Spotlight Series: Meet Kiki Yeung - producer, comedian, actress, and organizer of 'Crazy Woke Asians'

Shari Barrett

Registered Critic, Writer, Publicist

This Spotlight shines on Kiki Yeung, a producer, comedian, actress and organizer of the Crazy Woke Asians (CWA) Solo Performance Festival at the Santa Monica Playhouse and Crazy Woke Asians comedy show at The Comedy Store in Hollywood.

Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

Kiki Yeung (Kiki): I majored in Drama at the University of Washington and received a diversity scholarship at Freehold Studio Theatre’s Ensemble Intensive Training Program. I trained in Shakespeare and have experience performing with Pork Filled Players and Unexpected Productions in Seattle. I also toured with Asian Story Theater in San Diego.

My award-winning one woman show Second Chances for Grace was selected to be presented at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre NuWorks Festival in NY, Santa Monica Playhouse, New Americans Museum, and was Comedians’ Pick at the Crazy Woke Asians Solo Performance Festival.

Photo by Charles Locke

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?


(Kiki) I was involved organizing two productions: Crazy Woke Asians Solo Performance Festival at the Santa Monica Playhouse May 28-31, and Crazy Woke Asians comedy show at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. It’s important for us to make these events happen, especially now since there has been a lot of racism and hate crimes against Asian Americans in the media due to the Coronavirus pandemic starting in Asia. But it is our goal to continue to raise awareness and shine a light with our voices through comedy.

(SB): How did you communicate the shutdown with your cast and production team?

(Kiki): We emailed the performers and production team to postpone our March 15 promo photo shoot. And in April, we will notify the performers regarding the new festival date since right now the end of May dates are on hold at the Santa Monica Playhouse. We also messaged all the performers for the April 19 show at the Comedy Store, which is also on hold.

(SB): Are plans in place to present the productions at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

Poster Image Credit: Lyvell G Productions, Reactant Photography

(Kiki): The CWA Solo Performance Festival is now tentatively rescheduled to September 24-27, 2020, but we are still waiting to see what happens in the next week before announcing it to the performers. I plan to confirm with all scheduled performers on April 1 and again on August 1, just in case there’s a need to reschedule or push dates to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. We may reschedule the April 19 CWA Comedy Show to either May/June/July.

(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

(Kiki): We have comedy shows every other month, so we are heavily affected by the shutdown as our June and August shows, September/October NYC tour, and November Hong Kong/China tour are all going to be rescheduled or postponed. That’s a lot of logistics to try and reschedule, and there is no way to know when we will be able to travel.

(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Kiki) We share funny videos and posts on our Instagram and Facebook @crazywokeasians. We also repost comedians’ Patreon crowdfunding platform, podcast, and funny videos on our page to support their Art.  I hosted an open mic with The Hollywood Comedy Store on Instagram Live, and we may have a live stream CWA Comedy Show sometime this April.

(SB) It certainly sounds like you are staying busy trying to figure out your next steps when so many things are up in the air right now. What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage as soon as possible?

(Kiki): Keep creating online. Support and engage with each other on social media. Spend some time in silence and write. This is a great opportunity to gather our thoughts and write that story or play we keep putting off.

For more information about Crazy Woke Asians, visit our website at or on social media @crazywokeasians.

This article first appeared on Broadway World.

Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in local secondary schools, working in marketing for several studios, writing, directing, producing, and performing in productions for several non-profit theaters, Shari now dedicates her time and focuses her skills as an independent publicist to "get the word out" about smaller theaters throughout the Los Angeles area.

As a founding member of the LA Stage Alliance Leadership Council Task Force, she and reps from theaters throughout the city worked together to articulate a vision for the theatre community of Greater Los Angeles.

Shari has received recognition from the City of Los Angeles for her dedication of heart and hand to the needs of friends, neighbors and fellow members of society for her devotion of service to the people of Los Angeles, and is honored to serve the theatre world in her hometown.

Currently she is the Publicist and a member of the Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse.