Leviathan Lab Executive Director Ariel Estrada, Leviathan contributing artist and mentor Ching Valdes-Aran, along with fellow panelists and Leviathan friends Danielle Ma, Farah Bala, Ruy Iskandar, Vanditt Bhatt, and PanAsian Repertory Theatre's Producing Artistic Director Tisa Chang were panelists at the Asian American Arts Alliance panel "Beyond Puck: Performing Shakespeare in Asian America" on Friday, March 28, 2014, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University. The panel was free and open to the public.
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts and the Asian American Arts Alliance joined forces to bring together a program bridging the Alliance’s Artists in Conversation and Skirball’s Visions + Voices: China. Asian and Asian American actors share perspectives on playing characters from Shakespeare’s works, elements of cultural exchange within playing Shakespeare, as well as the importance of diverse representation in the classical theatre.
Drawing inspiration from the National Theatre of China’s Richard III and examples from previous Shakespeare productions performed by NYC-based Asian American theatre companies, artists reflect on how identity may or may not have shaped some of these performances and hopes for casting for Shakespeare productions moving forward.
Participants discussed the diversity of interpretations and appropriations of characters and storylines informed by personal experiences of challenges and inspiring moments with the work.
The 1.5 hour panel was live-taped, and included a Q&A with audience members. The footage will be edited to a short video which will be available for a national audience from both NYU Skirball and Alliance online platforms.