Circling Beyond the Pacific: Asian Canadian Theatre and Performance

“Circling Beyond the Pacific: Asian Canadian Theatre and Performance”
Organizers: Eury Chang and Siyuan Liu
Contact e-mail: Eury Chang (

Call for papers
Deadline: 4 January, 2019

The current breadth and depth of Canadian theatre scholarship in the twenty-first century indicates a healthy interest in work that speaks of intercultural and transnational realities, migration, and notions of belonging and citizenship. Asian Canadian theatre is a ripe field for investigating such topics; it operates, on the one hand, within the dominant lingua franca (English), and on the other hand, offers audiences a range of cultural narratives, representations and metaphors not often found within the Euro-Canadian theatre. As a relatively new field, Asian Canadian theatre has already revealed its potential to renew theatre aesthetics while fostering a more inclusive Canadian theatre culture.

Asian Canadian theatre has moved deftly between genres and forms, integrating technology in a manner that audiences have found appealing and innovative. Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son and One Hour Photo and Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience (stage version and TV-series) have literally and figuratively proved that a single-run “shelf-life” for new Canadian plays need not be accepted as the de rigueur. Asian Canadian theatre seems not only able in its ability to attract audiences and build alliances but seems well-positioned to address issues of representation and inclusion. To this end, this curated panel welcomes papers that examine productions through typical modes (semiotics, dramatic or performance analysis) while also encouraging critical reflections and contextualizing of the field itself. Has Asian Canadian theatre focused too intensely on artists of Chinese and Japanese descent, and if so, why is this the case? What are the connecting points with Indigenous theatre and Canadian theatre by artists of South Asian and/or Middle Eastern descent? What is the larger role of Asian Canadian theatre in the twenty-first century? What visioning needs to be done to ensure its continuity?

This curated panel welcomes submissions on Asian Canadian theatre, dance, and performance. Possible topics include:

  • Canadian theatre, dance, and performance influenced by Asian aesthetics or practices,
  • Canadian theatre with characters of East/South Asian and/or Middle Eastern descent,
  • Canadian theatre that challenges lingering Orientalist representations,
  • Relationships between Indigenous, European, and Asian Canadian narratives,
  • Contributions of Asian Canadian theatre to discussions of redress and reconciliation,
  • Presence and indicators of “anti-Asian” or “pro-Asian” sentiment in theatre or cinema.

This curated panel will include three or four papers (each limited to 15 or 20 minutes, depending on our number), followed by a moderated session with CATR members by Eury Colin Chang. Please submit abstracts (300 words) and a brief biography (150 words) by 4 January, 2019 to:


Eury Colin Chang, PhD Candidate, Department of Theatre and Film at UBC; PSI Network.

Dr. Siyuan Liu, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Film at UBC; Editor, Asian Theatre Journal.

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