4th September 2014: Asian-American writers – A 2nd generation take

_MG_4206Nine days ago we decided to do a presentation. That turned into reading a whole play, which turned into a reading two whole plays. Why? Well, why not? The aim for the night was always the same: To help our writers share their 2nd generation experiences, by showing them how other 2nd generation playwrights have told their stories. Provide context for their work, inspire their ideas and if they needed it, take away the fear. Now you couldn’t do that with just one reading.

We chose two Asian-American plays, Year Zero by Michael Golamco and The Language Archive by Julia Cho. Two very different plays but they shared so much that they could well have been related. The idea of loss, whether it be of culture or of family. The idea of duty, whether it was inherited or forced upon you. The idea of reconciliation, for the better or for worse.

These two plays from across the pond showed us what’s possible with East Asian storytelling, and what potential we have as writers to explore our own experiences as young, British East Asians. I think we’ve only begun to scratch the surface here.

The night started with nerves, as it always does, but it was a great success. The performances were excellent and thank you to all those involved.

Thank you to all those that turned up and made it such a wonderful evening. You know who you are.

Now to do it five more times with our own writing in October. Over the past six months, we’ve been working with up-and-coming British East Asian writers to develop full-length plays. We’ll be staging half-an-hour readings every Wednesday in October at the Actor’s Centre in Covent Garden, culminating in a scratch night on October 29th. It’s all part of the SEA ArtsFest 2014.

Tired? Yes. Excited? Absolutely. Watch this space.

Simon and Clarissa


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