Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters

Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters

Stephanie is a half-Korean, Philadelphia-based, hyphen-supporting playwright. Stephanie writes hyper contemporary, magical realism plays that are built on the pillars of laughter, curiosity and whimsy. She describes her work as "Charles Mee, David Henry Hwang, Twyla Tharp, Amy Tan, and Mariah Carey walk into a bar".

Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters is an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright, a...
Stephanie is a half-Korean, Philadelphia-based, hyphen-supporting playwright. Stephanie writes hyper contemporary, magical realism plays that are built on the pillars of laughter, curiosity and whimsy. She describes her work as "Charles Mee, David Henry Hwang, Twyla Tharp, Amy Tan, and Mariah Carey walk into a bar".

Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters is an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright, a graduate of The Foundry, and the Lead Artist on the Philly Asian Performing Artists’ Playwrights Project.

Her play, Esther Choi and the Fish that Drowned, was presented at the PlayPenn Conference. It will have a world premiere production with Simpatico Theatre Company (postponed due to COVID-19) and has earned her a spot on the Kilroys List for 2020 and the 2020 Table Work Press Recommended list. Her play Half of Chopsticks was a finalist for both the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Seven Devils New Plays Conference in 2021. She is a two-time finalist for Unicorn Theatre’s In-Progress New Play Reading Series as well as a finalist for the Playwrights Center Many Voices Fellow. She was a semi-finalist for Nashville Repertory Theater's Ingram New Works and received a nomination for the NNPN Smith Prize for Political Theatre. Due to COVID-19, Stephanie received a 3Views Theatre The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation Grant Recipient. Stephanie is a graduate of the Foundry. Additional plays have been produced and developed with Asian Arts Initiative, Philly Asian American Film Festival, Dragon’s Eye Theatre, Revolution Shakespeare, PlayPenn, Revamp Collective, and Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival.

As Lead Artist of the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Playwrights Project, she will lead a two week long festival of plays written by local emerging Asian-American playwrights, the first of its kind in Philadelphia. Stephanie helped to found the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists in an effort to create change and opportunity for AAPI performers and stories. She wants to help fill the desperate need and incredible opportunity for Asian American actors to explore stories written for them and about their experiences and their cultural heritage by Asian American playwrights.

She has taught playwriting at Bucknell University, Northwestern University's National High School Institute Cherub Program, PlayPenn, Arden Theatre, and Theatre Exile. Stephanie is a proud graduate of Bucknell University, London Dramatic Academy, and CAP21. She is currently working on her MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage with Point Park University.

Stephanie is also a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association and Barrymore nominated actress.

Plays

  • Esther Choi and the Fish that Drowned
    Esther Choi is your favorite all-American, overachieving-Asian teen except she has a ghost. Anthony Gibson is Esther’s best friend and (spoiler alert) he’s dead. Mr. Choi is Esther’s grandfather and he owns a haunted dry cleaner on Cheltenham Ave. In an (un)likely turn of events, Esther must grapple with grief, loneliness, and winning first chair in high school orchestra, all while living up to her grandfather’s new expectations.
  • Half of Chopsticks
    Emmy Young’s dad was the King of Koreatown until the day he was swallowed by a hole. It’s not just the ghost of her dad that cracks the plaster off the walls of Young’s Chopsticks - Traditional Korean Take Out and Delivery. When Emmy’s half-secret, half-white, half-brother shows up with half the deed to her dead dad’s restaurant, everything Emmy knew about her home begins to crumble.
  • Acetone Wishes and Plexiglass Dreams
    Celina has moved home to Philly’s Koreatown to take over the neighborhood beauty salon. DIY reno keeps her busy, but discovering a secret about her high school buddy, Inky, and gossiping chorus of aunties and uncles keeps her busier. However, Celina has a secret of her own; a secret that dragged her across the country, only to return home empty handed. Will Celina prevent the rumors, ghosts, and aunties from...
    Celina has moved home to Philly’s Koreatown to take over the neighborhood beauty salon. DIY reno keeps her busy, but discovering a secret about her high school buddy, Inky, and gossiping chorus of aunties and uncles keeps her busier. However, Celina has a secret of her own; a secret that dragged her across the country, only to return home empty handed. Will Celina prevent the rumors, ghosts, and aunties from chaining her down or will she drag Inky into the dark web she’s brought home?
  • Are You My Father or the dream ballet of north korea
    Are You My Father is a political comedy exploring love and coming of age in one of the world’s most mysterious nations. Meet North Korean elite Min-Jun as she struggles with understanding freedom, disappointing family and dreaming about Kim Il-Sung. Min-Jun’s world is rocked when she is magically spirited away to South Korea.
  • Keep Me Posted
    Celeste Moon, a hyper-trendy Insta-famous poet, is new to internet fame. Followed on social media and IRL, Celeste is no stranger to looking over her shoulder. But after a series of mysteriously specific packages fall into her hands, she is forced to face her stalker. Will he ghost her or haunt her? Keep Me Posted examines the presence of technology in contemporary society and the struggles of online dating.
  • The Elvis Administration
    A whimsical look at love and where we belong through the eyes of Crab Girl, Turtle Man, Elvis, and Kim Jong-Il. This teenage girl's tumbler page meets Korean drama is a playful way of examining new landscapes of the heart. A "Love Actually" for the brokenhearted.
  • The Wall with Four Eyes
    A ten-minute play exploring art and the way people want to be seen by others. Physical perception from the point of view of the powerful.
    Meet Kim Jong-il and a painter, as they share North Korean folklore and re-imagined classical art.
  • Follow Me Through the Gates
    Ty has lived in America her whole life, a whole 8 years! Her grandfather has not; he was born in China. Grandfather talks about China a lot, a whole lot. Ty doesn't know much about China. She thinks Grandfather doesn't know much about her.
    Azsori has lived in America her whole life, a whole 9 years! She doesn’t know much about living someplace else, but she knows a whole lot about feeling like...
    Ty has lived in America her whole life, a whole 8 years! Her grandfather has not; he was born in China. Grandfather talks about China a lot, a whole lot. Ty doesn't know much about China. She thinks Grandfather doesn't know much about her.
    Azsori has lived in America her whole life, a whole 9 years! She doesn’t know much about living someplace else, but she knows a whole lot about feeling like she doesn't always fit in where she lives.
    But this Saturday, someone goes missing in the library and everything is about to change, a whole lot.
    Help Ty, Grandfather, Azsori, and their favorite librarian, Ms. Layla, on their quest for knowledge and acceptance through the walls of the Independence branch of the Free Library – an adventure of exploring your roots and finding your family. ​

    Best enjoyed by children ages 5 to 10 & their adults.