Nina Ki

Nina Ki

Nina Ki is a Queerean (Queer + Korean) American playwright who was born and raised in Los Angeles, but currently lives in Brooklyn. She graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2008 with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, and her plays have been read, recorded, and presented nationwide, including with MCC Theater, Queens Theatre, Brave New World Repertory, The Classical Theater of Harlem,...
Nina Ki is a Queerean (Queer + Korean) American playwright who was born and raised in Los Angeles, but currently lives in Brooklyn. She graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2008 with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, and her plays have been read, recorded, and presented nationwide, including with MCC Theater, Queens Theatre, Brave New World Repertory, The Classical Theater of Harlem, The Living Room Theater, the HBMG Foundation, Artists' Theater of Boston, and The Parsnip Ship. Her play “Moon Bear” was given special consideration for the Relentless Award, and her play “Taemong (Birth Dream)” was a finalist for the Van Lier Fellowship. She is also an inaugural member of The Parsnip Ship's Radio Roots Writer's Group. To contact her or learn more about her work, please visit her website at www.nina-ki.com.

Plays

  • Moon Bear
    Silver and Richie are siblings without parents. As the two grow up, they cling to one another as each other's family, and help one another navigate their positions as social outsiders - Silver as a genderqueer weirdo, and Richie as a drug dealing gangbanger. In a parallel world, Bear is ousted from his tribe and through a gesture of filial piety, is turned by Hwanung, a gay Korean god, into a human woman....
    Silver and Richie are siblings without parents. As the two grow up, they cling to one another as each other's family, and help one another navigate their positions as social outsiders - Silver as a genderqueer weirdo, and Richie as a drug dealing gangbanger. In a parallel world, Bear is ousted from his tribe and through a gesture of filial piety, is turned by Hwanung, a gay Korean god, into a human woman. S/he is then coerced into being Hwanung's pregnant beard, and has Hwanung's child. As family bonds begin to disintegrate, and the god-world begins to crumble, Silver and Bear must redefine home for themselves, to find power through the magic of stories.
  • Soft Jade (軟玉)
    A three part radio drama series, originally commissioned by Yale Summer Cabaret.

    For Benjamin, coming to America has been an opportunity for him to explore his orientation and identity – even while he carries with him his parents’ dream of him returning to Korea to settle down and take over the family business. Benjamin, who has always had a gift for being able to speak with the dead (and has...
    A three part radio drama series, originally commissioned by Yale Summer Cabaret.

    For Benjamin, coming to America has been an opportunity for him to explore his orientation and identity – even while he carries with him his parents’ dream of him returning to Korea to settle down and take over the family business. Benjamin, who has always had a gift for being able to speak with the dead (and has always hated it) is visited late one night by the ghost of his ex-boyfriend Leon. He reveals that he was murdered by a serial killer targeting gay Asian men, and asks Benjamin to help him find the protective necklace that he always wore – an act which will finally bring him peace. The request leads Benjamin to find allies, re-examine his past with Leon, and finally – come to terms with who he is.
  • Ravage
    Yuli, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and self-ascribed teenage vampire hunter, moves from California to New York after what she believes was a run-in with a powerful vampire. The incident leaves her physically and emotionally scarred, and without her sister, who Yuli believes has been kidnapped. Closed off and alone, she slowly begins to open up to her therapist and a friend at school - as these relationships...
    Yuli, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and self-ascribed teenage vampire hunter, moves from California to New York after what she believes was a run-in with a powerful vampire. The incident leaves her physically and emotionally scarred, and without her sister, who Yuli believes has been kidnapped. Closed off and alone, she slowly begins to open up to her therapist and a friend at school - as these relationships deepen, she is haunted by visions of her sister calling for her, begging Yuli to rescue her, and the vampire, who promises to find and come for her as well. Yuli begins to suspect her neighbor of being the same vampire who injured her and abducted her sister. When she breaks into his apartment to find her and confront him, she comes face to face instead with the fractured remnants of her past.

    *A version of this play for high school students is also available.
  • Gumiho
    Kam, queer Korean adoptee and former reality TV star, has just been broken up with by her longtime girlfriend. She quickly re-immerses herself in the alcohol- and lust-fueled world of the Los Angeles queer scene, where she uses and is used by women, and has sex without the burden of intimacy. Though a series of casual hookups, Kam moves from enjoying these casual hookups to questioning her value as a person -...
    Kam, queer Korean adoptee and former reality TV star, has just been broken up with by her longtime girlfriend. She quickly re-immerses herself in the alcohol- and lust-fueled world of the Los Angeles queer scene, where she uses and is used by women, and has sex without the burden of intimacy. Though a series of casual hookups, Kam moves from enjoying these casual hookups to questioning her value as a person - and finally reaches rock bottom in the form of a moment of intimacy with the one person who has always loved and believed in her: her best friend, Hyun-Joo.
  • Sea Longing
    A young Korean American girl struggles to grow up without her mother, who has been deported. A sea lion pup is forced to take on the duties of an adult sea lion, when his mother and he are affected by climate change. A play that examines loss, healing, and the connection between all living things.
  • A Demon Inside
    Rory, an elderly hoarder, lives alone, visited only by her daughter Julia. Then one day, she finds a locket in the dump that is haunted by a demon. The demon begins taking over Rory's mind and home, and Rory comes to believe it is the spirit of her other (deceased) daughter, Franny. The demon demands that Rory give it her soul - wracked with guilt, Rory acquiesces, until an encounter with Julia forces Rory...
    Rory, an elderly hoarder, lives alone, visited only by her daughter Julia. Then one day, she finds a locket in the dump that is haunted by a demon. The demon begins taking over Rory's mind and home, and Rory comes to believe it is the spirit of her other (deceased) daughter, Franny. The demon demands that Rory give it her soul - wracked with guilt, Rory acquiesces, until an encounter with Julia forces Rory to make a decision about whether to live in the present, or die with the ghosts of the past.
  • Tae-Mong (Birth Dream)
    Jimmy, Jinho, and Yoon are three generations of Korean men who have emigrated to America. In the present, Jimmy, a gangbanger and new father, dreams of making money through drug dealing to open up his own martial arts studio. In the past, Jinho, Jimmy's father, aspires to be a singer and guitarist. Yoon, Jinho's father, wants simply to be given the chance to learn. Enmeshed in a cycle of alcoholism...
    Jimmy, Jinho, and Yoon are three generations of Korean men who have emigrated to America. In the present, Jimmy, a gangbanger and new father, dreams of making money through drug dealing to open up his own martial arts studio. In the past, Jinho, Jimmy's father, aspires to be a singer and guitarist. Yoon, Jinho's father, wants simply to be given the chance to learn. Enmeshed in a cycle of alcoholism and abuse, each struggles against their filial duties and responsibilities as jangsons (oldest sons) and their own hopes and dreams for themselves. In the end, Jimmy must decide whether to continue the cycle, or forge ahead in his own version of the American dream.
  • Death and Grandmother Choi
    Grandmother Choi, a North Korean defector, encounters Death during her escape from North Korea - and comes face to face with the choices she made, to get here.
  • Legend of Yuwul
    In old Korea, a shy girl named Yuwul lives with her father, a retired admiral, just outside of a sleepy little fishing village near the ocean. Then, one day, the Old Admiral - as well as all the able-bodied men of the village - are called away to fight in another war. When Yuwul discovers it is just a trick to attack the village, she calls upon her wits, bravery, and her animal friends to save the day.
  • Some Things Never Die
    Former high school queen bee Jiwon is mysteriously invited to a Zoom conference with two other members of her old posse. As the mystery of why they were invited unravels they must ask themselves - can you ever escape who you were and the terrible things you did in high school? Or do some things never die?
  • Primary Colors
    Sick, a member of the gang KTG, Mina, a painter and pastor's kid, and Isobel, an adoptee, delve into their life experiences to explore what being queer Korean women means, to them. As they come up against oppression - in dealings with police, within education, and within personal relationships - they find power together in a cacophony of truth.
  • Broken English
    Kyle, a gay Korean man, looks back on the past and his struggle to reconcile his version of the American dream with his mother's.
  • I Love You
    Charles, a teenage boy, asks his father to tell him he loves him - but his father says men don't say "I love you" to each other.
  • Gawi
    Yuri, a Korean American, is haunted by a Gawi demon - and her experiences with whiteness - throughout her life.
  • One Small Step
    Delilah, who is in the throes of a midlife crisis, is in the process of putting her dog William Jones down when she discovers that Earth is being invaded by aliens, and it is up to her to save the human race.
  • Kimchi Slap
    Local Korean mafioso Brian Park conducts a series of interviews with people named Kim Seonwoo, trying to get to the bottom of a mysterious incident involving his favorite grandmother - and also practices his English.
  • The Loneliest Number
    One wants their reflection, Eno, to talk to them - but Eno refuses, only copying what One says.
  • Delphinidae
    Jimmy, an idealistic young pothead, wanders through the forest and accidentally crosses into territory protected by a mutant dolphin of the One Spotted Flipper clan.
  • Man and Beast
    Amit confronts his boss, Trent, about his work position and visa - and learns that Trent has brought him over to America fraudulently. Hijinks ensue.
  • Ranger
    Luis and Tommy discover that their father has sold their dog Ranger to a man who lives up north. Younger brother Tommy reveals that he has money saved up, money that could buy their dog back. But Luis has other ideas: he wants to use the money to escape the small town that he's always hated. Can he say goodbye to everything he's ever known, including the brother who loves him?
  • Mr. Fluffles
    Evie, a high school student, faces an uncertain future - her school's administration is considering suspending her for punching a classmate who has outed her. Her former girlfriend is distancing herself by denying the whole relationship. Her parents, who are divorced, are arguing about whose fault it is and what they should do with her. Desperate, Evie calls on the only friend who has always been there for...
    Evie, a high school student, faces an uncertain future - her school's administration is considering suspending her for punching a classmate who has outed her. Her former girlfriend is distancing herself by denying the whole relationship. Her parents, who are divorced, are arguing about whose fault it is and what they should do with her. Desperate, Evie calls on the only friend who has always been there for her, to help- her childhood imaginary friend, Mr. Fluffles.