Cowperthwaite’s biracial identity pushed her to balance feelings of otherness with the white privilege she holds in different spaces. “I’ve never come across a play that has a mixed-race Asian American character that wasn’t some sort of product of colonial interaction,” the Winthrop House resident said.
The 90-minute dark comedy explores questions of multiracial Asian American belonging. “I identify as biracial Asian American. I’m part Asian, part white. A lot of what I have come to reckon with in College is what does it mean when you simultaneously exist as a person of color, but also as someone who is white?”
Issues of race, gender, and identity figure prominently in Kim’s December production of “ISCARIOT.” The Lowell House junior’s musical reinterprets the relationship between Judas and Jesus Christ, this time at a posh Los Angeles high school.
“I wanted to write this story where Judas was imagined as this underdog because I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to,” Kim said. “I was also thinking about this archetype of the pariah and the traitor. Who is the pariah? What if the group that they’re betraying or that is casting them out is different?
“That’s where the idea to make Judas a queer Asian American high schooler came from, because I’m also a queer Asian American. I had a lot of thoughts about being cast out or being made a pariah in your own community that I wanted to explore.”
The cast of “ISCARIOT” released a single on Spotify and will be performing a few songs at Arts First on April 29 in front of the Smith Campus Center. Cowperthwaite’s “Ugly Feelings” will also be featured at the festival on April 27.
“We, as students, can be creators in our own communities and we can make the spaces if we want them,” said Cowperthwaite. “We don’t have to be bound by what people before us wrote.”
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