MediaRites’ Theatre Diaspora – Touring

Photo by Alex Haslett

“Here On This Bridge: The—Ism Project” is an original 70-minute new work by Josie Seid, Samson Syharath, Yasmin Ruvalcaba, Heather Raffo, Bonnie Ratner, Roberta Hunte and Dmae Roberts.

The show is directed by Catherine Ming T’ien Duffly and is composed of six short monologues exploring the intersections of race, gender, orientation and nationality, including stories with specifically Pacific Northwest perspectives. Monologues were developed in local workshops also curated from a national submission process. Actors are comprised of Theatre Diaspora ensemble members and actors of color who participated in a six-month series of workshops for development and training.

Performances will include post-show community dialogues with audience members in an effort to bridge divides and create much-needed empathy, understanding and compassion. The long-term goal of this project is to tour small towns and rural communities across Oregon

“Here On This Bridge: The—Ism Project” begins its tour of performances, community dialogues and workshops to Beaverton, Hillsboro, Hood River, McMinnville, and Corvallis February through May, 2019.

All shows are geared to find common ground through community discussions with ages 14 and up.

The tour will feature

  • A one-hour community workshop
  • A 30-40 minute community dialogue
  • 6 actors
  • Stage and tour director.

Cost for host organization is $2500 for up to 6 actors and crew. Partnering in fundraising will also be considered). For locations more than 2 hours from Portland, an overnight stay will be required and will add another $500 to the budget.

Requirements are:

A space with a staging area that is separate from the audience area. Theatres are preferred but large community rooms can be possible.

  • Six Chairs
  • Two small tables
  • Access to Sound equipment and electrical outlets
  • Lighting can be a simple as lights on and off
  • Backstage area or room for actors dressing room
  • Two separate dressing rooms, with easy access to the stage and appropriate furnishings.
  • Easy access to a working bathroom that is only for the actors and crew.
  • Water for actors and crew
  • One long table for front of house for donations, ticket sales and marketing materials
  • Front of house volunteers provided by Host organization
  • Representative who can act as technical adviser to the venue

Why this project now? Three years ago MediaRites created Theatre Diaspora at a time when there was little Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) theatre being done. When it was being produced, often companies would either hire non-AAPI actors to portray Asians, several times in “yellowface” makeup. There was a great need for awareness about AAPI representation and stereotyping, as well as opportunities to create excellent work featuring AAPI artists for AAPI and PoC audiences

MediaRites has five goals in this project. 1) To produce an original theatrical work that will eventually travel throughout the state. 2) To address the divide and the backlash against People of Color (PoC), women, LGBTQI people, immigrants and refugees that have become more visible and frequent since the 2016 presidential election. 3) To address the intersections of race with sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. 4) To create community dialogues which we value as well as the professional work we hope to create. 5) To provide continued opportunities for theatre artists of color with workshop and training as well as to perform in this new work.

Sample Schedule for workshop and show/dialogue :

Linfield College – McMinnville – 3/19/19

4:30pm arrive

5pm workshop

7pm show/dialogue

9pm Depart