Serious Look
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Cynthia Ling Lee

Playwright (Innovators)

since 2017

Cynthia Ling Lee instigates postcolonial, queer, and feminist-of-color interventions in the field of Asian diasporic performance. Her interdisciplinary performance work has been presented at major theaters and alternative venues throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. Cynthia is an assistant professor of theater arts at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Post Natyam Collective, a transnational, web-based coalition of dance artists whose work triangulates between art-making, activism, and theory.

Cynthia’s latest project, Lost Chinatowns, was selected for the inaugural 3GT Innovators Series in 2017 and presented at the 2018 New Works Festival. The project is a multimedia dance-theater work exploring the destruction, lost vibrancy, and historical erasure of Santa Cruz’s Chinatowns from 1860-1955. Santa Cruz, now known as the ultra-liberal “leftmost” city of the US, was once the center of virulent anti-Chinese racism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lost Chinatowns aims to connect the historical othering of Asian bodies and current xenophobic regimes in the era of Trump as an act of interracial solidarity between communities of color.