March 25, 2023

Staff Report

San Francisco (June 1, 2017) — The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center of San Francisco’s 20th annual United States of Asian America Festival will present the world premiere of Jason Bayani: Locus of Control , the debut solo show by internationally touring poet and published author, Jason Bayani.

Taking place June 1-3, the show is directed by award-winning performing artist, Kat Evasco (Mommy Queerest), and explores the lives of Filipino immigrants in America, taking you through Bayani’s hip-hop inspired youth, club-going college days, and turbulent adulthood. Locus of Control  navigates his experience dealing with race, mental health, addiction, and his status as the first American-born child in his family.

Utilizing poetry, storytelling, music, and multimedia, Bayani pieces together the different threads of his life while struggling to make sense of Walter Benjamin’s notion of redeeming the past in present time. Locus of Control runs at Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco with shows starting at 8:30 p.m. Presale ticket prices start at $12, or $15 at the door.

“We’ve gotten the chance to work with Jason Bayani before as a featured poet and every time we’ve seen him we’ve been impressed with how easily he can captivate an audience,” said Melanie Elvena  (APICC artistic director) “He can be humorous and charming while moving you through some difficult and deeply personal moments. It’s very powerful, moving work and we can’t wait to see what he does with a full-length show.”

Tony Award winner, Beau Sia said that Bayani’s poetry “brings much needed guts into a world hung up on presentations.”

A review of Amulet for Pank Magazine  raves, “Jason Bayani is an accomplished performer of his poetry and you can tell just by reading them that they cry out to be read aloud. The best poetry shines on both the page and the stage and Bayani’s work certainly does just that.”. And in a review for Hyphen Magazine writes, “In real life, as in his poetry, Jason Bayani’s voice fills the room. He starts  telling a story in a crowded restaurant, and the whole table, no matter how loud the surrounding noise may be, shuts up to listen.”

Bayani  is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, and other publications.

As a member of 7 National Poetry Slam teams, he’s been a National Poetry Slam finalist and represented Oakland at the International World Poetry Slam. He is also one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze. His first book, “Amulet” was published in 2013 through Write Bloody Publishing and has garnered acclaim in publications such as Zyzzyva, Pank, and Hyphen Magazine. He is currently the program manager for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country).

Kat Evasco  is a writer, stand up comic, and performing artist living and working in San Francisco. She has performed at venues including the Haha Cafe, San Jose Improv, the Purple Onion, Napa Valley Opera House, Logan Center for the Arts, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and FringeArts. Evasco is currently touring her autobiographical one-woman show, Mommy Queerest. This new work chronicles the coming-out process of a lesbian daughter and a closeted lesbian mother, illustrating how the reclaiming of their sexuality challenges and strengthens their relationship.

Evasco currently serves as the managing director of Guerrilla Rep, an independent theater company that develops and produces new plays in San Francisco. Evasco is a recipient of the Creative Capacity Fund Quick Grant, NextGen Art Professional Development Grant, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation Grant. She holds a B.A. in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University

APICC was founded in 1996 by representatives of five nonprofit arts groups: Asian American Dance Performances, First Voice, Asian Improv aRts, the Asian American Theater Company, and Kearny Street Workshop. Since 1998, the center has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of San Francisco’s API arts community by organizing and presenting the annual United States of Asian America Festival as well as commissioning contemporary art for and by the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

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