PASADENA — Boston Court Pasadena will present the world premiere of Rosie Narasaki’s “Unrivaled,” a co-production with Playwrights’ Arena, directed by Margaret Shigeko Starbuck, from March 16 to April 23.

11th-century ladies-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon are, to this day, two of Japan’s most beloved writers. They also kind of hated each other. This play is about friendship, heartbreak, and what it means to be a female artist. Perhaps most of all, it’s about how no matter how much things change, the more they stay the same… even after a thousand years.

The cast: Cindy Nguyen as Empress Teishi; Chelsea Yakura-Kurtz as Sei Shonagon; Katie Kitani as Murasaki Shikibu; David Huynh as Michinaga, Man #1 and Man #2.

Rosie Narasaki

The creative team: Yuki Izumihara, scenic designer; Jana Ai Morimoto, costume designer; Harry Tran, lighting designer; Alyssa Ishii, sound designer; Fran de Leon,  casting director; Jesse Soto, properties design; Letitia Chang, production stage manager; Lynne K. Miyake, research dramaturg.

Narasaki is a Los Angeles-based playwright and actor. Her acting highlights include In “Love and Warcraft” and “Two Mile Hollow” with Artists at Play, as well as a pre-Greta Gerwig turn as Amy in Playwright’s Arena’s multicultural transposition of “Little Women.”

As a writer, her play “Unrivaled” has been workshopped with EST/LA, Artists at Play and the Road Theatre Company. Her other works have been developed and produced by MeetCute LA, Becky & Baldwin, hereandnow theatre company, and more. She is a member of EST/LA’s New West Playwrights and the IAMA Under 30 Theatre Lab, and she holds a BA in creative writing from Scripps College.

Showtimes: Monday (April 3, 10, 17) at 8 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday (April 8) and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Post-show discussions: Playwriting, Sunday, March 26; Acting, Sunday, April 2; Design, Thursday, April 13; Acting, Saturday, April 15; Theme, Sunday, April 16; Directing, Saturday, April 22.

Special performances: Monday, April 3, Pay What You Choose; Thursday, April 6, Asian American and Pacific Islander Affinity Night; Saturday, April 8, 2 p.m., community matinee (all tickets $5); Saturday, April 15, Student Night.

Boston Court Pasadena is located at 70 N. Mentor Ave. in Pasadena. Box office: (626) 683-6801 or Website:

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