I love telling stories.


 

99% Stone

99% Stone, The Theater Offensive (2011 cast)
99% Stone, The Theater Offensive (2011 cast)

Book by: Letta Neely
Music and Lyrics by: Melissa Li
Originally Conceived by: Abe Rybeck
Produced by: The Theater Offensive

Synopsis:
Based on the events leading up to the 1969 Stonewall Riots, 99% Stone tells the story of two flame queens, a stone butch dyke, and a Puerto Rican lesbian who finally rose up with the people and fought against institutionalized homophobia and discrimination on that one fateful night in June. Weaving the historic event with the Occupy Movement of present day New York, the musical follows two struggling groups of people as they take matters into their own hands.

Production History:
Originally created by Abe Rybeck as Rachel and Sybil at The Stonewall Inn, the show was a 20-minute piece of guerrilla  theater that toured on the streets of Boston in the summer of 2011. Shortly after, The Theater Offensive brought in playwright Letta Neely and 99% Stone was born. A recipient of the NPN Creation Fund, the NPN Forth Fund, and the NEFA Expeditions Touring Grant, the musical had another successful workshopping street tour in the summer of 2012. The full-length show is scheduled for a staged reading in February 2013, a workshop production in Summer 2013, with a full touring production planned for 2014.

 

Interstate

Written by: Melissa Li and Kit Yan
Music by: Melissa Li
Dramaturgy and Direction by: Jessi D. Hill

Synopsis:
Adrian and Dash are two queer Asian-American performers embarking on a cross-country tour with Jess, their new drummer. Part music and part poetry, the play follows the band as they navigate their feelings for each other, their dedication to their art, and their commitment to the queer and trans community. Inspired by true events, the show explores how the claustrophobia of being on the road could destroy friendships and partnerships.

Production History:
The first draft of the first act went through a 4-day workshop in October 2012 as part of the terraNOVA Collective's Groundworks Residency at the IRT. With the help of director Jessi D. Hill and mentor Moe Angelos, Melissa and Kit aim to finish the full draft of the script for a workshop reading in Summer 2013.


Surviving the Nian

Surviving the Nian, The Theater Offensive (2007)
Surviving the Nian, The Theater Offensive (2007)

Book by: Abe Rybeck
Music and Lyrics by: Melissa Li
Story by: Abe Rybeck and Melissa Li
Directed by: Patrick Wang
Produced by: The Theater Offensive

Synopsis:
After 5 years at University in the States, Kaylin returns home to Hong Kong to celebrate Chinese New Year with her African-American girlfriend Asha, and to come out to her family. What she didn't expect is that her family has plans for her to stay in Hong Kong and help with the family acupuncture business. Nian refers to the mythical beast that comes once a year to terrorize families, and sometimes in order to survive the New Year, families have to stick together.

Production History:
Originally part of The Theater Offensive's Play Lab, Surviving the Nian went through 4 years of workshops before its final production at the Boston Center for the Arts Calderwood Pavilion in 2007. That same year, Melissa and Abe won the Jonathan Larson Award for talent in composition and writing. Surviving the Nian also won the IRNE award in 2007 for Best New Play.


Miscellaneous


Avocados: The Musical

We entered a video recipe contest hosted by Avocados From Mexico in 2009. We made this musical, and won.


Good Asian Drivers: The Musical

Before we ever dreamed of writing a real musical, I wrote this silly opening number to a fake musical right before embarking on our cross country tour.