Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spotlight on new Arts Action 21 partner: Contemporary Asian Theater Scene

Next in our series of feature articles about Silicon Valley arts organizations is the following post about Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS).  Arts Action 21 is collaborating with CATS to present this coming October's celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month in Mountain View, CA.  Please keep reading to learn about CATS' history, mission and activities!

Contemporary Asian Theater Scene, known as CATS, was formed 15 years ago by four visionaries, who saw the potential cultural future of Silicon Valley.  They wanted to bring Asian American artists and artistic disciplines to the South Bay, recognizing that this region could support such endeavors and not look to San Francisco.  Thus, their mission for CATS was to enliven the South Bay with innovative, educational and cultural artists and art forms.

Through the years, CATS has been recognized for presenting an eclectic mix of music, comedy, drama and film.  One event that is welcomed annually is CATS’ Asian Comedy Night, an evening featuring up and coming comics of Asian descent.  CATS has had a long association with the Center for Asian American Media and has participated in the San Jose portion of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.  CATS has been responsible for recruiting local agencies and organizations to be co-presenters of various films at the festival.

CATS has encouraged emerging artists by hosting a playwriting contest (in collaboration with Calabasas Rep), presenting play readings by local Asian American playwrights, inviting artists to perform at “CATS Talent to Go” and notifying actors of auditions and opportunities.  Another outstanding event was an afternoon with best-selling author, Lisa See.

Such groups as Ethno-Tec, Object Theater, 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors and the Grateful Crane Ensemble have been brought to the South Bay by CATS.  CATS is now looking to present various musical jazz groups as well as classical musicians.  In October, CATS will join Arts Action 21 in presenting two programs to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month.  

Recently launched is a series of films and panels under the title:  J-Town Cinema.  Films are presented at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and at the Akiyama Wellness Center.  Also on tap is an evening at San Jose Repertory Theater where we will see the world premiere of Philip Gotanda’s play, “Love in American Times” and attend a reception with the playwright.  Please call 408-867-4525 for more information.

Look at the CATS Facebook page for any updates on what CATS is presenting.  Join us in our 15th year of great cultural events in the South Bay!