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Now playing at East West Players, “Steel Magnolias” opens East West Players’ 48th Season “Making Light.” Written by Robert Harling, this is a classic comedy-drama play that later became a popular film about the bond among a group of Southern women. The action centers on Truvy’s beauty parlor and the women who regularly gather there. The cast features Hiwa Bourne, Ruth Coughlin, Karen Huie, Dian Kobayashi, Lovelle Liquigan, and Patti Yasutake.

 

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NISEI WIDOWS CLUB Casting Breakdown

East West Players, the longest running theater of color in the US is casting Asian, Pacific Islander, multi-racial Asian performers for THE NISEI WIDOWS CLUB: HOW TOMI GOT HER GROOVE BACK by Betty Tokudani. Directed by Amy Hill. Rehearsals begin October  8, 2013. Previews begin November 7, opening Wednesday November 13 for four week run (5 performances a week) through December 8, 2013. Find out more about East West Players at www.eastwestplayers.org. AEA LOA-BAT Contract ($358 per week).

Casting:

Patrick and Kimo Ikaikakane – to be played by one actor – they are step-brothers. Patrick Ikaikakane is a yoga instructor living in Los Angeles 35 – 45 years old, into Buddhism, kind of cosmic new age type of person, very gentle with dreadlocks. His appearance is “what you see is what you get” and may look a little disheveled, pudgy and a bit of a fashion misfit. A hippie throwback. Kimo Ikaikakane is a bit younger, very fit and in fact is very body conscious – a great body and a beautiful hula dancer into the deep philosophy of Hawaii and the dance. Both are the epitome of ‘aloha’ but in their own special way. Must have good comic timing, be able to dance hula well, able to do yoga poses and speak pidgin English dialect of the Hawaiian islands.

All other roles are cast.

Agent and Personal submissions through Actors Access and Breakdown Services.

Electronic submissions with role to be considered for to casting@eastwestplayers.org

Or send via postal mail your picture, resume, and role to be considered for:

Casting: NISEI WIDOWS CLUB
East West Players
120 Judge John Aiso Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Submissions received August 30 – September 13, 2013.

PLEASE no telephone calls or personal deliveries.

THE NISEI WIDOWS CLUB: HOW TOMI GOT HER GROOVE BACK

The third installment of a comic trilogy following the lives of a group of widowed Nisei women who only have each other in the face of loss and the search for love in their golden years. Tomi loses her only son to a heart attack at the early age of 45 and the other widows gather around her during this time of grief. Hilarity ensues when they embark on an unforgettable trip to Hawaii unleashing the cougar in all of them at a hula retreat.

View PDF.

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Saturday, August 17th was the perfect summer day in Los Angeles – a hot sun and cool breezes. That afternoon, the Aratani Courtyard was full of hustle-and-bustle and good cheer – flanked by tables dressed in white and mint, while friends, long-time and new, came together and enjoyed fine wines and the exclusive “Tim Dang Banger” cocktail, inspired by the celebrant of the evening. Parvesh Cheena was our host for the evening, providing lots of laughs and encouraging everyone to join the opportunity drawings and Tim Dang Bingo.

As the sun gave way into dusk, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner al fresco specially created by Chef Glen Ishii of Jist Cafe and shortly made their way into the David Henry Hwang Theater for the show, featuring the best musical performers to grace the EWP stage. Hosted by Reggie Lee, directed by Marilyn Tokuda and musical direction by Nathan Wang, each brought the house down in their own way. Artists who supported the Artistic Family Mosaic project also shared the stage with the performers. Our guest of honor, Tim, shared his heartfelt gratitude for everyone who has supported his journey here at EWP.

After the show, the sun was down and the stars were out, and we enjoyed a variety of desserts by Majestic Caterers while everyone waited excitedly to find out who won prizes!

The event chaired by Lynn Arthurs for the Board of Directors and produced by Alison De La Cruz was a memorable evening indeed.

Thank you for celebrating Tim’s 20th at East West Players!

View photos from “One Night Only: Tim’s 20th!” Photos by Mike Palma.

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 celebrates its 47th Season, themed “Spirited Away,” with its dazzling Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, and salutes those who have made a valuable impact on the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. The fundraising event will take place on Monday April 22, 2013 at the Universal Hilton. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

“EWP and the APA performing arts community continue to expand the spectrum of voices and stories of our vast, complex yet underrepresented community,” says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. “This year’s Visionary Award Honorees reflect some of the best of our community, who raise the visibility of APAs through their craft – Cold Tofu for the past 30 years, and Steven Yeun as a breakout star on the hugely popular television show, The Walking Dead.”

Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid Part II, Joy Luck Club) will serve as mistress of ceremonies of 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.

The 2013 Honorees are:

Cold Tofu Photo

COLD TOFU, receiving the Visionary Award, is the nation’s premier Asian American comedy improv group.  Under the leadership of its current Artistic Director Helen H. Ota and core cast members, COLD TOFU continues to grow and develop its distinctive brand of comedy. The members of COLD TOFU consistently strive to create unforgettable characters, improvised scenes and original sketch materials. From its inception in 1981 by Marilyn Tokuda, Denice Kumagai, Judy Momii and Irma Escamilla to today, COLD TOFU has grown to 25 members who perform improv shows regularly in historic Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles and MC events for several community organizations. COLD TOFU shares the thrill of performing improv and sketch, while training up-and-coming performers by providing improv workshops year-round.

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Steven Yeun, receiving the Breakout Performance Award, currently stars on AMC’s hit series, The Walking Dead, where his portrayal of ‘Glenn,’ the pizza boy turned “walker killer” has developed into a leading role on the show and has quickly become a favorite for both fans and critics alike.  The Walking Dead has become the most watched drama series in basic cable history, and launched internationally in over 120 countries in 33 different languages. The Breakout Performance award was created to recognize an individual or group who, through an outstanding performance, has made a significant contribution to the community by helping raise the visibility of the Asian Pacific experience.

Additional honorees and entertainment to be announced at a later date.

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

EWP_CIH_foodie2

East West Players collaborates with Good Girl Dinette once again for “Hanoi in Little Tokyo,” a pop-up restaurant curated by Chef Diep Tran exploring flavors of Vietnam inspired by the play, CHRISTMAS IN HANOI.

Dinner will include an assortment of rice noodles to choose from: charred pork and fennel, seared beef with lemongrass chilli oil, and roasted kholbrabi and torpedo onions. Dessert will include a tangerine-sable trifle.

Dinner service will begin at 6pm in the Aratani Courtyard. It is highly recommended to reserve your food order in advance of Saturday night’s pop-up. The deadline to place your order for “Hanoi in Little Tokyo” will be 12 noon on Saturday, March 2. To place your food order, RSVP to marketing@eastwestplayers.org with “Subject: Hanoi in Little Tokyo Order” OR on Good Girl Dinette’s Official Facebook Page.

The Saturday (3/2) performance of CHRISTMAS IN HANOI will begin at 8pm. For more information, visit www.eastwestplayers.org or call Box Office at (213) 625-7000 x20.

*Food and tickets are sold separately.

hanoi-in-little-tokyo

Clockwise from Top: Community Partners Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) strike a pose after their dinner, Good Girl Dinette serves up their famous pot pies, Good Girl Dinette sets up their pop-up restaurant in the Aratani Courtyard, Chef Diep Tran talks with patrons, Good Girl Dinette prepares for the dinner rush.

On Saturday February 16th, EWP partnered with Chef Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette for the first installment of the pre-show pop-up restaurant, “Hanoi in Little Tokyo.” Chef Tran served her signature, made-to-order pot pies- filled with savory curry and topped with a buttermilk biscuit. Patrons enjoyed the savory dish and delicious dessert under the moonlight in the Aratani courtyard just before enjoying CHRISTMAS IN HANOI.

The second installment is on Saturday, March 2nd. Stay tuned and check back often at EWP’s Facebook and Twitter to find out the menu and RSVP details.

For more information about the restaurant, visit Good Girl Dinette Restaurant.

EWP_CIH_foodie

 

Buy tickets.

For more information, visit CHRISTMAS IN HANOI.

CHRISTMAS IN HANOI is now playing! Previews begin tonight, February 7 at 8pm thru Saturday, February 9 at 8pm and Sunday, February 10 at 2pm.

Promo teaser directed by Stephane Gauger.

SAVE THE DATES
Pay-What-You-Can Performance Thursday, February 14th at 8 pm.
“Hanoi in Little Tokyo” Saturday, February 16th and March 2nd starts at 6pm. Special pre-show dinner series with Good Girl Dinette Restaurant, where American diner meets Vietnamese comfort food.
Southern California Edison Community Night Wednesday, February 20th. Dinner and show ticket are sold separately.
The Post-Show Discussion Sunday, February 24th. A chat with the artists immediately following the show.
Wine Down Fridays Complimentary wine for patrons 21+

PURCHASE TICKETS AT https://eastwestplayers.secure.force.com/ticket

Preview Tickets:
Previews run from Thursday, February 7-Saturday, February 9 at 8pm, and Sunday, February 10 at 2pm.
$21 General Admission, $16 Students (with a valid ID)

Opening Night Ticket:
Opening Night will be accompanied by a pre-performance cocktail reception and a post-show reception with the cast and creative team.
$60 for all seats

Performance Run:
Wed-Thurs at 8pm Balcony $26/Orchestra $31
Fri-Sat at 8pm Balcony $31/Orchestra $36
Sun at 2pm Balcony $31/Orchestra $36
*$4 per ticket handling fee on all regular ticket purchases.

Student and Senior Discounts $5 off regular ticket price.
Special Group Rates available for ten (10) or more. Call (213) 625-7000 x 20 for details.

VOLUNTEER AS AN USHER Fill out and submit this form.

*Dates and details are subject to change.

For more information, visit CHRISTMAS IN HANOI.

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CHESS
Music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Tim Dang
Musical Direction by Marc Macalintal
Choreography by Marc Oka

East West Players, the longest running theater of color in the US is casting Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, African American, Latino, Native American, and other multi-ethnic rock, pop, contemporary musical theater performers for CHESS (the UK Version), music by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and lyrics by Tim Rice, based on an idea by Tim Rice. Directed by Tim Dang, musical direction by Marc Macalintal, and choreography by Marc Oka.

Rehearsals begin: April 9, 2013.

Previews begin May 9, 2013.

Opening Wednesday, May 15, for four week run (5 performances a week) through June 9, 2013 with possibility of two week extension to June 23, 2013.

Find out more about East West Players at www.eastwestplayers.org.

AEA LOA-BAT Contract ($347 per week).

Online: Agent and Personal submissions through Actors Access and Breakdown Services.

Email to: casting@eastwestplayers.org

Mail your picture, resume, and role to be considered to:

Casting: CHESS

East West Players

120 Judge John Aiso Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Submissions received January 31- February 22, 2013.

PLEASE no telephone calls or personal deliveries.

Cast Breakdown:
Frederick “Freddie” Trumper – rock tenor to C5, late 20s – early 30s, must move well, US champion, self-absorbed, fame-and-fortune-seeking, short-tempered, bad boy of the chess world.

Anatoly Sergievsky Baritone/Tenor A3 – B flat 5, late 20s – early 30s, good mover, the Soviet Union champion,  troubled father and husband who despises the propaganda and politics of the tournament, eventually deciding to defect from his homeland, even at the cost of deserting his family.

Florence Vassy Mezzo-Soprano F3-E5 belt/mix, G#5-A6 falsetto, late 20s-early 30s, good mover, Freddie’s strong-willed second and paramour, she feels strained by Freddie’s brashness and falls in love with Anatoly, eventually becoming his mistress.

The Arbiter Baritone/Tenor to A5, 30s, must move well, coldly objective, no-nonsense referee of the championship tournament and also the president of the International Chess Federation.

Molokov Bass or Bass-Baritone A3-F4, 30s-40s, Anatoly’s slick second who is also a manipulative KGB agent.

Walter de Courcey Bass-Baritone G#2 – F4, 30s-40s, good mover, a media personality of the tournament and a secret CIA agent.

Svetlana Sergievsky Mezzo-Soprano F3 to E5 belt/mix & G#5-A6 falsetto, late 20s – early 30s, good mover, Anatoly’s estranged wife who, under Molokov’s machinations, tries to persuade Anatoly to return to his homeland.

Ensemble to play various roles 20s-30s such as reporters, chess players, the people of Merano, Italy and Bangkok, Thailand. Seeking 8 ensemble members Soprano (to C#6), Alto (G3-D5), Tenor (A3-B flat 5), Bass (F2-F4) who can sing and move well.

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