Meet the Point Foundation’s Class of 2010
BY Advocate.com Editors
June 15 2010 1:10 PM ET
- from Fontana, Calif.
- pursuing a master of professional studies in interactive telecommunications (theater directing emphasis) at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts
- Dr. Joan Shelley W. Fernandez Point Scholarship recipient
Banzon is a theater artist, director, and producer with an academic background in government and gender studies. A first generation Filipina-American born and raised in Fontana, Calif., Banzon now lives in New York City but also calls the many islands of the Philippines her home. Banzon deeply believes in cultural production as a force for social change, and her experiences as a queer woman of color have helped her join her two passions: art and social justice. She seeks to facilitate the visions of female artists, queer artists, and artists of color, and develop inter/trans national and inter/trans cultural collaborations. Enthusiastic about producing and directing new and contemporary work and developing works-in-progress, Banzon strives to do her part in broadening the scope of commercial theater and exposing audiences to new and underrepresented narratives.
Banzon was a 2007-2008 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to the Philippines in theater arts, and she has worked with several multicultural theater companies, such as New WORLD Theater, Kinding Sindaw, Ma-Yi Theater Company, the National Asian American Theatre Company, and INTAR's Hispanic Theatre Collective. Banzon is currently attending the graduate program in interactive telecommunications at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. At NYU, she is working to discover new ways of storytelling through imagining, exploring, and challenging the future of technology in theatrical performance as well as the direction of entertainment and media as a source of artistic and creative cultural production.
"I believe in theater and art for cultural production, and shifting culture is one way to social change," Banzon says. "I want to create theater that will enrich the cultural landscape of the United States, and I hope to diversify our nation’s stages and audiences, and expose viewers to new and underrepresented narratives. The theater’s ability to confront the audience with the stark truth of their own difficult feelings, and its ability to hurt and heal at the same moment, is why I use the stage as place to voice injustice and to envision a brighter and more hopeful future.
"With the Point Foundation's support, I hope to represent more queer people on stage and tell our stories, especially queer people of color who feel marginalized from many different directions and are invisible even in their own communities. With Point's help, I hope to tell the queer community's many and varied stories so we can see each other, because seeing our own diversity is believing in it, and that is nurturing a queer culture and community based on social justice, equality, and compassion."