The Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS), a 501c(3) public benefits charitable corporation, promotes diversity through the arts through multicultural theater, events and workshops. CATS serves Nevada County, the greater Sacramento region, Yuba, Sutter, El Dorado, and Placer counties in northern California since 1994. It also boasts a loyal following from the San Francisco Bay Area.
CATS is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. It has become one of the most respected arts and culture organizations in the Sierra Foothills, an area rooted in the California Gold Rush and the building of the Central Pacific Railroad.
CATS uses multicultural theater, events, and workshops to achieve its mission of promoting cultural diversity. Through these avenues, CATS has enriched the area’s cultural and artistic climate with works on Asian-based themes. Its mission is educational and artistic. CATS has, through the years, partnered with local schools to expand the study of multiculturalism by providing affordable student matinees to our annual productions and to be a resource on Asian culture and history.
CATS’ annual productions have garnered many Elly nominations and awards by SARTA (Sacramento Area Alliance Theatre Alliance) since 1997. (See Awards.) In 2012 for “The Teahouse of the August Moon,” CATS received seven nominations and four awards, the most awards by any theater company in the Sacramento region in 2012. For a listing of CATS productions, see Theatrical Productions.
In addition to its annual productions, CATS has developed a companion program, a repertoire of cultural activities and events. These include Asian cooking classes (CATS Can Cook! and Martin Yan’s cooking presentation), mahjong workshops, excursions (Manzanar Relocation Center, Angel Island, Locke, and tours of SF Chinatown, and Gekkeikan Sake Brewery), films and documentaries, operas (Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Turandot, and Amy Tan’s Bonesetter’s Daughter), a concert by the world-renowned Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir from Taiwan, Japanese Tea Ceremonies, Asian arts and crafts classes (card-making, ceramics, and ikebana), acting classes, sponsoring the Peabody award-winning radio documentary, “Crossing East,” to our community through KVMR, a two-week trip to China, and annual celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
In 2012, CATS launched the Xiao Mao (Little CATS) Culture Club, serving the children of Nevada County with Mandarin classes and Asian-themed workshops. This club was an outcome of its 2011 production of “The King and I,” where the children and parents wanted to continue their friendship and the experience of the Asian culture. Thanks to Juli Marks, Brett and Paige Torgrimson for spearheading this group.
CATS is always seeking volunteers in all aspects of its work. Tell us what your interests are and we will find the perfect job for you! We are always seeking actors, directors, designers, ushers, carpenters, seamstresses, and stage crew. Please contact us or send us your resume. We invite any and all to join us in our mission to build a quality multicultural theatre and arts scene in Nevada County.