Kristina Wong was featured in the New York Times’ Off Color series “highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today.” She is a performance artist, comedian and writer who has been presented across North America, the UK and Hong Kong. Her most notable touring show, “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, looked at the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women and toured dozens of venues across the United States since 2006. It’s now a broadcast quality film distributed by Cinema Libre Studios.
She’s been a commentator for American Public Media’s Marketplace, PBS, Jezebel, xoJane, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post and a guest on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, FXX’s “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” Al Jazeera’s “The Stream” and AM Tonight on Fusion TV. She recently had a pilot presentation with Lionsgate for truTV. Her work has been awarded with grants from Creative Capital, The MAP Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, the Durfee Foundation, National Performance Network, six Artist-in-Residence grants and a COLA Master Artist Fellowship from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
In 2017, she was named as one of the “YBCA 100″ celebrating the innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders who are using their platform to create cultural movement. She also received the FOCUS AWARD from Kearny Street Workshop for her unique contribution to amplifying the APA community’s collective voice within American culture. She’s been awarded residencies from the MacDowell Colony, New York Theater Workshop, Ojai Playwrights Festival, Montalvo Center for the Arts, Hermitage, and Atlantic Center for the Arts.
On television, she’s been on General Hospital, Nickelodeon’s “Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn,” and Myx TV’s “I’m Asian American and Want Reparations for Yellow Fever.” She is currently touring “The Wong Street Journal” navigates White Privilege as an Asian American “Mzungu” in East Africa. She spent a month in Northern Uganda recording a hit rap album “Mzungu Price” with local rappers and doing research for that show. Kristina’s mail order bride website is www.bigbadchinesemama.com. She has taught at Cal Arts in the MFA Creative Writing Program and twice given the commencement speech at UCLA, her alma mater. Her newest show is titled “Kristina Wong for Public Office,” and is a campaign-style comedic performance that will leave guests questioning the present state of politics and campaign methods.
SPEECH TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
The Wong Street Journal
A new solo theater work written and performed by performance artist and comedian Kristina Wong and directed by Emily Mendelsohn. Part plushy TED lecture, part amateur hip-hop extravaganza, and part travelogue, The Wong Street Journal breaks down the complexities of global poverty, privilege and economic theory using uneasy-to-read charts, live hashtag wars, and riveting slideshows from post-conflict Northern Uganda. Wong tells the story of how she as a not-so-white savior, became a hip hop star in Northern Uganda. Wong combines self-skewering personal narrative with a hilarious interrogation of America’s legacy on the rest of the world. All of this plays against an all felt version of the New York Stock Exchange that Wong sewed with her own hands.
Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Sharp humor and incisive psychology collide in this swear-to-god-not-autobiographical, seriocomic portrayal of the high incidence of anxiety, depression and mental illness among Asian American women. Tangling, spinning, and mixing yarns, Kristina asks: Which came first? The sky-high suicides of Asian American women? The maddening world? And when the heck do we get to climax? Knitters—cuckoo and not—are invited to knit in the audience during the shows.