ZAC EFRON: Dating Apps, YouTube, and Tarot Readings

Zac Efron by Token Theatre Chicago. Photo by Daniel Eggert
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Token Theatre’s inaugural full production, “ZAC EFRON,” a play by David Rhee co-written with Wai Yim and directed by Alan Muraoka runs at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St, June 27 through July 21, 2024. In an intimate backdrop, the play splashes into the lives of two gay Asian Americans, David (Hansel Tan) and Wai (Wai Yim) in New York navigating the complexities of romance through dating apps, YouTube fame, and Tarot readings.

We meet David, a teacher, hoping to find a perfect romance through a dating app while also managing his relationship with his parents. He stops by his friend’s place Wai, a YouTube influencer who reads tarot online horny horoscopes before a date with a “Zac Efron”. Receiving some advice from Wai’s tarot cards which unfortunately leads to a dating fail,  when recounting the story to Wai, who is live streaming on Youtube, unexpectedly leads to the clip going viral. And so Wai convinces David to join his channel while also rebranding. While their channel grows in popularity, David and Wai experience shifts between them, and their own selves, becoming more apparent as they move towards finding self-acceptance.

“In 2019, Cheryl Hamada, Wai Yim, and I challenged ourselves to name a theater piece that tells the story of two Asian Americans 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 were stumped. So began my newest play, ZAC EFRON,” comments David Rhee. “What none of us foresaw was the pandemic and the rise in AAPI hate crimes that manifested across the country, reminding us that we’re still seen as foreigners in our own home. ZAC EFRON revolutionizes the narrative by centering on two AAPI characters, humanizing them, and ultimately celebrating their love within this country’s fraught context.”

Filled with laughter and heart, don’t miss ZAC EFRON. And while there were some heart wrenching moments that were well-acted, Hansel Tan and Wai Yim’s banter make for some of the greatest and funniest moments I’ve seen on stage yet. 

Run dates: June 27-July 21, 2024

Performance schedule: Thursdays through Saturdays at 7PM; Saturdays and Sundays at 3PM

Special performances include: Wednesday, June 26 at 7PM (LGBTQ+ night, celebrating Gay Pride Chicago); a talkback following the Thursday, June 27 performance; and, Monday, July 1 at 7PM (Industry Night).


Photos by Daniel Eggert

About Token Theatre
Token Theatre aims to change the narrative and shatter the false constructs about Asian Americans by creating new stories, reimagining classic works, and empowering artists to reshape the American identity.


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