The National Asian American Theater Company has created a partnership with several theatre companies in an effort to increase the visibility of artists and their work on stage.
Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop and Soho Repertory Theatre, as well as Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, and Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, are the first in the NAATCO National Partnership Project, which will continue expanding to regional theatres across the country. The next group of partners is expected to be announced in the fall.
The project has four facets: collaboratively select a production guided by the parameters of NAATCO’s programming, plan a series of pre-show events and post-show talkbacks, draft and implement a plan for community outreach tailored to Asian Americans, and announce additional NAATCO-aligned programming for the following season.
“A spotlight shines on ‘inclusion and belonging’ in American culture today,” said NAATCO Founder and Artistic Director Mia Katigbak. “Asian Americans [continue] to be represented in stereotypical and formulaic ways, when represented at all. Our partners will join our efforts to foster and create more expansive representations of Asian Americans, on stage as well as behind the scenes.”
The non-profit, founded in 1991, seeks out various works, including European and American classics with all-Asian American casts, the adaptation of such classics by Asian American playwrights, new plays by non-Asian Americans with non-Asian or Asian American subject matters or characters realized by all-Asian American casts, and the development and production of new plays by Asian American playwrights that incorporate other performance arts and media.
Recent productions by NAATCO include Veil Window Conspiracy and the Drama Desk-nominated Henry VI.