SEATTLE -- The Northwest American Theatre has announced the appointment of Chil Kong as its new artistic director.
Kong, a Korean-American, comes to NWAAT from San Diego Repertory Theatre. where he directed the Rep's Calafia Project, developing multi-ethnic projects and audiences. Prior to that he served as artistic director of Asian on Stage, in Boston.
Kong has announced a five-year goal for NWAAT: to utilize three performing spaces, and double its current budget to $1 million a year. The company now largely produces at the Theatre Off Jackson in the International district on the south end of downtown Seattle, but Kong forsees also staging large-scale musicals at the nearby Nippon Kan Theatre, and experimental work in what is now the Wing Luke Museum, upstairs from Theatre Off Jackson.
His first season slate still being confirmed. Kong has announced one production will be West Sides Story staged as an internal battle among Asian-Americans, with the Sharks as a Filipino gang, and the Jets comprised of other Asian-Americans and whites.
-- By David-Edward Hughes