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Youth theater workshop features stories about growing up Asian American

Teenagers from the San Gabriel Valley and Chinatown will perform a production Saturday about growing up Asian American. The Chinatown Story Slam's concluding performance features 10 participants — including one from Alhambra — who prepared the show during an 8-week summer theater workshop.

The free production — which will include a self-service boba bar — will feature stories of immigrant parents bargaining in American stores, teenagers explaining to friends that they do not practice martial arts, translating for parents, and struggling to meet parental expectations.

Director Rachel Kauder Nalebuff saw a need in the community for Asian Americans to be represented in media, and aims to empower the younger generation. “If you don’t see yourself represented on stage or on the silver screen, it’s hard to believe your stories are worth sharing when in fact they are vital,” Nalebuff said, adding that she believes in educating students about diversity. “It’s that feeling you feel when you identify with a character in a book or movie and go ‘Yes, that’s me.’ That’s why we read, that’s why we watch. We want to create that ‘Yes’ feeling.”

The Chinatown Story Slam production will take place Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. at the Chinatown Public Library, 639 N Hill Street. The program is sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

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