The Book of Mountains and Seas

Two years after losing his son in a hate crime, a California dad teams up with the son’s last boyfriend in New York on an impossible mission to visit all the restaurants on the son’s Yelp page -- but each with their own agenda. The dad is Chinese. The boyfriend is American. A comic drama about two people dealing with loss, differences, and their unlikely friendship in a digital and global age.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

The Book of Mountains and Seas

Recommended by

  • Shaun Leisher:
    4 Mar. 2020
    I don't many playwrights that write about the complicated relationships between fathers and sons as well as Yilong Liu. This play at times feels like your typical "opposites attract" buddy comedy but it's also really diving into some deep waters pertaining to identity, heritage and the sacrifices we make for family. The use of technology and social media in this play is pure genius and heartbreaking. Can't wait to see this produced.
  • Nick Malakhow:
    20 Feb. 2020
    A gorgeous, humorous, and highly theatrical play about grief. Raymond and Andrew are the unlikeliest of friends who clearly need what one another has to offer to come to terms with the loss of their shared loved one. Liu tackles universal sentiments about grief while also telling a very specific and layered story that shows how intersecting identities and clashing cultures and cultural values inform one's processing of personal events. Liu also manages to establish a strong grounding of place in New York without the contrived feel of some plays set in that notable global metropolis. Produce it soon/often!
  • John Bavoso:
    18 Jan. 2020
    Fantastic and fantastical, THE BOOK OF MOUNTAINS AND SEAS is a warm and funny exploration of grief, parent-child relationships, cultural and generational divides, and what we owe to one another. I instantly fell in love with the characters and found them to be relatable yet full of individual quirks. A joy to read and, I hope, to one day see on stage as well!

Character Information

  • Archie
    20s,
    Asian
    ,
    Male
    Chinese, 20s, kind of dead, lives in a digital world; the kind of person everybody would remember talking to after a party but no one would actually know his name
  • Raymond
    50s, 60s,
    Asian
    ,
    Male
    college professor in California, Chinese, 50s, Archie’s father; the kind of dad who would watch at least two episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race before a party so he could talk to his son's gay friends
  • Andrew
    30s,
    Any ethnicity
    ,
    Male
    photographer in New York, American, any ethnicity, late 20s / early 30s, Archie’s old boyfriend; in a party he's most likely seen in a corner talking to the house cat

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    DVRF Playwrights Roundtable
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    CAATA in partnership with Victory Gardens Theater
    ,
    2018
  • Residency
    ,
    WildWind Performance Lab/Kennedy Center
    ,
    2018
  • Residency
    ,
    SPACE on Ryder Farm
    ,
    2018
  • Workshop
    ,
    East West Players
    ,
    2017

Awards

Winner
,
Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award
,
Kennedy Center
,
2018
Finalist
,
The New Harmony Project
,
2018
Semi-Finalist
,
Bay Area Playwrights Festival
,
2018
Semi-Finalist
,
O'Neill Playwrights Conference
,
2018