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Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS) Announces Inaugural Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Playwright Festival

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Jeffrey Low & inaugural cohort of AAPI playwrights
CATS collaborates with local award-winning director and playwright for a one-of-kind AAPI theater experience.

SAN JOSE, Calif. - EntSun -- SAN JOSE, Calif. – Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS), in collaboration with award-winning director and playwright Jeffrey Lo, announces the launch of its inaugural Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Playwright Festival, a one-of-a-kind theater arts experience that fosters and showcases the talent of existing and emerging local Bay Area AAPI theater artists, from writers and actors to directors, stagehands and others. Scheduled for Saturday, July 27, 2024, at San Jose Stage theatre (The Stage), the CATS 2024 AAPI Playwright Festival is proudly co-produced with San Jose Stage Company, amplifying the vibrant creativity of both organizations.

The inaugural AAPI Playwright Festival features staged readings of six AAPI short plays written by the following AAPI playwrights: Victoria Chong Der, Anthony Doan, Reed Flores, Kausar Mohammed, Conrad Panganiban, and Christina Ying. The plays will be performed by local Bay Area artists.

"This festival shines a spotlight on these works and their creators, as well as encourages young, emerging artists to discover new and existing plays, performed on stage in front of a live audience who love live theater," says Leianne Wong Lamb, president of CATS.

Lamb continues, "It also brings in new community members who have never experienced live theater and want to support AAPI artists."

Jeffrey Lo, the Artistic Producer for the AAPI Playwright Festival, adds, "It is an exciting time to be an Asian American Theatre maker in the Bay Area. From the early roots of the Asian American Theatre Company to the works being done today by playwrights like Lauren Yee, Jessica Huang and Madhuri Shekar - the Bay Area has always been a center for the development of new AAPI voices and stories. This festival helps us continue that history of lifting up the next generation of storytellers and highlight exciting and emerging artists in our community."

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CATS has committed to presenting The AAPI Playwright Festival for at least three years, as it is deemed a notable addition to CATS' roster of high-quality productions. These presentations include, but are not limited to, three prior staged readings with a fourth staged reading in June 2024, its upcoming 10th Annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest in October 2024, past music concerts, most recently Hiroshima in 2022 and last fall's Maui Benefit concert featuring Hawaii-based pop boy band Crossing Rain.

In addition, CATS showcases AAPI artists with intimate artist interviews throughout the year on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and the CATS website.

Collectively, the productions and programs further CATS' mission of supporting and showcasing AAPI artists locally in San Jose and Silicon Valley and beyond.

About the Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS)
Founded in 1995 by the late Dr. Jerry Hiura, the late Steve Yamaguma, and Miki Hirabayashi Bellon, CATS has been a beacon for Asian American artists in the South Bay and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. With a rich history of supporting, mentoring, and presenting Asian American artists and cultural disciplines, CATS has become a pivotal platform for showcasing talent through events, including comedy nights, music concerts, film festivals, and now, the AAPI Playwright Festival. CATS also produces the annual Silicon Valley Asian Pacific FilmFest (formerly known as San Jose J-Town FilmFest). CATS continues to fulfill its founders' dream of enriching the cultural landscape of San Jose and Silicon Valley by promoting AAPI artists and their stories. CATS is in San Jose's Japantown and is a 501c3 non-profit organization. More info at CatsAsianTheaterScene.org.

About Jeffrey Lo
Jeffrey Lo (He/Him/His) is a Filipino-American playwright and director based in the Bay Area. He is the recipient of the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Emerging Artist Laureate by Arts Council Silicon Valley and Theatre Bay Area Director's TITAN Award. Selected directing credits include The Language Archive, Little Shop of Horrors and The Santaland Diaries at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Chinglish, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin and Hold These Truths at San Francisco Playhouse, Vietgone and The Great Leap at Capital Stage, A Doll's House, Part 2 and Eurydice at Palo Alto Players and  The Grapes of Wrath, The Crucible and Yellow Face at Los Altos Stage Company. As a playwright, his plays have been produced and workshopped at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, BindleStiff Studio, City Lights Theatre Company and Stanford University. He is the Associate Producer of Casting and Literary Manager at the Tony Award Winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute and a proud alumnus of the UC Irvine Drama Department.

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About San Jose Stage
San Jose Stage Company (The Stage) is recognized as the South Bay's leading professional theatre company, having earned a reputation for artistic excellence through imaginative and edgy theatrical experiences that spark ideas and dialogue with the audience. Through powerful, provocative and profound theatre, San Jose Stage Company (The Stage) seeks to expand community, forge creative partnerships and challenge individuals in order to illuminate the human condition. The Stage is a multi-award-winning theatre company, including the 2018 Paine Knickerbocker Award for continued contributions to Bay Area theatre from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. The Stage has produced over 200 productions, including 20 world premieres and 50 new works and is ranked as the 2nd largest professional theatre and 8th largest performance arts organization in Silicon Valley attracting over 30,000 patrons to downtown and employing more than 150 local artists annually, San Jose Stage Company is a vital force in the region's economic and creative landscape. More info at www.thestage.org.

Follow CATS on social media:
https://www.instagram.com/catsasiantheater/
https://www.facebook.com/catsasiantheater
https://www.youtube.com/@asiantheater

Contact
Leianne Wong Lamb
***@catsasiantheaterscene.org


Source: Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS)
Filed Under: Entertainment, Arts, Culture

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