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Closings and Delays
Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

China-US stakes are high in “The Great Leap” at Farmers Alley Theatre

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Kat Mumma
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Farmers Alley Theatre
Jason Grubbe, Ming Wu and Richard Manera
Ming Wu in a green jersey sits on the basketball court set
Kat Mumma
/
Farmers Alley Theatre
Actor Ming Wu in “The Great Leap”

The lives of the four characters in The Great Leap are forever changed by a basketball game when an American team with a Chinese-American star player visits Beijing for a “friendship” match in 1989. The American coach and the Chinese coach have a murky history between them. Beyond the basketball court, students are taking to the streets in Tiananmen Square.

Opening Jan 27 at Farmers Alley Theatre, The Great Leap stars Ming Wu as Manford Lum, the star player on the American team. He says the part includes a quest for self-identity, real basketball chops, and satisfyingly profane trash-talk. Chicago-based guest director Helen Young is interested in championing Asian-American stories in theatre. For her, The Great Leap is an example of international and cultural conflict made personal.

Wu, Young and Farmers Alley Theatre Artistic Director Jeremy Koch shared more details about the production in an interview with Cara Lieurance. Tickets and more information are available at the Farmers Alley Theatre website.

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