Sunday, 18 August 2013

Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey

Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey is a one-woman show about growing up as a dual citizen of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England. Lisa Liang says 'I wrote it for my fellow TCKs (Third Culture Kids) and people of mixed heritage because we rarely see our stories portrayed on stage or screen. The play is about identity, which everyone grapples with, but I think that everyone who has lived a cross-cultural life--anyone who has felt like a bridge or an island or both--can especially relate to it. The show had a successful run in Hollywood, California this past May. I would love to take it to London, one of my favorite cities and an epicenter for live theatre and intercultural events. I have friends and extended family in London so it would be wonderful to do the show for them as well. I'm looking into theatre festivals in the city and hoping to find a way to get there with Alien Citizen'. Lisa Liang

I would love to see this show in London. It is so funny! See for yourself; check out the Trailer excerpts and information at USA Projects for more information about Alien Citizen.  It's uncanny how there are so many similarities in the global mixed race experience, irrespective of the mix or where in the world you live. Have you ever felt like an Alien Citizen? Elizabeth (Mixed Race Family)

More info about Lisa Liang

My father is Guatemalan of Chinese and Spanish descent. My mother is American of Irish-French-German-English descent. So I'm basically a hapa Latina, ethnically speaking.

I'm proud to be part of a mixed race family because my parents (and my father's parents and grandparents) married their beloveds for Who They Are/Were, not for their family tree and ethnic heritage. My parents were married in 1967, the year of Loving vs Virginia. It didn't affect their marriage because their wedding was in Boston, Massachusetts (not in a southern state), but it still has meaning for me. Also, I see us as a family first--the mixed race part is only one of many details about us.

I was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. I live in Los Angeles, California, USA now. The challenges I faced when I was growing up were almost entirely in the USA--we lived in six countries (I'm a TCK or Third Culture Kid). Race is hugely important in the states and I felt it very strongly when I was a kid--there were a couple of outright racist incidents toward me when I was about 5, which I portray in my solo show. But most racism was subtle--keenly felt but hard to accuse. I also got the question "What are you?" with boring regularity as I was growing up but especially from American peers. Never seeing a family like mine or anyone who looked like me on film or TV or magazines--and never finding books with characters of mixed race--was tough. But I've since met those challenges by producing Chekhov's Three Sisters with an all hapa family: Three Sisters. I wrote about the experience as well: Online Journals and  I co-host a podcast that explores and celebrates the multi-ethnic experience:  Hapa Happy Hour

I celebrate all cultures but the USA is the most predominant as I attended American international schools as a kid.I'm culturally quite assimilated after having lived here since college, but I do love to visit Guatemala to see my extended family there when I can. I love the fact that there's a sizable Guatemalan population in L.A and that I can also get a good Guatemalan meal at a restaurant. My husband and I also love Chinese food and we occasionally go out with friends to the best dumpling house outside of Hong Kong, and try to celebrate Chinese New Year in some way (usually a big meal at a Chinese restaurant).

As for the other parts of my heritage, I love French food and films, some English TV shows and places in L.A. that serve high tea, and I try to attend at least one show per year at Theatre Banshee, which produces plays set in Ireland or with Irish themes. I love culturally diverse experiences and have always had friends from different backgrounds, and they've generously invited me to celebrate those cultures with them, and that has always helped me to feel at home.

Lisa Liang

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