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NEA Funded Play BRAIDED To Have Staged Reading At California Shakespeare Theater, August 21

BRAIDED explores the intersections of the Native American and Japanese American experiences by drawing upon Anishinaabe and Comanche traditions.

NEA Funded Play BRAIDED To Have Staged Reading At California Shakespeare Theater, August 21

Theatre of Yugen and In The Margin (ITM) co- produce BRAIDED, a new work written by Steven Flores, Anne Yumi Kobori, Shannon R. Davis,, R. Réal Vargas Alanis and Freddy Gutierrez with Davis (Much Ado About Nothing, San Francisco Shakespeare Fest) as director and Vargas Alanis (Between Two Knees, Yale Rep) as Associate Director.

Conceived through a need to collaborate with local Indigenous playwrights in the Bay area, Davis began working with Flores, Vargas Alanis and Gutierrez. After discovering Kobori through participation in an "Undoing Racism" workshop where Kobori discussed her family's internment during World War II and there the writing quintet was formed.

BRAIDED explores the intersections of the Native American and Japanese American experiences by drawing upon Anishinaabe and Comanche traditions, storytelling and dance through the use of Japanese Noh theatre aesthetics. The FREE readings will allow audiences to experience the similarities in spirituality, folklore, resiliency and historical experiences of Indigenous American and Japanese cultures. The cast includes Carlos Aguirre, R. Réal Vargas Alanis, Aureen Almario, Steven Flores, Freddy Gutierrez, Matt Kizer, and Anne Yumi Kobori.

A 2018 grant from National Endowment of the Arts sparked momentum for the project and gained additional funding from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation in addition to the Zellerbach Family Foundation. With assistance from TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, a retreat allowed the team of playwrights an opportunity to prepare several scenes to be tested at Native Writer's Theater in San Francisco, CA.

With support from California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) Braided has found a home for the staged reading occurring Sunday, August 21st in Orinda, CA. Lovers of new work development are encouraged to attend both the staged reading at Cal Shakes as well as the workshop reading at Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco, CA on Friday August 19th. For more information visit theatreofyugen.org

ITM seeks to break patterns and cycles of harm individually, collectively, and globally to carve capacity for the ever-evolving forms of storytelling that inspire a radically inclusive, equitable, accessible, intersectional, and just future. For more information, visit www.inthemargin.org

Theatre of Yugen is an innovative theatre ensemble that is rooted in Noh drama and Kyogen comedy, the oldest continuous theatre traditions of Japan. Fusing contemporary and classical materials, we create and offer intercultural theatrical experiences that engage and inspire diverse peoples in the San Francisco Bay Area and the world. For more information, visit www.theatreofyugen.org

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