Our alumnus Jason Kim is one of the artists highlighted in this New York Times article. And he mentions another of our esteemed alumnus, Sarah Treem, who was supportive of his idea of going to graduate school for playwriting. Artists inspire and support each other in so many ways…
When the Korean-born, Missouri-raised “Girls” writer told the playwright and producer Sarah Treem that he was thinking of going to graduate school for playwriting, she handed him a stack of plays, including “M. Butterfly.” Seven years later, he doesn’t think he could have written his immersive Off Broadway hit “KPOP” — about selling Korean music to Americans — without it.
“I remember reading it and feeling so shaken. It blew my mind. It completely changed the way that I thought about writing, but also the role of an artist in American culture.
“He is deconstructing this ancient notion of what it means to be Asian and what it means to be, in particular, an Asian person operating in the Western world. Before reading his work, I didn’t think I was entitled to deconstruct or critique or even portray that tension. I was always in my personal life taught to be silent and invisible and polite.
“I was an American guy. The fact that I was Asian and an immigrant, and English was not my first language, seemed like facts that were beside the point. In fact, those are fundamentally the point. Those are absolutely the markers in my life that I should be investigating, drawing from. David really, reading his work, taught me that that is what’s important.”