National Asian American Theater Festival Planned | Playbill

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News National Asian American Theater Festival Planned Over 25 theatre companies will participate in the inaugural National Asian American Theater Festival, which will be presented in New York June 11-24.

The festival is organized by the Ma-Yi Theater Company, the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) and the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre.

The New York Times reports that one of the shows will include Ma-Yi's presentation of I Land, a solo play written and performed by Keo Woolford, who will explore his heritage through the history of hula dance.

Solo artists set to perform include Regie Cabico and Aileen Cho (New York); Pallabi Chakravorty (Wynnewood, PA); D'Lo (Santa Monica, CA); Anida Yoeu Esguerra (Chicago); Soomi Kim (New York); Jude Narita (Marina Del Ray, CA); Ping Chong (New York); Hanalei Ramos (Edison, NJ); S.T. Shimi (San Antonio); Denise Uyehara (Tucson); Kristina Wong (Los Angeles); Marian Yalini Thambynayagam (New York) and Marcus Young (Minneapolis).

Companies participating include 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors/Cold Tofu/OPM/Lodestone (Los Angeles); Asian American Theater (San Francisco); Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia); Big Red Media (New York); Desipina (New York); DiverseCity (New York); East West Players (Los Angeles); Fluid Motion (New York); kaotic good productions (Chicago); Ma-Yi Theater (New York); Mu Performing Arts Theater (Minneapolis); National Asian American Theatre Company (New York); New World Theater (Massachusetts); Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (New York); Stir-Friday Night! (Chicago); TeAda (Los Angeles); Youth Speaks, Inc./The Living World Project (Los Angeles) and Vampire Cowboys (New York).

Other shows are yet to be announced. Shows will take place at such venues as Theatre Row, Abingdon Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Pregones, La MaMa and Culture Project. Tickets will go on sale April 30. Discussions about creating such a festival began at a 2003 Theatre Communications Group conference of minority-run theatre companies at the White Oak retreat in Yulee, FL.

Six Asian-American companies — Ma-Yi, NAATCO, Pan Asian Rep, East West Players, Second Generation and Mu Performing Arts — then met in 2004 to discuss the challenges particular to Asian-American theatre. They decided to hold a conference, the "Next Big Bang: The First Asian American Theater Conference," which took place in Los Angeles from June 18-20, 2006. The success of the conference inspired the planning of the upcoming festival.

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