A Special Message from Our Executive Director

The idea of Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA) was germinated at a three-day retreat convened by Theater Communications Group (TCG) of Theaters of Color from around the nation. Asian American, Latin@, and African American theater makers met at White Oak, Jacksonville, FL on September 2003.

At a breakout session of Asian American theaters, Tim Dang of East West Players suggested a bi-annual Asian American theater conference to be launched in conjunction with East West’s 40th Anniversary in 2006. Theater Mu’s Rick Shiomi, Pan Asian Repertory Theater’s Tisa Chang, Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Jorge Ortoll, National Asian American Theater Company’s (NAATCO) Mia Katigbak, East West’s Tim Dang and Stefanie Wong, and Pangea World Theater’s Dipankar Mukherjee were present at White Oak.

The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!
Ma-Yi’s production of “The Wong Kids in The Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO!” | Photo: Dan Norman

 

In September 2006, Asian American theater practitioners – writers, directors, designers, producers, actors, academicians, and friends – assembled at the largest national convening of Asian American theater makers.

In June 2007, the First Asian American Theater Festival, headed by Ma-Yi, NAATCO and Pan Asian Rep, was held in New York City. Further conferences and festivals were held on alternative years in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and New York City.

In September 2014, Philadelphia’s Asian Arts Initiative hosted the Fourth Con/Fest – now merged Conference and Festival to a single larger event. The 5th CAATA ConFest will be hosted by Oregon Shakespeare Festival this year from October 1st to 8th in Ashland, Oregon.


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Ma-Yi’s production of “HOUSE RULES” | Photo: Web Begole

 

Today we have an exciting national presence – CAATA shows the nation that Asian American theater artists are an integral part of the cultural tapestry of the nation. We are a fast growing demographic in the country with much to say and contribute to this vital national industry.

What initially sparked this idea at White Oak? The need for Solidarity, Communication, Networking, and Collaboration among ourselves and the entire national industry about the presence and excellence of Asian American theater artists. From that germ of an idea, CAATA and all the constituents its represents, now have an important and well known national presence.

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Ma-Yi’s production “Chairs and a Long Table” | Photo: Web Begole
  

Please help support the National Asian American Theater Movement at Oregon Shakespeare Festival this October!
Visit CAATA’s INDIEGOGO page and make your contribution today.

Sincerely,

Jorge Ortoll
Executive Director
Ma-Yi Theater Company

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Ma-Yi Theater Company 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 309 New York, NY 10018 212.971.4862 info [at] ma-yitheatre.org