First National Asian American Theatre Fest Runs in June

By: Mar. 12, 2007
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New York City will be the setting for the first-ever National Asian American Theatre Festival from June 11-24, 2007 when more than 25 Asian American performing arts companies and solo artists from coast-to-coast -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, etc. -- convene for two weeks of performances at various venues throughout NYC.
This inaugural festival will feature performances by many of the nation's leading Asian American theater companies, organizations that have been trailblazers in giving voice to Asian American writers and actors for decades -- including Ma-Yi Theater Company, National Asian American Theatre Company, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, East West Players, Pangea World Theatre. These established companies will be joined in the NAATF by a wide variety of solo theater artists and emerging theater companies, bringing together the experienced and the experimental.
The participating artists in the NAATF represent the tremendous diversity of the growing Asian American population in the United States with heritages from Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam reflected in their work.
Venues to include: The Culture Project-SoHo (55 Mercer Street), Theatre Row's Beckett and Kirk Theatres (410 West 42nd Street), Abingdon Theatre (312 West 36th Street), La MaMa ETC (74A East 4th Street) and Baruch College Theatre (55 Lexington Avenue) in Manhattan; Queens Theatre in the Park in Queens; Pregones Theater (571-575 Walton Avenue) in the Bronx; and Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Terrace) on Staten Island.
The National Asian American Theatre Festival was borne out of a Theatre Communications Group (TCG) roundtable for theaters of color, after which, six of the top Asian American theater groups (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, East West Players, Ma-Yi Theater, the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), Second Generation, and Mu Performing Arts) to met in June 2004 to discuss the state of Asian American Theater.
One of the producers of the NAATF who attended that 2004 conference, Jorge Ortoll of the New York-based Ma-Yi Theater Company, remarks, "We all felt that it was our responsibility to follow through on the ideas that came out of the TCG conference. It's the 21st century, and it is time that we gather together in one place and showcase the remarkable young Asian American talent that the United States has to offer. We hope that the first NAATF will be a benchmark in the history of Asian American Theater in this country."
Companies invited to participate at the first National Asian American Theatre Festival 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), Vampire Cowboys (New York).
Solo artists invited to participate include: Regie Cabico and Aileen Cho (New York); Pallabi Chakravorty (Wynnewood, Pennsylvania); D'Lo (Santa Monica); Anida Yoeu Esguerra (Chicago); Soomi Kim (New York); Jude Narita (Marina Del Ray, California); Ping Chong (New York); Hanalei Ramos (Edison, New Jersey); S.T. Shimi (San Antonio); Denise Uyehara (Tucson); Kristina Wong (Los Angeles); Marian Yalini Thambynayagam (New York); Marcus Young (Minneapolis).
Additional venues, participants, and production details, including performance schedule, to be announced.
The NAATF runs June 11-24, 2007 at various venues throughout NYC. Tickets to NAATF events start at $15. For performance and ticket information, log on to the Festival's web site at