Carla Ching


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Full-length Drama

Alix lives in a tiny motel room with her mother and two brothers, scrabbling to make weekly rent. Mason lives comfortably in a grand, empty house while his father runs jobs for the Hong Kong Triad. Until the day his father disappears and Mason has to figure out how to come up with grocery money and dodge Child Services and the INS. Mason and Alex develop the most tentative of friendships, struggling to survive, and trying to outrun the mistakes of their parents. Will they make it out or fall through the cracks? A play about Motel Kids and Parachute Kids raising themselves and living at the poverty line in a land of plenty.

Production Notes:


2F, 3M

Character List:

MASON, 17, Chinese American in a black hoodie—a lonely, misunderstood musical prodigy. JAMES, 45, strapping, cocky, leather jacket, perfectlycoiffed hair, from Hong Kong. FIONA, 42, a gorgeous and cultured blonde formerHuntington Beach gal. ALIX, 17, a scrappy survivor who’s bigger than thetown she’s from.OSCAR, 17, a dude of color, aqua blue dreadlocks, amodern day Basquiat, gregarious, a dreamer.

"You’ll care for these characters, because Ms. Ching writes roles that actors enjoy playing...because she works from a place of genuine curiosity about who we are and how we got to be that way." —New York Times

An SCR Time Warner CrossRoads Commission
2015 O’Neill Playwrights Conference
National New Play Network Showcase of New Plays
Atlantic Theatre Company’s Mixfest
NNPN Rolling World Premiere at City Theatre Company, Unicorn Theatre Company and NY Premiere at Atlantic Theater Company

Photo by Ahron R. Foster, Atlantic Theatre Co production, 2019.


Carla Ching

A native (and current) Angeleno, Carla called NYC home for 16 years. She started off writing/performing autobiographical work with pan-Asian collective Peeling which she still considers her first theater training. Her plays include Revenge Porn or the Story of a Body (O'Neill Playwrights Conference 2021), Nomad Motel (NY Premiere: Atlantic Theater Company; NNPN Rolling World Premiere at City Theatre, Horizon Theatre and Unicorn Theatre), Fast Company (South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (Artists at Play, Mu Performing Arts), The Sugar House at the Edge of The Wilderness (Ma-Yi) and TBA (2g). Her work’s been developed or produced by Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, CTG Writers’ Workshop, Huntington Theatre Company, The Kitchen, The Lark Playwrights Workshop, Lyric Stage, Midnight Rice, PFP and The Women’s Project among others. Former Artistic Director of 2g. Founding member of The Kilroys and proud member of New Dramatists. Co-recipient of the 2021 Horton Foote Playwriting Award from the Dramatist Guild and the 2021 Los Angeles New Play Project Prize. On television, Carla has written on Graceland, Fear the Walking Dead, I Love Dick, ....[FULL BIO]

Carla Ching

Q&A with playwright

Carla Ching

TRWPlays author Carla Ching was kind enough to share some time with TRW's Katie Stottlemire, and offered a revealing, candid and insightful look into her work.

...poets, theatermakers, writers and artists aren't our prophets and seers anymore. Maybe they could and should be."

KATIE: Your plays NOMAD MOTEL and THE TWO KIDS THAT BLOW SHIT UP are different in plot and circumstance but explore similar themes. Both plays present complex family relationships and stories of love. In TWO KIDS, we watch a tumultuous relationship that spans over thirty years and in NOMAD MOTEL, we witness two unique family structures and complex feelings of love. How do you approach writing on family and love?

CARLA: I think F. Scott Fitzgerald said that we return to the same themes again and again because they're the themes/images/characters that haunt us.