May is Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month and events are heating up all over Portland.

Up first we’ll talk with playwright Nandita Shenoy whose play Washer/Dryer gets its staged reading Oregon premiere by Theatre Diaspora. Shenoy created this play to present real life ethnically diverse cast with one South Asian character who is nearly autobiographical. As an actress she was tired of auditioning solely for roles with”accents” and decided to write a genuinely funny comedy about love and family. She’ll tells about the writing the play and breaking free of stereotypes.

Then we’ll talk with veteran performing artist and activist Chisao Hata who tell us about two important events in May to remember Japanese-American internment and Vanport history.

(Aired 5/2/17 on KBOO 90.7FM or always on and always on  iTunes)

Nandita Shenoy is an actor-writer who lives in New York City.  When not creating theater or supporting her fellow theater artists, Nandita enjoys cooking with bacon, eating chocolate, and writing about shirtless men.

As an actor, Nandita was most recently seen in the Off-Broadway Production of her play, Washer/Dryer.  Nandita’s latest full-length play, Satisfaction, was read at the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab Labfest in June and will be featured in the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival in August.  her last play, Washer/Dryer, had its Off-Broadway premier at Theatre Row in February 2016, produced by Ma-Yi Theater.    Washer/Dryer received its World Premier at EastWest Players in February 2015 as a part of their 50th Anniversary Season.  Washer/Dryer was also seen in Chicago as part of Rasaka Theatre‘s residency at Victory Gardens in October 2015.

Washer/Dryer by Nandita Shenoy, a comedy about a Chinese and Indian American inter-ethnic newlywed couple in a single-unit New York co-op apartment. The couple must navigate their marriage, a formidable mom, nosy co-op manager and a gay best friend.

Performances are:

Sunday May 14th at 7:00pm at Portland Center Stage at the Armory  (PCS – Ellen Bye Theatre) located at 128 NW 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209. A Skype talk with playwright Nandita Shenoy (featured in photos) before the show begins.

Saturday, May 20th at 2:00pm, followed by a panel on affordable housing for young people.

Tickets are $10 for general, $5 for students/Arts For All.

Reserve your tickets at


Return & Remembrance
A Pilgrimage to the Portland Assembly Center
Saturday, May 6, 2017, 2-4pm
at Portland Expo Center, Exhibit Hall A (2060 N. Marine Drive), free parking for this event Free and open to the public, RSVP to Oregon Nikkei Endowment

Seventy-five years ago, on May 6, 1942, Japantown in Portland was empty of Japanese Americans by military decree. Families were uprooted, property sold, and local businesses closed. Those of Japanese ancestry residing in the local area upended their lives and moved into the former animal stalls of the Pacific International Livestock and Exposition Center. Four months later they joined 120,000 other Japanese Americans in ten hastily erected concentration camps across the United States.

Program includes:

  • MC David Ono: news anchor for KABC-TV Channel 7 in Los Angeles
  • Keynote speaker: Dale Minami, civil rights lawyer and lead attorney for Fred Korematsu’s coram nobis legal team
  • Performances by Minidoka Swing Band, Unit Souzou (taiko), and Cascadia Composers
  • Exhibit on view: Architecture of Internment: The Build Up to Wartime Incarceration, created by Graham Street Productions
  • George Nakata, former internee will share stories of life as a young boy at the Portland Assembly Center
  • Chisao Hata, dancer and artist, will present her Tag Project—an opportunity for visitors to participate in honoring those incarcerated at the Portland Assembly Center
  • Weston Koyama, a fourth generation Japanese American now in law school, will speak about the impact of Min Yasui’s legacy and his fight for equal rights


Vanport Mosaic Festival presents….

Staged reading created by Chisao Hata and Nikki Nojima Louis, directed by Chisao Hata


From Japantown to the Portland Livestock Exposition, from WWII concentration camps to the Vanport flood–the immigrant journey of the Japanese in Oregon is paved with stories of perseverance and courage.  Gambatte Be Strong is an original reading of the little known stories featuring the return of Japanese Americans to Oregon after their incarceration during WWII.

With: Heath Houghton, Sumi Wu, Kim Bui, Jenna Yokoyama,
Ken Yoshikawa, and Savira Kambhu

Box Office at IFCC open one hour before curtain
Run time1 hr with no intermission