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ONO Mosaic Collage

EWP Artistic Family Mosaic Arch partipants include Henry Chan, Takayo Fischer, Hiwa Bourne, Kerry Carnahan, Cheryl Tsai, Jon Lawrence Rivera, Caesar Chipriano, Janet Song, and YOU!

Make your presence known at “One Night Only: Tim’s 20th!”

East West Players is calling upon ALL artists, actors, designers, crew, staff, playwrights, along with EWP Writers Gallery and Actors Conservatory participants, and EWP supporters — as part of our growing and diverse community, we want you to share the spotlight with Tim in an extra special way!

EWP will feature your headshot in our EWP ARTISTIC FAMILY MOSAIC that will arch over and frame the One Night Only stage in the David Henry Hwang Theatre, alongside other members of our artistic community who have worked with Tim Dang in the past 20 years to make this historic moment possible. To participate, submit your donation of $20 or multiples of $20 with your 8 x 10 vertical headshot.

How To:

1. Click on Paypal Link.
2. Donate $20 or multiples of $20.
3. Complete Payment.
4. Click on Yellow EWP Button to upload one digital 8 x 10 (vertical) headshot for each $20.

Help us spread the word and invite other artists EWP may have lost touch with! We want this to be the most reflective EWP Artistic Family Arch possible!
Please note that all files must be uploaded by 3PM on Friday, August 9, 2013. Not too tech saavy, but want to participate? Call Kat Carrido, EWP PR Marketing Manager at 213-625-7000 x 12 for additional support and an FAQ sheet with uploading tips and support.

Glen Mazzara

Glen Mazzara

Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer and Showrunner for AMC’s The Walking Dead will speak at 7PM on July 9th at East West Players David Henry Hwang Theatre located in downtown Los Angeles. Mazzara’s body of work includes five seasons on Golden Globe®-winning The Shield, FX’s groundbreaking police drama; Crash, the first scripted drama on the pay-cable network STARZ; TNT’s medical drama Hawthorne; as well as NBC’s Life and CBS’ Nash Bridges.

Passionate about both writing and mentoring, Mazzara works with CBS’s Writers Mentoring Program, the Writers Guild Showrunner Training Program, Writers Guild Diversity Committee and Writers on the Verge and teaches classes and seminars at colleges across the country, including UCLA, USC, Emerson College and Loyola Marymount University.

*Content edited from IMDb Mini Biography By Michelle Marron

This event is free to the Alliance of Creative Talent Services (ACTS) members, there is a $10 fee for non-ACTS members. To RSVP you must email Marilyn Tokuda directly at: mtokuda@eastwestplayers.org, SUBJECT LINE: Glen Mazzara

If you are an ACTS member and RSVP’ing, please put ACTS Member in email.

The EWP David Henry Hwang Theatre is located at: 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, Ca. 90012

Parking: There is parking across the street at the AISO PARKING GARAGE, fee is $3.00 after 5 pm. Please note that the lot closes promptly at 12 midnight on the day of this event!

This special Throwback Thursday edition reflects back on the most notable events of EWP’s 47th Season “Spirited Away.” The plays this season celebrated and explored the notion of spirit. From ghosts to human perseverance, these stories delved into the essence of spirit within the human mind and body as our emotions conjured the multiple definitions of the word “spirit.” Once again, EWP dared to be different and diverse.

Back by popular demand, East West Players remounted Lee Tonouchi’s Three Year Swim Club just in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Directed and choreographed by Keo Woolford,  Three Year Swim Club was inspired by the true life story of Soichi Sakamoto, who trained the youth of Maui to swim in the plantation irrigation ditches on their path to becoming Olympic champions. Set on the island of Maui in the 1930’s, this heartwarming play turns transcendent as the art of hula became the metaphor for competitive swimming.

"Three Year Swim Club" Remount

Coach Soichi Sakamoto (Blake Kushi, top) keeps time as he trains the youth of Maui (L-R, Chris Takemoto-Gentile, Mapuana Makia, Kelsey Chock, Jared Asato) in the plantation’s irrigation ditches, and where hula becomes the metaphor for swimming.

East West Players in association with Navarasa Dance Theatre opened up the 47th season with Encounter by Aparna Sindhoor, S M Raju and Anil Natyaveda. ENCOUNTER was a dance theatre production that unearthed various kinds of encounters – with the Divine, the Self, Love, Bob Marley, and the military. Encounter explored imageries from history as well as the present day – whether it was Native American History, or indigenous peoples’ history from around the globe, or a modern day occurence in Iraq, Afghanist or Rwanda.

Encounter was based on a story abut an indigenous woman, Dopdi, inspired by Magsaysay award-winning writer Mahasweta Devi’s work and adapted for the stage by S M Raju and Aparna Sindhoor.

Encounter

Peasants training for battle, showcasing Indian martial art kalari ppyattu in East West Players’ ENCOUNTER (L-R) Raghu Narayanan, Suvarna Raj, Aparna Sindhoor, Leah Vincent, Anil Natyaveda, Sunil Kumar.

East West Players debuted EVOKE: A Festival of Diverse Voices in the fall of 2012. The EVOKE Festival nurtures artists and new performance works that expand the dialogue about the Asian Pacific American experiences. The inaugural installation of the EWP EVOKE Festival presented the vivid reality and imaginations of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender APA artists. EVOKE audience members had unique opportunities to explore the work and engaged with artists Raja Bhattar, Alicia Virani, Chueh Jun-Fung, Nguyen Nguyen and Rich Yap. EVOKE was directed by multi-disciplinary theatre artist Alison De La Cruz.

Cast of EVOKE: A Festival of LGBT Asian Pacific American Voices

Cast of EVOKE: A Festival of LGBT Asian Pacific American Voices. Top L-R: Raja Bhattar, Director Alison M. De La Cruz and Chueh Jun-Fung
Bottom L-R: Ian Isles, Rich Yap, Alicia Virani, Jay Carlon, and Nguyen Nguyen

Shortly after EVOKE, EWP led a candid discussion on race politics Why Not Asian? Why Asian? Asian American Opportunities in the American Theatre with a panel that consisted of the artistic directors of four of the leading theaters in Southern California: Christopher Ashley of La Jolla Playhouse (LJP), Sheldon Epps of Pasadena Playhouse, Marc Masterson of South Coast Repertory, and Michael Ritchie of Center Theatre Group. Moderated by Linda Oku, the forum was an interactive experience, in which attendees received a pre-event survey, participated in an exercise to identify who was in the room, and expressed their comments and questions via Twitter, open mic, and written note cards.

Why Not Asian? Why Asian?

L-R: Linda Oku (moderator) with Artistic Directors Christopher Ashley ( La Jolla Playhouse ), Michael Ritchie ( Center Theatre Group ), Tim Dang (East West Players), Marc Masterson ( South Coast Repertory ), and Sheldon Epps ( Pasadena Playhouse ) discuss Asian American opportunities in theatre at East West Players. Photo courtesy of Michael Palma

The second production of the season was Tea, with Music, about a group of Japanese war brides from World War II, now living in Kansas, gathered for a farewell tea ceremony for one of their friends who had mysteriously passed away, In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the seminal play Tea by critically-acclaimed playwright Velina Hasu Houston, EWP dared to present this story as a new world premiere musical.

A flashback to happier times, at a dancehall in Japan (L-R) Himiko (Joan Almedilla), Teruko (Jennie Kwan), Setsuko (Yumi Iwama),  Chizuye (Janet Song) and Atsuko (Tiffany-Marie Austin) in East West Players’ TEA, WITH MUSIC.

A flashback to happier times, at a dance hall in Japan (L-R) Himiko (Joan Almedilla), Teruko (Jennie Kwan), Setsuko (Yumi Iwama), Chizuye (Janet Song) and Atsuko (Tiffany-Marie Austin) in East West Players’ TEA, WITH MUSIC.

The third production world premiered Christmas in Hanoi,  about a mixed-race family who returned to Vietnam for the first time since the war. One year after the death of their strong-willed mother, siblings Winnie and Lou traveled with their Irish Catholic father and Vietnamese grandfather to re-connect with their roots. Whether they embraced that past or rejected it, they were haunted by their own family’s ghsots and by the phantoms of Vietnam’s long history. Christmas in Hanoi, by Eddie Borey, was the Winner of the East West Players Face of the Future Playwriting Competition.

Winnie (Elizabeth Liang) recounts her nightmare to her grandfather George (Long Nguyen) and brother Lou (Joseph Daugherty) in the world premiere of East West Players’ CHRISTMAS IN HANOI.

Winnie (Elizabeth Liang) recounts her nightmare to her grandfather George (Long Nguyen) and brother Lou (Joseph Daugherty) in the world premiere of East West Players’ CHRISTMAS IN HANOI.

The EVOKE Festival returned in Spring 2013, this time presenting the vivid reality and imaginations of South Asian American artists. From its debut in the Fall of 2012, the EVOKE Festival nurtures artists and new performance works that expanded the dialogue about the Asian Pacific American experiences. EVOKE audience members had unique opportunities to explore the work and engaged with artists Jas and Kamaljeet Ahluwalia, Shilpa Agarwal, Snehal Desai, Sheetal Gandhi, Cynthia Ling Lee and Shyamala Moorty, Puja Mohindra, Ami Patel, and SaiQa (Saba Waheed).

EVOKE: A New Works Festival Celebrating South Asian Voices

L-R Jas Ahluwalia, Puja Mohindra, Sheetal Gandhi, Shilpa Agarwal, Kamaljeet Ahluwalia, Snehal Desai, Ami Patel, Cynthia Ling Lee and Shyamala Moorty, and SaiQa (Saba Waheed).

The 47th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction was one of the best galas to date! 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 celebrated its 47th Season, themed “Spirited Away,” with its captivating Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, and saluted 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. The Visionary Awards Honorees included seminal Asian American comedy improv group Cold Tofu, film director Jon M. Chu, YouTube star Kevin Wu aka KevJumba, and AMC The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun. Presenters included John Cho, Harry Shum Jr., Dante Basco, and Tim Jo. The evening was co-emceed by Tamlyn Tomita and Harry Shum Jr. with fundraising presenter Keong Sim.
The 47th Anniversary Visionary Awards Honorees included seminal Asian American comedy improv group Cold Tofu, film director Jon M. Chu, YouTube star Kevin Wu aka KevJumba, and AMC The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun.

(L-R) Honoree Cold Tofu’s Artistic Director Helen Ota with John Cho, Honoree film director Jon M. Chu with presenter Harry Shum Jr., Honoree Steven Yeun with presenter Tim Jo, Honoree YouTube star Kevin Wu aka “KevJunba” with presenter Dante Basco, and surprise guest Daniel Dae Kim with co-emcees Tamlyn Tomita and Harry Shum Jr. and Fundraising Presenter Keong Sim.

EWP concluded “Spirited Away” with the rarely produced musical Chess. From the lyricist of Jesus Christ Superstar and the composers of Mamma Mia!, the story involved a romantic triangle between two top chess players – an American and a Russian – and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. All of this took place within the context of the Cold War, as both countries vied for international chess victories for propaganda purposes.

Chess_Ensemble

The Story of CHESS scene in the East West Players production of CHESS (L-R): Cesar Cipriano, Justin Vasquez, Stephanie Mieko Cohen, Maegan McConnell, DT Matias, Alex Sanchez, Shay Louise, Michael A. Henry.

Critics and audiences raved about the full production at the David Henry Hwang Theater! “You were all terrific!” Sir Tim Rice shared with the cast, band and crew of Chess in an intimate post-show meet and greet. The cast was requested to convene promptly onstage after the show to meet someone, but were not informed with whom.

Prolific lyricist and author Sir Tim Rice penned Chess with ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Sir Rice also collaborated with our theater’s namesake, David Henry Hwang on the Tony Award winning Aida. The Tony, Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe-award winning lyricist is also known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) and Elton John (The Lion King, Aida) and Alan Menken for Disney (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast).

Sir Tim Rice with the cast of CHESS.

Sir Tim Rice with the cast of CHESS.

Thank you to our patrons, subscribers, sponsors, donors, and funders for making this season and new works development possible! We look forward to our 48th season “Making Light!” We officially kick off the 2013-2014 season with One Night Only – Tim’s Twentieth!, as we celebrate Tim Dang’s 20th Anniversary as Producing Artistic Director of East West Players!


     
  East West Players has partnered with Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC) & the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) to present the World Premiere of the play CHRISTMAS IN HANOI.

CHRISTMAS IN HANOI is written by Eddie Borey and directed by Jeff Liu. The production features Joseph Daugherty (Voices From Okinawa), Elyse Dinh (Spider-Man 2, Heartland), Michael Krawic (the X-Files, Bloodsport 4, Star Trek), Elizabeth Liang (Crimes of the Heart) and Long Nguyen (Seven Psychopaths, Journey From the Fall).

CHRISTMAS IN HANOI is about a mixed-race family’s return to Vietnam for the first time since the war. One year after the death of their strong-willed mother, siblings Winnie and Lou travel with their Irish Catholic father and Vietnamese grandfather to re-connect with their roots. Whether they embrace that past or reject it, they are haunted by their own family’s ghosts and by the phantoms of Vietnam’s long history. CHRISTMAS IN HANOI is the Winner of the East West Players Face of the Future Playwriting Competition, which focused on the exploration of the reality of a multicultural America from an Asian American perspective.

Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been in existence for more than 20 years. MASC’s is to seek to broaden self and public understanding of our interracial, multiethnic, and cross-cultural society by facilitating interethnic dialogue and providing cultural, educational, and recreational activities. With this vision in mind, MASC creates activities and designs programs to serve the community and increase awareness and understanding amongst the public about multiracial/multiethnic issues.

“MASC commends the creative minds and hands behind the play CHRISTMAS IN HANOI. We are so pleased to see East West Players representing the mixed-race community through this work and also providing a platform to discuss topics related to our community,” says Farzana Nayani, President of MASC.  “As an organization that has been serving the multiracial, multiethnic, and transracially-adopted community for over 20 years – seeing this play come to life and the opportunity for it to inspire discussion fulfills a tremendous part of our work and mission.”

Founded in 1991 by a group of Vietnamese American journalists, artists and friends, Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) is a community-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  VAALA’s mission is to connect and enrich communities through Vietnamese art and culture.

VAALA has organized numerous cultural events such as art exhibitions, book fairs, book signings, recitals, plays, lectures, the biennial Vietnamese International FilmFestival (ViFF), the biennial Cinema Symposium, the annual Children’s Moon Festival Art Contest and year-long art and music classes.  VAALA developed smART Program, which offers free art workshops for non-profit youth organizations in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. “We are delighted to be the community partner, for the first time, with East West Players, the nation’s premier Asian American theatre,” says Ysa Le, Co-Director of VAALA. It is a rare opportunity that a Vietnamese story gets featured on stage. We are very excited to see CHRISTMAS IN HANOI!”

Generous support for CHRISTMAS IN HANOI is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support was provided by City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, California Community Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Shubert Foundation, and Southern California Edison.

All performances of CHRISTMAS IN HANOI will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The play is performed in English.

Top L-R: Raja Bhattar, Director Alison M. De La Cruz and Chueh Jun-Fung
Bottom L-R: Ian Isles, Rich Yap, Alicia Virani, Jay Carlon, and Nguyen Nguyen

A couple weekends ago, East West Players celebrated the inaugural installation of the new works festival, EVOKE. EVOKE’s focus was celebrating the diverse voices of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Asian Pacific Americans. Under the direction of Alison M. De La Cruz, four excerpts of new work ignited the EWP stage –

“Untitled” by Rich Yap
“Chubby Masculine Chinese Daughter” by Chueh Jun-Fung
“Karma and Jihad Meet at a Bar” by Raja Bhattar and Alicia Virani
“Lai Noi, Noi Lai: Retelling” by Nguyen Nguyen with Jay Carlon and Ian Isles

EVOKE also featured the “Invisibility Project,” a video installation by Mia Nakano. Post-show Q&A’s after each show engaged the audience, where they were able to provide feedback to the artists as they develop their work.

The next installation of EVOKE is March 14-17, 2013.

East West Players, Visual Communications and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) will host an evening with NBC Universal (NBCU) executives Karen Horne, Grace Wu and Kendra Carter, who will discuss the opportunities available within the NBCU Talent Diversity programs.

Executives will discuss NBC Universal’s talent development programs including Writers on the Verge, NBC Scene Showcase, NBC’s Directors Fellowship Program, and the Casting Apprentice Program to name a few. NBC Universal continues to offer specific programs to create pipelines to the network for people of color and other diverse communities. The evening will also include a Q & A.

Date: Monday, September 24, 2012
Time: 8:00-9:30pm
Venue: David Henry Hwang Theatre at the Union Center for the Arts
120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The event is free, but RSVP’s are strongly recommended. Please contact: Marilyn Tokuda: mtokuda@eastwestplayers.org

Parking: $3.00 parking (after 5pm) at the AISO STREET PARKING GARAGE directly across the street from the theatre.

Panelist bios:
Karen Horne is Vice President, Entertainment Diversity Initiatives, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television. Horne is responsible for overseeing primetime diversity programs for NBC and Universal Television. She heads NBC’s Writers on the Verge Program and the Director Fellowship Program while overseeing NBC’s Diversity Staffing Initiative and NBC’s Content creator program with the Canadian Film Centre, and working with the creative programming team to identify diverse development.

Grace Wu has served as Executive Vice President, Casting, NBC Entertainment since 2009. Wu is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day casting on current scripted series as well as pilot productions for the broadcast network. Wu supervised the casting of such network series as “Friends,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Just Shoot Me,” “NewsRadio,” “Ed” and “Freaks & Geeks.”

Kendra Carter is Director of NBC Universal Talent Diversity Initiatives. Carter develops, produces and supervises talent diversity initiatives for NBC. Most notable, NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity nationwide talent search, NBC Universal Short Cuts Film Festival, various talent scholarships and talent showcases. Carter is also responsible for tracking the network’s placement of diverse talent in front of the camera.

East West Players (EWP) is the nation’s largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work AND the longest-running professional theatre of color in the country.

“An introduction to NBC Universal Talent Diversity Programs” is a program of EWP’s Alliance of Creative Talent Services (ACTS), a career development program that brings visibility of Asian American artist to casting directors, producers and other executives. For more information on ACTS please visit http://www.eastwestplayers.org

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