The following is edited from the conversation. A: ConFest is two-fold. First, it's the national convening of Asian-American artists, leaders and administrators, and those interested in that specific field in American theater.
After regular potluck dinners for Asian Americans in the School of Theatre, Sarah and her classmates realized they wanted to expand this community and support system to others. After attending a conference and festival produced by the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists infellow Theatre Arts Performance major Michael Rosegrant was inspired to organize programming on behalf of the community of Asian American artists in Boston. Sarah and Michael applied for and won a CFA Seed Grant to kick off their first major event, and their project only grew from there.
That was then. In planning the third National Asian American Theater Conference and Festivalwhich will be held in Los Angeles from June 16 to 26, organizers adopted a very different outlook. About arts leaders, artists and academics are expected to attend.
The ConFest will continue this vital work in the field inviting artists and arts leaders from other underrepresented groups, higher education, and larger institutions in building a more inclusive and accessible American theater. Over the course of nine days, the ConFest will bring contemporary theater productions, panel discussions, plenary sessions, new play readings, workshops and special events to Ashland, Oregon. ConFest provides a vital space for Asian American theatre practitioners and allies from across the country to connect, to build relationships, and to showcase the vibrant and necessary contemporary creative work and academic research being developed in this community. The Conference, held for the first three days of ConFest, will include several notable plenary speakers and breakout sessions addressing topics including casting and union representation of Asian American performers, ending yellowface, immigrant and refugee community-based theater, expanding the classical canon through international collaborations, and building the next generation of professional leadership in the field.
What is it going to build? It really does build community, because there were so many people who might never have come to OSF but would attend a big spectacle. Leslie Ishii: I thought it was really exciting when we figured out that the dates for ConFest would fall during CultureFest.
How do they define our creative process? Does it question or shape concepts of home, identity, nation, allegiance, and hope? More, what now?
Username or Email Address. Remember Me. Co-presented by A-Squared TheatreAsian Improv aRts Midwestand Links Hallthe A-Squared Asian American Performing Arts Festival features three evenings of the art of contemporary performance by American artists descended from the Asian diaspora, including contemporary and traditional dance, jazz, improv comedy, performance art, and theatre at Links Hall. From November 8 — 17, audiences have the chance to join us in celebrating some of the outstanding Asian American artists who call Chicago home.