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Jeesun Choi
playwright and physical theatre artist
Jeesun Choi
playwright and physical theatre artist
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I am a transnational Korean playwright / physical theater artist, currently based in New York. My work expresses the joys and agonies of the human condition through the breathing, moving body. I am currently the Playwriting Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, Ingram New Works Playwright at Nashville Rep, Resident at Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a member of EST/Youngblood.

My work has been developed and presented at the New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Nashville Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Bushwick Starr, Fresh Ground Pepper, Dell'Arte International and Minnesota Fringe Festival. Recently, I was awarded Artist of Exceptional Merit by Asian American Arts Alliance. I developed work as Works-In-Progress Artist at Red Eye Theater and a Resident at Pangea World Theatre’s National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation. From 2014 to 2017, I created 11 new, original works at Dell’Arte International through an ensemble-based devising process.

My theater collective Creative Traffic Flow’s work has been presented and supported by Performance Project at the University Settlement, LMCC/New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Women Center Stage Festival (Culture Project), Clean Valley Council, and Works On Water’s Governors Island Artist Residency.

BA English, Macalester College; MFA Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre, Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

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CONTACT

Get in touch!
hello@jeesunchoi.com
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PRESS

Awarded Asian American Arts Alliance’s Artist of Exceptional Merit | Broadway World

EST/Youngblood Member | Broadway World

Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Playwright | Nashville Scene

New York Theatre Workshop’s Playwriting Fellow | American Theatre

BUST
(working title)
a play
BUST (working title)
3W 2M

How does money change people? And how have we changed the way money works? These questions are at the core of this live performance that lays bare the myths, cost and accountability we face in the neocolonialism of the 21st century. Currently being developed at the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, it starts in the gold vaults of the Federal Reserve and travels through millennia of human history to examine our histories and relationships with debt, cash and wealth.

Soho Rep (Workshop), 2020-2021

Lost Coast
a play
Lost Coast
4W 3M

In a coastal forest in northern California live Sheila, Pru, Angel, Gigi, Nara and Joon, isolated from mainstream society and together in this refuge. When a wildfire burns down a nearby town, Stephen joins the demimonde and their lives become entangled with issues that force some to leave, confront their fears, and sacrifice the little they have. This seven-protagonist play explores how this togetherness is the most radical form of compassion in the face of irrevocable change.

Nashville Rep Ingram New Works Lab & Festival, 2020
Ensemble Studio Theatre Bloodworks Reading Series, 2020
New York Theatre Workshop (reading), 2019

The Seekers
a play
The Seekers
3W 3M

Ilhan is a Somali high school student living in Minneapolis on the verge of deportation when she is visited by figures from far-flung places: the Arctic, European fringes, and an African refugee camp. They draw her into an unseen and forgotten world that exists just beyond reality and appeal to her for the sanctuary of their souls. With the letter from immigration waiting for her on the table, Ilhan decides to negotiate for her freedom. A poetic drama on displacement, environment and freedom.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2019
Bushwick Starr Reading Series, 2019
Semifinalist, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2019
Fresh Ground Pepper Artist Retreat, 2018

Dahlia
a play
Dahlia
5W 3M

Dahlia Kim leaves Chicago after a fraud derails her professional and artistic life. Despite protests from her friend Ezra, she accepts a position at a community college in the Texas Panhandle to provide for her mother suffering from dementia, and her sister, in love with a racist marine. There, she falls in love with Rosa Ramirez, a Mexican-American rancher, tutors a troubled girl called Mandy, and learns the secret of the girl’s grieving father. Against the backdrop of vast blue sky and rusty canyons, Dahlia rediscovers what brings meaning to her life.

Finalist, The Lark’s New Voice Fellowship, 2018
Dell’Arte International (reading), 2017

Cecilies
devised work
Cecilies
5 W/M

Cecily lives her life dictated by her schedule, overflowing with commitments, menial tasks, deadlines and promises to be kept. One day, she sees a bird outside her window, and it inspires her to change things around. She hires people to assume her identity and live parts of her life. Then slowly, but surely, things start to fall apart. Conceived by Jeesun Choi and Thalia Kostman. Devised by Jeesun Choi, Thalia Kostman, Nate Gebhard and Anna Lewein. Music by Keith Kostman.

Red Eye Theatre Works In Progress, 2013
Minnesota Fringe Festival, 2013

Duets of Difference
devised work
Duets of Difference

‘Duets of Difference’ is a dance-theatre performance that embodies how we find unity and equity despite conflict and difference. By pairing the Lower East Side community members, unlike each other in age, identity, faith and culture, alongside professional dancers, the performance explores how people persist, challenge and grow in relation to one another. By purposefully designing a long-term project, Creative Traffic Flow (CTF) resisted societal impulse to jump to polarization and instead, gave space to practice empathetic listening.
Conceived, directed and produced by Creative Traffic Flow. Performed by William Leung, Mimi Webster, Rebecca You, Deborah Lee, Stevie Wu, Nancy Shan, Gladys Solano and Elijah Rasheed. Musician/Composer: Yako Prodis. Dancers: Diana Takagi and Allyn Wong.

Performance Project at University Settlement, 2018
Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival, 2018