7th Virtual ConFest Episode Features Three Asian American Theatre Artists

7th Virtual ConFest Episode Spotlights Susan Lieu, Pratik Motwani, Jason Bayani

7th Virtual ConFestConsortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) announces the speakers for the seventh episode of its ongoing monthly ConFest Virtual Series, “Return to Our Stories: Festival Artists Showcase” on Monday, February 8th, 2021 at 1PM HST, 2PM AKST, 3PM PST, 4PM MST, 5PM CST, and 6PM EST.
The episode will be hosted by Sean San José (Campo Santo, Co-Founder) and will address the ways in which COVID-19 has affected artists’ abilities to engage in their work.
The episode will feature presentations by Jason Bayani (Kearny Street Workshop, Artistic Director; San Francisco, CA), Pratik Motwani (Ohio University, Adjunct Professor; Ironton, OH), and Susan Lieu (140 LBS: HOW BEAUTY KILLED MY MOTHER, Playwright; Seattle, WA). The episode will be broadcast on Howlround and on CAATA’s Facebook page.
The online event will include video excerpts from three solo performance works by featured artists from CAATA’s upcoming 7th Asian American Theater Festival & Conference (ConFest) “Kuʻu ʻĀina, Kuʻu Piko, Kuʻu Kahua – Return to the Source” in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, May 20-29, 2022.
Selections include LOCUS OF CONTROL by author, poet, educator, and arts organizer Jason Bayani, directed by Kat Evasco; THE LONG WAY by actor, theatre maker, and arts educator Pratik Motwani; 140 LBS: HOW BEAUTY KILLED MY MOTHER by Vietnamese-American playwright, producer, and performer Susan Lieu; and an interview with Campo Santo Co-Founder Sean San José on how artists are navigating COVID-19.
The episode will highlight how the art-making process has shifted during the ongoing global crisis and the methods that artists are utilizing to survive and thrive during the pandemic.
“Return to Our Stories: Festival Artists Showcase,” is the seventh episode of CAATA ConFest’s Virtual Series exploring the theme of the upcoming 7th Asian American Theater Festival & Conference (ConFest) “Kuʻu ʻĀina, Kuʻu Piko, Kuʻu Kahua – Return to the Source” in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, May 20-29, 2022.
The in-person ConFest will center the voices of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander theater practitioners, and feature the thriving theater community of Hawaiʻi, where Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander faces on stage are the norm, not the exception.

7th Virtual ConFest Centers On Return To The Source

“Ku‘u ‘Āina, Ku‘u Piko, Ku‘u Kahua – Return to the Source” is a call to all theatre artists to reconnect with their foundations and their sources of knowledge: their land, their family, their center. The online series and its presentation of the wide diaspora of Pan-Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle East North African, and Native & Indigenous American stories will be a vehicle through which both the audience and artists can ground themselves in their cultural knowledge and the many identities that we bring to our communities.
“Future episodes of the series will feature artists from across the country who represent some of the most groundbreaking work in American theatre, and includes stories from across the breadth of the Pan Asian/Pacific Islander/MENA/Native/Indigenous American diaspora, including Hawaiʻi, Egypt, Vietnam, and more,” said ConFest Co-Chairs Leilani Chan (Founding Artistic Director, TeAda Productions) and Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker (Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa).
They added, “This series is not meant to be a replacement for the conference and festival, but is an offering to begin discussions around artists, topics and themes proposed by the field that we hope will culminate in celebration when we are able to gather in person again next year. Our goal is to also continue dialogue with other BIPOC networks of color and connect artists with current BIPOC movements.”
7th Virtual ConFest
The ConFest Virtual Series is being produced in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons in Boston, MA, a nonprofit organization that operates as part of Emerson Collegeʻs Office of the Arts. HowlRound provides a free and open platform for theatre-makers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners.
The series will be presented on HowlRound TV, HowlRoundʻs global, commons-based peer produced, open access live streaming and video archive project.
Maximiliano Urruzmendi-Mele will be the series Technical Director, and CAATA staff member Ariel Estrada will be the series Line Producer. A full schedule of broadcast dates for the ConFest Virtual Series can be found on CAATAʻs website at https://caata.net/monthly-confest-virtual-series/ 
7th Virtual ConFest

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