One of the reasons I love being apart of Arts in Color is seeing the successes of of up and comers and recent grads. We’ve been really fortunate to feature many students of color who are now makin’ it here in NYC, being apart of this crazy thing that we all love-theater! One of those recent grads is Columbia Alum Jeena Yi! Check out what she had to say about her most recent role in Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Chairs and a Long Table!
How would you feel if you attended a play that included yellow face? Now imagine being an Asian actor constantly auditioning in New York City (struggling to come across casting calls that fit your type) and finding out that a major theater company went with white actors for the roles of the Emperor and Empress of China. Han Ong’s latest play Chairs and a Long Table addresses this very issue. As a part of the Ma-Yi Theater Company’s “Breaking the Myth” series, Ong’s new play is making it’s world premier in rep alongside Carlos Celdron’s Livin’ La Vida Imelda at The Clurman Theater. Yellow face, black face, brown face, white washing characters that were written to be of color – these are all problems that are still going strong today, and the timing of this play could not be more appropriate.