Discipline: Theatre – musical theatre

Kit Yan

Discipline: Theatre – musical theatre
Region: Long Island City, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2019

Kit Yan is a Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. They are a 2019 Vivace Award winner, Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, 2019 Lincoln Center Writer in residence, a 2019 MacDowell Fellow, 2019-2020 Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow, a 2019-2020 Playwright’s Center Many Voices Fellow, and a 2019 NAMT selection for Interstate. Kit’s forthcoming musical works along with collaborator Melissa Li include a production of Interstate at Mixed Blood Theater in March 2020, a first draft commission of Miss Step from 5th Avenue Theater, a commission from Keen Company for a Keen Teens one act musical, and co-commission from Company One and Pao Arts for a new Chinatown-based musical.

Interstate, opened to rave reviews and full houses following its premiere at Mixed Blood Theater before being cancelled prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and won five awards at the 2018 New York Musical Festival including Best Lyrics. Kit’s show Queer Heartache has won five awards at the Chicago and SF Fringe Festivals.

Their work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, Diversionary Theater, and Dixon Place. They have been a resident with the Civilians, Mitten Lab, 5th Avenue Theater, and the Village Theater.

In 2018 Kit founded the Trans Lab incubator for Transgender and Non-binary voices in the American Theater along with MJ Kaufman, and supported by WP Theater and the Public Theater.

Artistic statement: My work is a dreamspace where queer and transgender folx can time travel in order to witness, remember, and heal our herstories. I hold writing as a spaceship into the borderless ancestral past, the puzzle pieces of an imagined queertureverse, and a lifeline back onto this earth. Here, we can ground, explore, and discover stories on our own terms — messy, ugly, and wholly beautiful. My dreams lead me to write about the fractures in my life and in this world, times I fucked up, times I was held accountable by my family and communities, and times of collective struggle on a path toward collective liberation. Above all else, I write about queer love smashing racism, patriarchy, and systemic oppressions.


Van Zorn (formerly Kirby)

Kit Yan worked in the Van Zorn (formerly Kirby) studio.

Constructed thanks to a bequest from Sarah L. Kirby, this was the last new building to be erected during Mrs. MacDowell’s leadership (1907-1951). The load-bearing masonry walls were laid by local mason Augustus Beaulieu atop a fieldstone foundation. A 1995 renovation preserved the brick fireplace with wooden mantel and flanking…

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