In New York, Filipino playwrights, directors and performers are just some of many Asians who compete for highly-coveted roles on or off Broadway.
During a press conference held at Fairmont Hotel in Makati City recently, Jorge Ortoll, executive director of Ma-Yi Theater Company explains what the company does is to help Asian-Americans like Filipinos "to have a face in the Unites States."
Ma-Yi was founded in 1989 as "Ma-Yi Filipino Theatre Ensemble," a group dedicated to developing and presenting plays and performance works that essayed the Filipino-American experience. In 1998, the company expanded its mission to include new works by other, non-Filipino, Asian American playwrights. It changed its name to "Ma-Yi Theater Company", prodded by the growing need to provide a developmental venue for Pan Asian-American texts.
Nick Pichay, a Filipino scriptwriter and a Palanca Hall of Famer, says Filipino theatre artists have many fascinating stories to tell.
Ortoll says Ma-Yi has significantly helped improve the image of Filipinos as theatre artists in the US.
On October 16, Ma-Yi presents a gala performance dubbed "The Adoption Play" which will feature artists like Shamaine Centenera Buencamino, Raquel Villavicencio, Angeli Bayani and Pinky Amador.
Written by Pichay and directed by Obie Awardee Loy Arcenas, "The Adoption Play" is part of Ma-Yi's objective to build a bridge between Filipino and US-based artists. It is being staged with the support of the Asian Cultural Council and the Cultural Center of the Philippines where it will take place.
Ma-Yi has also won Drama Desk Awards, and the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Play.
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