Feb 2019, 2nd printing Nov 2020
In 1990’s Japan, a salaryman searches for self-worth, while a lonely teenage girl grapples with her sexuality in a nightmarish, male-defined society. When the two find an awkward companionship, they expose their darkest desires. Written to be performed by a Japanese heritage cast, Suicide Forest is a bilingual play that breaks through the silence and submissiveness often associated with Japanese and Japanese American identity, exploring questions of emotional, psychic and social suicide through the playwright’s lived stories and inner landscape.
PRAISE FOR SUICIDE FOREST:
“Somewhere between the realms of theater, poetry, heaven, comic books, science fantasy, and heartbreaking beauty you will nd the unbridled energy of Kristine Haruna Lee. If you know her work, here’s something for your bedside table, allowing for easy access to dreamland on a nightly basis. If not, I envy you—let Suicide Forest be your introduction to Haruna Lee, the Pure Art of the Future.”
—Bob Holman, poet
Haruna Lee (they/them) is an Obie award-winning Taiwanese/Japanese/American theater maker, educator, facilitator and community steward whose work is rooted in a liberation-based healing practice. They are committed to promoting arts activism and emergent strategies for the theater through ethical and process-based collaborations that challenge systems and legacies of power, while inviting the fullness of marginalized bodies and the complexity of lived experiences to this practice. Lee was a Mohr Visiting Artist Fellow at Stanford University, a recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, The Map Fund grant, Lotos Foundation Prize for Directing, a New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship, and has received support from the Mental Insight Foundation, FCA, NYSCA, and the NEA. They are the co-founder and lead facilitator of the Women-Trans-Femme-Non Binary Asian Diasporic Performance Makers Potluck. harunalee.com
Jesse Cameron Alick is is a poet, playwright, producer, and Zen Master. He is also Company Dramaturg at The Public Theater.
Sasha Arutyunova is is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-based photographer and harunalee company member. Her work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, WSJ, TIME, and Bloomberg Businessweek. In addition to her visual practice, Sasha is a co-founder of interdisciplinary arts collective Nomadique, for which she serves as a curator and community organizer. She was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2017, and has been honored in American Photography 34, the PDN Photo Annual 2018, Magenta Foundation 2018, and Young Guns 16.
JP Kim is an NYC-based illustrator. As a child he dreamt of becoming the greatest fighting robot in the galaxy. Once he realized that wasn’t a real thing, he decided drawing stuff for a living would be just as cool.
Aya Ogawa is a Tokyo-born and Brooklyn-based writer, director, and translator for the theater. She challenges traditional notions of the American aesthetic and identity by creating plays infused with a multiplicity of perspectives, and by incorporating influences from outside the U.S.—of style, form, and content. Her work refines an international language of contemporary theater. ayaogawa.com
Diep Tran is the senior editor of American Theatre magazine. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, CNN, Playbill, NBC Asian America, and Salon. You can follow her on Twitter at @DiepThought.
*Suicide Forest is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.