3rd National Asian American Theater Conference Features
"New Directions"
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (May 27, 2011)—The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists' 3rd National Asian American Theater Conference will bring together a wide range of persons and organizations to address issues that both Asian American and general theater communities face today.
The conference, which takes place June 20 – 23 in Los Angeles, will feature more than 25 panels and workshops by more than 50 theater professionals, including artistic directors, executive directors, funders, artists, administrators and educators.
"This is an exciting time for Asian American theater to take a leadership role on the national theater landscape as the global reach of the arts, new media, and a new generation of voices exploring new forms expand the Asian and Asian American voice in new directions," says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. "We chose New Directions as our theme because we, as a community, wanted to move forward in a strategic way that would assist us in making the most impact on the live performance scene now that we have a national consortium of Asian American theaters and artists" stated Leilani Chan, Artistic Director of TeAda productions. Both East West Players and TeAda Productions are the Los Angeles hosts of the conference and festival.
Since its inception in 2003, when six Asian American theater companies attended a convening sponsored by Theatre Communications Group began discussions to initiate their own theater conference, the National Asian American Theater Conference has brought theater professionals from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, China, Great Britian, India and Singapore.
The conference kicks off Monday evening, June 20th with the opening keynote speech from Cheryl Ikemiya (Senior Program Office for the Arts, Doris Duke Foundation), followed by the panel New Directions to Explore, Discover, Initiate, moderated by Lucy Burns, PhD professor from the UCLA department of Asian American Studies.
The following two days of the festival will feature panels and workshops separated into four categories. These categories were developed as the result of a national survey conducted in Fall 2010 to determine the most important needs of the Asian American theater community. These categories are; Nuts and Bolts for the numerous Asian American artists and organizations who are still creating the business and administrative foundation to support and develop their works, Artistic Practice for artists to refine or expand their artistic talent, Directing−where opportunities for Asian Americans to take leadership positions in the arts has become a passionate source of dialogue over the past few years, and Social Justice−topical issues that affect our community and the diverse groups within.
Tuesday, June 21st will start with interactive plenary named after the conference theme, New Directions, facilitated by Andrea Assaf (Artistic Director, Art2Action Inc.) and Gayle Isa (Executive Director, Asian Arts Initiative). Tuesdays' Artistic Practice segment feature a two-part session of Performance Techniques Workshop: Japanese Physical Acting taught by Izumi Ashizawa followed by New Waves, New Words, New Writers, a panel discussing the new wave of Asian American writers. The Director's segment will feature two Directing Workshop Sessions taught by Jon Lawrence Rivera as well as Theatre Leaders on Directors and Directing where theater executives will discuss the hiring and working with stage directors. The Social Justice segment will focus discussion on issues of war, alternative sexuality and natural disasters with: Artists Addressing War & Militarism: Near Middle & Far, From the Pens of the Underdog: Queer and Asian and Not Complaining … but Planning! and After the Earthquake, Tsunami and Near Nuclear Meltdown. The Nuts & Bolts segment will focus on practical discussions of funding, marketing and working with mid-size and regional theaters: The Art of Funding, Getting to the Next Stage and Marketing Asian American Theatre in the 21st Century.
Wednesday, June 22nd Artistic Practice panels will feature Asian American Women and Comedy, a discussion with international artists in Cross Pollination of Cultures and the Urgency to Break Barriers and a Performance Workshop: Spoken Word and Slam Poetry taught by Beau Sia. Wednesday's Directing segment will feature a two-part Devising Theatre workshop as well as Directing & Ensemble Creation: A National Field Discussion about the next step in artistic development for directors and ensembles. The Social Justice portion of the day will focus on pressing issues of refugees, immigrant and community writers and the Asian American population in Minnesota with: Refugee Nation, from LA to Laos: A Diasporic, Transnational Project, Immigration and Community-based Writing and Surprising New Voices from the Midwest. The Nuts & Bolts will educate conference attendees on basic legal issues to be aware of in Legal 101, raise the important discussion of Youth Arts Education and Activism as well as open up a Producers Roundtable Discussion. The conference will close with another interactive plenary, also lead by Andrea Assaf and Gayle Isa, to share the discoveries from the conference and report on action steps to support the "New Directions" of Asian American theater.

Funding for the 3rd National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival is being provided, in part by, National Endowment for the Arts, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Additional sponsors are the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and Inner-City Arts.

The Miyako Hotel and Spa is the Official Hotel of the National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival.
CONFERENCE PASS PRICES for the 3rd National Asian American Theater Conference are $50 for the keynote and opening plenary on Monday, June 20, and $125 per day for access to all panels on Tuesday, June 21, and Wednesday, June 22. The conference runs June 20 – 22. $300 ConFest passes are available and give access to all panels, opening and closing receptions, and includes a free pass to the National Asian American Theater Festival. The festival runs June 23 – 26. Conference and ConFest Passes can be purchased online at, by phone at (213) 625-7000 or in person at the East West Players' administrative office.

LOCATION: The 3rd National Asian American Theater Conference will be hosted at East West Players located at 120 N. Judge John Aiso Street in Downtown Los Angeles at the Alameda exit off the Hollywood (101) Freeway in Little Tokyo, part of the Union Center for the Arts. Parking is available off Judge John Aiso St. between E. Temple St. and E. 1st St. Additional panels and workshops will be hosted at The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center located at 244 S. San Pedro St. in Downtown Los Angeles between E. 2nd St. and E. 3rd St.

ABOUT CAATA: The Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists envisions a strong and sustainable Asian American Theater community that is an integral presence in national culture—evocative of our past, declarative of our present, and innovative towards our future. Our mission is to advance the field of Asian American Theater through a national network of organizations and artists. We collaborate to inspire leaning and sharing of knowledge, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable artistic ecology.

CAATA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Andrea Assaf, Leilani Chan, Tisa Chang, Carla Ching, Tim Dang, Gayle Isa, Mia Katigbak, Dipankar Mukherjee, Duy Nguyen, Jorge Ortoll, Rich Shiomi

3rd National Asian American Theater Conference Panels

Panelists: To Be Announced
Moderator: Chris Aihara
Tuesday, June 21, at 3:45 p.m.
Category: Social Justice
Asian American arts leaders, artists and academics convene in the heart of Little Tokyo. How can artists help in the healing, help tell the story for generations to come and help the community.

Panelists: Bina Sharif and Denise Uyehara
Moderator: Andrea Assaf
Tuesday, June 21, at 11 a.m.
Category: Social Justice
Panelists will share excerpts and discuss performance projects, making connections from Okinawa to
Pakistan and Iraq, from the "War on Terror" to the war on immigrants in the U.S.

Panelists: Helen Ota and Kristina Wong
Moderator: Maggie Lee
Wednesday, June 22, at 9:15 a.m.
Category: Artistic Practice
This session will feature a panel of Asian American female comedy writers and performers who will talk about their experiences in creating humor on all levels, from intellectual wit to fart jokes, and how
race and sex do (or don't) come into play.

Panelist: Jeremy Tiang and Jonathan Man
Moderator: Richard Chang
Wednesday, June 22, at 11 a.m.
Category: Artistic Practice
Explore the whys and hows of global exchange. What is/Is there a new frontier? International artists speak out.

Workshop Facilitator: To Be Announced
Wednesday, June 22, at 9:15 a.m. (Please note: This is a two panel session)
Category: Directing

Panelists: Dipankar Mukherjee, Nobuko Miyamoto and Randy Reyes
Moderators: Andrea Assaf and Meena Natarajan
Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m.
Category: Directing
CAATA hosts the 3rd dialogue in a national series, on the needs, challenges, aesthetics and practices of theater directors & ensembles.

Instructor: Jon Lawrence Rivera
Tuesday, June 21, at 11 a.m. - Session 1
Tuesday, June 21, at 2 p.m. - Session 2
Category: Directing
Using selected scene from DOGEATERS (Jessica Hagedorn), THE JOY LUCK CLUB (Susan Kim), STRAIGHT AS A LINE (Luis Alfaro), and HILLARY AGONISTES (Nick Salamone), Jon Lawrence Rivera explores various directing techniques. Note: There are two different Directing sessions (different works covered) which can be attended individually.

Panelists: Alison De La Cruz and Regie Cabico
Moderator: D'Lo
Tuesday, June 21, at 11 a.m.
Category: Social Justice
The face of theater and audiences are changing. How does "queer" reflect youth and the cutting edge in performance? Strategies for creating performance that challenges the old guard, suburbanites and traditionalists.

Panelists: Kimberly Colburn and Tram Le
Moderator: Peter J. Kuo
Tuesday, June 21, at 2 p.m.
Category: Nuts & Bolts
Representatives from regional theaters and Asian American artists seeking to incite conversation about present initiatives, partnerships, and current issues beyond the discourse of race that should be addressed by both the Asian American theater community and theater institutions.

Panelists: Dae Yoon, Marcy Arlin and Rick Shiomi
Moderator: Henry Ong
Wednesday, June 22, at 11 a.m.
Category: Social Justice
This session will bring different perspectives on the community-based process forward, looking at different projects from the point of view of social activism, as well as the point of artistic creation.

Panelists: Daniel M. Mayeda and James Nguyen
Moderator: Urmika Devi
Wednesday, June 22, at 9:15 a.m.
Category: Nuts & Bolts
The "new normal" reflects the challenges and possibilities of creating in a changed economy and "socially networked" world. Legal 101 offers fresh approaches to legal concepts and licensing issues to strengthen the artistic process.

Panelists: D'Lo and To Be Announced
Moderator: Roger Tang
Tuesday, June 21, at 3:45 p.m.
Category: Nuts & Bolts
Whether you're an established theater, a start-up group or a solo artist trying to build audiences, learn best practices from folks who've used social networking, e-media, traditional print and old fashioned
elbow grease to put butts in seats!

Panelist: Qui Nguyen and To Be Announced
Moderator: Jeff Liu
Tuesday, June 21, at 11 a.m.
Category: Artistic Practice
Who are the new Asian American writers? What are they writing about? Literary managers, playwrights and artistic directors speak about the future of Asian American theater.

Instructor: Izumi Ashizawa
Tuesday, June 21, at 2 p.m.
Category: Artistic Practice
Participants will learn a body-oriented approach based on Japanese acting techniques—Noh, Kabuki, Suzuki, and martial arts—and explore the possibility of object manipulation using these exercises. Note: Three hour session. Dress comfortable and be prepared to move.

Instructor: Beau Sia
Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m.
Category: Artistic Practice
Join in or experience spoken word with Beau Sia, one of the original cast members of Def Poetry Jam. The delivery, the pitch, and the rhythm of a poem can sound like a piece of music to create just the right reaction and hit you in a very specific way.

Moderator: Mia Katigbak
Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m.
Category: Nuts & Bolts
Artistic directors, producers, executive directors, managing directors and those interested in producing Asian American work share their experiences in today's ever changing environment.

Panelists: Bryan Thao Worra and Channapha Khamvongsa
Moderator: Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng
Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m.
Category: Social Justice
In this case study session, panelists will share the local, national and international impact that Refugee Nation, an interdisciplinary theater project based on stories collected from Laotian refugees, has had in their community.

Panelists: Katie Ka Vang and Sun Mee Chomet
Moderator: Katie Hae Leo
Wednesday, June 22, at 9:15 a.m.
Category: Social Justice
Minnesota boasts the largest Hmong population outside Southeast Asia and largest Korean adoptee population in the world. How does theater from these two groups challenge and expand current dialogues around immigration, colonialism, militarism, and cultural identity?

Panelists: Cheryl Ikemiya and Emilya Cachapero
Moderator: Leslie Ito
Tuesday, June 21, at 11 a.m.
Category: Nuts & Bolts
Financial support is a challenge to all artists and arts organization. Explore new avenues of funding and creative ways to find support for your work.

Panelists: Kathy Hsieh and Seema Sueko
Moderator: Rick Shiomi
Tuesday, June 21, at 3:45 p.m.
Category; Directing
Stage directing is the next major frontier in the Asian American theater movement. If you are interested in getting into directing, find out how three theater leaders view directing and the hiring of and working with freelance directors.

Panelists: Andi Meyer and Larry Yu
Moderator: Carla Ching
Wednesday, June 22, at 11 a.m.
Category: Nuts & Bolts
This session examines the untapped potential of children's arts education programs in playing a key role in growing a vibrant Asian American theater and aesthetic, expanding community and creating future audiences. We'll explore these broader issues and offer some concrete suggestions for creating engaging and value-packed educational programming.


Alison M. De La Cruz is a multi-disciplinary theater artist and cultural organizer. Her performance and writing work has been presented at venues across the country including the Kirk Douglas Theatre, the Northwest Asian American Theatre and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. De La Cruz is also a Teaching Artist with East West Players & Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. De La Cruz is currently the Administrative Director of About Productions, a theater company based in Pasadena, CA.

Andi Meyer is Director of Education and cast member for the international award-winning radio comedy group, Right Between The Ears, broadcast daily on Sirius105/XM151. She is also the resident arts instructor at Marillac, a therapeutic day school for students with Behavioral and Emotional Disorders. As an actress and teaching artist, Andi has worked for The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Accessible Arts, VSA Arts of Mo, Kansas City Rep, Starlight Theatre, The Unicorn, The Coterie, and Kansas City Young Audiences.

Andrea Assaf is a performer, writer, director & cultural organizer. Founder & Artistic Director of Art2Action, she is currently Artist-in-Residence at Pangea World Theater, through a 2010-11 Princess Grace Award. She holds a MA in Performance Studies & BFA in Acting from NYU. Andrea serves on the National Steering Committee of CAATA.

Beau Sia is a Chinese-American poet from Oklahoma City, and the Artistic Director for Get Lit, a non-profit organization empowering teens through "classic" poetry. Beau has been featured in the documentary Slam Nation and has appeared on all seasons of HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. He is one of the original cast members in Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, a 2003 Special Event Tony Award Winner. He most recently wrote the lyrics for East West Players' new musical, Krunk Fu Battle Battle.

Bina Sharif is an award-winning playwright, director, and actress. Her highly acclaimed one-woman play, Afghan Woman, a response to the events of 9/11, was produced by Theatre for the New City in 2002, and later toured the USA, Pakistan, Switzerland, and Manchester, England. Bina received the prestigious Award for Excellence at the NJ Performing Arts Center for her artistic contributions to the South Asian and American culture. Bina's newest play, Help Me Jump Over The Snow, was recently produced and presented at Theater For The New City this past February.

Bryan Thao Worra: An award-winning Lao American writer and community activist based in Minnesota. His work is taught internationally and appears in over 100 publications. He holds a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts and an award from the State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans for Leadership in the Arts. He is the creative works editor for the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement. He works on Southeast Asian refugee resettlement issues across the country and raises sea monkeys.

Carla Ching is a playwright and teaching artist born and raised in LA. She wrote and performed with the Pan Asian performance group Peeling. Her plays have been produced or developed by Second Generation, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Desipina, Vampire Cowboys and IRT. She received a 2008 Urban Artists Initiative Fellowship, a 2009-1010 Teachers & Writers Collaborative Fellowship and a 2010 commission from EST/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She is artistic director of Second Generation.

Channapha Khamvongsa is executive director of Legacies of War, an organization which seeks to address the problem of unexploded cluster bombs in Laos, to provide space for healing the wounds of war and to create greater hope for a future of peace. She was previously appointed to the Seattle Women's Commission and served on the boards of the Refugee Women's Alliance and Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). She is currently Interim-Board Chair of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) – USA.

Cheryl Ikemiya is the Senior Program Officer for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York City. Ms. Ikemiya served for five years as co-chair of the New York Grantmakers in the Arts, organizing programs for more than 60 arts grantmaking institutions in New York City to discuss issues related to grantmaking and to the visual, performing, literary and media arts fields. Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Ikemiya was the Assistant Director of the Performing Arts Program at the Japan Society, Inc., a national nonprofit, cultural and educational institution in New York City.

Chris Aihara is the Executive Director of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC), one of the largest ethnic cultural centers of its kind in the U.S. She was the former Chair of the Little Tokyo Community Council, a member of the Mayor's Little Tokyo Community Advisory Committee, and member of the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council. She has written several publications on Japanese American culture and has served as a member of the City of Torrance Cultural Arts Commission for six years.

D'Lo is a queer Tamil Sri L.A.nkan-American, political theater artist/writer, director, comedian and music producer. D'Lo has performed and/or facilitated performance and writing workshops extensively (US, Canada, UK, Germany, Sri Lanka and India), having recently held workshops in LA with SATRANG and as a teaching artist with Teada Productions Theater Company. D'Lo's work has been published in various anthologies and academic journals, most recently: Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic (co-edited by Sharon Bridgforth).

Dae J. Yoon has served as Korean Resource Center (KRC)'s executive director from 1998 to 2000 and resumed his position in July 2003. Since 1993, Yoon has many years of community education and organizing experiences for the issues of immigration policy, health access, civic participation, voting rights, environmental justice, and affordable housing. Yoon also supervised many community-led research projects such as the "Asian American Voter Exit Poll," "Building Health Community Focus Group," "Los Angeles City Services Survey" and "Medicare Part D Language Access Survey."

Daniel M. Mayeda is a shareholder in the Los Angeles law firm of Leopold, Petrich and Smith, A Professional Corporation. A graduate of the UCLA School of Law, Mayeda litigates entertainment, media and publishing matters and handles insurance coverage disputes involving those industries. Mayeda is a Member of the Board of Directors, pro bono Legal Counsel and Past President of East West Players ("EWP"). On behalf of EWP, Mayeda is one of the leaders of a national multi-ethnic coalition of civil rights and media activism groups that has successfully persuaded the four major television networks to increase diversity on screen and behind the scenes.

Denise Uyehara is an award-winning performance artist, writer and playwright whose work has been presented in London, Tokyo, Helsinki, Vancouver and across the United States. A pioneering performance artist whose work the Los Angeles Times hails as "mastery [that] amounts to a coup de theater," Uyehara was one of the first to explore Asian American queer subjectivity through performance. She is the recipient a COLA Fellowship from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as support from the Asian Cultural Council and Arizona Commission on the arts.

Dipankar Mukherjee is the Artistic Director of Pangea World Theater, an international theater in Minneapolis that is a progressive space for arts and dialogue. Dipankar is committed to creating work at the intersection of arts, politics and human rights. He is a professional director originally from Calcutta, India and has a 25-year history of directing. He is a recent recipient of the Bush Leadership Fellowship award to train with and study non-violence and truth and reconciliation methodologies in India and South Africa and is committed to using the knowledge gained to bring communities together through his art.

Emilya Cachapero, Director of Theatre Communications Group's Artistic Programs and International Theatre Institute-U.S., has been active in the arts community on both the east and west coasts for more than 25 years. Ms. Cachapero oversees TCG's grant programs, international programs and selected special projects. She is a member of the Executive Board and Council of ITI Worldwide, and as lead producer for ITI's New Project Group (NPG) she produced IfDENTITY, a ten-country collaboration that was performed in Madrid in September 2008.

Gayle Isa is the founder and Executive Director of the Asian Arts Initiative. Gayle has been an active participant in Philadelphia's arts and culture community for the past 16 years, beginning as an intern and evolving as a staff member at the Painted Bride Art Center. She has served on the boards of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and is currently on the Executive Committee of the National Performance Network and the Steering Committee of the nascent National Asian American Theater Project.

Helen H. Ota is the Artistic Director of Cold Tofu, the nation's premier Asian American comedy improvisation group. A member since 1993, she has performed in and produced numerous Cold Tofu improv and sketch shows. Her other stage and film credits include Songs for a New World, The Betrayed, Nihonmachi: The Place To Be, The Golden Hour, Manzanar: Story of an American Family, and A Jive Bomber's Christmas. She is also the co-founder of Yes, And…Productions. Helen works in Development for Center Theatre Group, a nonprofit arts organization in Downtown Los Angeles.

Henry Ong is an internationally-produced playwright. Credits include:Fabric (Company of Angels, 2010), Sweet Karma (Queen's Theatre in the Park, New York, 2009) and Madame Mao's Memories (Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, et. al). He has conducted many oral history workshops in various communities (Pinoy Stories, Chinese American Stories, Korean American Stories, Thai American Stories, and Stories for the Blind). He is a 12-time recipient of The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence grants. Ong is an active member of the Dramatist Guild and a Literary Manager at Company of Angels.

Izumi Ashizawa (playwright/director/puppet designer) is an assistant professor. Her original performance works have been presented in the United States, Japan, Australia, the Grand Cayman, Norway, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Austria, Russia, Greece, Turkey and Iran. Ashizawa is a recipient of numerous awards from different countries: Norwegian Cultural Fund, Australian Government Fund for the Artists, UNESCO-Aschberg Award, Tehran Municipality Culture and Arts Organization Award, Best Performance Award — IIFUT Festival, Special Performance Award — Women Theatre Festival, Puffin Foundation Award and Gritchen Johnson Award.

Jimmy Nguyen is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Since graduating law school at age 22, he has become a star of the legal and entertainment industries. In 2008, at age 36, Jimmy was named by Lawdragon as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. An avid supporter of performance arts, Jimmy co-founded the American Readers Theater association. He acts as pro bono counsel for the Ma-Yi Theater Company. In 2009, Jimmy received a Founders Award from the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel.

Jeff Liu is the Literary Manager for East West Players and was the Resident Director for Lodestone Theatre Ensemble during its ten year run. His productions include Texas, Terminus Americana (Ovation Award nominee for Best World Premiere), Solve For X, The Golden Hour, Ixnay, Grace Kim and the Spiders from Mars, and Wrinkles. An independent feature he co-wrote, Charlotte Sometimes, was nominated for two IFP Spirit Awards. Currently: The Chinese Massacre (Annotated) by Tom Jacobson at Circle X Theatre Company, set during the Los Angeles race riot of 1871.

Jeremy Tiang is originally from Singapore. He trained as an actor at Drama Centre London after reading English at Oxford. He won Singapore's Golden Point Award in 2009 for his short story Trondheim, and is currently working on a novel about the Malayan Emergency with the support of a Singapore Arts Council grant. His work for the stage includes A Dream of Red Pavilions (adapted from Hong Lou Meng), Polyglottalstop and godshaped hole (all performed or read in London). Jeremy's work as an actor includes Jingo (Finborough, London), Peace Pagoda (Royal Opera House) and the Bollywood film Show Man.

Jon Lawrence Rivera is the artistic director of Playwrights' Arena. His works as a director include: Road to Saigon, Dogeaters, The Joy Luck Club, The Sonneteer and Ruby, Tragically Rotund.

Kathy Hsieh is an award-winning actor, writer and director. She is a Co-Executive Producer for SIS Productions, an Asian American women's theater focusing on contemporary work, which she founded in 2000. She has also directed at Northwest Asian American Theatre, ReAct, Annex, New City Theater, Pilgrim Center, the Hult Center, and the Seattle Fringe Theater Festival. Her script B4 was selected as part of the International Centre for Women Playwrights' Chicago Her-rah Festival and won Honorable Mention in New York's New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest.

Katie Hae Leo's poetry, essays, and monologues have appeared or are forthcoming in sian American Poetry and Writing, Flying Fists Journal,Water~Stone Review, The Talking Stick, Green Blade, 60 Seconds to Shine: One Minute Monologues for Men, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, Utne Reader and Minnesota Women's Press. Her chapbook, Attempts at Location, was a finalist for the Tupelo Press Snowbound Award and is available through Finishing Line Press. Her latest play Four Destinies will premiere through Mu Performing Arts in Fall 2011.

Katie Ka Vang is a performance artist, writer and diaspora rocker. She has received grants for her work from Jerome Foundation and Minnesota State Arts Board. She has been seen on stages around the Twin Cities and nationally. Her chapbook Never Said is currently available for purchase and her work can be seen in publications such as St. Paul Almanac, Bakka Mag., and Asian American Press. Katie is the Director of Artist Service and Membership for the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent and is available to meet with artists at Springboard or CHAT.

Kimberly Colburn is the Assistant Literary Manager at South Coast Repertory. She has worked as a dramaturg, performer, director, and producer, and she co-founded the Full Frontal Artists Collective in San Diego in 2003. She received her BA in Theatre from University of California, Riverside and her MA in Performing Arts Management from University of Oregon.

Kristina Wong is a nationally presented solo performer, writer, actor, educator, culture jammer, and filmmaker. Her work has received awards from Creative Capital, MAPFUND, Center for Cultural Innovation, and the National Performance Network. She's made five full length solo shows. Her show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest toured in over 40 engagements since 2006 is now available as a broadcast quality concert film ( She premiered her first ensemble work Cat Lady in Diverseworks in Houston in March.

Larry Yu teaches in the Ethnic Studies Department at Oregon State University. He is the Communications Coordinator for Thymos, an Asian American cultural organization based in Oregon, where he co-edited the Thymos Anthology of Asian American Writing. He is a regular contributor to the Seattle-based International Examiner newspaper and has published work in New America Media, Dissident Voice, Amerasia Journal, and the Journal of Asian American Studies. And he also writes for the Asian American Movement and API Movement blogs.

Leilani Chan is a nationally touring performance artist, playwright, director, and producer who creates solo theater, performance installations, community based ensemble work and is the Founding Artistic Director of TeAda Productions. Leilani is a recent recipient of the Center for Cultural Innovation Artistic Innovation Award to develop Global Taxi Driver, a transnational community-based ensemble performance exploring immigration and mobility in the 21st century. She is co-creator of Refugee Nation, a play about Laotian refugees in the U.S. which was awarded a MAPFUND and National Performance Network Creation Fund.

Leslie A. Ito, Program Officer for the Arts, oversees the California Community Foundation's arts portfolio. She brings more than 14 years of experience working in the arts to her grantmaking, nonprofit capacity building efforts and support for individual artists. Before joining the foundation in August 2008, she was director of grant programs at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and executive director of Visual Communications, the nation's premier Asian American media arts organization where she founded a fellowship program for emerging filmmakers.

Maggie Lee is the lead sketch writer, as well as a performer, producer, and panda wrangler for the Pork Filled Players, Seattle's Asian American sketch comedy group. She is also a playwright with an interest in fantastical science fiction and horror. In 2006, she adapted H.P. Lovecraft's The Thing on the Doorstep for the stage in Open Circle Theater's The Colour Out of Space, and collaborated on OCT's 2008 original Lovecraft-inspired show Necronomicon. Her full length play, Kindred Spirits, a romantic comedy about a haunted house, was recently produced by ReAct Theatre.

Marcy Arlin Artistic Director, OBIE-winning Immigrants' Theatre Project where she has produced/directed/developed over 100 plays, working with theater artists from at least 90 ethnicities and nationalities. Member of LCT Directors Lab, Theatre w/o Borders, No Passport, League of Professional Theatre Women, Fulbright Scholar to Romania and Czech Republic. Current project a Vietnamese/Czech/American co-production with Divadlo Feste in Brno and Firehouse Theatre in Richmond, Virginia, w/ playwrights Aurorae Khoo and Radmila Adamova.

Meena Natarajan is the Executive & Literary Director of Pangea World Theater, a professional playwright, and director. She was also a founder of a theater company in India called Direct Media. Meena currently serves on the National Steering Committee for CAATA, and the boards of NPN and NET.

Nobuko Miyamoto is Great Leap's Founder/Artistic Director and a performing artist, songwriter and director. Originally a dancer on Broadway and in films such as Flower Drum Song and Westside Story, she found her own voice as an activist in the 70's Asian American movement, co-creating milestone album A Grain of Sand. Great Leap was established to create theater works about the Asian American experience, later expanding to present multicultural voices and interfaith expressions.

Ova Saopeng is an actor and writer from Los Angeles, he was born in Savannakhet, Laos and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a TeAda Productions Associate Producer, Teaching Artist and co-creator of Refugee Nation a play about the Lao-American experience, based on the stories Lao communities across the US. He received his BA in Theater from the University of Southern California and since then has performed nationally with theater companies including the Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis, Mark Taper Forum/P.L.A.Y., East West Players, and hereandnow.

Peter J. Kuo is an Asian American director, writer, and producer based in Los Angeles, CA. Previously the PR and Marketing Manager for East West Players, he is currently the Communications Associate for South Coast Repertory and has worked with numerous other LA Asian American theaters including Lodestone Theatre Ensemble and Yes and…Productions. His direction of Letters to a Student Revolutionary to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Tienanmen Square Massacre received two revival performance and numerous awards.

Qui Nguyen, originally from Arkansas, is a writer, fight choreographer, and Co-Artistic Director of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys. His scripts include the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys productions of Soul Samurai; Alice in Slasherland; Fight Girl Battle World; Men of Steel; Living Dead in Denmark; Stained Glass Ugly; A Beginner's Guide to Deicide and Vampire Cowboy Trilogy. Other scripts include the hip-hop musical Krunk Fu Battle Battle (East West Players). His plays have been published by Broadway Play Publishing,, and can be found in the anthologies, Savage Stage and Plays & Playwrights 2005.

Randy Reyes is the Community Liason and Artistic Associate at Mu Performing Arts in Minneapolis. As a director for Mu, Randy's credits include WTF by Katie Ka Vang, Asiamnesia by Sun Mee Chomet (both world premieres), Cowboy Versus Samurai, and Circle Around the Island (both at the Guthrie's Dowling Studio). As the Aritistic Associate, Randy curates the New Eyes Festival, is a lead teacher for the New Faces training program, and has directed and dramaturged for the Jerome New Performance program. As the Community Liason, Randy directs the Mu Community Stories program.

Regie Cabico is a poet and spoken word artist. He has been featured on two seasons of Def Poetry Jam on HBO (produced by Russell Simmons). Cabico is a critically-acclaimed who has won top prizes in the 1993, 1994 and 1997 at National Poetry Slams. Regie is the recipient of three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships for Poetry and Multi-Discplinary Performance. He is a regular performer at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. He was a collaborating artist in Rhythmicity at The Humana Festival of New American Plays (2002–2003) season.

Richard Chang is a Malaysian-born playwright-performer. His solo comedy, Goy Vey! Adventures of a Dim Sun in Search of his Wanton Father, debuted at Pan Asian Rep where he has also developed other plays and acted in Empress of China and Legend of the White Snake. His latest play, News to a Muse: A Farcedy of Terrors, questions the reality we co-create with the media. His Wong Chin Foo: The First Chinese American examines current identity issues through a nearly forgotten 19th century civil rights activist.

Rick Shiomi has been one of the leaders of the Asian American theater movement since the 1980's. He is a founding member of Mu Performing Arts and has been the artistic director since 1993. He is a playwright best know for his play Yellow Fever and has directed for AATC in San Francisco, Interact Theater in Philadelphia and Mu Performing Arts extensively. He developed the Mu Stories Program.

Seema Sueko's directing credits include the The Old Globe, Native Voices, Mo`olelo. Acting credits at Yale Rep, The Old Globe, San Diego Rep, 5th Avenue Theatre. Three-time recipient of Chicago's Jeff Award. Playwriting commissions for Mixed Blood. Developed Mo`olelo's Green Theater Choices Toolkit. Selected as Inaugural Resident Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse.

Sun Mee Chomet is a St. Paul-based actor and playwright. She has worked with the Guthrie Theater (Macbeth, Tony Kushner's world premiere: The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures); Mu Performing Arts (WTF, Cowboy vs. Samurai, Asiamnesia) and many other theaters locally and nationally (including New York's Lincoln Center, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse and Syracuse Stage) . As a playwright, Sun Mee's first play, Asiamnesia, was voted Best New Script of 2008 by Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Tram Le, MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA, is the Community Bridges Program Manager for the Ford Theatre Foundation. For 18 years, she has been bringing the arts to the Asian American community from performance (co-founded Club O' Noodles Theatre Troupe) to art exhibitions (Curator and Project Director of F.O.B: A MultiArt Show and F.O.B. II: Art Speaks – The intersection of arts, politics, and community) to film festivals (Festival Director of the Vietnamese International Film Festival).

Urmika Devi, Esq. practices in the areas of immigration law and intellectual property, including contract interpretation, copyright protection, and drafting software and technology licensing agreements. Her professional arts management experience began at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and has since developed as an independent dancer, choreographer and producer. Ms. Devi is also a board member of Street Law, Inc., and co-chaired the South Asian Theater Arts Movement (SATAM) 2008 DesiDrama II conference in Minneapolis.

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