the songs. But people kept asking for more, so we’re giving you the entire play list. Check it out below (with links to videos so you can enjoy them in the comfort of your own home).

All the songs are by the same artist, Leehom Wang, a Taiwanese-American singer-songwriter known for combining traditional Chinese music, pop, hip hop, and tons of other musical styles. He has won the Golden Melody Award, the Taiwanese version of the Grammies, four times and performed at the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing.

Here's the list:

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First we'll take Manhattan...

posted by Karen McKevitt on Sat, Sep 15

By Pauline Luppert

One could say plays developed at Berkeley Rep really get around. Eight have enjoyed Broadway runs, including American Idiot, Bridge & Tunnel, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Passing Strange, and Wishful Drinking — and 20 played off Broadway, including Brundibar, Compulsion, Eurydice, In the Wake, and Taking Over. In the last 10 years alone, Berkeley Rep has helped send 17 shows to New York and 2 to London while 2 turned into films and others toured the nation. Now, for the first time, Berkeley Rep will be sending a production to Asia.

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Birthdays, brevity, and booty-poppin'

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Sep 6

By Jacob Marx Rice

In case you haven’t been keeping up with all the awesome Chinglish videos, we compiled them into one place.

 Last month was playwright David Henry Hwang’s birthday, and at Berkeley Rep we’re much too cool for birthday cake. (Not true. Cake is always encouraged.) Instead, the cast of Chinglish made David a special birthday video, complete with four different languages and some great chinglish (a fifth language?).


Brevity is the soul of wit, and our 15-second Chinglish TV spot is witty as hell. Bonus points to anybody who can figure out what awesome TV show inspired the style. (Hint: the new season is coming to Netflix next year.)


And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. (Or skipped ahead to. You know who you are.) No introduction could do justice to what you are about to see, so we won’t bother. Enjoy the booty poppin.’


Yea. That actually happened.



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