Asian American Plays, by Author (P-R)
Sonia Pabley is a literary agent and has been with Rosenstone/Wender, a publishing and theatrical agency, for eight years, representing including adult fiction and nonfiction; children’s and YA books; playwrights and screenwriters; film/tv rights, and all other subsidiary rights. She is continuing to add new authors to her list and while open to a variety of genres, is especially looking for narrative nonfiction; upmarket commercial and literary fiction; smart chick lit, and humor. She is a graduate of Columbia University.
- Sex in Other People’s Houses (Lark Theatre, 2003)
In this raucous, tightly drawn work two young South Asian couples find that marriage can get in the way of good sex…at least when it’s with their own spouse.
- Sesar (Ma-Yi, 2019)
The story of a 16-year-old Filipino boy, who having just watched an excerpt of Julius Caesar on The Cosby Show, locks himself in the only family bathroom, determined to make sense of Shakespeare.
- Lina’s Garden (LA Women’s Theatre Festival, 2005)
- Unbiased (East West 2010)
A journalist’s struggle to determine if sex + love in HIV are possible. He risks his relationships and his own notion of right and wrong to uncover the truth.
- Hidden Fires (SALAAM, 2003)
A man confesses that he has ‘stamped out’ countless ‘hidden fires’ – human lives that are less than human to him, merely faceless threats to his own security – and then finds himself on the receiving end of the same ruthless treatment. Taken from a series of five, powerful, hard-hitting monologues in the the playwright tackles head-on issues of violence, intolerance of others, narrow concepts of community and nation, each with a twist that lifts it into the realm of real drama.
- The Mating Game (SALAAM, 2004)
Six contestants, three women, three men, prepare to face the final round of a TV game-show designed to help themselves win a mate and a dowry – if they’re lucky. If they’re unlucky, they face forfeits including torture and death, live in front of an audience of millions. The subtext of the play is the practice known euphemistically in the Indian press as “Dowry Death” in which young brides who have brought insufficient dowries are murdered by their husbands and in-laws, frequently by being burned alive, so that the man can marry again and gain a fresh dowry.
- Who Killed Gilbert Botello? (Kuma Kahua, 2017)
Gilbert Botello is dead. But who killed him? Was it the butler or the maid? Was it the eccentric tycoon or his son? Detective Roy Rodger Kalauakekahuna III and his sidekick Officer Billy Souza investigate the murder and astonishing events surrounding the untimely demise of Gilbert Botello in this comedic murder mystery. Peopled with recognizable characters, Who Killed Gilbert Botello reshapes the typical British whodunnit into a refreshing representation of Hawai’i.
- A Ricepaper Airplane (Kuma Kahua, 2002)
Kim Sung Wha is a dying man, piecing together the story of his life for his nephew. As the old man drifts in and out of consciousness, he tells of his days working on a sugar plantation, his Korean homeland and his dream of building an airplane with a broken down bicycle, bamboo and rice paper, which he would use to fly home.
- Watcher of Waipuna
Gilbert Sanchez is the Watcher of Waipuna, defending his tiny corner of paradise against evil commercial expansion and greedy family members. Based on Gary Pak’s short story, this local fairy tale-like parable includes a chorus of housewives, supernatural elements, and examines the powerful connection between humans and the environment—loyalty to our land, connections to place, corporate development, and local displacement.
BIO: Anuvab Pal is the author of four plays. His work has been seen at various off-Broadway venues. In addition, his work has also been produced at Georgetown University, Bush Theatre in London, Fringe in Edinburgh, Artwallah in Los Angeles, STAGE Conference in Washington DC and various theatre’s in India. His second play, OUT OF FASHION and the one-act version of CHAOS THEORY, recently received staged readings at the prestigious Edward Albee Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska.
- Out of Fashion (SALAAM, 2002)
Out of Fashion is a historical comedy tying together missed connections of history, fashion, romance, murder, family and The British Empire, set under the umbrella of an India struggling to free itself. In three acts set in three distinct time periods, it traces the history of three generations of a famous Indian family through their accidental altercations and unplanned romances with another particular middle-class English family.
- Chaos Theory (SALAAM, 2001)
Chaos Theory is an intensely romantic, delayed-gratification talkie for people who dig wordplay — you Before Sunset, Raincoat, Tumhari Amrita, Woody Allen fans.
- Life, Love and EBITDA (Epic Theatre/SALAAM, 2003)
A dark comedy about women in the corporate world and women who are affected by them. The play dives into an exploration of female relationships tied to the fate of an Indian Manhole Cover company. It tries to understand, through the hurried events of a Christmas weekend, through the hurried interactions taking place in three large world cities, the role global business has begun to undertake in manipulating free will and collective hope.
- Fatwa (Alter Ego Productions, 2004)
How far will two people go to gain literary immortality? Our two characters, Michael Jordan and Mohammed Ali, are not the famous ones. They are almost dead and ready for obscurity. As a last effort, one of them, Michael Jordan, writes a blasphemous book to get an Islamic Death Edict (Fatwa) on his head. Sadly, the Middle East fails to notice. Pissed off, Mr. Jordan seeks the help of Mr. Ali to perform a staged “deadly act” before a video camera, that will apparently make both of them world famous.
- The President is Coming! (SALAAM, 2007)
The truth: In 2006, President Bush made a visit to India, the first official visit of a US head of state to the country in a long time. One of his main goals was to meet some of the young faces responsible for shaping “the new India” The play: In a dog-eat-dog world of constant competitions, reality television and short-lived fame, this comedy explores a day in the life of six ambitious young Indians who will stop at nothing because THE PRESIDENT IS COMING.
Pamatmat, A. Rey
BIO: A. Rey Pamatmat’s plays have been produced at the 2004 Queer @ HERE Festival, the Yale Cabaret, and NYU’s Shop Theater. Staged readings of his work have been presented at Playwrights’ Horizons, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Vortex Theater Company, and the Atlantic Theatre Company. His full length play New was a 2003 PlayLabs Finalist, and Limbo was a 2002 Heidemann Award Finalist. He is a member of Ma-Yi’s Writer’s Lab, The HB Playwrights’ Foundation Playwrights’ Unit, and is currently in the Mabou Mines Resident Artist Program/Suite. Pamatmat recently received his M.F.A in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.
- Deviant (Vortex Theatre, 2005)
Worlds collide when Sara and Valerie — a couple pursuing the American dream — find out their new roommate James is a gay prostitute too jaded to believe that dreams still matter. When lives and dreams intertwine in the too-close quarters of their New York apartment, this unlikely trio turn to art, drugs, and each other while searching for ways to connect. At once gritty and poignantly lyrical, this new play by rising Filipino playwright A. Rey Pamatmat signals an exciting new voice in American theater.
- Beautiful Day (Ma-Yi, 2006)
Felicia, Joey, Kat, and Matthew reunite for a wedding in their small hometown of Port Huron, Michigan — a town that changes only as much as it stays the same. Navigating through their old haunts, a traditional marriage, sexual experimentation, a trouble-making bridesmaid, and their own dead hurts, the four friends are forced to examine the people they were, are, and want to be in the six nights preceding one beautiful day.
- Thunder Above, Deeps Below (2g Productions, 2007)
Three homeless friends – a Filipina-American, a Filipina transsexual, and a Puerto-Rican hustler – struggle to make it from Chicago to San Francisco before the winter. All is going according to plan until Theresa dreams of a bearded man searching for her on Lake Michigan, a mystery man in sunglasses stalks Gil after he becomes the star performer at a drag club, a wealthy john appears to be falling in love with Hector, and Marisol – the assistant manager of a doughnut shop – begins practicing magic on them. With their hopes and friendships put to the test, will the trio be able to spare some change?
- Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (2012)
Three kids — Kenny, his sister Edith, and their friend Benji — are all but abandoned on a farm in remotest Middle America. With little adult supervision, they feed and care for each other, making up the rules as they go.
- after all the terrible things I do (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, 2013)
“A poignant, new American drama finds Daniel, a writer, fresh out of college, returning to his Midwestern hometown to regain his sense of self. He takes a job at a local bookstore owned by Linda, an émigré from the Philippines, and soon after, they realize their connection is much deeper than a shared love of literature. Together they will have to face the trauma of their pasts to create second chances for themselves — but can they find forgiveness?”
- The Shotgun Message (The Private Theatre, 2015)
Journalist Kent MacDonald is no saint and certainly no savior. At least he never meant to be until 17-year-old Jared winds up missing. Moving through a lurid world of online sex, naïve parents, and kids who know too much, it’s up to Kent to find Jared, bring him home, and perhaps rescue both their souls in the process.
- House Rules (Ma-Yi, 2015)
Rod knows the game is fixed. JJ hates his hand. Twee doesn’t think winning is enough. Momo’s learning the rules. And why the hell is Henry still playing? Two pairs of siblings (and some guy named Henry) panic when they realize their parents won’t always be around to hold all the cards.
- Blood in Your Blood (Ma-Yi, 2017)
Star-crossed lovers, fractured time, and a lusty troll are all connected to the violent, buried history of Cora’s family. In her quest to find out how, Cora discovers an enchanted tree that might have the answers tangled up in its roots. But once she digs up the past, what will she do with it …
- Here Are Our Monsters (Intersect Theatre, 2018)
The play takes place in a post-marriage-equality America, and is about a gay man who proposes to his fiancé.
- Thicker Than Wine (Bindlestiff Studio, 2011)
A Dramatic One-Act set in the Philippines during the 1890¹s between two aristocratic brothers where one questions the loyalties between his family, its allegiance to the colonizing country of Spain and a people fighting for land, equality and freedom.
- Romero and Julianne (06 Ensemble, 2012)
A soon-to-be homeless man pleads his case to keep his abode through the use of broken Old-English from a city worker desperate to keep herself and her own home together.
- Esperanza Means Hope (UNITY Clap Theatre, 2012)
A moving and emotionally charged play with music about the journey of a songwriter, Esperanza, who battles domestic violence and the seemingly indifferent stance of her father and a community she once considered family.
- MamaSiHero (A-Squared Theatre Workshop, 2012)
A tale of love, loss, and Filipino Food is explored when a comic book writer on the brink of losing her job comes up an idea of a new Superhero based on her Filipino mother.
- Agent Kilikili¹s Mom and his Male Order Bride (A-Squared Theatre Workshop, 2013)
Hired assassin, Mr. Kill Kill, plots his next hit with a sexy Russian colleague only to have his best-laid plans foiled by a surprise visit from his Filipino mom in an Italian Bar.
- Holed Up at The Delta (Bindlestiff Studio, 2014)
The mysterious tale of a briefcase being passed down from a Pinoy Gangster in the 1920s to a Pinay Police Detective in 2014 in a room of an abandoned hotel located in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood.
- Inay’s Wedding Dress (Bindlestiff Studio, 2014)
Two Filipino sisters separated by coasts, age, class, and sexual orientation clash over a traditional Wedding Dress left to them by their mother.
- APAT: A Quartet of Short Acts by Conrad A. Panganiban (CIRCA Pintig, 2014)
– Bang, Bang, Clap – A screenwriter goes into therapy to get rid of his writer’s block caused by thethe Tinikling.
– The Family Fructuoso – Comedy ensues when the “non-traditional” Asian American family pretends to become the model Filipino Family to win the daughter a scholarship.
– Infinite Line Between Me, Lolo and Loco – This explores the effects of mental health of Rizelle;s grandfather on her and her future.
– Tag You’re It! – With the help of his best friend, a young boy of color questions his identity when he notices that no one on American television looks like him.
- Remembering Them (Sinag-tala Filipino Theater and Performing Arts Assoc.,2014)
A tribute to the Manongs of San Francisco¹s Manilatown, a security guard unpacks a mountain of memories held within the surface of a barbershop chair belonging to the grandfather of a curious tourist.
- Welga (Bindlestiff Studio, 2017)
Filipino American coming-of-age story of a high school teen, Johnny Montalban, whose dreams of becoming a famous musician clash with his mother’s dream of him first earning his diploma. Set in San Francisco’s SoMA Neighborhood, the play explores family conflict against the backdrop of today’s educational system, ongoing community pressures, and the legacy of Filipinos in the farm labor movement that sparked the 1965 Delano Grape Strike.
- Rental Car (AATC, 2004)
Renting cars is not just a job, it’s a kick in the nuts. Bobby just got fired from the rental car company and needs a Lexus to do “something” in Denver. But his buddy Jim won’t let him because he’s too busy thinking naughty thoughts about Brian. Enter Ted who’s trying to pick up on a hot 22 year-old Yumi. Who knew renting cars could be like this!
- Southern Sails (AATC, 2009)
In the tradition of K-horror films, the vengeful forces of ill-fated love haunt this ghost play.
- Macho Bravado (AATC, 2010)
Macho Bravado explores the mythology of masculinity with a Korean-American soldier placed front and center. He is a wounded veteran from an unnamed war, challenged to find meaning and place at home. The play is a war-and-love story that finds the protagonist and his wife fighting to make their way back to each other in the wake of difficult changes and choices that have recast them as strangers.
- Maybe Happy Ending (Alliance Theatre, 2020)
Set in the not-too-distant future in Seoul, Korea, two obsolete helper-bots are living an isolated existence in a robots-only housing complex on the edge of the city. Oliver is waiting for his former-owner to come looking for him, and Claire is just… waiting. When the two discover each other across the hall, they have a surprising connection that challenges what they believe is possible for themselves, relationships, and love. Looking past our era of technology-driven detachment, this award-winning musical imagines a magical and bittersweet reawakening to the things that make us human.
- 100 Men’s Wife (History Theatre, 2007)
1894. In desperation, a 14 year-old Chinese girl, Liang May Seen, risks her life in making a daring escape from a San Francisco brothel. Bruised, beaten and exhausted, she is taken in to the home of a social worker who sets her on the road to faith, marriage and Minnesota. During her journey, she looks to her faith to find courage to deal with the shame and horror of her past. In the end, she becomes one of the most influential leaders in Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. Her story is a tribute to the human spirit!
Jiehae Park’s plays include peerless (Yale Rep premiere, Cherry Lane MP, Marin Theatre Co, Barrington Stage, First Floor, Company One, Moxie), Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Here We Are Here (Sundance Theater-Makers residency, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Princess Grace Works-in-Progress @ Baryshnikov Arts Center), The Aves (McCarter Spotlight Festival), and contributions to Wondrous Strange (Humana/Actor’s Theatre of Louisville).
Her work has been developed through the Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab, the Public’s Emerging Writers Group, p73’s i73, Playwrights Horizons, CTG Writers Workshop, NYTW, Atlantic, Old Globe, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Ojai Conference, BAPF, and the amazing Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Awards: Leah Ryan, Princess Grace, Weissberger, ANPF Women’s Invitational; two years on the Kilroys List. Commissions: Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, Geffen, OSF, Williamstown, MTC/Sloan. Residencies: MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman.
As a performer, she most recently appeared in Ripe Time/Naomi Iizuka’s adaption of Murakami’s SLEEP (BAM Next Wave, Yale Rep) and Celine Song’s ENDLINGS (ART). She is a NYTW Usual Suspect, Lincoln Center Theater New Writer in Residence, former Hodder Fellow, and current New Dramatist. TV: staff writer, season one of Marvel’s RUNAWAYS. BA, Amherst; MFA, UCSD.
- The Emerald City (National Theatre Institute)
- Happy Moon Day, Holly Woo (3rd place winner, EWP Got Laughs Competition)
It’s been three months since Grace Kim ran away from Valhalla, Nebraska. To keep up his family’s spirits, her husband Jonathan desperately declares every day a new holiday. Daughter Darlene thinks she has the solution to all their problems—adopt a homeless senior citizen to be their “New Grandma”—but the new addition has ideas of her own.
- Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, (Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2013)
Inside the FedEx box are two things: a 100% bona-fide-heart¹s-desire-level wish and a suicide note. Hannah tracks the package back to Seoul, where her grandmother recently jumped from the roof of her retirement home onto the wrong side of the Demilitarized Zone. They’ll need North Korea’s permission to retrieve the body, but Kim Jong Il just kicked the bucket, and things in the DMZ are even stranger than they seem.
- Peerless (Yale Repertory, 2015)
Peerless is a comedy about ultra-competitive twin sisters, who hatch a plan to get into college after denied access upon early admission.
- Untitled Aging Play (McCarter Theatre Center, 2019)
A McCarter commission, the piece follows a couple exploring the effects of aging on their minds, bodies, and relationship.
Park, Kyoung H.
Kyoung H. Park was born in Santiago, Chile and is the first Korean playwright from Latin America to be produced and published in the United States. As Artistic Director of Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, he writes and directs devised theater by collaborating with artists, non-artists, and local communities to rigorously explore sources of violence, transforming personal and communal experiences of oppression into peace messages made public through performance.
Kyoung is author of DISORIENTED (“Kyoung’s most intensely personal play”—American Theatre Magazine), TALA (“an epic tale of the historical, hysterical, and personal” — New York Theater Review), PILLOWTALK (“very much of this moment”—The New York Times) and many short plays including Mina, which is published in Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas by Duke University Press.
Kyoung has been a resident artist at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, BRIC Arts Media, Performance Project @ University Settlement, and is a member of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab, NYTW Usual Suspect, and co-founder of The Sol Project. He is recipient of numerous fellowships including the 2018-2020 APAP Leadership Fellowship, 2017 Creative Mellon Fellowship, 2015-2017 Field Leadership Fund Fellowship, 2014 Target Margin Theater Inst. for Theater-Making Fellowship, 2009-2011 Columbia University Dean’s Fellowship, and was a 2010 UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate.
Kyoung has received grants from the Arvon Foundation (UK), GK Foundation (South Korea), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, TCG Global Connections, and has been a grant panelist for the NEA, TCG, and ART/NY. Kyoung currently serves in the Dramatist Guild’s Devised Theater Committee and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.
Kyoung lives in Brooklyn, New York with his husband, Daniel Lim, and continues his self-education in Buddhism, having made his refuge vows with His Holiness the 14thDalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.
- Walkabout Yeolha (Columbia University, 2010)
Set in a distant future, Walkabout Yeolha is a biting satire about a village’s struggle to retain its identity in the face of cultural intrusion from a powerful empire. The play is an adaptation of Samshik Pai’s award-winning play Inching Towards Yeolha (2007), translated by Walter Byonsok Chon, and questions the life of a post-industrial society in crisis.
- Tala (Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, 2011)
TALA is a based on the immigration experiences of Kyoung H. Park, a gay, Korean-Chilean playwright living in America. This surreal tragicomedy merges Park’s American Dream with the story of Pepe and Lupe, two lovers inspired by Chilean poets Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. Delve deep into the absurdities of being an artist, and trying to write within the margins of so many broken systems.
- disOriented (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 2011)
disOriented tells the story of Ju Yeon, an immigrant living in New York, who has distanced herself from her Korean roots. When a sudden crisis hits her family, she must return to Korea and face the parents and the life she abandoned long ago. A dancing spirit caught between the worlds of tradition and modernity propels us through past and present, pushing the family members to their ultimate fates.
- Nero (Ma-Yi, 2015)
Nero is a retelling of George W. Bush’s Presidency and War on Terror, based on an anachronistic and inaccurate portrayal of Nero’s Roman Empire. With this play, Kyoung H. Park intertwines critical perspectives of American Imperialism/exceptionalism with the way these dynamics are manifest in US foreign policy, American democracy and civil rights, and examines the way we live during times of war.
- Pillowtalk (The Tank, 2018)
Set in Brooklyn 2017, we see one night in the lives of Sam and Buck, a recently married interracial couple. Through a formal exploration of theatrical naturalism and the codified gender norms of ballet’s pas de deux, PILLOWTALK queers the intersections of race, gender, and class to challenge our assumptions of love and marriage. Confronting the backlash against marriage equality and #BlackLivesMatter, PILLOWTALK explores how liberation and oppression co-exist in our most intimate spaces, transforming social and cultural traditions into radical performances of change.
BIO: Yongsoo Park is also a filmmaker and novelist. His novel Boy Genius (2002, Akashic Books) was recognized as a Notable Title by the 2002 Kiriyama Prize. His second novel Las Cucharachas will be published in June 2004. He is also a former recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship awarded through the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
- Free Country (AATC, 1997)
Based on the seminal feature film of the same name FREE COUNTRY (1996, 70min. B&W), by Yongsoo Park. We follow the journey of JASON KIM, the oldest of the three Kim Brothers as they struggle in the wake of the senseless murder of their parents. Jason must try to keep the family together as his younger brothers grow increasingly more selfish and are lured by the promise of fast money.
- First Thanksgiving (EWP, 2003)
A rumination on suburban life in the new landscape.
- In the Backyard (EWP, 2011)
A starry winter night in Los Angeles.
A festive, booze-filled holiday party.
Four people in the backyard.
What in the world could go wrong?
- Bonobos (Artists At Play, 2019)
Four women extricate a friend from a bad relationship. Chaos ensues. A darkly comedic telenovela for the stage, Bonoboslooks at female friendships and loyalty and wonders, why can’t two wrongs equal a right?
- Q & A (Mu Performing Arts, 2007)
From speed dating to police line-ups, Asian Americans question and answer social and political interrogation starting with the most-posed question, “where are you from?” Our three characters are labeled yet unnamed: “9066” for the WWII executive order which interned her ancestors, “187” for the gangsta rap allusion to murder, and as “½” says, “it’s kinda obvious, isn’t it?” When their self-constructed masks come down, each character must ask (and answer) what they are ultimately more guilty of: self-hate or self-love?
- Flipzoids (Ma-Yi Theatre, 1996;)
Vangie has brought her mother from the Philippines to live with her in the states. Unfortunately, she never knew the trouble and pain it would cause the both of them. While Vangie is busy trying to assimilate and “melt” into Western Culture, Aying wanders to the beach, meets and befriends a young Filipino in search of an identity. Don’t miss this poignant and salient play that reaches to anyone who has ever questioned who they are – and wondered what exactly they should call “home.”
- Cinema Verite (Ma-Yi Theatre, 1992)
- Kuti-Kutitap (book and lyrics) (Ma-Yi Theatre, 1993)
- Kape Barako (NYSF Public Theatre, 1995)
- December (Ethical Culture, 1994)
- Loose Leaf Bindings (work-in-progress)
- Tail (2g, 2008)
Finding the Mr. Right requires the right set of tools. Armed with binoculars,a GPS navigation system, and a rental car, a post-modern Manhattanite sets out to track her man. How far are you willing to go?
- Nebraska (Ma-Yi, 2008)
Nebraska is Ralph Peña’s new play about Immigration and extreme American Right-Wing Politics. The play imagines what might happen when an ancient Hindu goddess decides to take up residency in Nebraska, and finds herself pulled into the inner sanctum of a radical Christian organization.
Perez, Cheryl Tsai
- Antigone: The Rock Musical (East West, 2011)
The year is 2054. Civil unrest has torn apart the mythical country of Thebes. A futuristic retelling of Antigone set to a rock and roll soundtrack.
- Japan, 1946 Meets California, 2010 (East West, 2010)
When the unwilling Rita is forced to spend her last college spring break with her 86 year old grandmother Keiko, she realizes Keiko suffers from a disease she knows little about – dementia. When we were young our grandparents taught us about the world and who we would become. Now it’s our turn to remind them of their past.
- The Night My Cat Called Me (Theater Mu, 1998)
- All is Fair (Mu Performing Arts, 2010)
A Chinese American radical Vietnam Vet. A mixed Vietnamese/Chinese American son in the military. An Adopted Korean graphic novelist with a surprise hit book. A Hmong American agent, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. What happens when you throw them a dinner party? And what does it all have to do with identity politics, Frank’s Nursery and Crafts, mountaineers, and Lord of the Rings?
Ping, Chin Woon
Ms. Chin holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo and a B.A. from the University of Malaya. She has been a writer-in-residence at Wilkes University and at the National University of Singapore, where she was also a Senior Fellow. She has been the recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship and was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the Shanghai International Studies University. Her poems have been published in many literary journals included Kenyon Review and Westerly, and have been included in many anthologies including Asian American Literature.
- Details/Cannot/Body/Wants (Ubu Rep, 1997)
- Ninja: The Musical (Desipina, 2006)
Three singing Ninjas who fight injustices in the word–overcoming everything from personal issues to wardrobe malfunctions…who else would you want on your side?
- Double Vision (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, 2020)
Double Vision follows two intertwining narratives: Luke, an astrophysics PhD student, who’s trying to prove his theory of parallel universes and Sam, a screenwriter, who’s trying to craft the perfect TV series pitch for a chance at a big break. But Luke and Sam’s stories intertwine when Luke opens a wormhole, and things quickly get out of control.
- Dragon Lady (2015)
- Dragon Mama (2017)
- 7th and Jackson (Cafe Nordo, 2019)
- The Angel in the House (Cafe Nordo, 2020)
Mrs. Edmund Brown, socialite and admired wife of textile tycoon Edmund Brown III, is the epitome of Victorian femininity and grace; when she throws her infamous New Year’s party, you’d be remiss to not attend. But when a mysterious woman shows up uninvited and someone is found dead in the garden, secrets from her past start to emerge. The Angel in the House is a Victorian thriller with corsets, blood, revenge, and cake.
- Alex and Alix (ArtsWest, 2020)
From artist & activist Sara Porkalob (Dragon Lady, Dragon Cycle) comes a new play about endings, beginnings, and the unseen forces that shape the way we remember love. A moving meditation on memory, trauma and healing from one of Seattle’s—and now, one of the nation’s—most celebrated theatre makers, Alex & Alix is about two women, one name, and a love story that gets rewritten every day.
- The Clouds, The Ocean and Everything In Between (AATC, 1998)
A story about life and death, love and loss, history and philosophy, remembering and forgetting. It sucks to be half-Thai and half-Filipino or half-Irish and half-Japanese or half-Vietnamese and half-French (especially if you don’t look white!). What do you do when you’re caught in between a heritage from which you feel increasingly disconnected and a nation by which you aren’t entirely accepted? You buy a six-pack of Guinness, a carton of cigarettes and create your own space in a hostile world
- Beautiful Little Fool (USC, 2009)
Forbidden love. Past loss drives present desires. Mrs. Wallace can’t stay away from a Filipino American teenager named Gilly. Justine and her teacher, Mr. Esperanza, deal with the consequences of their affair. And commedia dell’arte lovers Harlequin and Columbine escape the story the teachers have assigned to their classes, disrupt the narrative and f$@k s#*t up.
- The Sweetness of You (Playwrights’ Arena, 2010)
Joon and Lolly are a brother and sister rock band stuck playing in dive bars, but when an important manager shows up at the club, will Joon thrash on with the band or settle down and marry his new girlfriend – and will his obsessed sister allow it? Based on ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore, The Sweetness of You bites down hard on the ’80’s rock scene and the taboo of forbidden passion.
- Night Shift (Rasaka, 2009)
A young girl and an older woman face danger and each other in the middle of the night in a motel lobby on a quiet North Carolina highway.
- Utopia (Pork Filled Productions, 2019)
Prosser, Elise Kim
- Hip-Hop Kim-Bop: A Korean Herstory in the City of Angels (SDAART, 2010)
a contemporary comedy in which four women all named Kim meet at jury duty. Through coincidence, calamity, and kim-chee, the four become friends and discover their cultural and personal identities.
Deepa Purohit has been a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab since September 2014. She is the co-founder of Rising Circle Theater Collective, a theater company dedicated to developing and producing the unheard stories of people of color on the American stage. As Artistic Director of Rising Circle, for 12 years, Deepa oversaw the development of over 20 plays by writers of color.
- LotusMart, Ohio (2003)
A comedic reading about two Indian “superheroes” that meet in a convenience store in mid-Ohio and plot to take over the world!
- Bones (Ma-Yi, 2014)
The funeral’s done. All that’s left of him is in a box. Four women in one family fight to decide how to let go. And how to move on.
- A Valentine (Ma-Yi, 2017)
Set in a blighted American city, two ex-lovers meet up on Valentine’s night. What starts out as a casual reunion becomes a night where the past and present collide —exposing old truths and revealing new lies.
- “M Experience” (in dev’t with Noelle Ghoussaini, Dir.)
- the sometimes true, sometimes fictional story of 2 likely, but unlikely friends OR The Untitled Yolande Project (Rising Circle, 2017)
- Flight (2011) three devised works, based on interviews, co-written with Sanjit De Silva, produced by Rising Circle Theater Collective: Pulling the Lever (2004, Published in Plays and Playwrights 2006, 2004 NYIT Award for Best Ensemble)
- Grace (2010)
- The American Family Project (2007).
- Elyria (Atlantic Theatre, 2023)
1982. Elyria, Ohio: Two mothers collide 20 years, 2 continents, and 2 oceans after making a deal of a lifetime, forcing them to face the knots of the past and the uncertainty of their inextricably linked future.
- Mother Tongue
The mother speaks only Cantonese, the eldest daughter Mimi acts as translator for her mother and for her younger deaf and signing brother. Tensions in the family explode as Mimi prepares to leave home for university. Mother Tongue is an extraordinary drama, and was nominated for a Governor General Award for Drama
- The Dragon’s Pearl (Young People’s Theatre, 1995)
- Waiting for Mao (Tarragon Theatre, 1996)
- Naomi’s Road (1996)
- Fault Lintes (Green Thumb Theatre, 1997)
- Nancy Chew Enters the Dragon ()
- Nitro! ()
- One Ocean ()
- Ghost Train (Young People’s Theatre, 2001)
Betty Quan’s play, based on the Paul Yee book, tells the story of Choon-Yi, a one-armed Chinese girl with an artistic gift who comes to Canada to find her father, a worker on the Canadian railroad. Spanning years and continents, the story is complicated — part ghost story, part history lesson, part portrait of the artist as a young girl.
Erin May Ling Quill is an actress, singer, director and producer of both stage and film productions. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, she was member of the original Broadway cast of the 2004 TONY Award-winning musical, Avenue Q, and has also played Lady Thiang in The King & I opposite Debby Boone. Other credits include NYPD Blue, girlsclub, China Dolls, Godspell, Anything Goes, and numerous workshops. Former Vice Chair for the Screen Actors’ Guild Asian American Subcommittee and a member on its National EEOC, she consulted on the revision of the Asian Language Contract.
She is a member of East West Players and Lodestone Theater Ensemble. In addition to her own sold-out shows They Shoot Asian Fosse Dancers, Don’t They? and When My Slanted Eyes are Smiling, I Can’t See a Damn Thing, Quill has produced Lodestone Theater Ensemble/FOX’s All American APA Comedy Jam and, most recently, the upcoming short film POLLEN, starring Alec Mapa. Her next project is the pilot of Screening Party, based on the book by Dennis Hensley.
- Yellow Feva (EWP: Paper or Plastic, 2000)
An indictment of Broadway? Never! It’s a play about musicals and the people who do them-it’s funny, it’s sarcastic-it’s an Amy Tan swallowing your bitterness because she enjoys being a girl! type of experience.
- They Shoot Asian Fosse Dancers, Don’t They? ()
- When My Slanted Eyes are Smiling, I Can’t See a Damn Thing ()
- Winged Therapy – 1995
The Pilipino American Rosales family has achieved the American dream: a home in the S.F. avenues, lots of envious friends and a son in a psychiatric hospital. A coming of age story set in the turbulent, sex-crazed world of 1970’s San Francisco.
- Days of Rest – 1999
- 3+2, GT VW (EWP: Paper or Plastic, 1999)
- Woof! (2000, The Playwrights Group)
An eccentric retiree confronts his daughter about her bizarre web-based sex surrogate business.
- Peanut Butter (NoHo International Theatre Festival, 6/2000)
Dottering father, nerdy son, media hungry mother and her really kinky past—what does it spell? This wacky 10 minute play is a Finalist in the West Coast 10 Minute Playwriting Contest and was developed in East West’s David Henry Hwang Writers Institute. 6/01, NoHo International Theatre Festival.
- Post-Matinee Tristesse (Playwrights Group, 2001)
An erudite professor salivates for a delectable youth who’s definitely not on the menu in this riotous skewering of December/May romances and assorted sacred cows. 10-11/01, Tamarind Theatre
- Shhh! (TSI, 2003)
A tale of two mismatched library assistants: he, a literate neurotic, and she, a latent biker groupie.
- Mignon (TSI, 2003)
A wacky tale of a doctoral candidate who hires a call girl with a specialty in 17th century French poetry
- Uncommon Threads (Fire Rose Productions, 2004)
A ten-minute play.
- Home Again (2005)
Home Again reveals critical moments in the life of a family that planned poorly. It’s a very short play with a very long rippling message, and the audience fills in the blanks.
- Manimal Crackers (Celebration Theatre, 2006)
This is a dramedy about a Pilipina American zoo keeper, her Korean American partner who’s undergoing female to male transgender therapy, and her narcissistic former fashion model mother who’s going into politics. Just another American family Norman Rockwell forgot to paint.
- Death and Taxes (Playwrights Connection, 2007)
Can a heavy set diabetic narcissist, who’s just shot her husband, find peace in mid 90’s suburban Dallas?
- Bride of Godzilla (2007)
A young couple who are part of a studio diversity writing program have one last chance to pitch a project to an impatient producer. It’s a matter of life or debt.
- Tel Aviv Take-off (FirstStage, 2008)
A Southern matron visits her son who’s studying in Tel Aviv, and makes his school an offer that’s hard to refuse. But did we say she’s got an agenda?
- House of Sticks (FirstStage, 2008)
A short play, where a young homeless shelter director escorts a major donor on a tour to seal the deal on a major gift, until a homeless client throws a wrench into her plans.
- New Business (ShortLived 3.0, 2010)
Two longstanding members of an organization in decline discuss momentous new business.
Gautam Raja (Playwright, VAIDEHI) is a freelance journalist and writer based in Bangalore, India. He has worked for publications in Oman and the UAE. He is currently the resident playwright and lighting designer of The Artistes’ Repertory Theatre, Bangalore. His plays have been performed in various cities in India, as well as in London, Amsterdam and Berkeley. A collection of plays, Damini the Damager and Other Plays, was published in March 2006 by Unisun Publications.
- Vaidehi (Lark Theatre, 2006)
VAIDEHI begins with a birth and ends with its conception. A prisoner of societal expectations, Vaidehi struggles to fight the origin of her name (one of exemplary womanly and wifely virtue) to find intimacy and independence amongst the men that surround her.
- Interrogations (SALAAM, 2006)
Based on true events, Interrogations tells the story of a family tragically affected by the silence surrounding their abusive household. Told form a variety of perspectives, Interrogations provides audience members with a chilling look into a family and community shattered by the consequence of denial, fear, and violence.
ED RAMOLETE is a is a member of the East West Players and the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute. His play, Shadow Dance of a Mosquito Boxer, was a finalist in the East West Players Y2K New Voices Playwriting Competition. Ed has presented new work with the East West Players New Voices Project at the Japan American National Museum and most recently appears in the film, Much Adobo About Nothing, which premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Ed is on the boards of the Hereandnow Theater Company, The Filipino American Library and is Co-Chairman of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) National Conference.
- Shadow Dance of a Mosquito Boxer (EWP: Paper or Plastic, 1999)
- As We Babble On (EWP, 2016)
The pursuit of success, its costs and how our drinking habits change with money. Benji, a first generation Asian American struggles in New York City to find his voice as his writing career stalls. As the professional paths of his best friend Sheila and his half sister Laura begin to blossom, he begins to unravel. As We Babble On explores what lengths we are willing to go to realize our dreams, whether morality is tied to upward mobility and whether boxed wine and soda is an appropriate sangria recipe after the age of 24. As We Babble On was the first place winner of East West Players’ 2042: See Change Playwriting Competition.
- The Romance of Magno Rubio (from a Carolos Bulosan story) (NWAAT, 1984)
- On a Wonderverse (Crowded Fire Theatre, 2015)
As the sole woman on a team of award-winning scientists, Dr. Schen is often uncredited or dismissed by her peers. Then one fantastical night in her lab, she creates something incredible…a vibrant new universe. Playwright Geetha Reddy weaves a highly imaginative and breathtaking look at the intersection of science and spirituality, as Dr. Schen becomes an avatar of Shiva and must decide whether to keep or destroy her growing Universe.
- Safe House (Ferocious Lotus, 2016)
Do you remember where you were on 9/11? Enter the isolation chamber of a stay-at-home mother raising a pair of profoundly different twins, June and July. As her world becomes smaller, she goes to extreme measures to survive the threats of the modern world. When real disaster strikes, will she be ready? On this anniversary of September 11th, Safe House asks how we’ve progressed as a country in the last 15 years and if we’ve evolved in our fears and perceptions of the “other.”
- Undocumented (East West, 2013)
Not all undocumented people work on farms or hang around Home Depot. Some of them are high school seniors in magnet schools. Try getting a girlfriend when you can’t get a job or a driver’s license.
- I Won’t Miss You (East West, 2013)
When 17-year-old Janey’s best friend Tim begins to appear in her bedroom at night after dying in a car crash, their awkward undeclared feelings begin to surface. Will he still take her to prom like he promised in the B.D. era (Before Death) or must she move on?
- Pieces (EWP, 2003)
Emma grew up adopted and abused. She’s been estranged from her parents for five years. Now, the only way to face her present is to confront her past
- Queen for a Day (Diverse City Theatre, 2006)
The play tackles a young girl’s rite of passage into adulthood brought about by the death and dying of a beloved aunt, exploring the profound changes that affect her relationship with her own mother and her extended family.
- Quarter Century Baby (Diverse City Theatre, 2010)
A one-act play tells the story of a parents’ surprise visit to their Filipino daughter and her American boyfriend—a visit which causes turmoil and reveals painful truths.
- Something Blue, (Divese City Theatre, 2010)
A one-act play follows an estranged father’s quest to reconnect with his daughter on her wedding day.
- Who Am I (Cuchipinoy, 2009)
In a shadowy world, one seemingly ripped from reality, a man filled with alcohol and self-loathing tries to explain to his creation why he terminated her existence; a young woman confronts her mother who disappeared more than two decades earlier; a tormented man battles his inner self that he has been trying to deny all of his life; and a junkie with no hope whatsoever comes face to face with God. But when compassion and retribution walk hand in hand, and answers often only lead to more questions, the chance to ease one’s pain does not come easily, if at all.
Reyes, Rosemary Cho
- Friends and Enemies (EWP: Paper or Plastic, 1999)
- You’re the Pharmacist (EWP, 2005)
A Korean American pharmacist dreams of being a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and in her endeavor, she and everyone around her learns the real meaning of the American Dream.
- Sense (EWP, 2006)
A doctoral student in anthropology is writing a paper on “Asian American Performance Theory in Politics of Ethnic Identity.” She meets Leonard, an actor who’s Asian American, too. Things are good until it all doesn’t make sense. But then it all does, in bed. Will she realize that? Will he?
- Stuck (Bindlestiff, 2006)
Rigg, Kate and Leah Ryan
- BIRTH OF nASIAN (Mark Taper, 2004)
Cool, hilarious and provocative, Birth of nAsian is Nuyorasian trip hopcomedy theatre. Performer Kate Rigg brings you a host of edgy, surreal characters from a token Asian newscaster with a non-ethnic sounding name to a hundred year old trini to a China-Latina with an axe to grind. Accompanied by former classical-virtuoso-turned-rocking-electronic-violin-diva Lyris Hung on beats, live violin, samples and soundscape, Birth is a mix of comedy and spoken word pieces reflecting the urban voice of Asian America.
- What Do You Know About Me? By Marissa Frakenfield (Theatre Mu, 1998)
- Filipino Sisters (Theater Mu, 2000)
A folk story by Lia Rivamonte, three young women choose their own futures.
- *fLiPsIdErS* (AAWA, 2003)
Flipsiders are outsiders daydreaming invisible. Call Benjamin a Flip and he’ll “stab you with exclamation points.” His girlfriend, Angelica, is no angel. Tito, or Uncle, “is not a dishwasher no more.” He is “a propessional shoper.” Tom-Boy smokes and sells manna. Boss only dresses the part of a cop. Jojo lives in a Balikbayan Box. They are all American, thoroughly Filipino. After a long respite in the Philippines, Jojo returns to America, only to find his childhood friends beat down, but far from beaten. During a Halloween weekend laden with debauchery and Vicks, we witness five Flipsiders reconcile the past with an uncertain future, culminating in holiday jeer: nevertheless hopeful.
- Faʻalavelave: The Interruption (2018)
Kiki Rivera’s contemporary comedy tackles a darkly taboo topic with humor in a queer Samoan context. Mele and Sefina are engaged to be married until Mele’s biological father passes. Traditional indigenous practices, as well as family bonds, are challenged by a dead man’s secrets.
- Waking Dreams (AATC, 2004)
Set in the early 1990’s of the Bay Area, a young woman, Nat, loses her brother to what was called “the worst mass murder in recent Arizona history.” During a news blackout and time for reelection she must find a way to keep public interest into the investigation of her brother’s death. In the wake of the tragedy she explores the meaning of family, holding onto community, and herself.
His work has been produced by East West Players, Thick Description, Asian American Theater Company, North West Asian American Theater, San Diego Asian American Rep, Dance Theater Workshop, Immigrants’ Theater Project, Seoul International Theater Festival, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, and the New York International Fringe Festival.
Honors include a 2003-2004 NEA/TCG Playwriting Fellowship, the 2003 Whitfield-Cook Prize, a New York Fringe Festival Excellence in Overall Production Award (for YI SANG COUNTS TO THIRTEEN, directed by the author); a Van Lier/New Dramatists playwriting fellowship; a Van Lier/New York Theater Workshop playwriting fellowship; first prize in the Seattle Multicultural Playwrights’ Festival; commissions from the Mark Taper Forum, the Joseph Papp Public Theater and Ma-Yi Theater; an artistic residency at Mabou Mines; and honorable mention in the 2001 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
His plays and poetry are published in the anthologies But Still, Like Air, I’ll Rise (Temple Press); Premonitions (Kaya Press); The Nuyorasian Anthology (AAWW); and Echoes Upon Echoes (AAWW). He received a BA from Harvard and an MFA from Brown. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and New Dramatists. He lives in New York city
- Konishiki, Mon Amour (NY Shakespeare Festival, 1993)
- Cleveland Raining (East West, 1994)
A Korean-American brother and sister living in the Ohio countryside: the sister is a medical student who drives the interstate searching for their father; the brother has dreams of a flood and begins building an ark out of a Volkswagen bug. A lonely female motorcyclist and an oddball mechanic enter their lives, while the brother and sister try to piece together the fabric of their frayed family history. While the brother builds an engine that runs off emotional loss, the sister finally uncovers the fragile truth of her family, something both revelatory and sad.
- Drizzle and Other Stories (NWAAT, 1994)
A trilogy of one-acts based on short stories by Korean fiction writer Hwang Sun Won. Each play employs spare language, with jagged situations and conflicting ambivalent emotions. “Masks” portrays a world where the rules dictate that two friends find themselves as enemies during a war. “In a Small Island Village” involves a female journalist who finds that language fails her in the harsh world of a remote fishing village in Korea. “Drizzle” is about two real estate men having a coffee break that turns into a discussion about business, war, and the ambivalence of doing the right thing.
- Gravity Falls From Trees (AATC, 1997)
Isabella goes to the hospital because she is abnormally cold. Soon she finds herself on a cloud with Isaac Newton and a guilt-ridden pilot. All of them are in search of a Newton’s “Fourth” Law, one that fuses emotion and motion. Isabella finds that the shared event in their lives was the tragic downing of Korean Air 007, an unfortunate political consequence of the Cold War. While Isabella doesn’t necessarily make better sense of the event, she eventually breaks through the emotional freeze that she’s been suffering through, and finds a way to lighten the gravity of history.
- wAve (Ma-Yi, 1999)
wAve is a radical reformulation of the Medea myth. A surreal tragicomedy, wAve oscillates between poetry and satire, Korea and America, M*A*S*H and Miss Saigon. It explores love denied, dirtied and ultimately betrayed by the ferociously fragmentary forces at work in our culture at the dawn of the 21st century.
- Yi Sang Counts to Thirteen (Seoul International Theater Festival, 2000)
Three characters: Red, Green, and Blue are involved in a love triangle that intermingles poetic scenes, a spoof on detective noir involving limbs as characters, and erotic rituals involving Diet Coke. Blue must choose between his friendship with Red and his love for Green; but finds that he gets neither in the end. His only solace is the words and images that erupt in his feverish mind, the joy of creation coupled with the sense that the end is fast approaching
- Infinitude (LCC Productions, 2003)
An ensemble comedy set in 1999 as a group of friends say goodbye to their 20s and the 20th century. The play revolves around the subjective world of Filo, who has an interesting relationship with truth and the objective world, as well as with his childhood friend Samantha (Sam). His life is a bit of a random walk, dealing with the dangers of digital video, the allure of the internet, and the frustrations of unrequited theater, leading to a sense of closure as tenuous as the beginning of the new millennium.
- New World
A collection of one-act dark comedies, dealing with cultural colonization. NEW WORLD is a variation on the theme of a boat: we see the conquerors, the conquered, and the modern neuroses that results. Wonderful Life is a skewed vision of the Jimmy Stewart film; it plays with subjectivity in the face of a violent crime. Raisins is a comedy about two gangsters who’ve just screwed up a job and end up in a heated debate about identity politics. Konishiki, Mon Amour involves a young woman’s obsession with Sumo wrestling, Connie Chung, and Hostess dessert products. Change is a monologue about an assimilated son and his estranged father, leaping between their points of view.
- Principia (New York Theatre Festival)
A play about the “publish or perish” world of scientific research. Newton Park finds that he’s been accused of falsifying data. The problem is, he’s not sure himself whether or not he’s innocent. As his case becomes ever more muddied, so do his relationships with his former girlfriend (now collaborator), his best friend, and his advisor. When his neatly defined world spirals out of control, he actually finds that he learns more about truth than what he’s ever learned in his own research.
- The Trajectory of a Heart, Fractured (2g, 2008)
Orville thought he was in love with Joanne, and now he’s wondering why he’s on a plane with Yumi, who is beginning to wonder also. Orville just wishes he could fly. And Joanne just wishes. A meditation on gravity’s emotion.
- Project: Balangiga with Ralph Peña (Ma-Yi, 2008)
The play is a documentary-style inquiry into the ongoing debate surrounding the proposed repatriation of the church bells taken by American soldiers from the town of Balangiga during the Philippine American War. The excerpted scene imagines a virtual town meeting between the residents of Balangiga and Cheyenne, Wyoming, where the bells are presently installed.
- Happy (New Dramatists, 2015)
What happens when a sales rep for a blockbuster antidepressant starts feeling depressed and anxious himself? His life slowly unravels, spinning more and more out of control. The more he becomes lost, however, the more free and alive he feels. Eventually, he has to make a choice about whether to take on the Happiness Machine itself.
BIO: Dmae Roberts is an Amerasian writer and radio producer living in Portland, Oregon. Since 1984, Roberts has written and produced more than 300 documentaries, audio arts pieces and feature stories for National Public Radio, MonitorRadio and Public Radio International. She is the executive producer of MediaRites, a non- profit multicultural production organization.
- Breaking Glass (Portland Repertory Theatre, 1995)
full-length original play about an interracial family in rural Oregon produced at Portland Repertory Theatre
- Janie Bigo (NWAAT, 1997)
Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl gets boy, in a zany blend of music, magic tricks and comedy.
- Lady Buddha (Media Rites, 1997)
A multi-media play funded by the Regional Arts and Culture Council/On the Boards/Seattle and produced by MediaRites at the IFCC.
- Mei Mei ()
- Picasso in the Back Seat (Artists Repertory Theatre,1996)
Full-length original play about the value of art in America today.
- My Name is Gary Cooper (Kumu Kahua, 2014)
Rodger, a playwright of Samoan ancestry, deals with themes of race, racism and identity. In My Name is Gary Cooper, he combines knowledge of classic Hollywood films about the South Pacific with a determination to bring Pacific Island characters to the foreground. He says, “Hollywood’s South Pacific films, white characters entered the brown world and stirred things up. What if, I wondered, a brown character entered the white world instead, and stirred things up? What would it look like?”