Jesse Appell is a Fulbright Scholar whose research focuses on Chinese humor and performance. He is a disciple of master crosstalk performer Ding Guangquan. Appell regularly performs crosstalk, bilingual improv comedy, and stand-up live and on Chinese television. He also creates comedic online videos intended for Chinese audiences. One of these, “Laowai Style,” garnered two million hits across several media platforms. Appell’s performances, writing, and commentary on Chinese comedy, media, and culture have been seen and heard on TEDx, PBS, NPR, and PRI, as well as on Chinese media such as CCTV, BTV, and CRI. He was selected as one of the “People of the Year” for 2012 by the Global Times. In 2012, Jesse founded www.laughbeijing.com, an organization that uses comedy to bridge cultural gaps.
Ding Guangquan (crosstalk performer)
In March 2014, UCCA and Ping Pong Productions launched the Performing Arts Platform Series. Through a wide variety of performances, open rehearsals, performing arts workshops, master classes, arts management seminars, lectures, talks, and discussions with artists, critics, and scholars, this program series creates unprecedented opportunities for Chinese and international performing artists and audiences to meet and interact. It facilitates cross-genre and cross-cultural exploration, enriching cultural exchange and collaboration between Chinese and international artists, audiences, and students.
Ping Pong Productions is a catalyst that brings China and the world together through the performing arts. As artistic ambassadors, they engage cultures through discourse, searching for points of cooperation, mutual exchange, and understanding. They develop cultural exchange projects and facilitate creative collaborations between Chinese and international artists, scholars, and audiences. With teams based in China and the United States, PPP has extensive experience providing production, consulting, management, and planning services.