CREATING AUTO-ETHNOGRAPHY FOR THE STAGE AND PAGE A reading and talk by Alvin Eng & Muna Tseng

APRIL 28th @ 6PM
AAARI/CUNY, 25 West 43rd St, Suite 1000,
betw. 5th & 6th Aves, Manhattan
Admission is Free:
Reservations suggested @ RSVP link

Asian-American/Asian Research Institute, The City University of New York
“Evening Lecture Series” Presents:

A reading and talk by Alvin Eng & Muna Tseng

Playwright/performer Alvin Eng will be joined by author/choreographer Muna Tseng for a reading and discussion of their current theatrical/literary projects, OUR LAUNDRY, OUR TOWN and IT’S ALL TRUE: GRANDFATHER.

OUR LAUNDRY, OUR TOWN is Eng’s prose expansion of his memoir monologue, “The Last Emperor of Flushing.” The memoir chronicles his growing up in the shadows of the Cold War in a 1970s Chinese Hand Laundry in Flushing, Queens, NYC, to performing his one-man show, The Last Emperor of Flushing, in a former People’s Hall of the Cultural Revolution in his family’s ancestral Guangdong province.

IT’S ALL TRUE: GRANDFATHER is the third dance-theater chapter of Tseng’s “Family Portrait” series. The piece constructs a portrait of myth, object, and dialogue with real and imagined ancestors. Taking Tseng’s paternal grandfather as a departure point, the work spans over 300 years and examines East-West legacy, gender, personal identity and aspirations, cultural alienation and assimilation. Tseng is developing IT’S ALL TRUE: GRANDFATHER as an artist-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The series also includes the Bessie Award-winning and nominated pieces, STELLA and SLUTFORART. Muna will be joined by special guest, Perry Yung.

ALVIN ENG is a native NYC playwright, performer and educator. Last fall he was a Visiting Professor/Head of the MFA Playwriting Program at Queens College. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Goucher College and a Fulbright Specialist scholar in Theatre/U.S. Studies. He is currently developing “Portrait Plays,” a cycle of historical dramas that examines the parallels between portraiture, history and power as manifested in different eras and cultures. The third Portrait Play, THE IMPERIAL IMAGE was recently presented by the “First Acts: New Plays in Development” series at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College. The second work, 33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET, was presented at the 2016 Howl! Gallery’s Beat & Beyond Festival featuring Bowery Poetry founder Bob Holman as Joe Gould and the legendary Mink Stole—of John Waters’ film fame—playing renowned painter Alice Neel. THREE TREES, the first Portrait Play, about the haunting relationship between Alberto Giacometti and Isaku Yanaihara, premiered Off-Broadway with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and was also presented as a workshop reading with Baltimore Center Stage and the Moving Parts Theatre in Paris. His plays and poetry have been published in Performing Arts Journal, as well as the Nuyorican Poets Café anthologies, Aloud and Action. He is the editor/author of the play anthology/oral history, Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience on

MUNA TSENG was born and raised in Hong Kong. In Canada she began her modern dance training at age 13 with Magda and Gertrude Hanova, disciples of Mary Wigman and with Heather McCallum who worked with Anna Halprin. Invited to New York by Jean Erdman after graduating from University of British Columbia, Tseng was a principal dancer in Erdman and her husband and mythologist Joseph Campbell’s Theatre of the Open Eye from 1978 to 1985, inherited many of Erdman’s seminal roles, dancing to originally commissioned music by John Cage, Teiji Ito, Lou Harrison, Louis Horst. She founded Muna Tseng Dance Projects in New York City in 1984, has created over 40 productions and performed in over 30 cities and festivals in 15 countries. She has won a Bessie: New York Dance & Performance Award; repeat Choreographic Fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and has been honored as “Artist of National Merit” from The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. “Best Choreography” for The Silver River in Philadelphia’s 2000 theater season, the Manhattan Borough President’s Award for “Distinguished Service in the Arts,” and the “Chinese American Cultural Pioneers Award for Excellence in the Arts” from New York City Council President Andrew Stein.

AAARI’s Evening Lecture Series provides an opportunity for intellectuals and scholars to talk about their current research or activities on topics that are of interest to the Asian American community. All lectures are live webcasted and available afterwards as streaming video on our website. Audio podcasts of lectures are also available on iTunes and the AAARI website.

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