The Shipment

The Shipment

Written and directed by Young Jean Lee

Watch the Trailer:


Click here to read the script!

Co-commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University (World Premiere, October 2008) and The Kitchen (NYC Premiere, January 2009)

Originally performed by

  • Jordan Barbour
  • Mikeah Ernest Jennings
  • Prentice Onayemi
  • Douglas Scott Streater
  • Amelia Workman

Additional cast

  • Victoire Charles
  • Aundre Chin
  • Francesca Choy-Key
  • Jared McNeill
  • Okieriete Onodowan
  • Ikechukwu Ufomadu

Produced by Caleb Hammons

  • Scenic Design by David Evans Morris
  • Costume Design by Roxana Ramseur
  • Lighting Design by Mark Barton
  • Sound Design by Matthew Tierney
  • Choreography by Faye Driscoll
  • Stage Managed by Teddy Nicholas, Sam Seymour, Aaron Rosenblum

"Cultural images of black America are tweaked, pulled and twisted like Silly Putty in this subversive, seriously funny new theater piece by the adventurous playwright Young Jean Lee. Ms. Lee, who is Korean-American, consciously set herself the uncomfortable task of creating what she calls a "black identity-politics show... Ms. Lee sets you thinking about how we unconsciously process experience — at the theater, or in life — through the filter of racial perspective, and how hard it can be to see the world truly in something other than black and white."
— Charles Isherwood, New York Times

"This is so ingenious a twist, such a radical bit of theatrical smoke and mirrors, that, in rethinking everything that has come before ... we are forced to confront our own preconceived notions of race. And to agree with Lee that we may not live long enough to purge ourselves of them."
-Hilton Als, New Yorker

"Lee confirms herself as one of the best experimental playwrights in America. Her language manages to be both feverishly strange and rigorously intellectual, and she directs her charismatic, talented cast with economy and theatrical dash."
-David Cote, Time Out New York

[The Shipment explores] just how much skin color continues to frame the way we see each other—even in a post-race, Barack Obama-electing America. It’s an early example of what will hopefully be an avalanche of smart, fearless work that brings the same fresh feel to the artistic conversation about race that is said to imbue today’s politics."
Kai Wright, The Root

Click here for more press.

Click here to watch THE SHIPMENT in HD through ON THE BOARDS TV.


LIFT Festival, London, UK
June 10-14, 2014 

Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada
May 9-12, 2012

Fusebox Festival, Austin, TX (in association with Pro Arts Collective and Women and Their Work)
April 26-27, 2011

deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium
February 1-2, 2011

Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
January 7-8, 2011

Contemporary Drama Festival, Budapest, Hungary
December 3-4, 2010

Williams College '62 Center, Williamstown, MA
September 29-30, 2010

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
September 24-26, 2010

Sydney Opera House Vivid Live, Sydney, Australia
June 8-11, 2010

Vienna Festival, Vienna, Austria
May 29-June 1, 2010

Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
April 9-10, 2010

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
March 25-28, 2010  

Carolina Performing Arts - UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
February 11-13, 2010

Thalia-Theater - Hamburg, Germany
February 5-7, 2010

Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin, Germany
November 2009

Festival d'Automne à Paris, Paris, France
in association with Theatre de Gennevilliers Centre Dramatique National de Creation Contemporaine
November 2009

On the Boards, Seattle, WA
October 2009

Rotterdam Seschouwburg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
September 2009

PICA TBA Festival, Portland, OR
September 2009

Zurich Theater Spektakel, Zurich, Switzerland
August 2009

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, Belgium
May 2009

The Kitchen, New York (NYC Premiere)
January 2009

Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (World Premiere)
October 2008

The Kitchen, New York (Workshop)
June 2008

Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brooklyn, NY (Workshop)
April 2008

Photos by Paula Court
and AJ Zanyk