“Aoki encompasses the comic and the tragic with fine, quick, delicate gestures, using everything from her expressive hands and face to her long sweeping black hair…making relevant and magical even the most faraway tales.”
— Los Angeles Times, Critic's Choice
Commemorate DAY OF REMEMBRANCE. Come see America’s first Asian Storyteller discuss and perform true stories from the Incarceration.
Brenda Wong Aoki is a writer, performer, and recording artist. Weaving together Japanese Noh and Kyogen theater, dance, and everyday life experience, her plays have been produced in the U.S., Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, and Austria. She has been awarded National Endowment Theater Fellowships, Drama-logue Awards, INDIE awards for Best Spoken Word recordings, a Critics’ Circle Award, and continued ASCAP Innovation Awards for new libretto. She is the first nationally recognized Asian Pacific Storyteller in the nation (NSN Circle of Excellence Award 2014). Her stories are part of the California Collection at the Library of Congress and her plays are part of the Asian American Woman’s Archive at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Known for her agility across disciplines and cultures, Brenda has created theatrical works for symphony, jazz ensembles, Taiko ensemble, contemporary and traditional world dance and solo performance. Her commissioners include the Japan Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Asian Arts Council, U.S. Congress, the City of San Francisco and the NEA. Brenda has deep roots in San Francisco. Her paternal grandfather was a founder of Japantown in the 1890s and her maternal grandmother was a leader of the first Chinatown garment union in the 1920s. She is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA) at Stanford University and continues to teach and perform internationally.
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