Photo by Margaret Wroblewski
GREGORY KENG STRASSER | 费铿铿
is a director, writer, and arts leader in Washington D.C. where he leads 4615 Theatre Company as its producing director. He was the 2020 Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage. In October 2020, the Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities named him an Arts and Humanities Fellow.
Strasser's primary artistic interest in the theatre are new, original pieces about journeys of the heart; building communities; geopolitics; linguistics, transformations; adaptation; and translation; specifically of ancient poetry, nontheatrical texts, and oral tradition. His work has been seen in Bangkok, Holstebro, DC, Chicago, and Ann Arbor.
Current projects include directing films, plays, and audio dramas for Catholic University of America, Flying V Theatre, the Horticulture Playwrights Laboratory, and a video game series for 4615 Theatre. He recently completed commissions for Arena Stage, Rorschach Theatre, and Adventure Theatre - MTC.
The Washington Post called his production of 410[GONE] (DC Premiere) by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig at Rorschach Theatre Company "cathartic" and "audacious, irreverent, and ultimately moving." The production marked the DC premiere of the play.
As a writer, he has received commissions from Arena Stage, 4615 Theatre, Adventure Theatre-MTC, and the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts.
In a Thai and American collaboration with members of Splashing Theatre and Makhamphom Theatre Company, Strasser co-conceived Doi Nang Non, a dance-puppetry drama about a goddess of the mountains in north Chiang Rai, who wakes up one day with a soccer team trapped in her womb. The play had its premiere at the Key Bank Siam-Pic Ganesha Theatre
in Bangkok, and was partially funded by a Henry Luce grant in partnership with the Asia Foundation.
In June 2018, at 23 years old, he adapted and directed the world premiere of Emily Wilson's acclaimed translation of The Odyssey at the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts. The production was developed at the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and was the inaugural play of the center's new summer-stock season.
He studied Wayang Kulit puppetry, Gambuh dance, and gamelan as a resident artist of Yayasan Bali Purnati in Indonesia. He has been mentored by I Wayan Bawa, Carolina Pizarro, Anna Wolfe, and Eugenio Barba at Odin Teatret, where his ensemble created four performances which occurred throughout Holstebro, Denmark.
Along with Derek Goldman, he directed and curated Derangements: Putting the Unthinkable On Stage and Performing the Anthropocene for the Lab for Global Performance and Politics. After completing Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Professional Leadership Program in 2016, Strasser began developing The Infinite Tales as an affiliate artist for the Bell Table Laboratory of Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick, Ireland. He has also worked with About Face Theatre and the UV Theatre Project in Chicago; Blind Whino, Theatre J, Mosaic Theatre of DC, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC where he has developed two workshops with Eric Frankel, Jesca Prudencio, and Daria Miyeko Marinelli; and three full productions for Broadway Center Stage, under the mentorship of Jeffrey Finn and Kassie Lewis.
Strasser's body of work encompasses filmmaking, editing, graphic design, illustration, cartography, poetry, writing, acting, piano, and dance. While he is truly a master of none, these fields profoundly inform his work as a storyteller. Interested in the transformational journeys of the human heart, Strasser has adapted world literature, oral tradition, oral history, and mythology in creating his signature aesthetic, design, and productions. He is under commission from Arena Stage and 4615 Theatre Company.
He is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.