After the War Blues at PSU Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre, June 4 & 5, 2016

ATWB2-cool300dpiMediaRites‘ Theatre Diaspora presents the Oregon premiere of After the War Blues by award-winning playwright Philip Kan Gotanda, co-directed by notable Portland actors and directors Bobby Bermea and Jamie Rea.

Two staged reading performances will be at 1:30pm on Saturday, June 4, 2016, and at 1:30pm on Sunday, June 5, 2016. Both at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre (1620 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97201).

Tickets are $10 each for general seating and $5 each for students and Oregon Trail cardholders. Tickets available for purchase now at Brown Paper Tickets. Seating is limited to 90 per performance.

In addition to visiting Portland to attend both performances and post-show audience talkbacks, playwright Philip Kan Gotanda will teach a playwriting master class funded by The Dramatists Guild Fund on Friday, June 3, 2016, at Portland Center Stage. To register for the class, visit https://www.pcs.org/blog/playwriting-masterclass-with-philip-kan-gotanda. Attendance is limited to 80 people.

unspecified-3After the War Blues takes place in the aftermath of World War II in San Francisco’s Western Addition District where some Japanese Americans returned from internment camps. African Americans, white Southern migrants, and Russian Jews were also arriving to start new lives. All the characters struggle to get along with limited resources while trying to find their place in this mix of cultures.

Chet Monkawa, the play’s central character, is a jazz trumpeter who returned to his family’s rooming house after the internment, but his old neighborhood isn’t the same. The rooming house is filled with new transplants, and Chet and his boarders must find a new harmony in uncertain times.

The cast comprises Wynee Hu and Larry Toda, bunspecified-1oth core ensemble members of Theatre Diaspora, and local actors: Leo Lin, James Dixon, Ken Yoshikawa, Ashley Williams, Caitlin Fisher Draeger, Colin Kane, Adrian Baxter, Brooke Calcagno, and Isaiah Sims. Natasha Stockem is the stage manager for this production.

This Portland production is co-produced by Dmae Roberts, Samson Syharath, and Alex Haslett of Theatre Diaspora.

Following the performance on June 5th, the post-show talkback will include community members : Kara Carmosino (APANO), Michael Grice (Nothing But Quality education leader,) and Kimberly Moreland (author of African Americans in Portland.)

About the Directors

Bobby Bermea is the producing artistic director of The Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project, artistic director of BaseRoots Theatre, a founding member of Badass Theatre Company, and a long-standing member of Sojourn Theatre. He received a Drammy nomination for Outstanding Director for his work on unspecifiedWait Until Dark with Northwest Classical and recently directed The Blue Door f0r Profile Theatre Project. 

Jamie M. Rea, award-winning director, designer, and performer, has worked internationally, and is the executive artistic director for The Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project. Some of her local productions include The Devil and Billy Markham, Songs for a New World with Staged! and the Miracle Theatre Group, and The 1940’s Radio Hour with Enlightened Theatrics.

First read-through photos by Alex Haslett

About the Playwright

PhilipKanGotanda-webOver the past 30 years, Philip Kan Gotanda’s plays and advocacy have been instrumental in bringing stories of Asians in the United States to mainstream American theatre, as well as to Europe and Asia. The creator of one of the largest bodies of Asian American themed work, Gotanda’s plays and films are studied and performed at universities and schools across the U.S. He is also a respected independent filmmaker, and his works are seen in film festivals worldwide. Gotanda’s extensive talents have garnered countless awards including the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Lila Wallace, National Endowment for the Arts, PEN Center West Award, Asian American Theater Company Life Time Achievement, and NEA’s Theater Communications Playwriting Award. Full biography at www.philipkangotanda.com/bio

 

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