August 11-19, 2018 | Chicago
Thanks for joining us for the 6th National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival (ConFest) – an exciting week of theater performances, new play readings, workshops, breakout sessions, networking, parties and more!
The theme Revolutionary Acts engaged people in passionate dialogue about social injustice, inequity and active resistance in American culture and helped us consider what we, as theater practitioners, can do about it. ConFest 2018: Chicago was hosted in partnership with Victory Gardens Theater, Silk Road Rising, and The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Local Partner/Restaurant Deals & Discounts
>> ConFest Day-by-Day Schedule
>> ConFest Planning Guide (pdf)
>> ConFest Program Guide (pdf)
Thanks to our partners, local hosts, and sponsors:
New China Festival: Staged Play Readings from the Chinese Speaking World
August 4 - August 19, 2018
Silk Road Rising, Chicago
Staged readings of three plays translated from Chinese to English that highlight the work of contemporary playwrights from the Chinese speaking world.
Hot Asian Everything: Revolt!
An evening of revolutionary proportions featuring a powerhouse mix of Chicago and national talent — all hosted by the illustrious Emi Macadangdang and Jasmine!
International Drag Bingo with Cocoa Chandelier!
TeAda Productions, Tradewind Arts & aetherplough, ConFest 2018 | Chicago
An evening of international Drag Bingo hosted by Cocoa Chandelier with special guests from across the country along side hometown Chicago talent.
Language Revitalization as a Revolutionary Act, Part I
Opening Plenary & Welcome: TAMMY HAILI‘ŌPUA BAKER, Chicago | ConFest 2018
Tammy Haili’ōpua Baker joins members of the ‘Inamona Theatre Company for a conversation around language revitalization as a revolutionary act and what this means for Indigenous communities in the Hawaiian Islands and beyond.
August 14 - August 15, 2018
Pan Asian Rep, ConFest 2018 | Chicago
Acquittal weaves together the story of four women unjustly imprisoned in Pakistan during General Zia-ul-Haq’s discriminatory Hudood Ordinances - the women forge a bond that transcends their differences in class, ideology, and religious practice.
August 14 - August 15, 2018
Pratik Motwani, ConFest 2018 | Chicago
A multimedia experience combining film, Prezi presentation, and physical theatre, EMBEDDED is a revolt against all identities that trap us.
Play Reading: The Book of Mountains and Seas
Yilong Liu, Chicago
After losing his son in a hate crime, a California dad from China teams up with his son’s last boyfriend in New York on a mission to visit all the restaurants reviewed on his son’s Yelp page.
August 15 - August 16, 2018
Christopher K. Morgan, ConFest 2018 | Chicago
Pōhaku incorporates traditional Hawaiian chant, hula, contemporary dance, theater and storytelling to explore compelling universal themes in the story of Hawaii’s native people, including land loss and fractured identity.
893 / YA-KU-ZA
August 16 - August 17, 2018
GenEnCo, ConFest 2018 | Chicago
Set over the course of a business lunch in an unknown Japanese restaurant somewhere in the United States, 893 | Ya-ku-za follows ambitious young assassin Aya's bid to become the first female member of the infamous Japanese crime syndicate.
Talk Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show
Ada Cheng & Archy Jamjun, Chicago
A night of storytelling, improv, and music by performers and community members of Asian descent in Chicago. Co-hosted and produced by Ada Cheng and Archy Jamjun.
Storytelling as a Revolutionary Act, Part II
Mid-Week Plenary: RAJIV JOSEPH, Keynote Speaker, Chicago | ConFest 2018
The program transitions us mid-week to feature and center Central/West Asian/Middle Eastern/Arab artists and their perspective.
Play Reading: The Sitayana (Or, How to Make an Exit)
Lavina Jadhwani, Chicago
In The Sitayana, a young princess Sita follows her new husband Ram to his kingdom in Ayodhya - only to learn that they have been banished. Refusing to abandon her partner, she joins him in exile, but finds her loyalty tested to surprising lengths.
Play Reading: Instrumental Journey – A Musical Migration Story
Bernardo Mazón Daher, Chicago
Instrumental Journey follows the journey of Noa and Onda, who are forced to flee their home and overcome obstacles en route with the few instruments they are able to save from their repair shop.
August 17 - August 18, 2018
Kyoung's Pacific Beat, ConFest 2018 | Chicago
Set in Brooklyn 2017, Pillowtalk brings to life one night in the lives of Sam and Buck, a recently married interracial couple.
Expanding the American Story as a Revolutionary Act, Part III
Closing Plenary: David Henry Hwang & Jamil Khoury, Chicago | ConFest 2018
David Henry Hwang, celebrated Asian American playwright and Chairman of the American Theatre Wing, brings a wealth of experience to the revolutionary act of expanding the American story. In this candid conversation with Silk Road Rising’s Founding Artistic Director Jamil Khoury, Hwang will respond to questions about representation, yellowface, our evolving Asian American identity politics.
Play Reading: This is Not a True Story
Preston Choi, ConFest 2018 | Chicago
This Is Not A True Story is a new play reckoning with the problematic history and impact of Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon, and Kumiko the Treasure Hunter.
Play Reading: Face to the Sun
Alison Minami, ConFest 2018 | Chicago, IL, United States
Haunted by memories of his homeland and fearful of another war-driven imprisonment by the Cuban government, Hamada, an upstanding leader of the Japanese Cuban community, decides to uproot his family and return to Japan.