Performer Interviews, Q & A, and performance excerpts
with Marsh and MarshStream founder Stephanie Weisman
Thursday May 6, 2021
Bay Area AAPI Roundtable
Standing in solidarity with our AAPI community!
Featuring Bay Area AAPI Artists
Wei Wang, David Hirata and Brenda Wong Aoki
Brenda Wong Aoki, once misidentified as a ninja assassin and whose work is drawn from her families 121 year history in San Francisco; David Hirata, Japanese American performer whose work has included solos about Japanese Internment and the first Japanese Magician to grace American soil; and Wei Wang, from China to San Francisco, the first Asian male principal dancer of the San Francisco Ballet.
Click Box to Watch
About the Guests
Chinese dancer Wei Wang trained at Beijing Dance Academy and San Francisco Ballet School. He was named an apprentice of San Francisco Ballet in 2012 and joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2013. He was promoted to soloist in 2016 and principal in 2018. Roles with the company include the Creature in Frankenstein (Scarlett), Within the Golden Hour and Cinderella (Wheeldon), Basilio in Don Quixote (Tomasson/Possokhov), Prince Desiré and Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake (Tomasson), Coppélia (Balanchine), Onegin (Cranko), Glass Pieces, Opus 19/The Dreamer and Other Dances (Robbins), Etudes (Landar), Manifesto and Stone and Steel (Thatcher). He has created roles in Anima Animus (Dawson), Pas/Parts 2016 (Forsythe), Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, In the Countenance of Kings (Peck) and Björk Ballet (Pita).
Hailed as “a master of deceit” (KRON 4 TV) David Hirata has amazed audiences throughout the Bay Area with theatrical magic creations at the Exploratorium, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Oakland Museum, and at many private events. Previous shows include Kanji by Starlight at the Marsh, and American Wizards at the California Magic Dinner Theater. The Jap Box premiered at the 2018 San Diego International Fringe Festival where it won the award for “Outstanding World Premiere Production.”
Brenda Wong Aoki is a storyteller, anthologized playwright, producer, artistic director, and performer. Her song/dance/dramas are drawn from her family’s 121-year history in San Francisco and the Bay Area, Kabuki legends, ghost stories, and her personal experience. Known for her agility across disciplines, she creates monodramas rooted in traditional storytelling, dance movement, and music. Her sensei is Living Treasure, Nomura Mansaku, a Kyogen master; she also studied Noh with Nomura Shiro, who is a Cultural Intangible Property. It is extremely rare for a woman (and especially an American woman) to get to study with masters like these; ironically, it is because she is an American that she was able to work with artists of this caliber. Her other teachers/coaches/mentors include stage director, choreographer, performer, and former director of Theatre of Yugen, Yuriko Doi, and longtime director and coach, Jael Weisman of Dell’Arte Players and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.
About the Host
Stephanie Weisman founded and has been the Artistic/Executive Director of The Marsh since its inception in 1989. Under her leadership, The Marsh has grown from a one-night-a-week performance series to producing 600-700 shows annually on its four stages. In addition to its developing work performance series, The Marsh’s programs include: artist-in-residencies, after-school and summer workshops for youth both onsite and in 5 SFUSD, and performance development classes, workshops and Performance Initiatives. In 1996 Stephanie spearheaded the drive to successfully buy their 12,000 sq ft facility on Valencia Street in San Francisco. This increased The Marsh’s programs four-fold as well as provided for a stable Bay Area arts organization. In 2010, The Marsh added a second venue in Berkeley. In 2020, Stephanie initiated MarshStream. She is currently at work developing her opera, Aphrodisia, with dancer, Wei Wang.