Set in Brooklyn 2017, PILLOWTALK brings to life one night in the lives of Sam and Buck, a recently married interracial couple. Through a formal exploration of theatrical naturalism and the codified gender norms of ballet’s pas de deux, PILLOWTALK queers the intersections of race, gender, and class to challenge our assumptions of love and marriage. PILLOWTALK confronts the backlash against marriage equality and #BlackLivesMatter, illuminating how liberation and oppression co-exist in our most intimate spaces.

World Premiere
The Tank, Jan. 11-27, 2018
312 W. 36th Street, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10018
Co-Produced by Kyoung’s Pacific Beat and The Tank
Presented by The Exponential Festival
Download PILLOWTALK Program

“Pillowtalk” is a political work, and feels very much of this moment. Buck is Asian-American, Sam is African American, and they are two gay men trying to build a marriage and a life together. What gets in their way what keeps them up at night — is that it’s never just the two of them in bed together. The effects of all the homophobia in the outside world climb in after them. So do the strains and legacies of racism that each lives with every day, and sometimes unwittingly inflicts on the other. Given all of that, how do they create a space for themselves that not only feels secure but also holds the hope of a future?” –Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times.

“In Pillowtalk by writer and director Kyoung H. Park, two frames of symbolic white illumination surrounded a gay married couple, one Asian American and one African American. Each time they came together onstage, it was within an area defined by this shrill white light. Who this couple was with each other had been impacted by years of dealing with, reacting to, rebelling against, and being oppressed by whiteness… the myriad questions posed about survival, suffering, and activism provided a rich background. It addressed sex/race/power/marriage in ways I’ve never seen before.” –Nicole Serratore, American Theatre Magazine.

Learn more about PILLOWTALK
“Exponential Festival: Unexpected Theater in Unfamiliar Real Estate”, Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times. Jan. 24, 2018.
“Beyond Whiteness: A January Festival Wrap Up”, Nicole Serratore, American Theatre Magazine. Feb. 2, 2018.
“‘Pillowtalk’ Theatrical Play Explores LGBT, Interracial Relationships”, Don Tagala, Balitang TV. Jan. 26, 2018.
“Kyoung’s Pacific Beat presents PILLOWTALK” by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody. Jan. 19, 2018.
“Coital Exchanges”, Culture Catch. Jan. 16, 2018.
“Playwright Kyoung H. Park on the Themes in PILLOWTALK and the Importance of Intersectionality”, Jose Solis, StageBuddy. Jan. 15, 2018.
“Bedroom Conversation-An Intimate Moment with the Collaborators of PILLOWTALK”, Jess Applebaum, Culturebot. Jan. 2018.
“Kyoung H. Park on PILLOWTALK”, Dyonisian Magazine. Jan. 2018.
“Community Partnerships & Long Table Events Announced for PILLOWTALK by Kyoung’s Pacific Beat @ The Tank”, TalkinBroadway.com. Dec. 2017.
“Kyoung’s Pacific Beat to Bring PILLOWTALK to The Tank this Winter”, Broadwayworld.com. Aug. 2017.
“Kyoung Park–BAC Story by Diep Tran”, Baryshnikov Arts Center, BAC Story. Jun. 2017.
“Facing Discrimination Against Gay Marriage”, New York Korea Times. Mar. 2017.

Click here for full press coverage of PILLOWTALK.

Creative Team
Written and directed by Kyoung H. Park
Performed by JP Moraga and Basit Shittu
Choreographed by Katy Pyle
Original Music by Helen Yee
Set and Lighting design by Marie Yokoyama
Sound design by Lawrence Schober
Costume design by Andrew Jordan
Dramaturgy by Jess Applebaum
Assistant Direction by Shannon Matesky
Stage Management by Jamie Rose Bukowski

Community Engagement and Outreach Team
Engagement & Communications Strategy by Peoplmovr
Partnerships & Engagement by Shannon Matesky, Peoplmovr
New Media Strategy & Communications by Denise Shu Mei, Peoplmovr
Press Relations by Emily Owens
Graphic Design by Daniel Lim
Marketing Advisement by Sooyoung Hwang
Promotional photography by andytoad

Public Programming

Celebrating #loveisradical, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat has partnered with Community Partners API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC, BAAD! (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance), CUNY’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), GAPIMNY (Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York), and Indie Theater Fund, along with Cultural Partner the Korean Cultural Center New York, and Official Media Partner Culturebot with support from Peoplemovr, Asian/ Pacific/ American Institute at NYU and ART/NY-NYSCA Creative Opportunity Fund, to center the voices of queer people of color through a series of long-table conversations created in collaboration with our partners to build community, resilience, and resistance. PILLOWTALK’s Long Table Series was curated by Shannon Matesky and Kyoung H. Park.

Saturday, January 13 @ 3pm
From Loving vs Virginia to United States vs Windsor, from the AIDS Crisis to PrEP, from the Stonewall Riots to #BlackLivesMatter—where do we go from here? This interracial and intergenerational conversation will explore the personal impact of marriage equality in the LGBQT community.
Facilitated by Geoffrey Jackson Scott with Guest Speakers Ira Briones, Kevin Nadal, and Kyoung H. Park. Read “Jason Tseng in Reponse to PILLOWTALK’s First Long Table” to learn more.

Thursday, January 18 @ 8pm
Trans scholars, artists and activists address the economic vulnerabilities of queer and trans people of color. Do diversity and inclusion agendas make us any safer in the workplace? How do we werk our magic against the patriarchy and white supremacy?
Facilitated by Shannon Matesky with Guest Speakers Zavé Martohardjono, Azure Osbourne-Lee, and Pauline Park. Read “Mieke D Responds to PILLOWTALK’s 2nd Long Table on Queer and TransMagic in the Werkplace” to learn more.

Thursday, January 25 @ 8pm
This final conversation sheds light on the aggressions and invisibility of QPOC love. What are the spiritual and material dimensions of QPOC love? What are our acts of radical love?
Facilitated by Stephanie Hsu with Guest Speakers Nic Kay and Kirya Trabor. Read “Queering Marriage” by Kyoung H. Park to learn more.

“Want to talk more about the show? Use or search for the hashtag #LoveIsRadical and join the conversation!”

ART/NY NYSCA Indie Theater Fund Korean Cultural Center Culturebot

PILLOWTALK’s Long Table Conversation Series is presented by Kyoung’s Pacific Beat and Peoplmovr in collaboration with Community Partners: API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC, BAAD! (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance), CUNY’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), GAPIMNY (Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York), and Indie Theater Fund; Cultural Partner: Korean Cultural Center; and Media Partner: Culturebot. Promotional support for PILLOWTALK and the Long Table Conversation series is provided by Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Funding support provided by ART/NY-NYSCA Creative Opportunity Fund (A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program).

Development Credits

PILLOWTALK was developed in collaboration with: Daniel K. Isaac, Raja Feather Kelly, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Chuan-Chi Chan, Irfan Prawira, Wade Kramm, and Luis Santiago.

Special thanks to: Nic Adams, Theresa Buchheister, aricoco, Joseph Blake, Jyana Browne, Brian Dang, Scott Davis, Rachel DeGuzman, John Del Gaudio, Rajeeyah Finnie-Myers, Bryan Glover, Emily Harney, David Herskovits, Steven Hitt, Stephanie Hsu, Aaron Jin, Tahir Karmali, Mike Lew, Todd London, Bruce McCormick, Claire Moodey, Kevin Nadal, Antje Oegel, Quinn Orear, Jorge Ortoll, Handan Ozbilgin, Rey Pamatmat, Ralph Peña, Carlos Salazar, Jennifer Salk, Cara Scarmack, Leslie Schultz, Vernon Scott, Tom Sellar, Sarah Cameron Sunde, Patrick Surillo, Eleanor Wallace, Jennifer Wright Cook, and Michael Yarbrough.

PILLOWTALK received a public reading at the Ma-Yi Writer’s LabFest (June 2014) and was developed in Target Margin Theater’s Institute for Collaborative Theater-Making (March 2014) and the Lark Play Development Center (June 2015). A workshop production of PILLOWTALK was developed in part during a BRIClab Residency at BRIC House, Brooklyn, NY (September 2015), followed by a post-showing artist and audience dialogue featuring Katy Pyle, Artistic Director of Ballez. Kyoung’s Pacific Beat hosted a long-table titled “PILLOWTALK- Post Gay Marriage Politics” moderated by and Stephanie Hsu, Prof. at Pace University, at Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies “After Marriage” Conference (October 2016) and was featured in CUNY’s 2016 Prelude Festival at the Martin Segal Center Theater (October 2016). PILLOWTALK was written with support from a Creative Mellon Fellowship at the University of Washington (February 2017) and was developed in part during a residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York NY (March 2017) and presented in LPAC’s Rough Draft Festival 2017 (April 2017). The World Premiere of PILLOWTALK is funded, in part by NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program), WOVEN (We Oppose Violence Everywhere Now), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, and The Indie Theater Fund.