Brown University Writing is Live New Works Festival

My first play production of grad school Jar of Fat will premiere at Writing is Live 2020!

Leeds Theatre (83 Waterman Street)
FREE (reservation required here)

Jar of Fat by Seayoung Yim
Saturday, Feb 8, 4pm
Sunday, Feb 9, 8pm

Synopsis: In a fantastical fairytale world, two Korean American sisters are deemed too fat to fit in their family grave. With undesirability fastened upon their bodies, how will their souls endure? Will the sisters’ close bond survive under the pressure of their fretful parents, who will spare no effort to get them tinier? Jar of Fat is an absurdist comedy that celebrates and explodes notions of desire, ugliness, and beauty through the eyes of a family who hides from and in the stuff of fat. Crossing intersections between Korean American identity and fatphobia, this play probes a beauty culture that can sometimes look foreign to mainstream American notions of what’s desirable or ugly to behold.

Writing is Live 2019
A Festival of New Theater
February 7 – 9

Writing is Live is a festival of new plays in progress written by MFA playwriting students and directed and performed by students in the Brown/Trinity MFA Program. The festival celebrates the diversity and strength of new theatrical voices while providing the Brown community with a glimpse into the vibrant process of creating new work for theater.

Writing Is Live (formerly the New Plays Festival) is made possible through support from an endowed fund for the Adele Kellenberg Seaver ’49 Professorship in Literary Arts.

Photo by Michael Rosas

2020 Performance Schedule
Friday, February 7, 2020
5:00 PM On The Y-Axis by Lucas Baisch ’20 MFA
8:00 PM The Executrix by Emma Horwitz ’20 MFA

Saturday, February 8, 2020
1:00 PM good god by Nkenna Akunna MFA ’22
4:00 PM Jar of Fat by Seayoung Yim ’22 MFA
8:00 PM On The Y-Axis by Lucas Baisch ’20 MFA

Sunday, February 9, 2020
1:00 PM The Executrix by Emma Horwitz ’20 MFA
4:00 PM good god by Nkenna Akunna MFA ’22
8:00 PM Jar of Fat by Seayoung Yim ’22 MFA

Accessibility info for Leeds Theatre: 
– The studio has an accessible entrance  off of Waterman Street between Stuart Theatre and the Building for Environmental Research and Teaching. When entering the building via this entrance there are no steps to enter the theatre
– Leeds Theatre can accommodate up to 5 wheelchair accessible seating locations. 
– The theatre has 22 transfer seats 
– Leeds Theatre is General Admissions. Accommodations for patrons with low vision or blindness can be made by contacting Brianne Shaw,, 401-863-2730.
– Assistive Listening Devices are available upon request. Please inquire with a House Manager upon arrival. 
– A Wheelchair Accessible and Gender Neutral restroom is available on the same level as the theatre. 
– Large Print programs are available upon request. Please inquire with a House Manager upon arrival.
– Trained Service Animals are welcome in the studio. At this time we are unable to accommodate Emotional Support Animals. 
If there is anything we can do to make your visit to Leeds Theatre more comfortable please reach out to Brianne Shaw at, 401-863-2730.

Summoning Frankie at Seattle Public Theater’s Education Program

Summoning Frankie Poster designed by Julia Nardin

Directed by Ana Maria Campoy

August 10-11

Frankie’s wizarding life has been completely mapped out. Attend the Mould Applemurg Academy, an underfunded public wizarding school in North America, and follow their parents’ picture-perfect plan. However, when a dark presence in the form of a malicious Education Minister threatens to take away all the school’s funding, Frankie and their friends of misfits must finally face their fears to discover that destiny and magic have a way to lead you to surprising destinations.

This play was developed with support from The Umbrella Project’s Writers Group.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Persimmon Nights at Cafe Nordo

Cast of Persimmon Nights. Photo by Dangerpants Photography


Sara Porkalob (Madame Dragon) returns to Nordo to direct and star in the premiere of playwright Seayoung Yim’s sultry tale. Set during the first large scale wave of Asian American Immigration in The Persimmon Grove, a lurid nightclub, a brash young Korean immigrant rises to great heights in his ethnic enclave while balancing two lovers and many debts in the 1960s/70s. At the top of his game, he risks it all. Persimmon nights features pungent Korean food and the all-girl pop duo The Kimchi Kittens.

Photo by John Cornicello


Sara Porkalob
Mara Elissa Palma
Ray Tagavilla
Melissa Maañao
Annie Yim

Production Team:

Playwright: Seayoung Yim
Director: Sara Porkalob
Asst. Director: Josh Kenji
Food Designer: Erin Brindley with Corinne Magin
Lighting: Emily Leong
Sound Design: Erin Bednarz
Musical Direction/Performance: Nikki Dee
Set and Properties: Robin Macartney
Costumes: Natalie Shih
Stage Management: Nina Williams Teramachi

(Photos by John Cornicello. Pictured Clockwise: Melissa Maañao, Sara Porkalob, Annie Yim, Ray Tagavilla, Mara Elissa Palma)

‘Persimmon Nights’ at Cafe Nordo plays out like a glossy movie melodrama, Seattle Times

‘Persimmon Nights’: Bulgogi and Buried Secrets at Cafe Nordo, City Arts Magazine

“Persimmon Nights” mixes theater and Korean cuisine, The Seattle Globalist

Look Ahead: The hottest Seattle events for July 2018, The Seattle Times

The 64 Best Things To Do in Seattle This Week: July 9-15, 2018, The Stranger

Recommended, Don’t Miss: Persimmon Nights, The Stranger

Persimmon Nights portrays an edgy Korean nightclub in the 1960s by Roxanne Ray, International Examiner

“Going Up” by Gemma Wilson, Interview for City Arts Magazine

LAAFF Fest–A collection of Asian American Fairytales with a feminist twist!


I wrote the short play Haenyeo for LAAFF Fest produced by SIS Productions in partnership with 18th & Union and Youth Theatre Northwest. Get your tickets here.


by Seayoung Yim
directed by Mimi Katano
Minji, a city girl who moves to beautiful Jeju Island, looks for the answers to her struggling family’s problems in the pages of an old fairy tale. She meets Haenyeo, a real life mermaid, who shows her the answer to her problems may actually be found in her real life.
Featuring Naho Shioya & Maile Wong


Below are some articles about the amazing haenyeo on Jeju Island that inspired my play: