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Community Voices

La MaMa in association with Second Generation presents “Community Voices: The Next GenderAsian,” a concert reading of six ten-minute plays offering raw and outrageous perspectives on what it’s like to be queer and Asian-American today. “Community Voices” features new plays written by Alain Chan, Joseph F. Lin, Avinash Rajagopal, Lolan Buhain Sevilla, Ryan Shen, and Jason Tseng, directed by Kyoung H. Park. This evening is free and will take place at The Club at La MaMa on May 14th at 7:30 PM.

The ensemble cast for “Community Voices” features Jackie Chung, Angel Desai, Snehal Desai, Mieke Duffly, Jojo Gonzalez, Daniel K. Isaac, Ken Leung, Wei-Yi Lin, Andy Phelan, Eileen Rivera, Tobias Wong and Ching Valdes-Aran. Read more about us here.

“Community Voices” is sold-out. To sign up for our wait-list, please email Lisa Chan at lisac@2g.org.

“Community Voices” is a groundbreaking new space for unheard writers, supporting vital perspectives and urgent stories about the Asian-American experience. This season, 2G partnered with GAPIMNY, Q-Wave, and SALGA, three local grass-roots organizations serving the queer API community to launch “Community Voices: Queer API.” Led by Deen, a first-generation South Asian American playwright and performer, this writing workshop supports queer, Asian writers interested in exploring their relationship to “gender.”

This January, six writers were selected to be part of “Community Voices: Queer API” following an open application process promoted city-wide to all members of our Asian-American community who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Queer, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming.

This March, “Community Voices” offered a safe container to explore the theme of gender in a rich learning and collaborative environment, culminating in the writing of new pieces for theatrical expression. The program consisted of five, 3-hour writing workshop sessions co-moderated by 2g theater artists, including slam-poet Kit Yan, playwright/ actress/ director Nandita Shenoy, actress/community-organizer Elena Chang, and playwright/director Kyoung H. Park.

COMMUNITY VOICES PLAYWRIGHTS

ALAIN CHAN, I Knew You Were A Goat After graduating from Wesleyan University this past spring, Alain Chan now lives in Brooklyn, where they spend their days writing self-indulgent poetry and combating oppression, medieval knight style. In their spare time, they like to take walks, make quesadillas, and pursue a career in public health.
JOSEPH F. LIN, Stretch Joseph F. Lin is a passionate social justice activist and cultural critic from the borderlands who writes chiefly about politics of the body, urban space, popular culture, and immigration. Joseph earned his B.A. from NYU in Social and Cultural Analysis, focusing on Asian/Pacific/American Studies and Latin@ Studies. In his senior year, he led the revitalization of NYU’s only Asian American-interest magazine, Generasian, serving as associate editor and blogger. A native New Yorker, he has worked on several community organization campaigns centered on anti-gentrification, tenants’ rights, and environmental justice. Joseph is thrilled to take part in the inaugural class of Community Voices and anticipates the powerful performances to come.
AVINASH RAJAGOPAL, Ila Avinash Rajagopal is an associate editor at Metropolis, an architecture and design magazine. He is also closely involved with SALGA NYC, and was a member of its board for two years. He moved to New York from India in 2009, mainly to make a career move towards critical writing, journalism, and scholarship. Now he is looking for ways to give voice to his own stories.
LOLAN BUHAIN SEVILLA, Daddy Taught Me How To Woo Lolan Buhain Sevilla is a queer butch cultural worker who roots her art in community, study and practice. She is a member of FiRE-GABRIELA USA, and the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981. Lolan was co-founder of Kreatibo, a queer Pin@y Artist Collective, and has been published in Maganda Magazine, The Womanist Journal, Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women (2007), and TAYO Literary Magazine. Her first chapbook, Translating New Brown (2005), received the Philippine American Writers & Artists’ Calatagan Award. Lolan co-edited Walang Hiya … Literature Taking Risks Toward Liberatory Practice (2010), and recently completed a Hedgebrook Writing Residency where she worked on her first novel, Every Surface An Altar.
RYAN SHEN, The Threesome With Darren Ryan Shen is a trans-identified Taiwanese Chinese American. He is on the Steering Committee for Q-Wave, serves on the board of NQAPIA, and is involved with Asian Pride Project and GAPIMNY. As a community organizer, he builds community with emphasis on inclusion, collaboration, and storytelling.
JASON TSENG, Apotheosis, A Play Jason Tseng is an interdisciplinary artist with roots in theatre, dance, visual art, and writing. His artistic work ranges from the familiar to the fantastical, but always with issues of social justice in mind. Since moving to New York he has worked with Flux Theatre Ensemble and Insurgo Stage Project.

On Saturday, November 17th, 2012, Deen (Community Voices Writing Workshop Director, Playwright), Clarence Coo (Playwright), and Ryan Shen (Community Organizer) joined 2g at the HERE Arts Center for “Queer Voices Speak Out,” a pre-show panel discussion moderated by Kyoung H. Park (2g Director of Strategic Planning). The panelists shared their stories as gay, Asian writers and provided more information about how you can become part of this exciting new program. “Queer Voices Speak Out” was held prior to 2g’s “Instant Vaudeville” and a post-show reception was hosted by 2g, in collaboration with GAPIMNY, Q-Wave, and SALGA. For full transcript of the panel, click here.

DEEN (Community Voices Writer’s Workshop Director) A first-generation South Asian American playwright and performer, Deen is a member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. His first full-length play, Shut-Up!, won him the Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize and the James Baldwin Award. He self-produced his next play, Where Children Play: the Story of Tank and Horse, at the Berkshire Fringe Festival to rave audience reviews. His latest play, Draw the Circle, had its World Premiere at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia in April 2012 (after staged readings at the Public Theater, Dixon Place, Berksire Fringe, NYTW at Dartmouth, Passage Theatre, and Queens Theatre in the Park). He is currently working on a play about the Sikh massacres in India in 1984.
KYOUNG H. PARK (Community Voices Program Director) Kyoung H. Park is 2G’s Director of Strategic Planning and author of Sex and Hunger, disOriented, Walkabout Yeolha, TALA, and many short plays including Mina, which is published in Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas. Kyoung writes and directs his own work as Artistic Director of Pacific Beat Collective and is recipient of an Edward Albee, Global Arts Village, and Theater of the Oppressed fellowships; grants from the Arvon and GK foundation; and is a 2010 UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate. Kyoung’s worked internationally in Chile, Brazil, South Korea, India, and is member of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab, EST’s Youngblood, and Soho Theater’s Hub. BFA: Dramatic Writing (NYU); MA: Peace and Global Governance (KHU). MFA: Playwriting (Columbia, Dean’s Fellow).
RITA SURI (Second Generations Literary Intern) Rita Suri is 2g’s literary intern and is excited to be a part of the “Community Voices” program this spring. A graduate of the United World College-USA and current student at NYU-Gallatin, Rita studies theater and literature with an emphasis on Asian America.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Founded in 1990, the Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) has provided a safe and supportive social, political, and educational space for gay, bisexual, and questioning men and transgender people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area. GAPIMNY is a membership-based organization whose goal is to empower its community through a range of social, educational, peer-support, cultural, and political activities. We work in coalition with other community organizations to help educate the API ethnic and LGBT communities on issues of race, sexuality, gender, and health.

Q-Wave is an organization for people of Asian Pacific-Islander descent who identify as lesbian, female bisexual, or transgendered and for anyone who is questioning her identity or sexual orientation. We encourage the involvement of all of our members and want to be sure that their concerns and interests are heard. We seek to make ourselves visible within the queer community, among Asians, and society in general through outreach, cooperation with various organizations, and other projects. Our name reflects the fluidity of the identity and individuality of queer female API people, their lives, and places in society.

The South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association of New York City [SALGA-NYC] is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization, serving the South Asian LGBT & Questioning community for over 10 years. SALGA-NYC is a social, political and support group for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people who trace their descent from countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet as well as people of South Asian descent from countries such as Guyana, Trinidad and Kenya.

“Community Voices: Queer API” is made possible by the generosity of the Stonewall Foundation and the Asian Women Giving Circle.

DOWNLOAD the 2g Community Voices Application