A NEW COMEDY ABOUT WHAT’S TRUE VS. WHAT SELLS
May 5 – June 25, 2023
By Kenneth Lin
Directed by Trip Cullman
approximately 90 minutes, no intermission
“VERY FUNNY...BEAUTIFULLY ACTED…delves into how Hollywood misrepresents, suppresses and distorts Asian American history”
In Exclusion, an award-winning historian is thrilled when her best-selling book about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is optioned for a mini-series by a Hollywood mogul. Her euphoria turns to disillusionment as she finds herself constantly defending its authenticity in the struggle between what’s true and what sells.
Exclusion is sponsored by and Beth Newburger Schwartz, with additional support provided by Linda A. Baumann, Jeffrey M. Busch, The Drs. Elliot and Lily Gardner Feldman Endowment for New Plays at Arena Stage and David Bruce Smith and the Grateful American Foundation.
Exclusion is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
MICHELLE VERGARA MOORE
SUN HEE KIL
ZOË ELIZABETH LILLIS
KELLY GILLESPIE, CSA
CHRISTI B. SPANN
EMILY ANN MELLON
Special Performance Notes
Sunday, June 4, at 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 13, at 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 25, at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 24, at 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 30, at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 1, at 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 8, at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 14, at 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 27, at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, June 16 at 8 p.m.
*Ticketholders who would like to opt in or out of these performances can contact the Sales Office at 202-488-3300 (Tuesday–Sunday, 12–8 pm) to make fee-free exchanges.
Exclusion In The News
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“[Exclusion] uses drama (and comedy) to extend our thinking about the legacies of prejudice and resistance, power and deprivation”
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Exclusion tactfully tackles representation in Hollywood by contemplating what’s true, what sells, and what’s funny
MARYLAND THEATRE GUIDE
“RAZOR-SHARP…rips into the racist and sexist inner politics of TV writers’ rooms”
“THOUGHT-PROVOKING and WITTY world premiere…Exclusion balances humor and gravity to keep the audience THOROUGHLY ENGAGED”
“HILARIOUS and MOVING…Trip Cullman’s guidance and Kenneth Lin’s taut, witty writing come together to make this play SPARK”
In 'Exclusion,' Kenneth Lin draws on his roots as the son of Chinese immigrants
Arena’s ‘Exclusion’ is a piece of art about art
“[Arena Stage Power Plays] raise the voices of unheard Americans and spur political debate…[Exclusion] definitely fills those goals”
THE WASHINGTON POST
“VERY FUNNY...BEAUTIFULLY ACTED…Hollywood spoof ‘Exclusion’ goes deeper than cynical satire”
WASHINGTON DC'S JUNE TOP PICKS
NBC4's Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Special: ‘Exclusion' Tells Story About an Important Chapter in Chinese American History
DC THEATER ARTS
“very funny ‘Exclusion’ tells serious story of anti-Asian bias”
A THEATRE-GOER'S THOUGHTS
“Kenneth Lin has a gift for repartee”
Arena Stage play ‘Exclusion’ is a Hollywood satire of a shocking moment in Asian American history
MARYLAND THEATRE GUIDE
TOP 5 SHOWS OF THE WEEK
Cast Complete for Arena Stage World Premiere of Kenneth Lin's Exclusion
WASHINGTON CITY PAPER
"One of Arena Stage’s “power plays,” the world premiere of Exclusion promises to be a wickedly funny satire about television and race"
17 New Plays to Receive 1st and 2nd Round of 2022-23 Edgerton Awards
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Spring Theater Guide