In the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown is an elementary school unique in the country because its theater club is dominated by Asian-American kids – a stark contrast to their underrepresentation in mainstream theater. For nine years now, the PS 124 theater club has been the only Asian-American team to compete at the renowned Junior Theater Festival, a gathering of young thespians from across the world. It even earned the privilege of being one of a select few schools nationally to premiere the kids production of Frozen.
As the kids gear up for the much-anticipated national debut of Frozen Kids, this film also follows their lives behind the scenes and the challenges that have surfaced. What can theater help these children uncover about themselves? Which ethnic stereotypes does this troupe of kids prove, and which do they debunk?
HUI TONG is a documentary filmmaker and freelance writer from Beijing, China. Having made short films and entered film festivals since high school, Hui has developed passions for theater, music and teaching kids. Prior to Columbia, he studied history at Cornell University.
KELLY NG is a reporter studying documentary in New York City. Prior to Columbia Journalism School, she spent five years at Singapore’s second-most-read newspaper, TODAY, covering immigration, crime, law and health. Curtain Up! is her filmmaking debut.