David Henry Hwang, Douglas Carter Beane, Tara Rubin and More Set for RepresentAsian Roundtable Discussion

News   David Henry Hwang, Douglas Carter Beane, Tara Rubin and More Set for RepresentAsian Roundtable Discussion
The Asian American Performers Action Coalition and Fordham University will present RepresentAsian: The Changing Face of Theatre, a roundtable discussion moderated by Chinglish playwright David Henry Hwang, Feb. 13 at Fordham's Pope Auditorium.

David Henry Hwang
David Henry Hwang Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The 7 PM roundtable will include prominent producers, agents, casting directors, playwrights and directors, who will discuss access to casting opportunities for minority actors, their representation on New York City stages and ways to create a more inclusive industry.

Participants at RepresentAsian include producers Nelle Nugent (Stick Fly, Ghetto Klown) and Stephen Byrd (2008 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, upcoming Streetcar Named Desire); Public Theatre artistic director Oskar Eustis; playwright Douglas Carter Beane (Sister Act The Musical, Lysistrata Jones); casting directors Nancy Piccione (Manhattan Theatre Club), Stephanie Klapper (Dividing the Estate, In The Continuum) and Tara Rubin (The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, Mamma Mia!); agents Paul Hilepo (Hartig-Hilepo Agency), Don Birge (Stewart Talent Agency) and Mark Schlegel (Cornerstone Talent); directors Trip Cullman (Wild Animals You Should Know) and Ken Rus Schmoll (Middletown); and Actor's Equity Association executive director Mary McColl.

The roundtable coincides with the release of a report by the AAPAC entitled "Ethnic Representation on New York City Stages 2006/07-2010/11 Seasons." The report tallies the ethnic make up of cast members from every Broadway show which opened in the last five seasons as well as from productions at the 16 largest not-for-profit theatre companies in New York City.

According to the findings in the "Ethnic Representation" report, over the past five years, African Americans were cast in 13.2 percent of all available roles, Latinos in 3.5 percent and Asian Americans in 2.3 percent; Asian Americans were the only major minority group to see their numbers go down, from three percent five years ago to one percent in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons (with a slight up-tick to 2 percent this past season); and Asian Americans were the least likely of all major minority groups to play roles that were not racially specific. The full report will be released in conjunction with the roundtable.

Questions for roundtable participants can be submitted prior to the event via AAPAC's Facebook page or Twitter by including the hashtag #aapacnyc. The Pope Auditorium at Fordham University is located at 60th Street and Columbus Avenue. For more information and to make a reservation to the event, email aapacrsvp@gmail.com.

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