answer the questions and responde to two other students.
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I hope you have enjoyed our overview of Asian American Theatre so far.
Last week I asked you to discuss your thoughts based your experience and exposure to pop culture, entertainment, news and your own awareness on what those issues might be that Asian American Theatre could and does now speak to.
I have enjoyed reading your discussion very much. It is interesting how many conversations there are about the era of Internment camps during WWII. Many of you have had some terrific insight to the social experience that you have had in your lives. Thank you for all the personal reaction to this topic.
I thought I would have us continue this discussion in this way:
I would ask the same question to you again and share your thoughts on Asian American Theatre and those issues you feel are important now based on our reading this week, your research of Asian American Theatre and the conversion with David Henry Hwang, the posted articles and video about “Yellow-face” casting and the challenges for Asian American performers in America today.
Has your opinion changed? Why or why not?
What have you learned or discovered this week that may have changed what you feel is important to the issues of the Asian American society and culture?
How can Theatre/TV and Film better serve the Asian American public and those issues that we see are being wrestled with?
Make sure you answer is at least 150 words and that you respond to two other posts.
First student response: (Kaven)
The subject of inequality among Asian American actors have not changed and will remain the same until we see drastic changes within the movie industry, especially with Hollywood films. We can look back in history and compare the racial injustice currently being displayed in today’s theatre culture. An Asian American actress by the name of Anna May suffered the reality of being Asian in Hollywood. She was snubbed for a role due to “unwritten rules” in the 1940s, which prohibited interracial romance. Rob Schneider who is a quarter Filipino is the only “Asian” American who actually is able to land roles depicting his ethnicity. I understand that Hollywood and all the major movie companies need to make money to cover the budget and so forth, but sooner or later “Yellow face casting” is going to blow up in their face, similarly like the #metoomovement, it’s just a matter of time.
Second student response: (Justice)
I think that one of the main themes I found through the readings was that Asian Americans are restricted on the types of stories they can write about, mainly when it comes to the writing stories that might not be seen as Asian American. For example, if an Asian America writer were to write a play about 17th century England, it would be rejected as not Asian American, though it comes from an Asian American writer and playwright. I believe that as time progresses, this might change and a time where people from any heritage can write about specific places and times in history without the thought of having to cast people of specific races,
The interview video of David Henry Hwang was very interesting to me! His analyzation of multiculturalism within the theater is quite great considering he recognizes that plays can question and contradict race. I think that my opinion when it comes to Asian American theater has changed over the past week or so, Mainly, because I now see the many great theaters and theater productions that have been created with the thought in mind of promoting actors of Asian American races.
Before completing these studies, I did not consider or think much about the Asian American Theater within the realm of theater productions. Learning this week that Los Angeles is home to one of the oldest and most prominent Asian American theater organizations, East West Players, was truly rewarding as I grew up and was raised in Los Angeles. I believe that the Asian American public can be better served by having color-blind-casting within Hollywood television and film productions.
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