Zac Efron

35 3Arts supporters
$5,675 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on March 31, 2022
    • 114% contributed

It’s time for American theater to look more like America, one story at a time. I’m producing a live reading of my new play Zac Efron, which focuses on two Queer Asian Americans looking for love, who in their journey begin to challenge societal expectations of what love looks like in this country.

About This Project

In 2019, my actor friends, Cheryl Hamada, Wai Yim, and I challenged ourselves to name a theater piece that tells the story of two Asian Americans simply falling in love and doing so without extreme circumstances surrounding the narrative, such as the Vietnam War or going through the trials and tribulations of immigrating to another country. We were stumped. Cheryl looked at us and said, “You need to write this.” So began my newest play, Zac Efron.

What none of us foresaw was the pandemic and the rise in AAPI hate crimes that manifested across the country, reminding us that we’re still seen as foreigners in our own home. This is partly due to the fact that since the arrival of Asians in America, our stories have been viewed through a lens of white supremacy. Not only are our stories told in the vein of “the other,” but historically, we are completely erased from our own narrative.

In light of this, Zac Efron looks to revolutionize the narrative by centering on two AAPI characters, humanizing them, and ultimately celebrating their love within this country’s fraught context. Most importantly, Zac Efron aims to offer an act of healing by taking an honest look at ourselves and creating space for AAPI artists, audiences, and beyond. It is a poignant opportunity for radical self-acceptance through YouTube, Tarot readings, and of course, one of American’s favorite sweethearts, Zac Efron.

In 2021 we presented an online reading of the play with Token Theatre, which was attended by more than 500 people. Now, we’re continuing to refine the script and eager to produce a live reading that will further inform the piece and help us prepare for a future full production. We have confirmed the cast and plan to host the reading at Victory Gardens Theatre at 7:30pm CT on April 22 and 23, 2022. In order to fully realize this plan, we’re seeking contributions to this campaign to support cast and crew fees, venue costs, marketing efforts, and more.

Through this reading, I plan to invite those within the Queer Asian American community to take part in the production process and engage with the themes that emerge from Zac Efron. Token Theatre will host post-show talk backs to encourage dialogue and understanding around intersectionality and the Queer Asian American experience to the greater community. In doing so, we hope to create deeper empathy and support to this underrepresented group.

Please help us bring this important story to the Chicago stage. By helping us tell this story and our stories, you help us challenge the narrative placed upon us and begin to end the cycle of AAPI hate in our country. This story humanizes our experiences and reminds people that the diversity in America is what makes us one country, one people. Thank you.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $20
    Enthusiastic shout-out on social media ($20.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above plus your name acknowledged on the Token Theatre website ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75
    All of the above, plus a Token Theatre button ($70.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $125
    All of the above, plus a pair of tickets to the “Zac Efron” reading ($100.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    All of the above, plus an invitation to a Zoom meeting with “Zac Efron” playwright, David Rhee, to hear about the play's development ($225.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    All of the above, plus a complimentary online Tarot card reading with Wai Yim ($425.00 is tax deductible.)

David Rhee

Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee

David Rhee began his career as an actor after graduating from New York’s Circle in the Square Musical Theatre program. Since then, he appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning Thoroughly Modern Millie, worked at numerous theaters across America …

View David Rhee's profile
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    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Candace Hunter

    • Katrina Mutuc

    • Lavina Jadhwani

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Lucy Li

    • Mary Nam

    • Eugene Son

    • helen young

    • David Rhee

    • Christina Adachi

    • Jo Ham

    • Anonymous Supporter

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    • Andres Virkus

    • Juan Dies

    • Steve Sudworth

    • Susan Goldberg

    • Visceral Dance Center

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    • Ada Cheng

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    • Ariel Estrada

    • Jamil Khoury

    • Catherine Rajcan

    • Deepa Gupta

    • cheryl hamada

    • Scott Levandoski

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Cheryl Yuen

    • Jay Rosenberg

    • douglas stapleton

    • Albert Park

    • Suzanne Ross

    • Nathan Lamp

    • Sylvia Wong

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 Additional support provided by: 

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