The Asian Pacific American (APA) population is seriously under represented on screen and on stage. This 2018 APA staged play reading series intends to provide inspiration, space, and an audience for Midwestern APA playwrights, directors, and actors. There will be four staged readings in 2018: February 12, and August 13 at Goodman Theatre, and May 21 and November TBA at Steppenwolf Theatre. The May reading will be marketed as part of Chicago’s APA Heritage Month activities. The August reading will possibly be included in the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists national conference. Admission to the staged play readings is donation based and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
Series curator Mia Park is a Korean American actress and playwright working in Chicago for almost twenty years. As Guest Curator in the Arts Incubator program of the non-profit organization, Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW)'s AA Arts Incubator, Mia believes that our universal voice is best developed by hearing local voices. Chicago’s theatre community is a microcosm of our global theatre’s lack of APA opportunities and AIRMW is dedicated to providing more of these opportunities.
By donating to AIRMW, your tax deductable support strengthens APA voices by providing the infrastructure for these staged play readings to take place and by paying the writers, directors, and actors. This is a first of its kind, history making event that can only happen with your help.
We need to pay the writers, directors, and actors. Here's our budget:
Payment for Actors: 40 actors x $50 = $2,000
Payment for Directors: 15 directors x $50 = $750
Payment for Playwrights: 15 playwrights x $50 = $750
Photocopies, binders, misc: Binders $5 x 15 = $75. photocopies = $100. misc = $65
Theatre Public Relations: $2,000
Indiegogo Costs: $320 + $.30 per donation (50x.30=$15) = $335
Donation from AIRMW Board: $2,000.00
Total Needed: $4,000.00
Perks galore and info: Please note that the $25 perk of one VIP seat has a "suggested" retail value of $40. Admission to the readings are donation based and will not actually cost $40. There are amazing benefits to donating to AIRMW, in addition to feeling great for strengthening Asian Pacific American voices. Receive massages, acupuncture, career consultation, music, drum lessons, yoga - all kinds of perks for self-care and perks that make great gifts! TRIPLE your impact: 1) support APA voices on stage, 2) give a perk as a gift, 3) receive a tax write off.
Time Magazine’s recent article on the lack of Asian American representation on television confirms what we already know: the Asian Pacific American (APA) population is seriously under represented. The same can be said for APA under representation in the oldest form of public story sharing, the theatrical stage. NBC News reported on Asian Americans in theatre speaking out against the white-washing of Asian roles in entertainment and the challenges the APA community faces in the acting industry.
Chicago’s theatre community is a microcosm of our global theatre’s lack of APA opportunities. As a Chicago based Korean American actress and playwright for almost twenty years, I’ve experienced directly how, locally, our APA voices are often unheard in plays and on-screen. Since 2016, I’ve advocated for the training of local Asian American actors by hosting workshops in order to promote a qualified talent pool for casting directors to choose from, so the excuse of “Chicago doesn’t have talented APA actors” can no longer apply.
I recognize that an important way to continue advocating for APA representation is to encourage the creation of content created by the APA community. I intend to provide inspiration, space, and an audience for local Asian American playwrights, directors, and actors in a series of staged readings in 2018.
There will be four staged readings in 2018: February 12, and August 13 at Goodman Theatre, and May 21 and November TBA at Steppenwolf Theatre. The May reading will be marketed as part of Chicago’s APA Heritage Month activities. The August reading will possibly be included in the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists national conference. Admission to the staged play readings is donation based and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
I believe that our universal voice will be best developed and strengthened by focusing on local talent. The only way to be heard and seen is to speak up and have presence, and the 2018 Midwestern Asian American playwright staged reading series aims to accomplish these goals.
The main obstacle in the way of this staged reading series succeeding is apathy. What if no one wants to hear APA voices onstage? What if this is not important enough to donate money towards? What if no one cares?
If we don't reach our $4,000 goal, the playwrights, actors and directors won't get paid. This staged play reading series takes place at the Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre where professionals are paid. To pay APA theatre artists as professionals, we need your help since admission to the readings are donation based. Treating these artists as the professionals they are is a way of honoring their experiences and showing that their voices and stories matter. Help validate: donate.
If you can't donate cash or a perk, spread the word! Please use the Indiegogo share tools. Paste this link onto your social media, newsletters, and email blasts: https://igg.me./at/APAStagedReadings
Use the following on Twitter or Facebook:
Donate to validate. 2018 Asian Pacific American play readings at @GoodmanTheatre need your tax deductable support. https://igg.me/at/APAStagedReadings #asian #apa #stagedreadings #playreadings #asianamerica #theatre
@Goodman Theatre hosts Asian Pacific American play readings in 2018. They believe in our voices, do you? Donate to validate. Your tax deductable donation makes a huge difference and the perks make great gifts. Thank you. https://igg.me/at/APAStagedReadings
And thanks so much for your help!