Written, Directed and Performed by Kira Onodera
“The Crease Question” is a collection of pieces written and performed by Kira Onodera as she explores issues ranging from racial identity and restaurant culture to love and infidelity. The show begins with a spoken word/ slam poetry style piece called “Unresolved” it is a meditation on letting go of a relationship that has hit a dead end. “The Crease Question” progresses through issues of culture and race as experienced by the writer/performer as her first job in New York in a Malaysian restaurant, the piece is called “A Night in the Life”. It is fast paced, funny and provocative.
“As a person of mixed race (my mother is Caucasian and my father is Japanese American) questions of racial identity do not often arise from within but more from others. Every day as I navigate through peoples’ curiosity about my heritage; it’s their anxiety and tension that I confront and their unrelenting need to categorize me and to understand into which box I fit that finds its way into most of my conversations with strangers. Confronting this need, discussing my thoughts and dissecting these interactions emotionally creates exciting theater.”
Folded into this journey to personal freedom is the story of the darker side of dysfunctional family relationships with a piece called “The Runaway”. As the piece unfolds in the immediacy of the moment we are introduced to a deluded stepfather and a haunted closet door. Kira is 18 again, delving into this frightening re-enactment of the night she exposed a family secret. The piece reveals that true freedom is gained through opening a door from the inside.
“To covet, to take what it not yours” is how the next piece begins. Kira explores her role as “the other woman”, dancing to the Pussycat Dolls, question her self-worth and trying not to confuse girl power with sexual exploitation. A love story at its core, Kira explores her own demons as this tragic piece reminds us how simple it never is.
The Crease Question ends with its title piece. The crease in question is a reference to the “double” crease of the eyelid most people of Asian descent do not possess. Kira reflects on the “missing” crease after participating as a model for a classroom of make-up artists. Doing battle with humiliation, Kira discovers humor, then self realization.
With a dynamic story telling technique (using dance, stylized movement, live voices from other actors and an incredible soundtrack) the monologues flow from one to the other with an energetic rhythm. “The Crease Question” is a raw, engaging and passionately personal piece that walks the tightrope between bitter experience and raucous fun.
* of partial Asian ancestry.
Fallopian Fairytale Flyer
Writer/Performer: Marisa Marquez
Director and Dramaturge: Kira Onodera
Maligaya is on a mission “to take the pink out of Princess and put it back in the pussy.” With her pitch for a Disney meets “Girls” children’s book at stake, stories from her life expose a less charming reality.
Director: Kira Onodera
MIGRATION NATION premiered as a site-specific piece at Space on White in October 2012. It featured new works written by members of Leviathan Lab’s Asian American Women Writers Workshop. MIGRATION NATION explored the experiences of immigrant Filipinos who have taken jobs as overseas workers (OFW’s) in the service and technical industries worldwide. Educated Filipinos, the majority of them women, constitute the Philippines largest export, totaling 11% of the Philippine economy. These wokers, without the benefit of citizenship or workers rights, suffer any number of human rights abuses. All the pieces included in MIGRATION NATION were written and directed by women. Kira directed two short plays as part of the project: Nancy Eng’s ‘Pros and Cons’ and Eileen Rivera’s ‘Super Maids’. The cast included Maria Alegre, Leanne Cabrera, Karen Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Diane Phelan, Krystal Seli and Yan Xi.
The 52nd Street Project
Director: Kira Onodera
The 52nd Street Project’s “The Big Bash Between Bash and Smash” by Camile Bernard was performed at the Project’s Five Angels Theater in Winter of 2012. Kira spent 9 weeks mentoring and volunteering with the class of ten young playwrights (ages 9 -12) and was honored to direct Camile’s 10 minute play about two weasels battling good and evil in the 18th Century. Cast included: Megan Cramer, Jeanine Serralles and Carra Patterson.