Rag Radio: Living on the Hyphen: The Asian-American Experience

Leng Wong, Anu Naimpally, Toshio Mana & cindy soo discuss this multi-cultural artistic collaboration and the issues it raises.


Actress and director Leng Wong, dancer/choreographer Anuradha Naimpally, musician Toshio Mana, and the Austin Chronicle’s cindy soo discuss their production of Living on the Hyphen, a multi-cultural, contemporary collaboration of Austin-based artists of Asian descent — and they also discuss the larger issues involved with living the Asian-American experience.

Living on the Hyphen, a co-production of Lucky Chaos Theater and Productions and Austin Dance India, is produced by Wong and Naimpally, directed by Wong, and written by Wong and the ensemble. Based on the duality of the Asian-American experience, the work “touches on the universal truths that we all face as we straddle the hyphen of life,” including “personal and social topics such as racial identities, forms of communication, immigration, racism and consumerism.”

Leng Wong, also a stage and film actress, is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Lucky Chaos Theater and Productions. In 2012, she produced “Cheese and Other Oddities,” a mini-festival of original works by Asian-Americans in theater and film and is the Festival Director of the Austin Asian-American Film Festival. Anuradha Naimpally has been teaching and performing for more than 30 years, accumulating a number of prestigious awards and titles. She conducts assembly performances and workshops on Indian dance and culture and is a selected artist with the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster and the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Toshio Alan Mana is a classical and pop bassist, and cindy soo, credit office manager at the Austin Chronicle, is a longtime activist who was involved with Houston’s Space City! and is a director of the New Journalism Project.

Living on the Hyphen is being performed in Austin, March 31-April 3, at the Long Center’s Rollins Studio Theatre and may tour in the future. Find more details about the Austin production here.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: [email protected]


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