July 15, 2011 New Anthology of Asian American Plays Is Subject of Book Talk July 27

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Reme Grefalda (202) 707-6096

Editor Rick Shiomi, on behalf of co-editors Josephine Lee and Don Eitel, will discuss their new anthology “Asian American Plays for a New Generation” (Temple University Press, June 2011) at noon on Wednesday, July 27 in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Library’s Asian Division, the 90-minute program is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

“Asian American Plays for a New Generation” features seven plays. Six of those were developed and produced by Mu Performing Arts, the Midwest’s foremost pan-Asian performing arts organization, founded in Minneapolis in 1992.

“Bahala Na” by Clarence Coo is about the relationship between a grandmother and her grandson who is gay. “Happy Valley,” by Aurorae Khoo, focuses on the plight of the Chinese in Hong Kong when the former British colony comes under Communist Chinese rule. “Asiamnesia,” by Sun Mee Chomet examines the issues facing Asian American women in theater and society. “Sia(b),” by May Lee Yang, is about a young Hmong woman understanding her own identity. “Walleye Kid, The Musical,” by Sundraya Kase, R.A. Shiomi and Kurt Miyashiro is based on the Japanese folktale, “The Peach Boy.” “Ching Chong Chinaman,” by Lauren Yee, is a comedy that explores the stereotype of Asians as “the model minority.” “Indian Cowboy,” by Zaraawar Mistry, focuses on pre- and post-9/11 life in America’s South Asian communities.

In conjunction with the book event, a display of photographs titled “In Rehearsal” will be on view 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., July 20 through Aug. 2, in the Asian Division Reading Room, located in Room 150 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

Drawn from the Lia Chang Theater Portfolio in the Library’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection, the photographs on display feature rehearsals of David Henry Hwang’s play, “ChingLish,” which is bound for Broadway this fall, and rehearsal shots from “Bakwas Bumbug!,” a musical by Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri, which recently made its off-Broadway debut.

The Library of Congress is a central repository for all types of Asian publications that are not broadly available at other locations in the United States. Initiated in 1869 with a gift of 10 works in 934 volumes offered to the United States by the Emperor of China, the Library's Asian collection of more than 2 million items is the largest and most comprehensive outside of Asia. For more information about the division and its holdings, go to www.loc.gov/rr/asian/.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.


PR 11-133
ISSN 0731-3527