Exclusion playwright Kenneth Lin; courtesy of Lin

Exclusion is my primal scream as an Asian American deep in Hollywood’s trenches, thrown into the mouth of a ventriloquist’s dummy. Importantly, it is also a fulfillment of my duty as an artist to respond to the moment, and in this particular American moment, we really, really need funny,” Kenneth Lin, a playwright and television scriptwriter (House of Cards, Star Trek: Discovery), tells City Paper. One of Arena Stage’s “power plays,” the world premiere of Exclusion promises to be a wickedly funny satire about television and race during a time of both heightened Sinophobia and as Asian and Asian American films and actors are belatedly being watched and awarded by white audiences, such as last year’s brilliant, absurdist drama Everything Everywhere All at Once receiving the most Academy Award nods. Exclusion is a comedy that follows a historian who finds her published research on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 optioned (and undermined, rewritten, and perverted) by a team of Hollywood writers who are turning her award-winning history into a streamable miniseries. Lin continues, “So, I hope that audiences come and we can laugh and see each other. After all, they say that Hollywood is just Washington for ugly people, right?” Exclusion, written by Kenneth Lin and directed by Trip Cullman, runs May 5 through June 25 at Arena Stage. arenastage.org. $56–$115.