Equity's prestigious Rosetta LeNoire Award has been given to Mia Katigbak, co-founder and Artistic Director of the National Asian-American Theatre Company (NAATCO). The award, created by Actors' Equity Association in 1988 to honor Ms. LeNoire's contribution to the American theatre, was presented at the Union's April 7 General Membership meeting held in New York City.
Ms. Katigbak co-founded the NAATCO in 1989 with Richard Eng to promote and support Asian American actors, directors, designers and technicians. The mission of NAATCO is to develop an Asian-American audience and encourage Asian-Americans to become a significant part of the diverse audience in American theatre and to cultivate an appreciation of Asian-American contributions to the theatre arts in America today. NAATCO performs European and American classical and contemporary works as written, and without forced Asian associations. This approach provides valuable training and is able to reach across ethnic boundaries to faithfully serve the text while reflecting the changing face of America today.
"Thank you so much for the wonderful honor," said Katigbak. "This is truly significant for NAATCO and that the recognition comes from Actors' Equity is all the more meaningful."
NAATCO is the recipient of a 1999 Obie Award and has produced plays by such noted playwrights as Chekhov, Strindberg, Albee, Moliere, O'Neill and Shakespeare. In 2005, the company presented the world premiere of Cowboy v. Samurai and Ivanov. Both productions opened to critical acclaim in the New York press.
The Rosetta LeNoire Award is given to individuals and theatre companies that have made significant contributions toward increasing diversity and non-traditional casting in the theatre. The award is administered by Equity's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Committee. Past recipients include: The New Federal Theatre, the Mixed Blood Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, the Wheelock Theatre, Deaf West, and Victory Gardens Theatre.