Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Director Jon M. Chu will be honored by East West Players at the 47th Anniversary Visionary Awards and Silent Auction taking place on Monday, April 22, 2013 at the Universal Hilton.  His most recent directorial work, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, debuted at #1 at the Box Office this past Easter weekend, and has grossed over $231 million worldwide to date.

A native of Palo Alto, CA and a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Chu has raised the visibility of Asians Americans in the entertainment industry through his love of music and dance, directing two films in the Disney dance film “Step Up” franchise and creating the prolific dance collective Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (LXD).  He also directed the 3D documentary film “Never Say Never,” about music phenomenon Justin Bieber, grossing nearly $100 million worldwide.

 “This is a huge honor,” says Chu. “East West Players has helped build a strong foundation not only for Asian American theatre, but for Asian Americans in arts and entertainment as a whole. Thank you to Tim Dang and East West Players for including me in this great tradition.”

“Jon is an emerging force behind the camera in his achievement as a director and producer,” says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. “From LXD to the ‘Step Up’ Franchise, and now ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation,’ it takes leadership and vision to be a master storyteller on large scale screen projects. Jon’s work also raises the visibility of Asian Americans in front of the camera, as reflected in the diverse casts of his productions.”

East West Players (EWP) is the largest creator of Asian American artistic work and the longest running professional theater of color in the country.  EWP has been working with Asian Pacific American actors, writers, directors, designers, producers, stage management, crew, box office and administrative staff for the last four decades. EWP celebrates its 47th Season, themed “Spirited Away,” with its captivating Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, and salutes those who have made a valuable impact on the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their artistic excellence and support of the Asian Pacific American performing arts. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

Chu joins fellow honorees: seminal Asian American improv comedy ensemble COLD TOFU, YouTube celebrity Kevin Wu aka KevJumba, and “The Walking Dead” breakout star Steven Yeun. Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid Part II,” “Joy Luck Club”) will serve as emcee for the event. Award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Beijing Olympics/Shaolin Monks, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar Award-winning film “The Last Days”) will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

Current major sponsors of the gala include: PLATINUM CIRCLE – CBS Corporation, NBC Universal, Mattel, Inc., Southern California Edison, The Walt Disney Company; GOLD CIRCLE – The Thomas R. Bancroft Family, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Wells Fargo; SILVER CIRCLE – Sony Pictures Entertainment, David L. Mauss; BRONZE CIRCLE – Lynn & Brian Arthurs, Tim Dang & Darrel Cummings, I.W. Group, Inc., Paramount Pictures, Superstar Friends of Daniel M. Mayeda, Union Bank and Rabbit Litho.

East West Players’ 47th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 22, 2013 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. The no-host reception and silent auction will start at 6pm. The dinner and awards program will start at 7pm. Tickets are $175 – $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available. For more information on East West Players’ 47th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction, please visit http://www.EastWestPlayers.org or contact Development Manager Rosalyn Kawahira at (213) 625-7000 x17 or rkawahira@eastwestplayers.org

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