The Sacred Timeline of Asian American Theatre

The Sacred Timeline of Asian American Theatre

Sacred timeline
The first edition of the following timeline was collaboratively created by the attendees of the 2006 National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival as a record of events as part of Asian American theatre (both in general and to them personally) and performance history. Additional dates added since then (Note: dates are not verified).


Broadway production  of Onoto Watanna’s (Winnifred Eaton) A Japanese Nightingale, at Daly’s Theater in 1903. First Asian American author produced on Broadway.


Honolulu: A Play to Be Given in Formosa Fifty Years Hence by Motoyuki Negoro is performed. This agitprop piece exposes the degrading working conditions and wage disparities suffered by Japanese laborers on Hawai‘i’s sugarcane plantations. The performance helps stoke labor agitation, which comes to a head with a major workers’ strike later that year, one of the turning points in Hawai‘i’s labor history.


Honolulu: The thirty-eight members of the Punahou School senior class collaborate on a stage play, Pele’s Verdict, sharing equal credit for the writing. Among this group of student playwrights are two young Chinese American women, Ah Chin Loo and Myra K.S. Hee.


Sadakicu plays


Asian American student playwrights begin writing at the University of Hawaii


Winnifred Eaton [1875-1954], the first Asian American novelist and screenwriter, wrote hundreds of screenplays and treatments from 1924 to 1931″:

She is also known as Onoto Watanna. Her IMDB listing is under a married name, “Winifred Reeve. Note: her sister Edith Maud Eaton [1865-1914], writing as “Sui Sin Far,” is held to be “the first person of Chinese ancestry to write in defense of the Chinese in America, countered beliefs widely held at the time that the Chinese were unassimilable [sic], morally corrupt, and corrupting. Sui Sin Far demonstrated that the Chinese were human, like everyone else, but victimized by the laws of the land.” Another sister, Grace (1867-1957), was the first Chinese-American female attorney in Chicago; she went to her law practice every day until her death at age 89″:

Late 1920s-1936

Dr. Arthur Andrews teaches playwriting classes at the University of Hawai‘i (UH). Inspired by the “folk play” movement spurred by Frederick Koch at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Andrews encourages his students — including Gladys (Ling-Ai) Li, Masae Yoshimasu, Peace Tan, and Ernest Tahara — to write using “local themes.”


Hawaii Quill Magazine, the University of Hawai‘i’s earliest known literary journal, begins publication. Volume 1 Number 2 of the Quill includes Gladys (Ling-Ai) Li’s The Submission of Rose Moy, sometimes cited as the earliest surviving play written by an Asian American woman.


Ling-Ai Li & Wai Chee Chun Yee begin writing and become pioneering Asian American women playwrights in Hawaii

The Filipino Manongs came to California (Stockton, etc.) — My dad immigrated to NYC (Nicky P)


A collective of University of Hawai‘i (UH) students, led by Professor Arthur “Doc” Wyman, establishes the UH Theatre Guild (later renamed the Theatre Group). (This practice is repeated four decades later when Kumu Kahua is established, again by a collective of UH students and a faculty member.) As part of its mission to serve the UH student body, each season the Guild selects plays that reflect four of the campus’s largest ethnic groups: Haole (Caucasian), Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian.
The Guild’s mission, in part, is to encourage students, Haole and non-Haole alike, to participate in theatre by giving each “race” equal opportunity to perform. The Guild sees theatre as a tool for students to improve diction, poise, and command of the English language. Underpinning this mission is a set of assumptions about race and culture reflective of the time: that “good diction” involves the eradication of Pidgin (Hawaiian Creole English), particularly as spoken by Japanese and Chinese students; that works from the evolving Western canon (such as Chekhov, Pirandello, and O’Neill) are “Haole” plays; that students prefer to audition for characters that are the same race as they (Japanese actors want to act in “Japanese” plays, and so on); and that, rather than encourage non-Caucasian actors students to audition for traditionally Caucasian roles, it is necessary to create a “separate but equal” stream of productions for non-Haoles.


After becoming Dean of the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Arts and Sciences, Arthur Andrews relinquishes teaching playwriting classes. English professor Willard Wilson assumes this responsibility. Wilson assigns his students to write up to two one-act plays each semester; he accepts (with some reservations) plays on “local” subject matter. Twelve manuscripts, culled from Wilson’s Fall 1936 class, are bound and cataloged in the UH library system. Wai Chee Chun (Yee)’s For You a Lei and Kathryn L. Bond’s Three Rural Sketches emerge as some of the earliest surviving scripts in which the majority of dialogue is Pidgin (Hawaiian Creole English).


Willand Wilson begins collecting student plays at the University of Hawaii Manoa (including Asian American plays)

Early 20th Century

The Forbidden City thrives–Asian American Cabaret


Chop Suey Circuit


Japanese American Internment

Going by when the first main camp, Manzanar, opened [March ’42] and the last one, Tule Lake, closed [March ’46].


Dutch & Indonesians in concentration camps under Japanese occupation


John Patrick’s The Teahouse of the August Moon premieres on Broadway. Incidental music is composed by Dai-Keong Lee, a prolific Hawai‘i-born composer with a Pulitzer nomination.


13 Daughters, with book, music, and lyrics by Eaton S. “Bob” Magoon, Jr., premieres in Honolulu, produced by the Hawaii Chinese Civic Association. Yun Kui “Yankee” Chan heads the cast as Chun, a character (very loosely) based on Magoon’s own great-grandfather, Chun Afong. The musical reaches Broadway in 1961, where it ekes out a 28-show run (with Chun played by Don Ameche in yellowface).


Miyoshi Umeki is the first woman of Asian origin to take home an Academy Award.


The Crimson Kimono debuts starring James Shigeta — “one of the first studio marketed films in which an Asian Pacific American gets the girl! ”


Creation of the San Francisco Mime Troupe


Flower Drum Song starring Nancy Kwan was the first TV. performance of Asian American actors and positively influenced Asian identity. We saw ourselves in the media.


Breakfast at Tiffany’sshows a buck tooth stereotype of Japanese man


Immigration Act of 1965 – Relaxation of anti-Asian immigration laws, large wave of Chinese, Filipino and Korean immigration to the US as pent up demand lasts for at least two decades.


Yoko Ono’s appearance on “The Tube” & in the media

Vietnam War

Tanzaman Socialist dance performances


East West Players is founded – Mako is the founding Artistic Director


Bruce Lee as Kato

Late 1960’s

Collaboration between East West Players and Inner City Cultural Center


Demonstration at Los Angeles Music Center (re) Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen

Late 60’s Early 70’s

Great Asian American actors audition but no roles for Asians


Most consistently multicultural ensemble in SF Bay area and the oldest” political theatre in the nation ”

Kumu Kahua Theatre Honolulu — as a response to the absence of local voices and material in Hawaiian theatre. Local” is an identity shaped by/for largely


Asian American Studies begins

First courses in Asian American Theatre taught at UCLA

Second City establishes improv + sketch comedy as an art form

BITAW — Basic Integrated Theatre Arts Workshop was an educational program created in the Philippines and used in the Philippines and the United States to teach and empower

American Conservatory Theater develops Asian American actors

Indian Sheer Theatre meets Asian American solo performance


Anti-Asian Violence


Country Dinner playhouse toured Teahouse of the August Moon

International Manila Voice Fest


Ping Chong’s Lazarus at La Mama ETC

Production of Chicken Coop Chinamanby Frank Chin, 1st Asian American play produced in New York

Creation of Theatrical Ensember of Asians (which became Asian Exclusion Act, then Northwest Asian American Theatre ) in Seattle

Creation of Asian American Theatre Workshop (later Company) in San Francisco

Coda written by Tri-Am, Alberto Isaac, produced by East West Players

Kearny Street Workshop founded — San Francisco


Chinese Theatre Group Act La Mama Return of the Phoenix

mid 1970’s

Asian Americans protest Broadway parts being given to non-Asian Americans


Nicky Paraiso was the first Asian-Filipino-American to be admitted to NYU’s graduate acting program. Harsh Nayya, a South Asian actor, was in the class a year ahead and Marion Yue was a Japanese American classmate.


Ping Chong + Company (originally called The Fiji Theatre Company) was founded


Pacific Overtures debuts on Broadway

QUINCY (1976-1983) Robert Ito (of Flower Drum Song) played sexy, handsome Sam Fujiyama that every woman wanted. That was major to see an Asian male portrayed like that on a popular TV show.


Pan Asian Rep founded by Tisa Chang

Wakako Yamauchi’s And the Soul Shall Dance at East West Players


Nobuko Miyamoto founds Great Leap – Asian American performing arts organization in Los Angeles.


New World Theatre founded — Asian American female artistic director — Asian American theatre presented, produced, developed since its founding

David Henry Hwang writes Stanford and performs it in the Juniper dorm (then the home of the Asian American theme dorm). He and Nancy Takahashi founded the Stanford Asian American Theatre Project, the oldest student Asian American theatre group in America (yes, the Godfather was a founding member)

Pacific Asian Actors Ensemble in San Diego founded by Thom Sesma, Gingerlily Lowe, David Tamayo, Kent Brisby, Ed You, & Janine Lowe


East West Players’ productions hit me in my theatrical heart, and I knew someday I wanted to be involved with East West. I got my opportunity in 1991.

AIDS epidemic devastates the theatre world

Paper Angels at Chinese Cultural Center in San Francisco

Reading Fanon & Rustom Barucha

Participating in Street Theater in India — watching Badal Sircar’s extraordinary production Procession

Seattle Group Theatre — multicultural playwrights, festivals, national gatherings


Song for a Nisei Fisherman at Asian American Theatre Company (first done at the Stanford Asian American Theatre Project, directed by David Henry Hwang)


Cold Tofu founded by four women: Marilyn Tokuda, Denice Kumagai, Judy Momii, & Irma Escamilla


Japan America Theater opens its doors


Yellow Fever at Asian American Theater Company and Pan Asian Rep


Chicago’s first Asian American theatre formed: Mina Sama-No. Co-founded by Marc Rita

Kumu Kahua Plays, edited by Dennis Carroll, is published by the University of Hawai‘i Press, comprising eight scripts that had received either their world premieres or major revivals by Kumu Kahua Theatre. Josephine Lee later calls this the “first collection of Asian American plays,” despite the fact that three of these eight plays were written by non-Asian Americans.


Yellow Fever by Rick Shiomi in Vancouver Canada


Who Killed Vincent Chin?

Karate Kid with Pat Morita – 1st Asian American born Oscar nominee

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (as a bad thing)


1st Production of David Henry Hwang’s F.O.B. in our Capitol City Sacramento

Creation of Cahoots Theatre Projects in Toronto

The end of Asian Writers Basement Workshops led by Fay Chiong in NYC

Late 1980’s

Velina Hasu Houston’s Tea at San Diego’s old Globe Theatre

Mid 1980’s

Films like Sixteen Candles & Gung Ho portrayed Asian stereotypes and sparked a movement for Asian Americans to fight these stereotypes.


David Henry Hwang wins Best Play Tony for M Butterfly. B.D. Wong wins Tony for Best Supporting Actor.


Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan

Ma-Yi Theatre Company founded in NYC

Chinese Story Theatre (later renamed Asian Story Theatre) founded by Kent Brisby & Gingerlily Lowe

Highways Performance Space founded by Tim Miller & Linda Frye Burnham in Santa Monica, California

Dan Kwong premieres first solo performance, Secrets of The Samurai Centerfielder

Tianamen Square student protests

In observance of the Chinese in Hawai‘i Bicentennial, Bamboo Ridge Press publishes Paké: Writings by Chinese in Hawai‘i. Ling-Ai (Gladys) Li’s The Submission of Rose Moy, Wai Chee Chun (Yee)’s For You a Lei, and Charlotte Lum’s These Unsaid Things are included in this anthology; for the first time, a large readership has access to these scripts.


Exit the Dragon in Berkeley

Development and rise of Asian American stand-up comedy (Margaret Cho)

Production of Yankee Dog You Die at Washington Project F/T Arts


Petition in protest to Colleen Dewhurst & Actor’s Equity regarding non-Asian American casting of Miss Saigon. David Henry Hwang is a major spokesperson; the whole protest is dramatized (fairly accurately) in Hwang’s Yellow Face.

Miss Saigon Opens, starring Jonathan Pryce & Lea Salonga

The first Gulf War

David Mura’s reading of After We Lost Our Way

Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco founded


Tokyo Bound Amy Hill’s solo show


Chay Yew teaches the Asian Theatre playwriting workshops at the Mark Taper Forum

Early 1990’s

David Henry Hwang Writer’s Institute is established at East West Players


Treasure in the House Asian Pacific American performance series born at Highways
note: founded by Dan Kwong

Lea Salonga in 1991 wins the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. 

Laurence Yep was commissioned by Berkeley Repertory Theatre to adapt his Newbery Honor award-winning young adult novel Dragonwings. The production, directed by Phyllis Look, toured Bay Area schools, and was later mounted as another NYC-area school tour by Lincoln Center Institute, and on the mainstages of Seattle Children’s Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Syracuse Stage, and Berkeley Rep (1991 – 95). It was published in AMERICAN THEATRE in September 1992, the first script for young audiences ever to appear in that publication. David Furumoto David Johann KimChris Tashima Radmar Jao Les Mau Robert Shinso Ito


Theater Mu founded

LA Riots and the subsequent founding of Society of Heritage Performance

NWAAT’s 20th Anniversary

Asian American Renaissance — conference & organization forming in Minneapolis, MN 55407

The Public Theater forms an Asian American Playwrights Lab headed by Chiori Miyagawa with members Sung Rno, Lesli Jo Morizono, Diana Son, Eugenie Chan, Dawn Akemi Saito and Cary Wong.

It is shut down a year later after Artistic Director JoAnne Atkalitis is replaced by George C. Wolfe.

The aa-drama list serve mailing list formed: an email mailing list on Asian American theatre.


Rich Shiomi writes and Theater Mu produces the first play about Korean Adoption. Theater Mu’s first mainstage production was based on the experiences of Korean adoptees who were early participants in Theater Mu. It incorporated traditional Korean mask dance into a contemporary story about adoption, family, and hope.

Joy Luck Club the film

Red Earth & Pouring Rain won the Booker (Indo-American novel).

Unbroken Thread published — edited by Roberta Uno and Velina Hasu Houston — the first anthology of plays by Asian American women playwrights.

Canadian premiere of David Henry Hwang’sThe Dance and the Railroad

Club O’Noodle– Vietnamese American Theatre Company started

Roger Tang develops Asian American Theatre Revue website which suddenly links API artists nationally through the world wide web.

Mid 1990’s

2nd Spoken Word Summit APIA Chicago

Youth Speaks in NYC at the teachers & writer’s collaborative


Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra established — introducing Asian American theatre to the whitest county in California (Nevada County)

All American Girl with Margaret Cho

Asian Boys— Nicky Paraiso’s first full-length performance piece

Dan Kwong’s Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Asian Men – but Didn’t Give Enough of a Shit to Askat Japanese American National Museum Los Angeles

Cleveland Raining by Sung Rno

Berkeley Rep’s Woman Warrior

Edward Sakamoto writes The Taste of Kona Coffee, completing his trilogy, Hawai‘i No Ka Oi. That year, Kumu Kahua acquires a permanent theatre facility at the corner of Merchant and Bethel Streets in downtown Honolulu. To inaugurate their new space, the theatre produces the entire Sakamoto trilogy in rep.


Stir-Friday Night! Discovered a fun yet powerful method to show a truthful perspective on the Asian American experience– that method was sketch comedy.

The Slant Performance Group- Rick Ebihara, Wayland Quintero, Perry Yung, premieres in 1995 at La Mama ETC with Big D*cks, Asian Men. Other shows too until 2008.

Asian American Repertory Theatre founded in San Diego: Andy Lowe, Vince Sobbrano, Jenn Wong, Donna Maglalang, Jyl Kaneshiro

Peeling the Banana Writing and performing workshop at Asian American Writers Workshop – NYC
note: founded by Gary San Angel

Lapu (UCLA’s Asian American Theatre group) formed (also still in existence)

Ann Bogart’s Still Co. – Suzuki Summer Program


Asian Arts Institute – First nonprofit community arts center targeted to Asian American forms.

RAW – Real Asian Woman Talk (performance art/dance) at the Walker Art Center. Shared stage with Denise Uyehara & Canyon Sam

Harry Wong receives the Princess Grace Award Princess Grace Award Winners – Princess Grace Foundation-USA ( (lots of other AAPI awardees to sift through at this website)


Produce APIA Arts Initiative @ Pomona College hosting readings of John Song/ Judy Soo Hoo, & Michael Premsirat’s plays.

Late 1990’s

New World Theater’s Third World American Theatre Conference

Introducing & directing South Asian play at regional theatre

San Francisco Chronicle article on interracial dating: Asian women and Caucasian Men

Spoken word turned theatre

Journey to the West at Berkeley Rep


Asian American Women Playwrights archive founded at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It becomes a national repository of plays, interviews, photos, etc.

Josephine Lee’s publication of Performing Asian America

API 101 at Asian American Theater Company

Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center founded

Ching Valdes Aran wins an Obie for best performance for Flipzoids@ Ma-Yi Theatre

Scholarly work by Josephine Lee’s Performing Asian America

Import of Hong Kong Box Office stars like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun Fat.


Making Tracks NY Musical Workshop


Here and Now produces Romeo and Juliet Pinoy Pinay Style


First the Forrestworked with Dipankar Mukherjee in one-woman show

Dan Kwong & Gary San Angel introduced an all Asian American performance workshop in Philadelphia

Pork Filled Players (later Pork Filled Productions) is formed in Seattle.

East West Players moves into new 240-seat Equity theater in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo

Something to Say performance group at Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia

East is East premieres in NYC

World Premiere of Dogeaters at La Jolla Playhouse

Hapa Performance Weekend @ Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica

East West Players produces first Thai-American play Big Hunk O’ Burnin’ Love by Prince Gomolvilas

In Vancouver, the Asian Canadian population constituted 40% of the general population, but we were not represented at all on stage in Vancouver. Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT) was born to right this injustice.

Resurrection of Stanford Asian American Theater Project (a group started by David Henry Hwang). Sean Lim of AATC involved as student.


Conference at Seattle’s Northwest Asian American Theatre

Singapore Festival of the Arts hosts Los Angeles based playwright of Dutch, Indonesian, & Spanish Apache descent. If I Only Had a Heart Made Out of Levi’s written by Annette Jilts Jacobs

Mighty Mountain Warriors & Latina Theater Lab & Culture Clash collaborate and create a piece.

Lodestone Theatre Ensemble founded in Los Angeles

Manhattan Theatre Club and The New Group collaborate to produce UK play East is East in NYC with mostly South Asian cast

Jooks Songs Performance Group at Yale University

( founded by Dave Lin, original member of Peeling the Banana, NY)

Generasian — Next teen theater troupe starts its first season at the Asian Arts Initiative.

I Was Born with Two Tongues founded using the idea of “Asian American Identity” through powerful and proficiently worded spoken word poetry.

Sirenz — women’s multi-ethnic spoken word group founded in response to white supremicist hate crimes in Illinois


A Jive Bombers Christmas 2nd Generation continues the tradition at the Japanese American National Museum

TeAda Productions — JACCC — Hawaii artists in Los Angeles

SIS Productions (Seattle) is formed

Roberta Uno’s reading of her anthology Unbroken Thread

Disha Theatre — The first South Asian theatre company in New York City launches at Dialectica Art Gallery.


Teada Productions presents Native Immigrantat JAT in Little Tokyo

1st APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit in Seattle

Karen Shimakawa’s National Abjection

Mango Tribe, a collective of 30 APIA women from Chicago, NYC, Minneapolis, LA — produces Sisters in the Smoke in Chicago at the Vittum Theater in response to violence within APIA communities.

Mellow Yellow’s 1st show opens two weeks after the events of September 11, 2001

American Desi released — 1st major Indo-American independent film nationally released


Better Luck Tomorrow opens (grassroots community, globalization)

YAWP begins in Chicago!

1st TeAda workshop featuring Kristina Wong, Ova Saopeng, & Robert Karimi

Leadership shift and new direction at Asian American Theater Co. of San Francisco. Sean Lim starts as Artistic Director.

Great Leap’s Sacred Moon Songsat East West Players with Asian. Chicano

Revised Flower Drum Song by David Henry Hwang opens — Asian American patronage extend the run

Sex in Seattle: Episode II— other women influence Vancouver Asian Canadian theatre productions

Sex in Seattle is the country’s longst running serial drama for stage.

YAWP Young Asians with Power workshop

Chop! Chop!Asian American Artists collective show


2nd Asian American Spoken Word &Poetry Summit in Chicago

World Premiere of Precious Stonesby Jamil Khoury — Chicago

Mango Tribe produces Sisters in the Smoke in New York at HERE Arts Center — sold-out run!

Bombay Dreams produced on Broadway with mostly South Asian cast by Andrew Lloyd Weber

Ushering in the new generation of Asian Canadian plays and artists (Little Dragon, China Doll, Banana Boys) consistent, continuous, constant

Beau Sia, Stacey Ann Chinn, & Suheir Hamad receive Tony Award for Def Poetry Jam


Taiko Project (re)generation — 1st major taiko theatrical production tours in the US


Harold & Kumar opens with two Asian American leads

Dogeaters— LA production

Theater Mu collaborates with Park Square Theater on the first all Asian American cast musical in MN with Pacific Overtures

Co-playwright in With love from Ramallah First Arab-American production in the upper Midwest.

National Performance Network Conference in Los Angeles

Opening night of Remainsat Mo’olelo Performing Arts Co. San Diego

Pipe Dreams and Paper Trailsat Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco

Mango Tribe performs 2nd production The Creation Mythology Project

Henry Street Settlement in NYC.

M Butterfly production by East West Players

Tea by Velina Hasu Houston in Chicago

The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow at The Old Globe

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company founded in San Diego

Broadway revival in 2004 of Pacific Overtures for the Roundabout Theatre Co. Directed by Japanese director, Amon Miyamoto.


Premiere of F.O.P. Fresh off the Planeat AATC by Sean Lim

3rd APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit in Boston

A Korean couple on Lost the television show

Haruki Murakami’s After the Quake premieres at Chicago’s Steppenwoolf Theater

Lodestone Theatre Ensemble production of Aziatik Nation

YAWP Young Asians with Power benefit in Chicago Untranslatable

As Vishnu Dreamsat East West Players in collaboration with Cornerstone Theatre

Guantanamoat Culture Project

World premiere of Amazing Leap of Faith

Asian American Arts Initiative writing and performance workshop

Self (the remix)opens in Alaska

AATC and Bindlestiff Studio production of Sleeper(a chronicle of the return of the remarkable)


Touring work of Youth Speaks through Living Project Rep.


Making Tracks in San Jose — Asians can sing and have incredible talent!

Kristina Wong is awarded creative capital award in theatre to create new work on mental illness among Asian woman

TeAda Lab development & open rehearsal at Angels Gate Cultural Center

Scholarly work by Esther Kim Lee History of Asian American Theatres

Mango Tribe develops 3rd production Un/knowing Desire and Empireat New World Theater summer play lab

1st collaboration between CATS and a professional theatre group, the Word for Word Theatre Co. in SF, bringing Amy Tan’sImmortal Heartto Nevada

Grace Lee Project

Mango Tribe & Asian Arts Initiative collaborate on a residency exploring gentrification as an intensive workshop for artists across the country

Another Heaven depiction of Asian dilemma as indentured labor in Hawaii – produced by Kuma Kahua Theatre

The first Asian American Theatre Conference (The Next Big Bang) hosted by East West Players in Los Angeles

Mako passes away, July 21.

SIS Productions (Seattle) launches Insatiable, the Seattle Asian American Playwrights’ Festival


I Land solo performance by Keo Woolford & Roberta Uno

Launching of Canada’s 1st Asian-Canadian Drama Anthology (acknowledging/recognizing the body of work we love).


First National Asian American Theatre Festival held in New York City.


Second National Asian American Theatre Conference, Minneapolis, MN

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company receives TCG’s inaugural Think it, Do it Grant and creates the “Green Theatre Choices Toolkit”


Second National Asian American Theatre Festival, held in New York City.

Azeotrope debuts in Seattle.

Silk Road Theatre debuts South Asian Playwrightswebsite


Qui Ngyen’s Vampire Cowboys Theatre wins special Obie

Shunya Theatre founded in Houston (?)


Third National Asian American Theatre Conference/Festival in Los Angeles, CA

Chay Yew named Artistic Director for Victory Garden Theatre, Chicago, IL

Artists at Play founded in Los Angeles, CA

National APIA Spoken Word Poetry Summit, 2011: Twin Cities!

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company received the American Theatre Wing’s National Theatre Grant


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (based on Grace Lin’s young adult book) premiered at Stages in Minneapolis and NE premiere at Wheelock Family Theatre in Boston, then Cape Cod Theatre Co.(formerly Harwich Jr. Theatre). 

Seema Sueko of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company receives the inaugural TCG Leadership U Grant


Here Lies Loveopens at the Public.

TEA opens in Colorado


Fourth National Asian American Theatre Conference/Festival in Philadelphia, PA

PAPA (Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists) debuts in Philadelphia, PA (first full production in 2018)

The Kilroys list debuts (Carla Ching is one of the organizers)


National New Play Exchange debuts

The McKnight Foundation has named Minnesota playwright, director, producer, theater artist, and musician Rick Shiomi as the 2015 McKnight Distinguished Artist, in recognition of artistic excellence spanning four decades.

Ruthie Ann Miles wins Tony for The King and I. 

Eric Ting named Artistic Director at California Shakespeare

Fresh off the Boat debuts on ABC

Asian American Set Designer, Mimi Lien, a MacArthur Genius Award Fellow 

The first Broadway Asian American created musical, Allegiance, featuring George Takei, hits the Longacre Theatre. (music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione)

Kimber Lee receives the inaugural PoNY/Bush Theatre Playwright Residency in London
Tim Dang of East West Players receives the Zelda Fichandler Award from Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation


Vietgone, by Qui Nguyen, opens at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (with first all Asian American cast at OSF); win slew of awards

Fifth National Asian American Theatre Conference in Ashland, OR, with Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Beyond Orientalism co-hort launched by Theatre Communications Group

Tradewinds opens shop in Kansas City

Ma-Yi establishes residencies in Seattle and San Francisco


Kim’s Convenience debuts on Canadian TV

Christopher Chen’s Caught wins Obie

Baayork Lee (original cast member of A Chorus Line), is awarded the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award in 2017. 


Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men opens on Broadway (first Asian American female playwright to do so)

The Sixth National Asian American Theater Conference /Festival in Chicago, IL, co-hosted with Victory Gardens Theatre, Silk Road Rising and the Theatre School at DePaul University.

Maarte Theatre Collective established in San Diego, CA; Midnight Rice established in Seattle, WA.

May Adrales receives the TCG Alan Schneider Director Award


Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band starts sweeping across the country


Pandemic stops everyone in their tracks.
National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival postposed twice; finally goes to virtual

Ant-Asian violence return on a major scale


May Adreles received Arena Stage Ammerman Directing Award


Things start back up.

Asian American Performers Action Coalition receives a special Tony Award for their tireless work in documenting racial disparities in casting in New York City.

Kristina Wong’s Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord named a Pulitzer Prize finalist (as well as winning a boatload of Drama Desk and Lortel Awards).

Julia Riew wins Fred Ebb for aspiring musical theatre songwriters.

KPOP debuts on Broadway, book by Jason Kim, music and lyrics by Helen Park, Max Vernon; Helen Park becomes the first Asian American woman composer on Broadway.

Seema Sueko receives the TCG Alan Schneider Director Award


Kimber Lee’s play untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play premieres at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre in the UK
Here Lies Love returns to New York to debut on Broadway.