Dear friends, supporters, and fellow artists,
We hope you’re all staying safe—and sane!—during these unprecedented times. Who would’ve thought you’d ever hear us say we don’t want you to come out to an Artists at Play show right now? Like all other organizations, we are trucking along, working (remotely) on how to make necessary adjustments while sticking to our original plans as best we can. As it is our foremost mission to highlight the work of Asian American theatre artists, AAP is actively looking for new ways to achieve those goals while adjusting to the new normal. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about theatre or what we do or if you’re interested in collaborating somehow. Now’s as good a time as any!
Our first touring show, Allos: The Story of Carlos Bulosan written & directed by Giovanni Ortega, is our most immediately affected program. Originally slated for performances in May to coincide with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are now rescheduling the tour for October 2020—which happens to be Filipino American History Month!
We are currently exploring a podcast/audio version of our annual Spring Readings. There are so many talented Asian American writers that we want to support, trying to see if even private in-house readings or one-on-one meetings could provide assistance at the developmental level.
Artists at Play’s 2020 Summer Salon is a special event commemorating our 10th Season. We will present a reading of our 2011 inaugural production, Ching Chong Chinaman by Lauren Yee, reuniting director (and AAP co-founder) Peter J. Kuo with the original cast: Julia Cho, Elizabeth Ho, Stephen Hu, Ken Narasaki, Helen Ota, and Scott Keiji Takeda. Slated for Sunday, July 19 at Inner-City Arts.
Also still on the calendar is our Fall Mainstage, the world premiere of This Is Not a True Story by Preston Choi, directed by Reena Dutt. AAP presented this play at last year’s Spring Readings as well as the National Asian American Theater ConFest in Chicago to a standing ovation and rousing post-show discussion. What happens when Madame Butterfly, Kim from Miss Saigon, and Kumiko the Treasure Hunter cross paths, realizing they’re doomed to relive their (Western-patriarchy-enforced fetishized-Orientalist) lives over and over again?
Oh, and we’re also getting to work on finally becoming a non-profit in order to combat the effects of AB5—and now a pandemic—but mainly in hopes of making more of a financial investment back into our Asian American theatre community.
If you’re a fan of Artists at Play, we’d really appreciate your support. One way to help us is to make a tax-deductible donation via Fractured Atlas. We want to weather this and we also truly want to keep showcasing amazing work for our amazing community. The magic of live theatre doesn’t solely come from the performance, but the connection to others—which is definitely limited right now. It’s tough on us to be separated, but it merely confirms that people like being together. (Okay, most people. We see you, our introvert friends!) When this passes, the need to gather together will be stronger than ever. And when that happens, AAP and the rest of Los Angeles theatre hope to be ready.
In the meantime, please take care of yourself and your loved ones, make those difficult calls in the name of safety and health knowing that it’s truly for the good of humanity, and remember that at some point in the not-so-distant future we’ll all be convening at another show, hugging and catching up, impressed that we were able to make it to the other side.
And if you need a little distraction, here’s a fun look back at “5 Years of Artists at Play.” (Can you believe that was 5 years ago??)