Inspired by protest music, spoken word poetry, and Asian-American fusion, Illegal: A New Musical has released a cast album, available now on streaming platforms. Performed by an all Asian-American cast, the 15-song album features music and lyrics by Skyler Chin and Sita Sunil.
Described as "an Asian-American rap rock musical about America's first illegal immigrants," the artists included on the cast recording are Anna Stacy, Nicholas Leung, Subin Kara Ahn, Miguel Sutedjo, Skyler Chin, and Sita Sunil. The release of the cast album follows a series of performances across the United States partnering with educational institutions and community organizations that support and uplift AAPI representation. There have also been full-length staged readings in New York City and on Long Island.
Inspired by writer Chin's reflection about his grandfather's 1923 detainment and interrogation, and by poems carved by detainees into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station in the San Francisco Bay, Chin notes: "It's important to learn from the past but also to honor the humanity and fighting spirit of those who persevered, allowing future Americans to proudly tell their stories." Chin dedicates this musical to the immigrants and people of color who "have always fought for dignity in this country through their artistry just like the detainee poets who left their voices on the walls."
This year, Illegal was named a finalist for the 2023 Richard Rogers Awards, and Chin and Sunil will continue to develop the musical alongside new collaborations with the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.
Illegal: A New Musical is now available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and more. For more information, visit SkylerChin.com.