On March 15, 2018, an event called “Orientalism and the Portrayal of Asian Americans in Musicals,” co-hosted by Center Theatre Group and East West Players, brought to light questions involving misrepresentation of Asian Americans in theatrical literature. At the root of their argument was the idea that American playwrights had created stereotypical caricatures about the Asian and Asian American communities and thus were mistelling their stories. Through my research and a cumulative performance, I have found that authorship is the primary method for combating stereotypes within the theatre. In this paper, I will focus on the importance of authorship and how stereotypes that are reinforced by Euro-American playwrights, composers, and screenwriters can have harmful effects on Asian American women. I will examine the origins of these stereotypes and their effects, the theatrical literature enforcing and negating these ideas, as well as provide remedies to combat the usage of female Asian stereotypes in Western theatrical literature and film and ultimately promote diversity in industries often plagued in prejudice and racism. In addition to this paper, a copy of my poster, program, script, and an archival digital recording of my performance is attached in the appendices.
Theatre and Performance Studies
McGowan, Maya, "Shattered Dolls: An Examination of Authorship and the Boundaries of Female Asian Stereotypes in Western Theatrical Literature and Film" (2020). Honors Projects. 23.