MY FAIR LADY
An Asian re-imagination in Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University (January 2014)
Produced and Directed by Ken Savage
Music Direction by Joel Chapman
Choreography by Jamie Yuen-Shore
Costume Design by Asia Chiao
Lighting Design by Michael Ramsaur
This production of My Fair Lady explored the tensions between the British Asian and immigrant communities with the greater white British population in 1912 Edwardian London. The original costume designs of the show were inspired by Orientalism in fashion and images of "Asian" goods that were traded and exhanged in Edwardian London. For example, Ascot was inspired by the rigidity and delicate beauty of blue and white Chinese porcelain, which represented the appropriation of Asian goods by British trade. Eliza's costume designs not only showed her transformation from Cockney flower girl to "fair lady" but also highlighted her racial identity struggle from Asian to white British to hyrbid styles as she sacrificed parts of her Asian heritage in order to blend into the white upper class.
As producer and director of My Fair Lady, Ken raised over $85,000 for this production, which played to two sold-out audiences in Stanford's worldclass Bing Concert Hall. For this production, Ken was awarded with the Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts, the Stanford Asian American Special Achievement Award, and the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education-- the highest honor given to two graduating seniors.
Watch the official Stanford News video above for interviews from the director, costume designer, and our Higgins and Eliza Doolittle as well as clips from our dress rehearsals.
REVIEW: AATP's Production of My Fair Lady Re-imagines Popular Musical (The Stanford Daily - February 7, 2014)
"As Ken Savage ’14’s senior project for the Theater and Performance Studies major, the show deftly transforms the story of 'My Fair Lady' from a quaint tale of maneuvering vowel sounds to a compelling story of Asian identity formation in the Western world by exploring the cultural expectations surrounding speech, dress and behavior and questions of assimilation."
"director Ken Savage’s production exploded from the stage and captured my mind and soul, awakening within me an aptitude for acute recognition. I was subsumed, following a social commentary I had never seen My Fair Lady as capable of providing. I leaned into my seat as this story of British Asian immigrants unraveled in front of me, featuring characters whose racial identity informs their actions as much as it troubles them"
Photo by Frank Chen