May 35th | Fall 2020

Past Event

Friday, October 16, 8:00 pm ET

Podcast Release and Listening Party

To hear the reading of May 35th, subscribe to the International Play Reading Festival podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or join us for a listening party on Friday, October 16 at 8:00pm ET to hear from festival co-founders Carol Becker and David Henry Hwang, listen along with others, and chat questions and comments to the playwright which may be discussed in the Playwrights Panel on Sunday, October 25, 10:00 am ET


Written by Candace Chong Mui Ngam (Hong Kong)

Translated from Cantonese by Anonymous

Directed by Leigh Silverman



Clem Cheung as Ah Ping

Fang Du as Young Man 1 and Young Man 2

Wai Ching Ho as Siu Lum

Francis Jue as Ah Dai

Johnny Wu as The Stranger

with Anna Weng reading Stage Directions


This podcast was recorded under a SAG-AFTRA Collective Bargaining Agreement.


Thirty years later, the Tiananmen Square massacre remains censored and repressed. Sui Lum and Ah Dai grapple with a date so volatile that the government won’t let them say it aloud. May 35th explores the indelible human aspiration for freedom alongside the complexities of personal and political history.


Candace Chong Mui Ngam is a recipient of the Best Artist Award (Drama) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (2010). She was selected as one of Hong Kong’s most “inspirational and influential women” by the South China Morning Post, and she is the winner of six Hong Kong Drama Awards for Best Script. Her latest works include Mila, for which she worked as the librettist (Asia Society Hong Kong Center); Dr. Sun Yat-sen, also as the librettist (Santa Fe Opera House); and the Broadway production of Chinglish, for which she worked as a translator.


The Cantonese-language version of May 35th was deemed an “Excellent Production of the Year” and won Best Script, Best Production, and Best Lighting Design at the 2020 Hong Kong Drama Awards. 


Candace Chong Mui Ngam will discuss May 35th in the festival’s Playwright Panel Discussion linked below. 

Sunday, October 25, 10:00 am ET

Candace Chong Mui Ngam, Camila Villegas, and Nophand. Moderated by David Henry Hwang, Theatre.