Kristine Haruna Lee & Aya Ogawa, Suicide Forest
129 people pledged $4,549 to support this project on Kickstarter.
“I grew up with a mother who I can never fully communicate with … [She is] 100 percent Japanese. So I guess that technically makes me 50 percent Japanese. But that percentage is a lie. Sometimes I feel like I’m only 33 percent. Other times, as high as 70 percent. I am also, usually, a high percentage of American too.”
These words, spoken mid-performance by Kristine Haruna Lee in the play Suicide Forest, express how an identity’s literal “performance,” both on and off the stage, haunts, propels, and sustains Asian-American bodies today. The performance, a humorous and dark lens into Japan’s cultural underbelly, encompassed demonic prank shows, a forest home, and a clan of sweet goats. Directed by Aya Ogawa, and with the help of 129 backers, the play ran at The Bushwick Starr from February 27 to March 23, 2019.