Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Theatre HAN Takes the Idea of a Melting Pot Seriously

I recently saw The Bus Stop, a play by Nobel laureate and Chinese dissident Gao Xingjian, in its NYC premiere. The company responsible is Theatre HAN, a brand new troupe with some great ideas that I want to share with you here on the Good News Theatre Blog.

Alice Oh, the company's artistic director, describes the company's genesis and mission in their program for The Bus Stop:

Theatre HAN started with a question, "Who is theatre for?" One may say, "Theatre is for everyone, of course--more so because America is such a cultural and racial melting pot." But is it a reality we see in American theatre world, physically and figuratively? Theatres are dominated by Western plays, and too often done by all-white cast. There are foreign plays done from time to time, but often they are just exotic and hard to understand to American audience.

Theatre, in its true sense, is accessible and should be accessible to every human mind. And it is time for American theatre to change--with its increasingly diverse cultural force brewing inside. We need a theatre to bring back the primal energy of theatre that everyone can relate to, and to reflect diverse cultures of America and of the world and honor their cultural heritages.

It is the primary mission of Theatre HAN to be that bridge that connects diverse cultures on the stage. HAN means in Korean--One; Wide and all-encompassing; and Sorrow. Stage is the place where strangers meet and commiserate.
Bravo to Ms. Oh for her great valuable ideas.

Learn more about Theatre HAN at their website: http://www.theatrehan.com/

No comments: