Artist Projects

Stuck Elevator


Byron Au Yong , Aaron Jafferis

Stuck Elevator is a comic-rap-scrap-metal-opera prompted by the real-life experience of a Chinese restaurant delivery man who was trapped in an elevator in the Bronx for 81 hours. Working at Happy Dragon Restaurant, he pays a $60,000 debt to smugglers for his passage from China to the United States, from a country touted as the next global economic superpower to a country founded on the ideals of democracy and freedom.

The show provides a personal entry point to thinking about and discussing topics that include immigration, labor, China, family obligation and fortune cookies for an undocumented immigrant/indentured slave in 21st-century America.

Project Updates

  • 2015: NYTW hosts a three-week developmental residency for Stuck Elevator as part of New Works-in-Progress, presented by Dartmouth Department of Theater and the Hopkins Center for the Arts

  • 2013: a touring version of Stuck Elevator shows at Long Wharf Theatre as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Have, June 20-29

  • 2014: Stuck Elevator receives San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre

  • 2013: Stuck Elevator premieres at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, April 4-28

  • 2012: Stuck Elevator is chosen as a project of the NEFA National Theatre Pilot which provides developmental funding and tour subsidies

  • 2011: Au Yong and Jafferis develop Stuck Elevator in Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, with three-week residency at The Banff Centre in Canada (March) and two-week residency at White Oak (November)a three-week residency at The Banff Centre in Canada

  • 2010: Stuck Elevator receives two workshop showings as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT

  • 2010: Stuck Elevator is selected for a two-week residency at the Yale Institute for Music Theatre

  • 2010: The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU presents a reading of Stuck Elevator for Fujianese advisors and invited guests

  • 2009: The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU presents public workshop showings of Stuck Elevator at the Museum of Chinese in America and Pearl Studios in New York City

  • Artists

    Byron Au Yong

    Born to Chinese immigrants in Pittsburgh and raised in the Pacific Northwest, composer Byron Au Yong creates work where the American Dream and sustai…

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    Aaron Jafferis

    Aaron Jafferis is a poet, librettist and performer. His works include the libretto for the hip-hop musical Kingdom, the solo theater work No Lie, a…

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  • Events

    Aug 18 – Aug 22, 2015
    Byron Au Yong and Kristina Wong at the New York Theater Workshop



    Jun 20 – Jun 29, 2013
    Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis present their Creative Capital project "Stuck Elevator" at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT



    Apr 04 – Apr 28, 2013
    Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis's "Stuck Elevator" premieres at the American Convervatory Theater, San Francisco



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  • Project News

    April 15, 2015
    Project Premiere: Emily Johnson's SHORE in Lenapehoking (New York City)



    April 7, 2015
    Project Premiere: Kerry Tribe Solo Exhibition "The Loste Note" at 356 Mission in Los Angeles



    March 19, 2015
    Project Premiere: Carlos Motta Launches Web-Based Project "Gender Talents"



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