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…


    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…


  • 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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