Melissa Li (she/her) – Writer / Performer
Melissa Li is a composer, lyricist, performer, and writer based in New York and Baltimore. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, a 2019 Lincoln Center Theater Writer-in-Residence, a 2019 Musical Theater Factory Maker, a 2019 Macdowell Colony Fellow, and a former Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellow. Musicals include Interstate (New York Musical Festival, Winner “Outstanding Lyrics”), Surviving the Nian (The Theater Offensive, IRNE Award Winner for “Best New Play” 2007), and 99% Stone (The Theater Offensive). Her works have received support from The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theater, Musical Theater Factory, National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, Dixon Place, and others.
Kit Yan (they/them) – Writer / Performer
Kit Yan is a transgender, Yellow American, New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kit is a 2019 Vivace Award winner, 2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, 2019 Lincoln Center Writer in residence, a 2019 MacDowell Fellow, 2019-2020 Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow, and a 2019-2020 Playwright’s Center Many Voices Fellow. Works include Interstate, which won “Best Lyrics” at the 2018 New York Musical Theater Festival, and Queer Heartache, which won 5 awards at the Chicago and SF Fringe Festivals. Their work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, and Diversionary Theater. They have been a resident with the Civilians, Mitten Lab, 5th Avenue Theater, and the Village Theater.
Christina R. Chan (she/her) – Community Producer
Christina R. Chan is a founding member of the Asian American Playwright Collective (AAPC). As an actor, director, and writer, her work focuses on the Asian, Asian American immigration experience. She identifies as a 1.5 generation immigrant: born in Hong Kong, she then immigrated to the US as a toddler, and grew up in Boston. Christina was a Company One 2016 PlayLab Fellow, and her first full length play, Stir Frying Mahjong, was a Eugene O’Neill National Theater Conference 2017 Semi-Finalist. She was commissioned to adapt and direct a play written by Harry H Dow, the first Asian-American lawyer in 1938 to pass the Massachusetts bar. She is the recipient of 2016 and 2017 Live Art Boston grants from The Boston Foundation.
Ben Hires (he/him) joined BCNC as CEO in June 2020. Since his first job as a youth counselor at a therapeutic program, Ben has significant experience in nonprofit leadership and serving young people and families. He held leadership positions in programs, strategy, and external relations at the Boston Children’s Chorus where he played a key role elevating the choir’s social justice mission to bring diverse young people and their families together. As Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Boston Public Library, he established and maintained building strong relationships across education, cultural, and civic engagement sectors in order to advance the Library’s mission of providing educational and cultural enrichment free to all Boston residents. Prior to being the CEO, Ben volunteered as a mentor for BCNC’s College Access Program for youth and as a member of the Pao Arts Center Advisory Committee. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Political Science, a Master of Theological Studies, and a Master of Science in Arts Administration all from Boston University.
Alison Yueming Qu (she/they) – Associate Producer / Dramaturg
Originally from China, Alison Yueming Qu (chi-oo) is a Creative Producer, Director, and a Dramaturg. Graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Theatre (Directing and Dramaturgy), Alison was the inaugural Cutler Creative Producing & Engagement Fellow at ArtsEmerson, and the Co-Founder of CHUANG Stage—a Boston-based theater collective dedicated to cultivating AAPI narratives. Her current and recent projects include the PRC-USA Artists Connectivity Series (Ping Pong Arts/KMP Artists), Imaginarium (US Producer, Out of the Blue Theatre), Earthquake by Tatyana Emery (Director, Reground Theater Collective), and Waiting for Kim Lee by Vivian Liu-Somers (Director, Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston). Their dramaturgy work for 10 Out of 12 by Anne Washburn (Emerson Stage) received the 2020 LMDA/KCACTF Region 1 Student Dramaturgy Award. She is a proud alumna of the National Theater Institute and an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Ju Yon Kim (she/her) – Moderator
Ju Yon Kim is Professor of English at Harvard University. Her research and teaching interests include Asian American literature and performance; modern and contemporary American theater and drama; and cross-racial and intercultural performance. She is the author of The Racial Mundane: Asian American Performance and the Embodied Everyday (NYU Press, 2015), which received the 2016 Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize from the New England American Studies Association for best book in American studies published in 2015 by a New England area scholar. Her articles have appeared in Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, The Journal of Transnational American Studies, Modernism/modernity, Theatre Survey, and the Journal of Asian American Studies. She is currently working on a second book project on suspicion and performance.