Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord to Open New Season at Kirk Douglas Theatre

On Day 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristina Wong began sewing masks out of old bed sheets and bra straps on her Hello Kitty sewing machine. Before long, she was leading the Auntie Sewing Squad, a work-from-home sweatshop of hundreds of volunteers—including children and her own mother—to fix the U.S. public health care system while in quarantine. It was a feminist care utopia forming in the midst of crisis. Or was it a mutual aid doomsday cult?

As the demand for masks abated and we began to return safely to space, Pulitzer Prize finalist Kristina began to put her life together post-pandemic cult leadership. With hilarity and boundless generosity, she invited the audience in on her work building community in isolation, while reflecting on what we’d been through and imagining what we wanted to become in this Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle award winner for Outstanding Solo Show.

Performance artist Kristina Wong became a “Sweatshop Overlord” (as she cheekily dubbed herself), and called her network the Auntie Sewing Squad. 800 aunties in 33 states sewed 350,000 masks and gave them to asylum seekers, Indigenous tribes and other vulnerable communities.

 The Kirk Douglas Theater, in collaboration with East-West Players, presents Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord from Feb. 12 to March 12, 2023. 

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The Actors' Gang