The Asian American Theater Project is a group of artists dedicated to the sharing and creation of work that addresses the Asian/Asian American experience through theater and the performing arts. Our mission is to:
- increase representation of Asians/Asian Americans in theater arts
- address stereotypes and misrepresentations through nuanced portrayals of Asian/Asian American cultures through the performing arts
- cultivate the interests and talents of Asian/Asian American artists and allow them to explore acting, directing, producing, stage management, technical design, and writing in a safe and open community
- celebrate the works of Asian/Asian American playwrights
- explore other theater works through an Asian/Asian American lens
We welcome all artists--regardless of race, culture, skill-level, and previous theatrical experience--to join us in our artistic explorations of identity.
Established in 1978 by David Henry Hwang (Class of 1979) and Nancy Takahashi Hatamiya (Class of 1981), the Asian American Theater Project began as an outlet for students to explore cultural issues and gain exposure to the campus theatre circuit. Through the project, founder David Henry Hwang wrote and directed FOB on campus, a play which would later gain him enormous fame in the world of theatre.
Over the years, AATP has worked to showcase the talents of Stanford students interested in exploring issues that affect both the Asian American community and the community at large. AATP has always emphasized its openness to new talent.
We strive to promote Asian American involvement in the theater scene by cultivating aspiring writers, directors, and actors within the Stanford community. Through addressing cultural and social themes through our work, we seek to build a tradition of Asian American storytelling that has yet to be fully realized on campus. Regardless of theater experience or ethnicity, the Asian American Theater Project encourages everyone to join our mission and get involved with our various programs and activities, whether through producing, writing, directing, acting, or designing.
David Henry Hwang
Class of 1979
David Henry Hwang has emerged as one of the most prominent Asian American playwrights of recent times. After graduating as a member of the Class of 1979 with a major in English, he moved on to study playwriting at the Yale School of Drama.
While an English major at Stanford, he collaborated with classmate Nancy Takahashi to form the Asian American Theatre Project. Through AATP, he wrote and directed the play, FOB, which debuted in the Okada lounge in 1979. A year later, this show premiered in New York and garnered the prestigious Obie Award in 1980.
Since then, Hwang has been recognized for his dramatic merits by various critics for his unique treatment of the cultural issues face by Chinese Americans. He is best known for his play M. Butterfly, which won him a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play. He is the first and only Asian American playwright to have won a Tony Award for Best Play.
Hwang recently returned to Stanford in 2007 to workshop his play Yellow Face, which met critical acclaim, earning him a third Obie Award. His newest play, Chinglish, debuted on Broadway in October, 2011, and has also met positive reviews. The Berkeley Reparatory Theatre is scheduled to showcase a production of Chinglish in March 2013.
Nancy Takahashi Hatamiya
Class of 1981
Nancy Takahashi Hatamiya was part of the original cast and crew in David Henry Hwang's Stanford debut of FOB in Okada dorm (formerly Junipero). She graduated in 1981 with an individually-designed major in architecture and urban design and was involved with AATP, the Stanford Daily, ASSU, and the Glee Club. She is the co-owner of the Hatamiya Group, a government relations, communications, and management consulting firm in Davis, CA. She also served on the Board of Directors of the California Council for the Humanities and worked as an advisor to President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and other politicians. Nancy Takahashi Hatamiya passed away on May 15, 2012 after a long battle with lung cancer but her spirit lives on through her work, family, and the arts.