ZAC EFRON: The Full Production

22 3Arts supporters
$6,485 raised of $6,000 goal
7 Days 02:16:44 LEFT
This project will only be funded if $6,000 is contributed to 3Arts by April 19, 2024, 11:59PM
    • 108% contributed

STRETCH GOAL! Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors, we've reached the first goal! With time left, let's propel forward towards a 2nd goal of $10,000! Together, we can continue to make a meaningful impact in supporting artists. Help keep the momentum going! After a successful development period for the new play entitled ZAC EFRON, I’m collaborating on a full production that will bring this new work to Chicago stages in Summer 2024. This play focuses on two queer Asian Americans, who in their quest to find love also end up changing the narrative about what love looks like in this country.

About This Project

Thanks to past support, this play has weathered the pandemic and gone through a pivotal development period over the past few years. But we are now primed to make it the first-ever full production by Token Theatre, in partnership with A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago.

ZAC EFRON was co-written by David Rhee and myself, with the encouragement of our actor friend, Cheryl Hamada. We wanted to write a play that tells the story of two Asian Americans who are simply falling in love and doing so without extreme circumstances surrounding the narrative, such as the Vietnam War or going through the trials and tribulations of immigrating to another country. We wanted to write a play that adds more honesty, breadth, and nuance to the Asian American and queer experience. It is NOT a play about the famous Hollywood actor, Zac Efron, who twice won the MTV Movie Award for ‘best shirtless performance.” But rather, it’s a play about chasing something unattainable, chasing someone who’s considered “the All-American beauty,” and forgetting to see who’s standing right in front of you.

This was supposed to be Token Theatre’s inaugural production in 2020, but that was sidelined for reasons we all know too well. We ended up producing three successful online readings to further develop the script. And in 2022, thanks to an earlier 3AP campaign, we presented a full in-person reading at Victory Gardens Theatre, which set the stage for its final development.

For this summer’s full production, we are bringing back director Alan Muraoka (Sesame Street), who directed two of our online productions. The play will feature New York actor Hansel Tan, Chicago’s own Cheryl Hamada, Gordon Chow, and humbly, me, Wai Yim. This May, we are scheduled to do a week of out-of-town rehearsals in New Hemisphere at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy, where the team will also be working with the students. We will then return to Chicago to finish mounting the show at A Red Orchid Theatre, located in the Old Town district. 

Parts of our production are supported by a generous grant from Alphawood Foundation, but we still need YOUR help to complete this long journey. Your donations will go directly to the artists. It is my passion and belief to ensure fair compensation for our talented actors by paying them above the minimum wage. Your contributions will play a crucial role in making this production happen, but also in supporting the talents of individuals who bring this art to life. Join us in making a positive impact on both the arts community and the livelihoods of our artists!

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Enthusiastic shout-out on social media and your name acknowledged in our Playbill ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above, plus your name acknowledged on the Token Theatre website and a hand-written note from our team ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75
    All of the above, plus a Token Theatre button ($72.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $150
    All of the above, plus a pair of tickets to "ZAC EFRON" ($77.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $300
    All of the above, plus a ZOOM chat with "ZAC EFRON" playwright/ Token Theatre Artistic Director, David Rhee ($227.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    All of the above, plus a Tarot reading with "ZAC EFRON" playwright/ Token Theatre Managing Director, Wai Yim ($397.00 is tax deductible.)

Wai Yim

Make a Wave Artist

Originally from Hong Kong, Wai Yim is an actor, director, choreographer, and playwright. He is the Managing Director of Token Theatre in Chicago. As a trilingual artist who speaks Cantonese, English, and Mandarin, Wai has been active in the Chicago …

View Wai Yim's profile
  • Update 1: Thank YOU!
    Posted on March 27, 2024


    New Stretch Goal: $10,000!!!

    Dear Donors, 

    I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for your incredible support in helping us reach our first milestone goal of $6000, in under 2 weeks!
    Your generosity truly made a difference and has propelled us to push towards our new stretch goal of $10,000


    Why the new goal, you may ask?


    The current Tier 2 Equity contract minimum for our artists is only $330 (gross)! {as in NOT net}
    The additional funding will enable us to:
    - compensate our artists above minimum wage, which is still significantly below LIVING wages!
    - provide significant support for our artists to thrive and create impactful work.

    Please share this campaign with anyone you think might be interested in supporting live theatre!!!

    Thank you for believing in me and my work.
    Thank you for standing with Token Theatre as we strive to make a positive difference in our artists' lives. 
    Thank you for playing a role in making ZAC EFRON come true. 

    Your support means the world to me, and we here at Token Theatre are incredibly grateful for your ongoing generosity.


    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Christian Whitt

    • Lavina Jadhwani

    • Ada Cheng

    • Linda Karn

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Lucy Li

    • Nick Obis

    • Eugene Son

    • Jamil Khoury

    • Becca Wert

    • Toria Hollyn

    • Suzanne Ross

    • Dana Whitt

    • Daniel Wach

    • Amy Kim Waschke

    • Kyle Stoffers

    • AUDREY Billings

    • Elizabeth Arsenault

    • Tanya Thai McBride

    • Barbara Joyce

    • Cheryl Yuen and Thomas Chin

    • Jane Madden

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council