Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra’s bold undertaking in M. Butterfly |

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra’s bold undertaking in M. Butterfly

Paul Micsan (left) stars as Rene Gallimard while Sean Fenton portrays Song Liling in Community Asian Theater's presentation of "M. Butterfly."
Photo by David Wong

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra celebrates its 25th Anniversary with M. Butterfly, the 1988 Tony Award winner by David Henry Hwang and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1989. It is directed by Jeffrey Mason and Susan Mason, who worked with the theatre group in Miss Saigon (2014) and South Pacific (2018).

Based on the real-life romance between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer in the 1960s through the 1980s, M. Butterfly is a complex story of love, deceit, and espionage that explores the depth of racism, sexism, and sexuality. Although there are references to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the opera, this show is not the opera. Performed in three acts, M. Butterfly is recommended for mature audiences. It contains adult content, language, and nudity. Please, no children and teens under age 15.

The leads in the show are local actor Paul Micsan, who portrays Rene Gallimard, and Sean Fenton, who is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, in the role of Song Liling. Supporting actors are local favorites Micah Cone, Tina Marie Kelley, Michele Fitzhugh Nesbit, Kate Haight, and Scott V. Young. The Kurogo dancers are Audrey Delgado, Lisa Moon, Olivia Pritchett, and Angela Williams. The team of designers includes Jill Kelly, an Elly-nominated costume designer, Michael Baranowski as lighting designer, Sara Quay as hair and makeup designer, and Katherine (Katerina) Scourtes as properties designer. New to Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra is set designer Gabe Hannaford.

M. Butterfly opens on Thursday, April 11, and plays until May 4 at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. Tickets are available online at and at Briar Patch Co-op in Grass Valley.

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