Eth Noh Tec

Red Altar

(2009, adapted 2015)

Sat. May 23 9:00pm
Sun. May 2:30pm
Southside Theater
Tickets: $20-$25 General Admission

Presented by Eth Noh Tec

(duration 90 minutes)

Performers: Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo
Director/Playwright: Nancy Wang
Graphics, Music: Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo
Media design: Olivia Ting, Don Nguyen, Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo
Red Altar Committee: Sarah Lau
Tech: Olivia Ting, Don Nguyen

These performances were supported in part by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.


1850. A Chinese junk boat crashes into the Carmel Bay. Six teenagers are flung overboard and are rescued by Rumsean-Esselen natives. With today’s rallying cries against immigrants, Red Altar demonstrates and celebrates the contributions of three generations and three fishing villages of Chinese immigrants who start the fishing industry in the Monterey Bay area despite anti-Chinese violence, both legal and illegal. Bringing those times alive through the exciting art of Eth-Noh-Tec’s storytelling movement and music theater, it is augmented by multi-media designed by Olivia Ting and Don Nguyen.

Eth-Noh-Tec is a SF interdisciplinary, kinetic story theater company specializing in the retelling of ancient Asian folktales and myths, and Asian American contemporary stories. Founded in 1981 by Artistic Co-Directors Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, ENT draws on over three decades of training and performance experience in traditional and contemporary art forms. Having parented the Southern Filipino Kulintang gong music and dance movement, ENT ventured into performance weaving the traditional art forms with contemporary art forms in 1985, leading to their present day unique storytelling style of stylized choreography, spoken word and music.
ENT believes stories build bridges of compassion.


Nancy Wang (Performer, playwright, director; Eth-Noh-Tec)

Born in New Orleans, schooled in the Midwest, Nancy graduated and ventured out to California. She had only a vague knowledge of her roots there. Decades later, she found them in Monterey. Drawing on her background in modern and ethnic dance, theater, playwriting and social work, she began her research, interviews with family, and the writing of Red Altar. Accomplishments include:

  • choreography/performance: SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Asian-Pacific Festival - Vancouver Canada, Asian American Dance Fest, And Still We Dance, documentary; multiple storytelling festivals as Eth-Noh-Tec.
  • playwright: "Leave Me My Dreaming" -Asian American Theater; "Unspeakable Moons" Noh Theater; "Takashi's Dream" (festivals and theaters); "In Need of Goddesses" – Magic Theater; “Bittersweet” – Chicago; Eth-Noh-Tec folktales

Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo (Performer, musician, composer; Eth-Noh-Tec)

Growing up in the late 60's with Japanese and Filipino heritages, Robert was provided with a rich cultural environment. As a songwriter and composer, his interest and talents in Asian ethnic music, dance and theater, plus his innate comedic ability merged with his social and political philosophy to place him in the exciting art form of storytelling as Eth-Noh-Tec. Other accomplishments include:

  • composing film scores: Wayne Wang’s "Chan is Missing," "Eat a Bowl of Tea"; Felicia Lowe’s "Carved in Silence";
  • performing, songwriting: recordings for "Yokohama, California," "Bamboo Brew," "The Noh Buddies."
  • SF Izzy Award; 1999 National Young Audiences "Artist of the Year".

Olivia Ting (Multi-media designer)

Interested in the role of digital technology in the fabric of contemporary lives, Olivia rearranges how our memories are collected and formulated in our consciousness. With a second degree in graphic design at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, her interest lies in visual communication as a storytelling vehicle about the human condition. Accomplishments include:

  • photography/video collaboration with movement-based performers (e.g. Lenora Lee Dance), designing video projections mapped onto multiple surfaces;
  • graphic/video media designer: SF Dance Center, SF Performances, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, SJ Children's Discovery Museum, Oakland Museum of California’s Natural History Gallery
  • two Isadora Duncan Award nominations: Visual Design.

Don Nguyen (Media design team)

Don is an interdisciplinary artist experimenting with multiple medias including film, computer generated motion graphics, live music performances that include synthesizers, and various electronic stringed instruments. Don’s early work in the 60’s provided film based special effects for Light Shows that toured the West Coast USA, with the major psychedelic bands of that era. Don’s images and sound design challenge our impression of reality by altering and stimulating our auditory and visual senses.
In the mid 80‘s, Don began project collaborations with Eth-Noh-Tec.

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