Alumni and Faculty Featured in MA-Yi Studio Conversation, 'Decolinization: Living the Questions'

Emma Schillage
October 13, 2021

Acting Alumnus Charles Browning ’06 and Co-Concentration Head of Acting, Assistant Professor Peter Jay Fernandez are featured in the MA-Yi Studio video conversation Decolonization: Living the Questions now through December 31, 2021.

NAATCO (National Asian-American Theater Company), in association with MA-Yi Studio, created this discussion with Actor-Manager and Co-Founder of NAATCO, Mia Katigbak. Katigbak, who is currently working on a project about colonization, responded to Ma-Yi Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña’s offer to commission a short video by posing this prompt to fellow theatre artists. The resulting discussion and event is Decolonization: Living the Questions.

Led by Aya Ogawa, the video explores theatre artists' relationship with colonization and cultural appropriation, and how their art responds to these subjects. The discussion features theatre artists, theatre makers, playwrights, actors, and educators including Peter Kim, Deepa Purohit, Aya Ogawa, Clint Ramos, Jon Norman Schneider, Isuri Wijesundara, Jorge I. Cortiñas, Luke De Silva, Rohini De Silva, Deepti Gupta, David Lee Huynh, Gloria Majule, Thavro Phim, and Adelaida Reyes.

The video seeks to answer the following questions: What does colonialism mean to you? Have you experienced it? How do we talk about it? How do we live with it? What is to be done?

Charles Browning was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has always been influenced and inspired by the history, culture, politics and artistry of the Harlem Renaissance and many of the artists who lived in Harlem while a high school student at Broad Ripple High School. Browning is a working actor and educator based in New York City.  He is a member of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, and American Federation of Television and Radio Actors.

Peter Jay Fernandez taught in the graduate theatre program in the College of Performing Arts at The New School from 2011–2019, where he served as co-head of Acting from 2017-2019. He has also taught at Yale School of Drama, Sarah Lawrence College, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, the Black Arts Institute, the Brown University/Trinity Repertory MFA Program, and the Berklee College of Music. He is a teacher and mentor of established actors and acting faculty from graduate and undergraduate programs across the country who participate in the Actors’ Center Teaching Development Program in New York City.