International Conference 
"Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

December 16 - 20, 2016


The Immigrant’s Diasporic Imagination 

Work demonstration and interactive talk by Giovanni Ortega - Director, Assistant Professor at Pomona College Department of Theater and Dance (USA).  

Giovanni Ortega (Director) recently directed Mama Bares: Once Upon a Play Date at East West Players and is currently in rehearsals for House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, which opens on Nov. 17 in the Seaver Theatre of Pomona College Theatre Department. Additional works: Urinetown, Medieval Mystery Plays, Spring Awakening, In the Next Room (co-director), East West Players New Works Festival, Flow (Getty Museum), Lost in the Margins, Kwentong Pinoy (Pacific Asia Museum); Freedom (Kularts SF), Vida y Muerto (Fowler Museum) and Upon the Fragile Shore (Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival).

As a playwright, he wrote Criers for Hire, the highest grossing world premiere play for East West Players Theater. Ortega wrote ALLOS, the story of Carlos Bulosan, which was commissioned by East West Players for its Theater for Youth Program. ALLOS has been performed in Chicago as well as Singapore and was produced by LA18 for Kababayan Today where he also serves as a Art, Activism and Academia correspondent. Additional works include: Tug of War (PINTIG), Wayne (Pasadena Playhouse), Mutyang Kalayaan – Beloved Freedom (Ford Amphitheatre), Lost in the Margins (Mezçlão) and El Pescador y La Lluvia (screenplay).  

Internationally, he was the resident scholar for the 2016 National Play Festival in Melbourne and conducted An Immigrant’s Diasporic Imagination workshop in Sydney, Australia; devised and directed Skin and Art: Creation of My Body in Singapore; adapted and directed The Kingdom of Banaras in Varanasi, India and directed What the Butler Saw at Upstage Theater in Bern, Switzerland.    


America is also the nameless foreigner, the homeless refugee, the hungry boy begging for a job, and the black body dangling from a tree. America is the illiterate immigrant who is ashamed that the world of books and intellectual opportunities is closed to her. America is in the hearts of people who died for freedom; it is also in the eyes of those that are building a new world.

America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan was published in 1943. 73 years ago. Much has happened since but it seems that we are not in that new world yet. This is a solo demonstration/presentation of ALLOS, The Story of Carlos Bulosan, as well as sharing previous works from those who have been inspired, and have utilized his writings through the performing arts. The latter half will be followed by an interactive talk/conversation generated from witnessing the similarities and differences of the works presented. 

This 7 year creative research project led by Giovanni Ortega will be an in-depth analysis of the immigrant experience through the global lens, and how such stories have become embedded as part of the cultural landscape of the new home country. This process will entail interviews, sociological observations and filming in various locations. After gathering all the information, a theatrical performance will be conceived and written incorporating mixed media, music and movement, which will then be presented in the Claremont Colleges and the Los Angeles Theatre Arts Community in conjunction with Theatre Without Borders and No Passport. An imperative aspect of this research will also include an international artistic exchange with various theatre and arts organizations who focus and include Multi-Ethnic themes, thus creating congruence between the similarities and struggles of People of Color and immigrant issues as a whole in the global community. The projected goal is to create and collaborate with arts organizations and communities commencing in Australia, Singapore, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Spain, Hungary, Middle East and the Philippines beginning in the latter part of 2016. MEZÇLÃO Artistas; a production company that focuses on diversity and inclusion will present several readings, presentations and works-in-progress throughout the extent of this process with a projected culmination that will include artistic documentation and filmmaking from inception to performance; and an international production set for 2022. The following are performative, sociological and thematic analysis that will be utilized to achieve the goals of this work:

Supplemental materials:

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"