Theatre Diaspora Names Samson Syharath Managing Artistic Director
MediaRites, a nonprofit organization that provides innovative, award-winning documentary, theatre and outreach programs, announces that its Theatre Diaspora project has achieved 501(c)3 status as a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization. Along with this development, MediaRites announces that Theatre Diaspora will become a partner organization under the leadership of Samson Syharath who will serve as managing artistic director.
Dmae Roberts, MediaRites’ executive producer, and Syharath established Theatre Diaspora in 2014 with a collective of AAPI theatre artists, which began as a grassroots project to raise awareness and visibility for Asian American/Pacific Islander theatre.
By shining a spotlight on the stories of underrepresented communities through staged readings, Theatre Diaspora productions sparked important audience conversations on race, social and cultural issues. Theatre Diaspora has produced dozens of enhanced stage readings and two full productions since its inception with a strong following among people of color (PoCs), LGBTQI and younger audiences.
Roberts will continue to serve as a company member with Theatre Diaspora, however, she will focus on several MediaRites’ projects, writing, directing and producing new film adaptions of ‘The –Ism Project’. Syharath continues to with work for MediaRites as its associate
“Samson and I started Theatre Diaspora in 2014 as a response to yellowface casting and under-representation of Asian Americans in Portland theatre,” says Dmae Roberts. “I am so proud of the work we have done, and I know under Samson’s leadership Theatre Diaspora will continue its mission.”
Samson Syharath, an established actor, director, instructor and playwright, has established a board of directors for Theatre Diaspora. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Syharath intends to produce multi-media productions that can be streamed online to connect with audiences.
“There is a great need for awareness about AAPI representation and stereotyping, particularly during these changing times when racial and political tensions are at an all-time high,” stated Syharath. “I am grateful for the guidance and support from Dmae and MediaRites, and excited about leading Theatre Diaspora into the next wave of AAPI storytelling and community conversations.”
In 2021, Theatre Diaspora and MediaRites will collaborate on a new project slated for Asian Heritage Month (May). More information will be shared on this development soon. As a non-profit theatre company, Theatre Diaspora is also seeking public support. For those interested in supporting Theatre Diaspora, donations are accepted and appreciated for future productions: http://theatrediaspora.org/donate/