In 1965 the first Asian American theatre company was formed in Los Angeles as a response to the lack of available roles for Asian American performing artists. Since then, Asian American drama has grown to include mainstream theatre, dance, performance art, film and TV. This class will explore how Asian American performance (whether by intention or effect) is political and politicized art. We will read and view artworks that illustrate key movements in Asian American theatre, performance art, and film, as well as study how these artworks examine issues of gender, class, race, ethnicity, identity and migration. Field trips to related productions by Asian American artists or companies will be an integral component of the class.
Eugenie Chan is a 5th generation San Franciscan whose forefathers sold slippers in Chinatown, dry goods in the desert, and love in the bordellos. No wonder her plays tend to mix up language, reality, tradition, and history. An award-winning professional playwright, her work has been widely produced in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. She teaches in the Performing Arts & Social Justice program.