Artists at Play’s Julia Cho is pulling double duty for the Los Angeles premiere of Cowboy Versus Samurai. Find out what drew her to this play not only as a producer, but as an actor.
Julia Cho and West Liang in rehearsal
Why were you interested in Cowboy Versus Samurai?
Little known fact: My first attempt at directing was in college as part of this women’s theatre fest. I proposed and was allowed to present, as interstitials throughout the program, select scenes between the two female characters from Achievers, a play by… Michael Golamco. A few years prior, I had seen a production and lo and behold, there were young, modern Asian American characters portrayed by Asian American performers onstage. Then I discovered Cowboy Versus Samurai and was struck by the same impression. Fast forward years later and here I am, one of the proud founding members of this theatre collective Artists at Play. CvsS had been on our group’s radar since our inception and we are thrilled to be presenting the Los Angeles premiere this fall with yours truly tackling the role of Veronica Lee.
What do you find interesting / intriguing / challenging about the character that you are playing?
As candid and uninhibited as she is, Veronica only lets you dig so far beneath the surface. As Del describes his first impression of her, she has this “big city get-the-hell-outta-my-way thing going on.” And yet, this is the same woman who will engage total strangers in conversation, immediately draw you into sharing your secrets, and then go home to nurse her adopted tail-less cat. You see this person who seems like she has it all together, and yet certain choices, certain behaviors still hint at perhaps not all is as it seems.
What do you hope audiences will take away from the play after watching it?
With any great play or work of art, the hope is that after seeing Cowboy Versus Samurai, thoughts will be sparked, issues will be raised, and conversations will be initiated. Whenever you deal with race, emotions are bound to be stirred. And throw love into the mix, and you’re just asking for trouble. But with any new relationship, you need to stumble upon and discover the not so pretty parts and hopefully learn, grow, and move on to something that could potentially be truly life-changing.