Photo Flash: SOFT POWER Meets THE KING AND I With David Henry Hwang And Bartlett Sher At Asia Society
Award-winning theatre artists David Henry Hwang and Bartlett Sher engaged in a conversation about the current state of American musical theatre, through the lens of Asian and Asian American representation on Broadway at the Asia Society in New York on February 5th.
The Lunar New Year discussion was framed in the context of two recent productions, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori's Soft Power and the Bartlett Sher helmed revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. They discussed how Asian representation throughout the history of musical theatre informs our present understanding of the art form, race relations, the current state of representation on- and backstage on Broadway, and more. Hwang and Sher shared their distinctive approaches with a segue of how to improve upon the status quo.
The conversation was moderated by Karen Shimakawa, associate professor of performance studies at the Tisch School of Art, New York University.
Soft Power cast members Jaygee Macapugay, Alyse Alan Louis, Austin Ku and Daniel May, Hwang's Soft Power collaborator Jeanine Tesori, Tina Chen, Jim Dale, Nadine Wong, Alberta Arthurs, consultant in Arts and Humanities and Jacqueline Davis (Executive Director of NY Performing Arts Library) were among the audience members.
Center Theatre Group's world premiere production of Soft Power recently received six LA Ovation Awards - Best Production of a Musical (Large Theatre), Alyse Alan Louis won for Lead Actress in a Musical, Anita Yavich for Costume Design (Large Theatre), David O for Music Direction, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori for Lyrics/Composition of an Original Musical and David Henry Hwang for Book for an Original Musical.
This program is part of the series "Asian Americans in Theatre: Art and Activism," curated by Marina Chan (CC'17) and co-presented with the Barnard College Department of Theatre,Stages of Inquiry.
Watch the panel below:
Photo Credit: Lia Chang
Alberta Arthurs, consultant in Arts and Humanities, Jacqueline Davis, Executive Director of NY Performing Arts Library and Rachel Cooper, Asia Society Director for Performing Arts and Cultural Program