This week on HowlRound, we'll be examining Asian American Theatre and exploring the theme of the 4th National Asian American Theatre Conference & Festival, "Home: Here? There? Where?"—Click here for the blog series. Use #theNAATF and #howlround in Twitter.
The Consortium of Asian American Theatres & Artists envisions a strong and sustainable Asian American Theatre community that is an integral presence in national culture—evocative of our past, declarative of our present, and innovative towards our future. Our mission is to advance the field of Asian American Theatre through a national network of organizations and artists. We collaborate to inspire learning and sharing of knowledge, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable artistic ecology.
Thursday 9 October:
Opening Plenary at 6:30 p.m. EDT / 5:30 p.m. CDT / 3:30 p.m. PDT
Welcome and introductions facilitated by Andrea Assaf of Art2Action and a host of artists from far and near, followed by a conversation featuring theatre artists and producers Soomi Kim, Traci Kato Kiriyama, and Shyamala Moorty addressing current and future directions for the field, including cross-disciplinary and/or multi-disciplinary work and community engagement and activism.
Friday 10 October:
Plenary 2: Unhomed at 9:30 a.m. EDT / 8:30 a.m. CDT / 6:30 a.m. PDT
Gordon Hirabayashi was tried and convicted in 1942 for refusing to follow the U.S. government’s order for the forced removal of Japanese Americans to internment camps. An excerpt of Hold these Truths, Jeanne Sakata’s play about the case, performed by Makoto Hirano, will introduce the plenary followed by comments from Karen Shimakawa, May Joseph, and Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson.
2020: Evolving Asian American Theatre at 11 a.m. EDT / 10 a.m. CDT / 8 a.m. PDT
The model of ethnically-specific theatres has evolved over time to meet the needs of artists, audiences, and communities—what happens next? With Victor Maog, Leslie Ishii, Jeff Liu, and Roger Tang.
Minding the Gap and Bridging It at 4:30 p.m. EDT / 3:30 p.m. CDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT
Developed by Artists at Play, a theatre-producing collective based in Los Angeles, this session will engage both emerging and existing artists/leaders in conversations that will bring us together and plan out ideas of succession and partnership. With Marie-Reine Velez and Victor Maog.
Saturday 11 October:
Plenary 3: Casting and Representation for Asian Americans at 9:30 a.m. EDT / 8:30 a.m. CDT / 6:30 a.m. PDT
Yellow face acting and stereotypical representations of Asian Americans continue to plague us. This panel discussion between actors, directors, producers, and playwrights addresses recent issues across the country, seeking to conjure up new ideas for change.
De/Constructing Homes at 11 a.m. EDT / 10 a.m. CDT / 8 a.m. PDT
This panel will examine the questions of “home” symbolically and materially in the academy and in the larger sense of the nation. What does “home” mean in today’s world of movement and migration? How are contemporary Asian American performers and theater artists registering these transits through their art practices and daily lives? Presentations by scholars and working artists, followed by a short discussion. With Donatella Galella, Sehba Sarwar and Chris Eng.
The State of Asian American Theatre at 4:30 p.m. EDT / 3:30 p.m. CDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT
The roundtable will consist of artists and scholars who will discuss the current state of Asian American theatre with specific focus on what “home” means in Asian American theatre in 2014. Each artist and scholar will cite case studies to illustrate how the stage has been used to imagine and represent “home.” The roundtable will also discuss how theatre has been a venue to explore a sense of displacement in an increasingly globalized world. With Jeremy Tiang, Jeanne Sakata, Esther Kim Lee, and Dan Bacalzo.
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