Sunday, June 22, 2014

Asian Americans in "An Ideal Theater"

At today's closing plenary at the Theater Communications Group, we heard many words by some of the diverse founders of American Theater companies. Today, we didn't hear the words by some of the founders of Asian American Theater companies or Native American /First Peoples companies. I too have much to learn about the history of Native companies, but I know that there are voices from several founders of Asian American Theater Companies: East West Players (1965), Asian American Theater Company (1973) and Pan-Asian Rep (1977).

There are conversations to be had, writings to shared and much more work on inclusion to be done. For now... I offer you the words of Mako, that I was able to find tonight while searching on the internet.
Of course, we've been fighting against stereotypes from Day 1 at East West. That's the reason we formed: to combat that, and to show we are capable of more than just fulfilling the stereotypes -- waiter, laundryman, gardener, martial artist, villain. 

Unless our story is told to (other) people, it's hard for them to understand where we are. 

Personally, I am tired of living under an assumed falsehood and an imposed stereotype!

(The goal of East West Players is) to preserve and express a language and literature and sound of our own by developing an Asian Pacific American theater that is vital, truthful and alive. We should open wide the door to reveal a tapestry of East and West, rich in sensitivity and creativity.

Mako – East West Players 1965


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