Category: The Latest

Prince Gomolvilas is coming to Portland!

Thanks to Ronni Lacroute for being our show sponsor forThe Brothers Paranormal by Prince Gomolvilas! (Jan. 19-21 at PSU’s Lincoln Hall, Boiler Room

(Dmae pictured with Ronni Lacroute (right) and artist Horatio Law on the opening of Caught at Artists Repertory Theatre)

Dmae pictured with Ronni Lacroute (right) and artist Horatio Law 

Thanks to Ronni Lacroute’s generous sponsorship MediaRites’ Theatre Diaspora will be bringing Thai-American playwright Prince Gomolvilas to Portland to workshop his play for a staged reading with music by Joe Kye before his world premiere at Pan-Asian Repertory Theatre in NYC!

Not only will he be in attendance for final rehearsals but Ronni’s sponsorship makes it possible for Prince to be part of our talkbacks and offer a master class in playwriting to PoC theatre artists. Thank you Ronni!

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The Brothers Paranormal
Prince Gomolvilas

Prince Gomolvilas

A workshop staged reading
Directed by Kate Duffly
with music by Joe Kye
January 19-21, 2018
at PSU’s Lincoln Hall, Boiler Room Theatre 

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Big News in October and January!

Two Theatre Diaspora members are working on Artists Repertory Theatre’s CAUGHT, a play by Christopher Chen that is also an art installation Oct. 1-29.

Dmae Roberts & Samson Syharath

Dmae Roberts (MediaRites executive producer) returns to acting in a full production with CAUGHT. Samson Syharath is the assistant director. Be sure to “catch” this unusual comedic, genre-bending production of live theatre and installation art. Ripped from the headlines of “fake news” CAUGHT brings to light themes of truth and deception in the worlds of art and journalism. CAUGHT also asks the question: “When does cultural appropriation begin?” Previews begin Oct. 1st and the show runs Wed-Sun till Oct. 29th.

Tickets on sale now at artistsrep.org.    For more about CAUGHT, visit: http://www.artistsrep.org/onstage/201718-season/caught/


Also in January…The Brothers Paranormal.

Save the Date for
The Brothers Paranormal 
by
A workshop staged reading
Directed by Kate Duffly
January 18-21, 2018
at PSU’s Lincoln Hall, Boiler Room Theatre
Cast includes: Samson Syharath, Elaine Low, Josie Seid, Jasper Howard, Melissa Magana and Savira Kambhu. With original music performed by Joe Kye. 
Synopsis: Two Thai-American brothers launch a ghost-hunting business in order to capitalize on the nationwide increase in sightings of Asian-looking ghosts. When the siblings end up investigating the home of an African American couple who claim to be haunted by one very terrifying spirit, everyone’s notions of reality, fantasy, and sanity clash against the shocking truth.  At its heart this play is an modern allegory about grief, loss and healing for communities of color. Keep posted on our site for updates! www.TheatreDiaspora.org

Crossing East: Relations

Ellen Choy (right) Photo: Brooke Anderson Photography

Ellen Choy (right) Photo: Brooke Anderson Photography

Crossing East: Relations is a one-hour documentary special produced by Dmae Roberts, executive producer of MediaRites’ Crossing East series with Robynn Takayama and Alan Montecillo. The documentary addresses AAPIs and the Model Minority Myth and the historic relationship between AAPIs and African Americans. As part of a 10th anniversary celebration of the Peabody-winning radio series Crossing East, which aired on 230 public radio stations around the country we’ve been producing this documentary as well gathering more than 100 hours of oral history recordings for the Crossing East Archive.

Featuring music by David Ornette Cherry.
Hear a promo for the first airing on KBOO.FM June 6, 2017, 11am-noon!

This Crossing East Archive and documentary project was made possible by….
And individual donors and supporters!
Special thanks to:
    Ronni Lacroute
    John and June Schumann.
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“Washer/Dryer” Reading with Theatre Diaspora

Washer/Dryer by Nandita Shenoy

May 14th at 7:00 p.m. & May 20th at 2:00 p.m. in the Ellyn Bye Studio

During May, Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Media Rites’ Theatre Diaspora Project’s new season begins with an enhanced staged reading directed by company member Samson Syharath. Cast includes Anthony Lam, Sarika Mehta, Elaine Low, Dmae Roberts and Mathew Sepeda.In this light-hearted romantic comedy, interethnic newlyweds Sonya and Michael would love nothing more than to live happily ever after in Sonya’s single occupant New York co-op apartment (with built-in washer and dryer). Standing in their way, however, are Michael’s meddling mother, Sonya’s nosy co-op manager, and a litany of other squabbles they must overcome to save their relationship.

To purchase tickets or learn more, visit pcs.org/blog/washer-dryer-reading-with-theatre-diaspora

Refugee Dreams Revisited – Youth Performances

Refugee Dreams Revisited
Produced by MediaRites Productions.

Starting with the fall of Saigon in April 1975, refugees from Vietnam awaited approval to move to the US and other countries. By 1979, there were almost 62,000 Vietnamese in refugee camps, with more than 140,000 people displaced from Cambodia and Laos. Portland, Oregon, was one of the medium-sized US cities that dealt with the relatively sudden influx of every major ethnic group (Vietnamese, Lao, Hmong, Mien and Cambodian) from Southeast Asia.
Fifteen former refugees were interviewed for the Refugee Dreams Revisited project, which was created for the Peabody award-winning series Crossing East that ran on 230 public radio stations.
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Consider a Tax-Deductible Donation!

Happy Holidays!

Since 1991, I’ve run MediaRites, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit production organization based in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to telling the stories of diverse cultures and giving voice to the unheard through the arts, education and media projects.

Currently, the Oregon Cultural Trust is doubling donations given to MediaRites until December 31, 2016. Make a donation to MediaRites, and donate the same amount to the Oregon Cultural Trust, and you get that same amount back as a tax credit.

We’re in the final stages of completing the  Crossing East Online Archive Project of more than 200 hours of oral history interviews of Asian American/Pacific Islander stories. We need your help to raise $3000 to complete our budget so we can preserve important historical stories. 

In digitizing the recordings we collected for the original Crossing East history series 10 years ago, we’ve learned so many of the elders, activists and scholars we interviewed are no longer with us.

Since Crossing East aired 10 years ago, we’ve lost historians Ronald Takaki, Wayne Maeda and Jeffrey Barlow as well as civil rights leader Yuri Kochiyama and labor activist Ah Quon McElrath. Ed Wah, one of the last relatives of Oregon’s Ing “Doc” Hay and Carolyn Micnheimer, the former caretaker of the Kam Wah Chung museum in Eastern Oregon are also gone. And so many elders we interviewed across the country have left us too. Their stories can live on in the Crossing East Archive. 

These stories need to live on and that’s why we’re building this archive. We hope to have it ready to launch by May for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI)  Heritage month. The Crossing East Archive will also include an oral history of the original host of Crossing East, George Takei.The Crossing East Archive project also includes

  • New stories about AAPIs and African Americans to trace historic tensions and moments of unity for our “Relations” one-hour radio documentary which will also air in May on public radio stations. Now more than ever we need to learn how to work together.
  • And Refugee Dreams Revisited, the Portland Southeast Asian refugee segment for the Crossing East series. We’re working with AAPI youth for a series of free staged readings directed by professional directors Samson Syharath and Lidet Vivarong. Each public performance will be accompanied with a post-show panel discussion with original interviewees such as Kilong Ung, Lee Po Cha and Sokhaum Touch to name a few of the community leader elders.

Help us with our goal to raise $3000 by the end of the year so we can complete our budget for the Crossing East Archive Project. Please consider an end of the year donation to help us archive all the valuable broadcast-quality recordings, perhaps the most complete collection of AAPI history interviews from around the country and to produce the new “Relations” radio documentary as well as to help youth to perform the stories of Portland’s Southeast Asian refugees elders.

To make a tax-deductible donation, click the PayPal link on the home page of our site: mediarites.org.  Or reply to this email for a mailing address.

Donations of $50 or more will receive a season subscription for our Theatre Diaspora project plays in 2017 or a digital download of the entire Crossing East radio series or anything in our store! 

Wishing you a warm holiday season and thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Dmae Roberts
Executive Producer
MediaRites
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MediaRites provides innovative, award-winning radio, theater and documentary programs. For more information, visit the MediaRites website: www.mediarites.org. 

Thank you to our first funders of
our Crossing East Archive Project! 

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Crossing East Archive Project

More than 10 years ago, MediaRites debuted Crossing East, (Our Stories, Our History, Our America), the first and to date only Asian American/Pacific Islander history series on public radio.

In 2016 we embarked on an exciting project to save more than 150 hours of oral history recordings gathered for this groundbreaking Peabody Award-winning radio series hosted by George Takei and Margaret Cho.

We digitized all the interviews, transcripts and photos online for the public to use for educational purposes. This act of preservation is called the Crossing East Archive Project.

MediaRites was awarded funding from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Regional Arts and Culture Council , the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and the PGE Foundation and built the multimedia Crossing East archive. We created two projects to celebrate the 10th anniversary year. See the Archive at: http://www.crossingeast.org/crossingeastarchive/

   

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A Language of Their Own

MediaRitesTheatre Diaspora presents 

ALOTOA Language of Their Own
by Award-Winning Playwright Chay Yew

at Portland Center Stage , Sept. 10 at 7:30pm
and Portland Actors Conservatory, Sept. 18 at 2pm

With funding support by a grant from The Equity Foundation, 

Chay Yew’s A Language of Their Own focuses on Oscar and Ming who had been together for four years. They break up after Oscar is diagnosed with AIDS, however, neither is able to let the other go completely. Both begin relationships with new boyfriends and find navigating these relationships just as complicated as when they were together – like learning and creating the nuances of a new language.

NOTE: The play contains strong sexual language and situations so parental discretion for minors is advised.

Theatre Diaspora will perform two staged readings of A Language of Their Own, directed by Andrew Klaus-Vineyard, co-artistic director at defunkt theatre) with associate director Samson Syharath, atPortland Center Stage  (128 NW 11th Avenue, Portland) on Saturday, September 10 at 7:30 p.m. and atPortland Actors Conservatory,(1436 SW Montgomery St., Portland) on Sunday, September 18 at 2:00 p.m.Tickets are $10 for general seating and $5 for Oregon Trail cardholders, students and AIDS Walk participants (provide registration). Tickets are available for purchase now at PCS.org for the Sept 10th show and at  www.brownpapertickets.com/ for the Sept 18th show.

The Portland production is produced by Wynee Hu with co-producers Samson Syharath and Alex Haslett, all producing ensemble members of Theatre Diaspora. The cast is comprised of local actors: Jess Ford, Ming Young, Samson Syharath, and Ken Tang. Paige Rogers is the stage manager for this production.

About Playwright Chay Yew

YewChay_288x375Chay Yew, playwright and artistic director of Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, is a recipient of the Obie and DramaLogue Awards for Direction. His productions have been cited by the Los Angeles Times and New York Times as one of the “Ten Best Productions of the Year;” Seattle Times and Strangers’ Best Achievement in Theatre; and was named Best Director by Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has directed world premieres by playwrights Jose Rivera, Naomi Iizuka, Kia Corthron, Julia Cho, David Adjmi and Jessica Goldberg, and performance artists Rha Goddess, Universes, Alec Mapa, Sandra Tsing Loh and Brian Freeman.

Yew is the recipient of the London Fringe Award for Best Playwright and Best Play, George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting Award, GLAAD Media Award, Asian Pacific Gays and Friends’ Community Visibility Award, Made in America Award, AEA/SAG/AFTRA 2004 Diversity Honor, and Robert Chesley Award; he has received grants from the McKnight Foundation, Rockefeller MAP Fund and the TCG/Pew National Residency Program.

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After the War Blues and Philip Kan Gotanda Master Class

ATWB2-cool300dpiMediaRites‘ Theatre Diaspora presents the Oregon premiere of After the War Blues by award-winning playwright Philip Kan Gotanda, directed by 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) with the playwright attending the performances and post-show audience talkbacks.

Tickets are $10 each for general seating and $5 each for students and Oregon Trail cardholders. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning May 1, 2016, at www.theatrediaspora.org and Brown Paper Tickets.

After 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 who came to San Francisco were seeking work, white Southern migrants were looking for economic opportunity, and Russian Jews were 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. Central character Chet Monkawa is a jazz trumpeter who returns to his family’s rooming house after the internment, but his old neighborhood isn’t the same. The rooming house is now filled with new transplants, and Chet and his fellow boarders must find a new harmony amidst uncertain times.

Basic CMYKWith generous support from Oregon Humanities to bring the playwright to Portland and for the post-show discussions following each performance, featuring the playwright on June 4th and community members on June 5th: Kara Carmosino (APANO), Michael Grice (Nothing But Quality education leader,) and Kimberly Moreland (author of African Americans in Portland.)

Master Class by Philip Kan Gotanda, Renowned Playwright

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The Language Archive

LA-ImageMediaRites’ Theatre Diaspora presents The Language Archive, a poignant comedy about dying languages and difficulties of love by award-winning playwright and television writer Julia Cho.

Dmae Roberts, executive producer of MediaRites, directs the cast: Tonya Jone Miller (previously in Breaking Glass), Leo Lin, Sofia May-Cuxim, Enrique E. Andrade, Wynee Hu (Theatre Diaspora producing ensemble member), and singer/musician Partfait Bassale (narrating and providing musical accompaniment.)

In The Language Archive, a language archivist is consumed by the preserving and documenting the dying languages from far-flung countries. Closer to home, however, he can’t communicate with his frustrated wife, nor deal with the deep feelings his lab assistant has for him.

The performance will open at 2pm on March 26th at Portland Center Stage (128 NW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR 97209) and will close at 2pm on April 2nd at the Milagro Theatre (525 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR 97214).

Tickets are $8 each. They can be purchased at pcs.org for the 2pm March 26th show at Portland Center Stage, and at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2510978 (service charge added) for the 2pm April 2nd show at the Milagro Theatre

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