Assistant Professor of Applied Theatre
Andrew Saito is a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist who has practiced community-engaged theater making and education internationally.
More About Me
Andrew Saito is an internationalist playwright who focuses on indigenous and cross-racial stories, hybridity, and struggles against colonialism and its long-lingering footprints. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and a BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. Seminal mentors in his formation include: June Jordan, Cherríe Moraga, Tiya Miles, Octavio Solís, Migdalia Cruz, Naomi Wallace, and Sherry Kramer.
From 2013 to 2016, he was Andrew W. Mellon Resident Playwright at the Cutting Ball Theater. He has also developed work with Victory Gardens, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Crowded Fire, East West Players, the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis, Mu Performing Arts, Brava Theater, Playwrights Foundation, Just Theater, Handful Players, and AlterTheater. He has had residencies at Blue Mountain Center, Montalvo Arts Center, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and Arquetopia Foundation, in Puebla, Mexico.
Professor Saito has studied with Peru’s legendary theater collective Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, whose director Miguel Rubio later invited him to teach a month-long master class in playwriting to their ensemble of veteran actors, towards a new collective creation. With Teatro Kusiwasi, in Urubamba, located in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Inca, he created the play Agüita: “Ama qellichahuaychu,” about the sacredness of water. In 2012, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, with which he conducted research in Papua New Guinea, interviewing elders in remote villages about their experiences growing up under Japanese military occupation during World War II. In 2016-2017, he spent six months in Cuba, where he taught two workshops at Conjunto Cultural Korimakao, near the Bay of Pigs, and has a close relationship with Teatro de los Elementos, in Cumanayagua.Since 2017, he has worked extensively with Asociación Xajooj Tun in Rabinal, Guatemala, culture bearers of the Rabinal Achi, named intangible cultural patrimony of humanity by UNESCO.
Exhibitions / Performances
Cutting Ball Theater produced his plays Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night, Mount Misery: A Comedy of Enhanced Interrogations, and his translation of Calderón de la Barca’s Life is a Dream. FaultLine Theater produced Stegosaurus (or) Three Cheers for Climate Change. Brava! for Women in the Arts and Black Arists Contemproary Cultural Exchance (BACCE) produced his play El Río. His play Men of Rab’inal, co-created with Lakin Valdez, was commissioned and presented at La Peña Cultural Center and El Teatro Campesino, with a forthcoming full production and national tour. He is currently preparing future productions with AlterTheater and Montalvo Arts Center.