Photo by Jay FraleyThe eight plays comprising local playwright Aurelio Locsin's engaging Asian Actingaren't narrowly concerned with politics or racism. But those concerns are seldom far away. In one, an American soldier sends his surrogate mother to an internment camp during World War II. In another, a Filipino musician falls in love with an English immigrant only to find that, in 1930s California, it's illegal for Caucasians to marry someone of the Mongol race.
There are moments of poignancy and solemnity, but the plays are so different in context and tone that the experience is anything but repetitive. One short sketch considers a credit card that's terrific if you're thinking about nailing prepubescent Thai girls. A strikingly intense piece concerns a sadistic Filipino-American who pretends to be gay just to seduce a white dude and fuck with him unimaginably.
It's a diverse and interesting evening of theater, in other words, in part because Asian Actingis neither wearily self-referential nor predictably ethnocentric; it features people who hail from the same general geographic area, but remains true to the playwright's mission: it tells good stories instead of clumsily making big statements.
ASIAN ACTING: AN EVENING OF ONE-ACT PLAYS, RUDE GUERILLA THEATER COMPANY AT THE EMPIRE THEATER, 200 N. BROADWAY, SANTA ANA, (714) 547-4688. THURS.-SAT., JAN. 20-22, 8 P.M. CLOSES SAT. $12-$15.