In partnership w/ UW World Series and One Coast Collaboration
A series of five free, public readings of representative plays from seminal Seattle theatres of the past. As part of the School of Drama’s 75th Anniversary, we’ll be celebrating the Seattle theatre community of which we’re an integral part. The reading series will pay tribute to inspiring companies no longer up and running: Alice B. Theatre, Bathhouse Theatre, Empty Space Theatre, Northwest Asian American Theatre, and the Seattle Group Theatre.
FEBRUARY 8, 2016
The fourth evening in the series features the Northwest Asian American Theatre with reading excerpts from The Wash by Philip Kan Gotanda, Miss Minidoka 1943 by Gary Iwamoto and FOB by David Henry Hwang. A reception will follow the readings.
Northwest Asian American Theatre
The Northwest Asian American Theatre had a rich 30 year history in Seattle. Originally called the Theatrical Ensemble of Asians (TEA), the company was formed by a group of Asian American students on the University of Washington campus in 1974. Led by Stan Asis, the group included Marilyn Tokuda, Yolly Irigon, Henry Tonel, Gloria Pacis, Larry Wong, and Maria Batayola. In 1975, TEA moved off campus, formally joined the newly developed Asian Multi Media Center, and changed their name to Asian Exclusion Act (AEA). The first AEA production was Frank Chin’s The Year of the Dragon. Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, the company produced seasons of full length Asian American plays in various theatres throughout the city. In 1978, Bea Kiyohara became artistic director of the organization and, in 1981, renamed the Asian Exclusion Act the Northwest Asian American Theatre (NWAAT) to better reflect its regional and ethnic identity. In 1987, NWAAT opened the world premiere of Gary Iwamoto's Miss Minidoka 1943 in their new permanent home at Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle’s International District. The play was a hit and NWAAT soon became the flagship Asian American theatre company in the Northwest, producing plays by David Henry Hwang, Philip Kan Gotanda, Elizabeth Wong, Wakako Yamauchi, and many more. Though Kiyohara resigned in 1993, the company continued to produce seasons of work under various artistic leaders, including Judi Nihei, Chil Kong, Rosa Joshi, and Chay Yew. The company’s final production was in 2004.
COMPLETE SERIES DATES
September 28, 2015: Alice B. Theatre
November 9, 2015: Seattle Group Theatre
January 25, 2016: The Bathhouse Theatre
February 8, 2016: Northwest Asian American Theatre
March 14, 2016: Empty Space Theatre