Snowflakes, or Rare White People
By Dustin Chinn / Directed by Mina Morita / May 1–10, 2020
The online run of Snowflakes, or Rare White People concluded on May 10, 2020. Thanks to everyone who supported us in the process of bringing the play from the stage to your speakers!
Please consider making a gift to TDPS to support future productions: give.berkeley.edu/tdps
About the Play
Stories and creative energy can be a balm to the soul in this moment, and with that spirit director Mina Morita and our resilient company of students have transformed Dustin Chinn's cuttingly smart satire from a stage production into an online audio play.
Delivered with a medium shaped in the early 20th century and captured in our 21st century during this unprecedented pandemic, this play takes us to 23rd-Century Nueva New York. In the city, the remaining white American population is protected by the federal government. Two of the last are brought to the Museum of Natural History as a living exhibit in the Hall of Caucasian Peoples, only to be freed by a sympathetic gift shop employee. Is society ready for their return?
Inspired by the Hall of Asian Peoples at the American Museum of Natural History and articles bemoaning the "dwindling majority" of white Americans, Chinn's play cleverly explores American conceptions of race and ethnicity, representation, and the precariousness of social status.
Watch the Wedding Dance
The choreography for this dance sequence, which would have appeared during the play's wedding scene, was rehearsed via Zoom as performers sheltered in place. Choreographer Swetha Prabakaran conceived of this video concept to showcase the work that would have been seen in the production.
About the Playwright
Dustin H. Chinn is a Seattle native whose plays include the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Commission Herschel: Portrait of a Killer, Let's Ninja Science Ranger Team Get! and Colonialism Is Terrible, But Pho Is Delicious. He's developed work with the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Ars Nova Play Group, Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep Summer Residency Lab, A.C.T.'s New Strands Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the University of Washington via a Mellon Creative Fellowship, SPACE on Ryder Farm, UMass at Amherst New Play Lab and Vampire Cowboys. Some of his best friends are white.
About the Director
Mina Morita is the Artistic Director of Crowded Fire Theater, a critically acclaimed and vital company specializing in adventurous new play production in San Francisco. She is dedicated to the development of a contemporary theatre canon that reflects the diverse world in which we live. Previously, she served as the Artistic Associate at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and was part of the originating team for its Ground Floor Program, which is a center for the creation and development of new work.
The play's student participants with playwright Dustin Chinn (front row, third from left) and director Mina Morita (right) pictured before the campus closure on March 17. (Photo by Kaitlin Weinstein)
It is absolutely astonishing to me that this creative team and these students have pivoted to this new medium with such spirit, trusting fully in this experiment, while inventing the process and learning so quickly.Mina Morita, Director
Please consider making a gift to TDPS for the amount you might pay for a ticket. Your gift will help us produce future student work and keep ticket prices low when we are able to safely open our theater doors. Use the form below or visit give.berkeley.edu/tdps