Asian American: Plays for a New Generation

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Josephine Lee, Donald Eitel, Rick Shiomi
Temple University Press, May 27, 2011 - Drama - 327 pages
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Asian American plays provide an opportunity to think about how racial issues are engaged through theatrical performance physical contact, bodily labor, and fleshly desire as well as through the more standard elements of plot, setting, characterization, staging, music, and action.

Asian American Plays for a New Generation showcases seven exciting new plays that dramatize timely themes that are familiar to Asian Americans. The works variously address immigration, racism, stereotyping, identity, generational tensions, assimilation, and upward mobility as well as post-9/11 paranoia, racial isolation, and adoptee experiences.

Each of these works engages directly and actively with Asian American themes through performance to provide an important starting point for building relationships, raising political awareness, and creating active communities that can foster a sense of connection or even rally individuals to collective action.

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About the author (2011)

Josephine Lee is Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is currently the president of the Association for Asian American Studies. Her most recent book is The Japan of Pure Invention: Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. She is also the author of Performing Asian America: Race and Ethnicity on the Contemporary Stage and co-editor of Re/collecting Early Asian America: Essays in Cultural History. (both Temple).

Don Eitel is a musician, composer, actor, director, and arts administrator. Currently the Managing Director of Mu Performing Arts, he was also a founding Artistic Director of Starting Gate Productions and has worked as the Development Associate and Assistant to the Artistic Director at Park Square Theatre, a mid-sized company based in St. Paul, MN.

R. A. Shiomi has been one of the leaders of the Asian American theater movement since the 1980's, as a playwright, director and artistic director. His plays include Yellow Fever, Rosie's Cafe, Play Ball, Mask Dance and Journey of the Drum. He has directed at Mu Performing Arts, AATC in San Francisco and Interact Theater in Philadelphia. He is one of the founders of Mu Performing Arts and has been its artistic director since 1993. He received the Sally Irvine Ordway award for "Vision" in 2007 for his work with Mu Performing Arts.

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