DENVER, November 20, 2019 – Theater Esprit Asia (TEA), founded in 2012, has been the Southwest’s first and only Asian American theatre company. After a year-long hiatus following the retirement of TEA’s first artistic director, TEA is re-launching under the new name of Insight Colab Theatre with a new mission.
“The retirement of TEA’s artistic director raised questions about the organization’s future. Celena [Martinez] and I thought that it would be a shame to let something like TEA cease to exist, especially given the small number of minority theatre groups remaining in Colorado. Insight Colab Theatre is a result of hours of conversations with the Asian American creative community about what appeals to diverse artists and what would give us a sense of ownership,” stated Tarika Cefkin, one of Insight Colab Theatre’s founders.
This new venture will expand from its roots in the Asian American community to a truly diverse and multicultural collective, featuring plays with non-traditional, diverse casting, acting workshops to train the next generation of minority actors, and writers’ series to explore identity, race, and privilege. “We will always honor our Asian American roots and history, but we recognize that there are still few opportunities for any marginalized group to be seen in a leading role. By creating a new entity with inclusivity and collaboration at its core, we hope to provide fresh perspectives to well-known works and shine a light on new voices in our community,” added Tria Xiong, co-founder of TEA and board member of Insight Colab Theatre.
In addition to Tarika Cefkin, Celena Martinez, and Tria Xiong, the leadership team that established the new vision and values for Insight Colab Theatre happens to be a group of Asian American women, including Sumi Lee, Cecilia J. Pang, Arlene Rapal, and Jennifer So.
Insight Colab Theatre will hold its kickoff event on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. at The People’s Building (9995 E Colfax Avenue, Aurora, CO 80010). The fundraiser event will feature cabaret performances by local artists, a silent auction, and introduction of the new brand and mission of Insight Colab Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at teatheatre.org. A formal introduction of the new season will follow in 2020.
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