Diverse City Theater Introduces
The Pearl Project for Filipino Artists
A Call to Action to Support Filipino American Theater Artists
Dear Fellow Kababayan and Friend of the Pinoys,
Mabuhay! I hope the year 2010 becomes a prosperous one for all of us.
I am writing to introduce to you an innovative program that is very dear to my heart, The Pearl Project. It is an artistic endeavor that will make the Filipino experience an active part of New York’s rich theater tradition.
The Filipinos (whose native country is called “The Pearl of the Orient”) are the second largest Asian-American group in the United States—and New York—but surprisingly have been sorely underrepresented and underserved in the theater. Currently, opportunities for accomplished Filipino playwrights and actors are severely lacking. American theater remains far too mainstream; and so, the theater industry is in danger of losing a strong community of trained and talented artists.
Diverse City Theater (DCT) proposes to help enrich New York’s cultural and civic heritage by providing a voice for our important (and large) cultural group. DCT launches an incubator program—The Pearl Project—to develop and produce original works by established Filipino playwrights including Eric Gamalinda and Jorshinelle Taleon-Sonza, winners of the prestigious Palanca Award (the Philippines’ Pulitzer Prize), as well as emerging playwrights including DCT Playwright Fellow, Kristine Reyes. In addition, The Pearl Project will present a festival of readings of original works by Filipino artists—curated by Obie winner Ching Valdes-Aran—including award-winning playwrights Linda Faigao-Hall, Jessica Hagedorn, Luis Francia, among many others. DCT will develop and present their works in a month-long festival at Theatre Row located at the heart of New York City’s theatre district, and home to DCT for the past six years.
The Pearl Project will provide opportunities for many Filipino artists to create, perform and exhibit their work in high quality productions, and for New York to experience the great talents and culture of our important yet overlooked community. It will build upon the work that Filipino American artists have created in the past, and will complement their current programming for a stronger Asian American theater culture.
The program is DCT’s latest effort to address underrepresented voices in the theater. For the past five seasons, DCT has presented—twice in its own festivals— original works of stories overlooked in the mainstream theater: third world poverty, gender identity, age, race, and social politics. DCT productions have been cited by The New York Times, Time Out New York, and NBC, and nominated for several of the prestigious Audelco Awards and Actors' Equity Rosetta Lenoire Award for "outstanding contributions made to the universality of the human spirit in the American theatre."
In his UNDER THE RADAR: A LOOK AT INDEPENDENT THEATRE’S MOVERS AND SHAKERS article published in December 2009, Michael Roderick of Broadwayworld.com ranked DCT #1 in his top 3 roster of “standout productions and production companies” in New York City.
PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A CONTRIBUTION AND TELLING YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL ENDEAVOR. It is important for the Filipino Americans to have a voice in our global cultural community, in the cultural capital of the world.
A donation of any amount will go far: $10, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000 or any amount you are able to contribute.
Donations can be made online at:
Or by mailing a check payable to:
Diverse City Theater Company
One Penn Plaza, Suite 3406
New York, NY 10119
On the memo, please note “The Pearl Project.”
Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to seeing you at the theatre.
Maraming salamat po!
Very truly yours,
About Diverse City Theater Company
Formed in 2003, DIVERSE CITY THEATER COMPANY (“DCT”) develops and produces powerful and thought-provoking works that examine our society’s diversity issues from social, cultural, gender and demographic perspectives. DCT advocates the non-traditional casting of actors to reflect the rich spectrum of the national culture and the universality of the human spirit. The company’s 2008 critically-acclaimed production of Cassandra Medley’s Noon Day Sun was selected as Time Out New York’s Critics Pick, featured on NBC’s “Best Bets,” and recipient of Audelco Award nominations for Best Dramatic Production of the Year and Best Play. In 2007, DCT’s production of Snapshots was selected as New York Times Critics Choice for New and Noteworthy, calling it “gutsy” and “a quality not often seen in New York theatre.” Under Victor Lirio's artistic direction, DCT is the recipient of two nominations for Actors’ Equity Association’s The Rosetta Lenoire Award (2008, 2009) for “outstanding contributions made to the universality of the human spirit in the American theatre.”
Now in its sixth season, DCT is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) theater organization. For more information about DCT, visit www.diversecitytheater.org.