Ping Chong & Company Records

Date Range: 19722009
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2009-03-02
Creator: Ping Chong & Company

History: Internationally-renowned theater director, choreographer, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist Ping Chong was born in Ontario, Canada in 1946. He grew up in New York’s Chinatown and studied visual art and filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute.Since beginning his theatrical career as a member of Meredith Monk’s The House Foundation, he has created over fifty major works for theater, including Humboldt’s Current (Obie Award, 1977), A.M./A.M. – The Articulated Man (Villager Award, 1982), Nosferatu (Maharam Design Award, 1985), Kind Ness (USA Playwrights’ Award, 1988), and Brightness (2 Bessie Awards, 1990). He has produced three full-length puppetry pieces – Kwaidan (1998), Obon: Tales of Rain and Moonlight (2002), and Cathay: Three Tales of China (2005) – and has created numerous installation pieces, including Place Concrete (1988) as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, A Facility for the Containment and Channeling of Undesirable Elements (1992) commissioned by Artists Space in New York City, and Testimonial (1995), which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale’s Transculture show. Read more

Peeling Records

Peeling logoDate Range: 19952003
Survey Conducted: Sun, 2012-11-04 and Thu, 2009-09-17
Creator: Peeling

History: Peeling was a New York City based collective (1995-2005) of writers, performers, directors and producers. Using autobiography as a departure point, their collaborations were an exploration of contemporary Asian American identities through the development of original theater work.Originally founded in 1995 as “Peeling the Banana” by director/performer Gary San Angel at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the group developed many of its pieces through physical theater and improvisation work, which were later transcribed; others were written and further developed through group workshops. At the time, no other such group existed on the East Coast and many talented artists got their start in or had at one time been members of the group. With sold out performances at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Second Stage, Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), the Desh Pardesh Festival (Toronto), as well as numerous colleges and universities, Peeling the Banana presented its poignant blend of poetry, theater, dance, and music to audiences across the country.

National Asian American Theatre Company Collection

Date Range: 19892009
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2009-04-01
Creator: National Asian American Theatre Company

History: Founded in 1989 in New York City, the National Asian American Theatre Company, Inc. (NAATCO) seeks to demonstrate the important contributions of Asian American theatre to American culture. The company presents a repertory that includes classic European and American plays as written with all Asian/Pacific American casts, adaptations of these classics by Asian/Pacific American playwrights, and new plays – not necessarily written by, about or for Asian/Pacific Americans – premiered by an Asian/Pacific American cast. The company’s focus, therefore, is not on Asian/Pacific American authorship of plays, but rather on the cast. The organization feels that this points to broad areas of understanding, which create, as their mission statement says, “a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience.” Read more

Ma-Yi Theater Company Records

Date Range: 19892008
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2008-11-24
Creator: Ma-Yi Theater Company

History: The Ma-Yi Theater Company is a non-profit professional organization that gives voice to Asian American experiences through the development of plays and performances that push Asian American aesthetics beyond stereotypical Orientalist markers. The name “Ma-Yi” comes from the pre-colonial name of the islands that the Spanish named the Philippines. Ma-Yi was founded in 1989 by a group of six former University of the Philippines students and Godabil Theater Company members. Godabil arose in the Philippines during the politically tumultuous last years of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship (1965-1986). Member actors employed vaudeville expressionism as a form of street protest until notice of its activities by the military impelled some of its members to emigrate. Years later, several former members reuniting in New York City decided to found the Ma-Yi Filipino Theater Ensemble, Inc. as a means to address concerns about the stereotypical nature and paucity of roles available to aspiring Filipino actors. The company originally held a predominantly Filipino orientation but it has since expanded to become a venue for pan-Asian American talent and works. The company initially solicited and translated plays from the Philippines, but soon found that plays produced by Filipino Americans better resonated with their America-based audience. In 1999, the company made a decision to expand their mission to cover works of American playwrights of all Asian origins. Read more