Excerpts from Jeanne Sakata’s L.A. Theatre Works commissioned new audio play, For Us All, will be streamed online during IAMA Theatre Company’s second annual Pass the Mic virtual theater festival on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET, then remain available to view on demand through Sunday, Oct. 24. Tickets are on sale now at iamatheatre.com.
For Us All follows a team of lawyers who use a little known legal writ to fight to overturn the conviction of Fred Korematsu, unjustly sentenced for resisting the WWII mass incarceration of all Japanese Americans on the West Coast.
The celebrated legal team —most of whom are young Asian American attorneys in their 20’s and 30’s, just starting out in their legal careers – put their own careers on the line and took on the historic battle of overturning the WWII Supreme Court ruling upholding Fred Korematsu’s criminal conviction for resisting Executive Order 9066.
Helmed by Jennifer Chang, the cast of For Us All includes Jomar Tagatac, Paul Yen and Lois Shih.
IAMA company member Parvesh Cheena (“Outsourced,” “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comic D’Lo will co-host the festival, which was created to amplify Asian American and Pacific Islander voices.
The other 10-minute short plays, each written and directed by AAPI artists, make up the heart of the event. The plays include: …I’ve No Regrets, written by Nicholas Pilapil and directed by IAMA associate artistic director Rodney To; Long by Charlie Oh, directed by Jully Lee; Hindi by Nandita Shenoy, directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III; and Broken English by Nina Ki, directed by Gaven Trinidad.
The hybrid live/pre-recorded festival will also feature monologues, musical guests and video montages. A sampling of interludes includes Calm, a song written by Adam Gwon and performed by IAMA ensemble member Deborah S. Craig; Dishwasher Dreams, a monologue written and performed by Alaudin Ullah and directed by Chay Yew; Transfusion, a monologue written by Kit Yan, performed by Futaba Shioda and directed by Kat Yen; a song performed by Po’ai Lincoln; and a series of poems written and performed by Noa Gardner.
Founded in 2007, IAMA is a Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to the creation and cultivation of new voices and artists that challenge boundaries and take risks, while fostering an inclusive community that inspires theater-makers of future generations.
Pass the Mic is produced by IAMA ensemble member Anna Lamadrid. Associate producers Adrian Gonzalez and Anisha Adusumilli are also members of the ensemble.
“The Pass The Mic festival was born out of a calling to share our platform, amplify voices, and provide a safe space for Black artists to create amidst the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020,” says LaMadrid. “This year, we wanted to pass the mic to the AAPI community, which has experienced violence and discrimination in the midst of a global pandemic. As IAMA continues our commitment to cultivate new voices and foster an inclusive theatre community, we are so excited to work with artists who are traditionally unproduced and not represented in the American Theatre, and hope to continue amplifying their voices for years to come.”
Tickets to Pass The Mic are $15 per household. For more information about Pass the Mic and to purchase tickets, go to www.iamatheatre.com.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, dedicated to advancing representation for Asian American and Pacific Islander creators and executives in Hollywood. Through industry-renowned programs such as the CAPE New Writers Fellowship, CAPE Leaders Fellowship, consulting and talent referral services, the CAPE Database and #GoldOpen, CAPE is breaking barriers to representation from the writers’ room to the boardroom to the living room. Learn more at www.capeusa.org and follow @CAPEUSA on Instagram and Twitter.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. Click here for Cre8sianproject.com’s latest profile on Lia.
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