Philip Kan Gotanda

Over the last three decades, playwright Philip Kan Gotanda has been a major influence in the broadening of our definition of theater in America.  Through his plays and advocacy, he has been instrumental in bringing stories of Asians in the United States to mainstream American theater as well as to Europe and Asia.  The creator of one of the largest bodies of Asian American-themed work, his plays are studied and performed at universities and schools across the country, as well as in Asia and Europe.  Mr. Gotanda wrote the text and directed the production of Maestro Kent Nagano’s Manzanar: An American Story, an original symphonic work with narration. After the War premiered at the American Conservatory Theatre where it was directed by Ms. Carey Perloff. A Japanese translation of his play, Sisters Matsumoto, opened in Tokyo at the Kinokuniya Theater with the Mingei Geikidan Company as well as produced at the Huntington in 2000.  Mr. Gotanda is a respected independent filmmaker; his works are seen in film festivals around the world.  His film, Life Tastes Good, was presented at the Sundance Film Festival and is on Netflix and available through Cinema Epoch Films.  His newest play, Love in American Times, received its world premiere at San Jose Repertory Theater in May 2012.  He is collaborating with John Duykers, Max Duykers, Melissa Weaver, Joel Davel on a new chamber opera, Apricots of Andujar.  Mr. Gotanda is a recipient of a Guggenheim as well as other honors and awards.  He holds a law degree from Hastings College of Law and studied pottery in Japan with the late Hiroshi Seto.  His collections of plays, No More Cherry Blossoms and Fish Head Soup, are published by the University of Washington Press.

(As of October 2014)

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