East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest running professional theatre of color and the largest producer of Asian American artistic work, will lead a discussion on race  politics in the American theatre on Monday, October 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm PDT/5:00 pm EDT at East West Players David Henry Hwang Theater in Little Tokyo Los Angeles.

A limited number of seats are available to the public. Guests can RSVP at this URL http://bit.ly/V8A9ke. The forum will be streamed live at www.eastwestplayers.org and to follow the conversation via Twitter, follow search “#APIstage.”

The purpose of the forum is to find ways for theaters to provide more opportunities for Asian Americans. This past July, the La Jolla Playhouse (LJP) set off a firestorm when it presented a workshop production of a play entitled “The Nightingale” – set in a mythical China with several Chinese characters including the Emperor – the mixed cast consisted of several white males, no Asian American males and only two Asian Americans in a cast of twelve.

The panel will include the artistic directors of four of the leading theaters in Southern California: Christopher Ashley (La Jolla Playhouse), Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse), Marc Masterson (South Coast Repertory), and Michael Ritchie (Center Theatre Group). The discussion will be moderated by Linda Oku, (corporate diversity consultant for Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations).

Actors Sandra Oh and Tamlyn Tomita will also participate in the forum program. The forum will focus on issues of inclusion: How can Asian American talent (writers, directors, designers, performers) be more visible/participatory in the American Theatre process? What is the role of artistic vision in a community of changing demographics? How can we propel a nationwide movement to advance greater diversity in the American Theatre? What is the strategy we can walk away with after this discussion?

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