Actors showcase diversity of cultural community
THE SANTA CLARA
May 8, 2014
I n celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Asian-American theater company hereandnow visited Santa Clara on Tuesday to perform “Attack of the Asians,” a production that consisted of a series of short skits.
The performance aimed to capture the essence of the Asian-American experience through segments that featured humor, entertainment, emotional elements and Asian dialects.
“Attack of the Asians” provided an opportunity for Asian-Americans to gain a sense of solidarity and realize that other Asian-Americans within society share commonalities relating to cultural and racial conflicts that may come with growing up in America. Simultaneously, it revealed the enormous diversity of Asian-American experiences across and within various Asian groups.
“Attack of the Asians” was performed in Mayer Theatre. Admission was free and open to the public.
The show was co-sponsored by SCU Presents, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office for Multicultural Learning.
While the Multicultural Center’s many clubs are currently performing culture shows, some of which highlight Asian traditions, this special performance unified many of the subgroups.
Asian Pacific Heritage month is a time to recognize the contributions that Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry have made to enrich the history and culture of this country.
The actors also held a question-and-answer session with the audience after the show to open a dialogue regarding their performance.
The hereandnow theater company is based in Los Angeles. The group initially reached out to Santa Clara during the fall quarter expressing a desire to perform on campus.
According to Connie Chang, lead organizer of the event, “Attack of the Asians” revolutionized the definition of the Asian-American experience.
“It’s a way for Asian-Americans to feel identity and solidarity with each other,” said Chang. “And people not in that group can learn about what it means to be a part of the Asian-American community.”
Only 6 percent of Americans identify as Asian-American. The term now includes a large range of Asian subgroups such as American-born Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese and more.
With a growing number of people of Asian descent in America, bringing hereandnow to campus served as a chance for students and staff to reflect upon the daily Asian-American experience that many individuals on campus face.
Part of that experience includes the challenges that Asian-Americans must confront, the negative stereotypes that develop within society and the types of communities created among various Asian-American groups.
The performance also highlighted the deep cultural conflicts prominent among the Asian-American population, even though such conflicts might not be noticeable at first glance.
Chang hopes that “Attack of the Asians” will help people understand the reality of the Asian-American struggles and work toward removing existing stereotypes.
There are many upcoming events honoring Asian Pacific American month such as “Going Beyond Boba,” an interactive workshop about identity and solidarity.
The event will be held on May 17 at 7 p.m. in the Shapell Lounge.
Contact Victoria Yu at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.