Concretizing Asian Canadian Theatre
MetadataShow full item record
Founded in Edmonton in 1989 as a community-action collective company, Concrete Theatre has prioritized in its mandate a focus on cultural diversity. For the past twenty years, it has created workshops for schools and developed plays for young adults which explore issues of race relations. The focus has often been on Asian-Canadian groups: in the early 1990s, Padma Viswanathan and Philip McIntyre-Paul initiated a performance and visual arts project called Acting Our Colours, and in 1998, the Artistic Co-Directors of Concrete, Mieko Ouchi and Elyne Quan, created with Uma Viswanathan a Triptych of highly personal monologues. For the 1999/2000 season, Paula Wong adapted Joy Kogawa’s novel, Naomi’s Road for school and community audiences, with a cast comprising Edmonton-based Asian Canadian artists, and in the following season, Concrete developed Rice Stories with a Slant, a performance project which included a multi-media installation. The 2004/05 season featured a production of The Plum Tree by Mitch Miyagawa, which explores the history of Japanese-Canadian internment and the Redress Movement. The annual Sprouts New Play Festival regularly features new works by Marty Chan, Mieko Ouchi, and Elyne Quan, among many others. Current Artistic Director, Mieko Ouchi continues to emphasize the importance of interculturalism in theatre for all ages. This paper will explore the intercultural philosophy of Concrete Theatre, and its collective expression of Asian Canadian history, society, and culture in Alberta.