The 2011 – 2012 Mu Performing Arts 20th Anniversary mainstage season lineup includes two premiere works by Asian American playwrights: Four Destinies by Katie Hae Leo and A. Rey Pamatmat’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them. Mu Daiko celebrates 15 years of taiko drumming in the Twin Cities with a special anniversary concert, to kick off the group’s Minnesota tour. To close out the mainstage season, Mu will present the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods, re-imagined from an Asian American perspective.
The season kicks off on October 15 at Mixed Blood Theatre with the world premiere of Four Destinies, directed by Suzie Messerole. The play by local playwright Katie Hae Leo is a satirical exploration of adoption through the eyes of Destiny Jones, a single character represented from four different ethnic backgrounds, as she/he grows up in a Minnesota family. Leo, herself a Korean adoptee, presents herself as a character determined to embody the overarching adoptee experience, both in youth and adulthood. Four Destinies has been in development for the past two years through Mu’s Jerome New Performance Program, a platform for emerging Asian American theater voices to create and present edgy new work.
In February, Mu Daiko, under the musical direction of Iris Shiraishi, returns to the Ordway’s McKnight Theatre for a special performance celebrating both the...
Version 3.0, a major new collection of contemporary Asian American plays edited by Chay Yew, is hot off the presses courtesy of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). This vital anthology includes a foreword by David Henry Hwang, introduction by Chay Yew and eight full-length plays, each paired with a statement by the author.
Version 3.0, the first major anthology of contemporary Asian American drama in almost two decades, includes Julia Cho’s Durango, Sunil Kuruvilla’s Rice Boy, Han Ong’s Swoony Planet, Sung Rno’s wAve, Diana Son’s Satellites, Alice Tuan’s Last of the Suns and Chay Yew’s Question 27, Question 28. Also included is The Square, a choral piece meditating on 120 years of relationships between non-Asian Americans and the Asian American community, written by sixteen of today’s leading playwrights: Bridget Carpenter, Ping Chong, Constance Congdon, Kia Corthron, Maria Irene Fornes, Philip Kan Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn, David Henry Hwang, Robert O’Hara, Craig Lucas, Han Ong, José Rivera, Diana Son, Alice Tuan, Mac Wellman and Chay Yew.
“I am inspired by the writers in this volume, who have questioned assumptions and expanded the palate of our nation’s dramatic literature… “Version 3.0″ playwrights have kept Asian American theatre vital. On a personal level, seeing and reading their plays has kept me young,” writes David Henry Hwang.
Editor Chay Yew points out that...
Dr. Bobby Fong, BD Wong and Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth will be honored at the 2011 National OCA Convention in New York at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, during the Gala Awards on Saturday, August 6, 2011. President of Ursinus College, Dr. Bobby Fong and actor, BD Wong will receive OCA Pioneer Awards. Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth, will be receiving the OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award. OCA will also recognize the achievements of its own members with the Chapter of the Year Award and the Unsung Heroes Awards.
OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is holding their 2011 National Convention, Advocacy Through Compassion – A New York State of Mind, from August 4-7, 2011 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The annual OCA National Convention draws hundreds of APAs from around the country and features three days of workshops, exhibits, youth and college programs, film screenings and notable speakers. For more information and to register for this year’s National Convention, please visit our the website at www.ocanational.org.
2011 Pioneer Awards Honorees
Dr. Bobby Fong is the President of Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. He attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree...
Congratulations to playwright David Henry Hwang, who has been named the Honoree of the 31st Annual William Inge Theatre Festival, in Independence, Kansas, on the campus of Independence Community College.
Hwang will be at the Inge Festival from April 18-21, 2012. He joins the roster of internationally renowned playwrights who have traveled to the Inge Festival to receive the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award. This select list includes Arthur Miller, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, and the most recent Honoree, Marsha Norman, to name just a few.
“David Henry Hwang brings a unique voice to the fabric of the American theatre,” said Peter Ellenstein, Inge Center Artistic Director. “Besides being a great dramatist, his work often gives voice to an Asian-American perspective that has been long left out of American culture.”
Hwang is also a librettist for musicals and operas, as well as a screenwriter. At the multi-media Tribute ceremony that concludes the Inge Festival, Hwang will accept the annual Inge Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award.
Since its founding in 1981, the William Inge Theatre Festival has celebrated the accomplishments of nationally renowned playwrights. It is the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas, located in the picturesque southeastern Kansas town of Independence (pop. 10,000), William Inge’s hometown. Inge...
On Wednesday, July 27, I reconnected with Rick Shiomi, the author of one of my favorite plays, “Yellow Fever,” when we were both in Washington D.C. at the Asian Reading Room of the Library of Congress in the Thomas Jefferson Building. The groundbreaking Asian-North American playwright, taiko troupe leader, and artistic director of Mu Performing Arts, was on a week long book tour to promote “Asian American Plays for a New Generation” (Temple University Press, June 2011), which he co-edited with Josephine Lee and Don Eitel.
Reme Grefalda, the curator of the Asian Pacific Islander Collection, had put together a marvelous program which included his talk about the Anthology, and a week-long display in the Asian Reading Room of the Library of Congress.
The display featured 37 photographs drawn from the Lia Chang Theater Portfolio including Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s “The Lion King Las Vegas”; rehearsals of a staged concert of Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s musical “Heading East” starring BD Wong at the Asia Society in New...