In honor of the rich tapestry of faculty and student heritage and coinciding with Asian Pacific Heritage Month, we are proud to announce the founding of The Stella Adler Studio’s Asian American Pacific Islander Artists (AAPI) Initiative. The AAPI Artists Initiative will be a home for students, alumni and faculty, in which to hold space for the exploration and celebration of AAPI artistry. Continuing the spirit of the Asian American Theater Movement of the 1960’s, which fought to combat the practice of yellowface and create a canon of Asian American plays, the AAPI Artists Initiative will advocate for AAPI representation in arts and education, as well as nurture new works by AAPI voices.
The idea for the AAPI Initiative began with a conversation between Artistic Director Tom Oppenheim and faculty member Suzi Takahashi after the studio’s community conversation following the tragedy of the Atlanta Massacre on March 16, 2021. Both agreed that a program dedicated to the personal and artistic empowerment of the next generation of AAPI artists is a strong extension of the studio’s core value that growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous. Programming for the initiative will include the creation of a 5-week summer immersion program to be launched in the summer of 2022. During the year, the institute will offer guest speakers, workshops, career development and performance opportunities that aim to bridge our community to the professional world of AAPI theater in NYC.
Faculty member Suzi Takahashi will serve as the AAPI Artists Initiative’s Director. Ryan Chittaphong, Kimiye Corwin, and Suzy Petcheam will serve as faculty advisors, alongside a group of student and alumnae representatives.