Young Jean Lee’s worst nightmare was to make a predictable, confessional Korean-American identity play with a flowery Asian-sounding title. So that’s exactly what she did. SONGS OF THE DRAGONS FLYING TO HEAVEN follows a character named “Korean-American” as she navigates the increasingly disturbing levels of a pseudo-Korean world like a contestant in an identity-politics video game. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a white couple appears and launches into a dysfunctional relationship drama that eventually takes over the play.

Photos Carl Skutsch
Video Documentation Dean Moss/Gametophyte, Inc.

Written and directed by Young Jean Lee
Produced by Kristin Marting, Rachel Ford, and Young Jean Lee



  • Brian Bickerstaff
  • Juliana Francis Kelly
  • Haerry Kim
  • Jun Sky Kim
  • Jennifer Lim
  • Becky Yamamoto


  • Ikuko Ikari
  • Natalie Kim
  • Hannah Kim
  • Aya Ogawa


  • Jackie Chung
  • Ikuko Ikari
  • Ji-Young Kim
  • Rollo Romig


  • Dramaturg Mike Farry
  • Video and Choreography by Dean Moss
  • Scenic and Lighting Designer Eric Dyer
  • Costume Designer Colleen Werthmann
  • Sound Designer Jamie McElhinney
  • Scenic Painting by Jesse Hawley
  • Stage Manager Melissa Heller
  • Touring Lighting Supervisor Juliet Chia
  • Touring Technical Director David Evans Morris
  • Touring Stage Managers Pamela Salling, Sam Seymour, and Anthony Cerrato

Avantgarden, Trondheim, Norway
November 2008

Black Box, Oslo, Norway
November 2008

Teater Garasjen, Bergen, Norway
November 2008

Theatre Garonne Toulouse, France
June 2008

International Arts Festival of Castilla y León, Salamanca, Spain
June 2008

On the Boards, Seattle
March 2008

Kaaitheater, Brussels
January 2008

Hebbel Theater, Berlin
December 2007

PICA TBA Festival, Portland
September 2007

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia
September 2007

Zurich Theater Spektakel, Zurich
August 2007

Theaterformen, Hannover
June 2007

Wiener Festwochen, Vienna Festival, Austria
May 2007

Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
February 2007

Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus
January 2007

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
January 2007

HERE Arts Center, New York
September 2006

HERE Arts Center, New York (Workshop)
January 2006 and November 2006

CUNY Graduate Center’s Prelude Festival, New York (Workshop)
October 2005

SONGS OF THE DRAGONS FLYING TO HEAVEN was developed by Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and HERE Arts Center, and produced by HERE Arts Center, New York (World Premiere, September 2006) with support from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund. It was developed with the help of free rehearsal space from Theatre Communications Group when Young Jean was an employee there.

The opening video for SONGS OF THE DRAGONS FLYING TO HEAVEN. The first five minutes take place in darkness.

  • Conceived by Young Jean Lee with Dean Moss
  • Directed and produced by Dean Moss/Gametophyte Inc.
  • Performed by Young Jean Lee
  • Director’s voice by Dean Moss
  • Hitting by Yehuda Duenyas
  • Production assistance by Rollo Romig and Daniel Jackson