American Signs

STC American Signs Catherine Van-Davies photo by Rene VaileA darkly comic and electrifying one-performer show that will have you simultaneously moved and hanging from the edge of your seat, Sydney Theatre Company presents Anchuli Felicia King’s American Signs at the Wharf 2 Theatre from 15 June 2024.

Sydney Theatre Company’s brand-new one-person play will see three of Australia’s most thrilling theatre-makers, playwright Anchuli Felicia King (The Poison of Polygamy), director STC Resident Director Kenneth Moraleda (A Fool in Love) and award-winning, singular stage actor Catherine Van-Davies (Constellations), join forces in this dark comedy.

Van-Davies will inhabit multiple characters in this 60-minute roller coaster that delves deep into the mess of the American consultancy industry and lays bare the brutal truth of what it means to ‘climb the ladder’.

American Signs showcases Anchuli Felicia King’s fierce intellect at its most daring and follows her recent international success writing on US TV series The Sympathizer, The Baby (HBO Max) and Mary & George (Starz).

American Signs was written for the extraordinary Catherine Van-Davies, whose virtuosic talent I have been in awe of since she was in my first play White Pearl at STC in 2019,” said King. “I’m equally thrilled to be collaborating for the first time with the wonderful Kenneth Moraleda, who has already been an extraordinary creative ally as we’ve developed this play.”

“While American Signs is a pointed critique of the consulting industry, it’s also a character study about a young Vietnamese American woman grappling with her own traumas, ambitions, and desires in a morally complicated universe.”

“I hope audiences come away entertained, amused, titillated, possibly a little disturbed, and with a more nuanced understanding of what consulting really looks like in America today,” said King.

In the high-powered and ultra-competitive offices of a top-tier management consultancy firm, our unnamed protagonist is struggling to stand out. Unlike many of her colleagues, she doesn’t descend from money, nor does she find the long hours and crushing workload a breeze, like the others seem to.

She also happens to be running from a dark past. When an opportunity to prove her mettle and escape the office arrives, in the form of a distractingly handsome (and married) senior partner, she jumps at the chance.

Director: Kenneth Moraleda | Starring: Catherine Van-Davies | Designer: James Lew | Lighting Designer: Benjamin Brockman | Composer & Sound Designer: Sam Cheng | Voice & Accent Coach: Paige Walker | Vietnamese Language & Dialect Consultant: Ferdinand Hoang

American Signs
Wharf 2 Theatre – Wharf 4/5, 15 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, Sydney
Season: 19 June – 14 July 2024 (preview: 15 – 18 June)
Information and Bookings:

Image: Catherine Van-Davies – photo by Rene Vaile