Stuck Elevator

music by Byron Au Yong, libretto by Aaron Jafferis

AhnBicycle.1Stuck Elevator tells the story of Guang, a Chinese food deliveryman struggling for freedom from debt, human smugglers, loud-mouthed coworkers, and the temptations of General Tso. Based on the true story of an undocumented immigrant who survived 81 hours in a Bronx elevator, this comic-rap-scrap-metal-music-theatre work follows Guang’s increasingly fantastic attempts to escape a 4′ by 6′ by 8′ metal box.

Listen to songs from Stuck Elevator in the player below or by clicking this link.

1.0 ‘Stuck Elevator’ review: Top-flight – San Francisco Chronicle
“Creative riches explode from one small, claustrophobic space in ‘Stuck Elevator,’ the extraordinary musical that… pack[s] an epic’s worth of inspired music and inspirational content, performances and design… A vibrant opera-musical theater hybrid with a story both personally compelling and eye-opening.” More…

Trapped man is unlikely subject of a moving musical in this ready-to-tour title – Variety
“[Stuck Elevator] is a fascinating and compelling work that proves strong ideas can’t be contained in simple boxes… claustrophobic and expansive, intimate and existential, personal and political all at once.”  More…

Stuck Elevator is a sung-through hybrid of musical theatre, opera, and solo performance born of the disparate theatrical worlds of its two authors. A scrap-metal percussionist, violinist, and cellist create a mongrel sound that reflects the shifting world in which Guang lives: part American, part Chinese, part Bronx, part shipping container, part heart, part elevator. Bowed bicycle wheels and other found metal objects evoke the ominous sounds of the elevator and apartment building. Guang sings lyrical melodies and screams metallic noise. Though one actor plays Guang throughout his solo ordeal, others drift in and out of the elevator, manifesting the characters populating Guang’s memories, dreams, and imaginings.

  • “The invigorating, near-Shakespearean rap drama Kingdom... [is] innovatively intelligent…sobering, unflinching. The score is the first I’ve experienced to make a viable case for rap and hip-hop as theatre music… Jafferis and Williams are worthy musical inheritors of Shakespeare’s legacy.” –
  • About Aaron

    Aaron Jafferis is a hip hop poet and playwright. Read his bio, his CV, or contact him.