Ann Curry on America's Struggling Journalism Industry - "There is no possibility of a democracy without good journalism"

Posted by Suzanne Kai - on Thursday, 29 August 2013

Ann Curry on America's Struggling Journalism Industry -
Note: July 29, 2017 Journalist Ann Curry's comments back in 2013 are as current and urgent as ever. If anything, journalists are being challenged now more than ever.  ==================== New York City Veteran broadcast journalist Ann Curry inspired and encouraged journalists to 'hang on.' She says while there is strain in the journalism industry there will also be opportuniity. Photo by Lia Chang for The  NBC network television reporter, anchor and...


Suzen Murakoshi’s Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience, at 30th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, 8/11-20

Posted by Lia Chang on Thursday, 11 August 2011

Snowboarder Suzen Murakoshi

Suzen Murakoshi kicks it up a notch with her solo show, Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience. Photo by Anya Garrett.

After a well received run at the Calgary Fringe Festival, New York based actor, playwright, and snowboarder Suzen Murakoshi continues to take Canada by storm with her solo show Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience, a true story written and performed by Ms. Murakoshi, and directed by Obie (Off-Broadway) award winner Ching Valdes-Aran, at the 30th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

Performances for Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience, are from Thursday, August 11 – Saturday, August 20, 2011. Tickets are available at the Central Fringe Theatre Box Office in the TransAlta Arts Barns (10330 84 Avenue), online at or (780) 409-1910. Tickets purchased by phone or online can be picked up at the Central Fringe Box Office Pick-Up Window (TransAlta Arts Barns).

A “Samurai Super Daughter” struggles with her mother at the crossroads between East and West to affirm life between this world and the next. With warmth and humour, Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience tells the story of the last days in the life of a mother and daughter. This uplifting and life affirming show travels from the mountains of Japan to the islands of Hawaii. Delightful in its simplicity, and memorable in its expression, Ms. Murakoshi brings the clarity of life into focus by bringing us closer to the end.

Suzen Murakoshi is a veteran of Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theatres. Her favorite roles include “Juliet” in Romeo and Juliet at the Cleveland Playhouse and “Connie” in A Chorus Line on Broadway. Together with Obie award winner, Ching Valdes-Aran, Ms. Murakoshi has performed her own past work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she was...

Mu Performing Arts 2011-2012 20th Anniversary Season: Four Destinies, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Into the Woods, & Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 09 August 2011

Mu Peforming Arts Artistic Director Rick Shiomi will direct "Into the Woods". Photo by Lia Chang

The 2011 – 2012 Mu Performing Arts 20th Anniversary mainstage season lineup includes two premiere works by Asian American playwrights: Four Destinies by Katie Hae Leo and A. Rey Pamatmat’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them. Mu Daiko celebrates 15 years of taiko drumming in the Twin Cities with a special anniversary concert, to kick off the group’s Minnesota tour. To close out the mainstage season, Mu will present the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods, re-imagined from an Asian American perspective.

The season kicks off on October 15 at Mixed Blood Theatre with the world premiere of Four Destinies, directed by Suzie Messerole. The play by local playwright Katie Hae Leo is a satirical exploration of adoption through the eyes of Destiny Jones, a single character represented from four different ethnic backgrounds, as she/he grows up in a Minnesota family. Leo, herself a Korean adoptee, presents herself as a character determined to embody the overarching adoptee experience, both in youth and adulthood. Four Destinies has been in development for the past two years through Mu’s Jerome New Performance Program, a platform for emerging Asian American theater voices to create and present edgy new work.

In February, Mu Daiko, under the musical direction of Iris Shiraishi, returns to the Ordway’s McKnight Theatre for a special performance celebrating both the local taiko powerhouse’s 15th Anniversary and the kickoff of its Minnesota tour. Mu Daiko will honor the contribution of women in taiko by welcoming both national and international guest artists. Hanayui, a three-woman offshoot of the legendary Japanese taiko ensemble Kodo, leading American taiko artist Tiffany Tamaribuchi, and recent Minnesota transplant Megan Chao Smith, formerly of Shidara, will join Mu Daiko for the Ordway concert...

Version 3.0, a major new collection of contemporary Asian American plays edited by Chay Yew

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 09 August 2011

Chay Yew Photo by Lia Chang

Version 3.0, a major new collection of contemporary Asian American plays edited by Chay Yew, is hot off the presses courtesy of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). This vital anthology includes a foreword by David Henry Hwang, introduction by Chay Yew and eight full-length plays, each paired with a statement by the author.

Version 3.0, the first major anthology of contemporary Asian American drama in almost two decades, includes Julia Cho’s Durango, Sunil Kuruvilla’s Rice Boy, Han Ong’s Swoony Planet, Sung Rno’s wAve, Diana Son’s Satellites, Alice Tuan’s Last of the Suns and Chay Yew’s Question 27, Question 28. Also included is The Square, a choral piece meditating on 120 years of relationships between non-Asian Americans and the Asian American community, written by sixteen of today’s leading playwrights: Bridget Carpenter, Ping Chong, Constance Congdon, Kia Corthron, Maria Irene Fornes, Philip Kan Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn, David Henry Hwang, Robert O’Hara, Craig Lucas, Han Ong, José Rivera, Diana Son, Alice Tuan, Mac Wellman and Chay Yew.

PIng Chong Photo by Lia Chang

“I am inspired by the writers in this volume, who have questioned assumptions and expanded the palate of our nation’s dramatic literature… “Version 3.0″ playwrights have kept Asian American theatre vital. On a personal level, seeing and reading their plays has kept me young,” writes David Henry Hwang.

David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

Editor Chay Yew points out that these third-wave writers “have expanded the world of Asian American theatre… [by] regarding ethnicity in a much more complicated mosaic of identity.”

These playwrights explore the myriad ways in which Asians live in America: freely combining the Medea myth with wave-particle physics; nimbly moving between a field in...

Dr. Bobby Fong, BD Wong and Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth to Receive Awards at National OCA Convention in New York on August 6

Posted by Lia Chang on Friday, 05 August 2011

2011 OCA Pioneer Award Recipient BD Wong and the cast of Robert Lee and Leon Ko's Heading East at the Asia Society in New York n May 23, 2010. Photo by Lia Chang

Dr. Bobby Fong, BD Wong and Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth will be honored at the 2011 National OCA Convention in New York at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, during the Gala Awards on Saturday, August 6, 2011. President of Ursinus College, Dr. Bobby Fong and actor, BD Wong will receive OCA Pioneer Awards. Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth, will be receiving the OCA Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award. OCA will also recognize the achievements of its own members with the Chapter of the Year Award and the Unsung Heroes Awards.

OCA, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is holding their 2011 National Convention, Advocacy Through Compassion – A New York State of Mind, from August 4-7, 2011 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The annual OCA National Convention draws hundreds of APAs from around the country and features three days of workshops, exhibits, youth and college programs, film screenings and notable speakers. For more information and to register for this year’s National Convention, please visit our the website at

2011 Pioneer Awards Honorees
Dr. Bobby Fong is the President of Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. He attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He later earned a doctorate in English Literature from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1978. His academic career began at Berea College in Kentucky, where he taught from 1978 to1989. In 2001 he became President of Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, one of only 20 Asian-American college presidents in the United States. Active in many higher education...

David Henry Hwang to Receive 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award

Posted by Lia Chang on Friday, 05 August 2011

David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to playwright David Henry Hwang, who has been named the Honoree of the 31st Annual William Inge Theatre Festival, in Independence, Kansas, on the campus of Independence Community College.

Hwang will be at the Inge Festival from April 18-21, 2012. He joins the roster of internationally renowned playwrights who have traveled to the Inge Festival to receive the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award. This select list includes Arthur Miller, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, and the most recent Honoree, Marsha Norman, to name just a few.

“David Henry Hwang brings a unique voice to the fabric of the American theatre,” said Peter Ellenstein, Inge Center Artistic Director. “Besides being a great dramatist, his work often gives voice to an Asian-American perspective that has been long left out of American culture.”

Hwang is also a librettist for musicals and operas, as well as a screenwriter. At the multi-media Tribute ceremony that concludes the Inge Festival, Hwang will accept the annual Inge Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award.

Since its founding in 1981, the William Inge Theatre Festival has celebrated the accomplishments of nationally renowned playwrights. It is the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas, located in the picturesque southeastern Kansas town of Independence (pop. 10,000), William Inge’s hometown. Inge, who passed away in 1973, was the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Picnic and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Splendor in the Grass.

Throughout his career, playwright David Henry Hwang has explored the complexities of forging Eastern and Western cultures in a contemporary America. His extraordinary body of work, over the past 30 years, has been marked by a deep desire to reaffirm the common humanity in all of...

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