But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise

New Asian American Plays

edited by Velina Hasu Houston, foreword by Roberta Uno
Book Cover

PB: $48.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-538-0
Publication: May 97

Ebook: $48.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0612-5
Publication:

520 pages
6 x 9

A rich anthology of American plays by playwrights of diverse Asian ancestry and an equally diverse offering of aesthetic sensibilities

Read an excerpt from "Talk Story" (pdf).

Description

In this pathbreaking volume, Velina Hasu Houston gathers together eleven plays that speak in the "hybridized, unique American voices of Asian descent—and often dissent." These writers resist the bigotry that attempts to target them solely as people of color as well as the homogenizing tendencies of a multiculturalism that fails to recognize the varied make-up of Asian-America. Anthologized for the first time, these plays testify to the rich complexity of Asian-American experience while they also demonstrate the different styles and thematic concerns of the individual playwrights.

What are Asian-American plays about? Family conflicts, sexuality, social upheaval, betrayal . . . the stuff of all drama. Whether the characters are a middle-aged Taiwanese woman who is married to an Irish American and who dreams of opening a Chinese restaurant, a Chinese-American female bond trader trying to survive a corporate takeover, or an ABC (American Born Chinese) gay man whose lover has AIDS, their Asian-ness is only a part of their story.

As a playwright, Houston is keenly aware of the rigid formulas that often exclude writers of color and women writers from mainstream theater. But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise brings forth vibrant new work that challenges producers and audiences to broaden their expectations, to attend to the unfamiliar voices that express the universal and particular vision of Asian-American playwrights.

Table of Contents

Foreword – Roberta Uno
Acknowledgments
Introduction – Velina Hasu Houston
1. Talk Story – Jeannie Barroga
2. Day Standing on its Head – Philip Kan Gotanda
3. Kokoro (True Heart) – Velina Hasu Houston
4. Dance of the Wandering Souls – Huynh Quang Nhoung
5. Bondage – David Henry Hwang
6. The Conversion of Ka'ahumanu – Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
7. Cleveland Raining – Sung Rno
8. Breaking Glass – Dmae Roberts
9. Junk Bonds – Lucy Wang
10. Kimchee and Chitlins – Elizabeth Wong
11. A Language of Their Own – Chay Yew
About the Contributors

About the Author(s)

Velina Hasu Houston is Associate Professor and Director of the Playwriting Program in the School of Theatre at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is also an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and poet. Her work has been presented internationally at such venues as the Manhattan Theatre Club, Old Globe Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Smithsonian Institute, Kennedy Center, and Japan Society. She has written for film and television and her plays and critical essays are published in several anthologies. Her first anthology for Temple was The Politics of Life: Four Plays by Asian American Women.


Subjects

In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.