East West Players to Honor Jeanne Sakata and Aaron Takahashi at EWP NIGHT MARKET on September 14

Playwright Jeanne Sakata on the set of HOLD THESE TRUTHS. Photo by Lia Chang

Actor and playwright Jeanne Sakata and actor Aaron Takahashi will be honored at the East West Players (EWP) Night Market fall event on Saturday, September 14, 2019.  EWP Night Market will feature tasting stations hosted by local restaurants, followed by an evening of performances. Proceeds of EWP Night Market support EWP’s artistic and educational programs.

“For this year’s EWP Night Market, East West Players would like to celebrate the trailblazing achievements of Jeanne Sakata and Aaron Takahashi. As we usher in our 54th Anniversary Season, We Are The Ones We Are Waiting For, it felt fitting to honor these two remarkable artists who are also figures of inspiration locally and nationally. They have been prolific in their respective careers and also generous and respected leaders in our community. They have through their artistry lifted the visibility of Asian Americans nationally and done so with the utmost kindness, generosity and humility. We look forward to celebrating them and also ushering in our 54th season.” says Snehal Desai, EWP Producing Artistic Director.

Jeanne Sakata’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Direction and Principal Performance), has had over twenty productions since its world premiere with East West Players in 2007. Earning rave reviews at such theaters as Barrington Stage Company, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Arena Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, Guthrie Theater, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company, and Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play will be presented in 2019-20 at Vancouver’s Cultch Theatre, San Diego Repertory, and Pennsylvania’s People’s Light. It is inspired by the true story of Japanese American civil rights giant Gordon Hirabayashi, to whom President Barack Obama posthumously awarded in 2012 a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Called a “local treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, Jeanne has enjoyed onscreen recurring/guest star roles on Disney Plus’ upcoming “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” indie films Advantageous by Jennifer Phang and Find Me by Tom Huang, “Dr. Ken,” Bravo’s “True Fiction,” “NCIS Los Angeles,” “NUMB3RS,” Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Presidio Med,” “ER,” “Threat Matrix,” “Line of Fire,” “American Family,” John Ridley’s “I Got You,” “Hiroshima,” and “Sex and Marriage,” a Justin Lin YOMYOMF YouTube webseries. Onstage, Jeanne has performed with the Vineyard Theatre, Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, People’s Light, Syracuse Stage and the Arizona Theatre Company.

Special honors: LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s Red, East West Players; Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Playwrights’ Arena; Outstanding Artist Award, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre.

Aaron Takahashi has appeared in nearly 100 commercials, with multiple spots for Toyota, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Snapple, State Farm, Esurance, and Ebates. He is a former instructor and core performing member of Cold Tofu, the nation’s longest-running Asian American improv and sketch comedy troupe. He also was a Main Company member at ACME Comedy Theatre in Hollywood for sketch and improv.

Along with his numerous appearances as a featured player on Conan O’Brien’s late-night shows, Aaron has amassed several co-starring, guest starring and recurring roles on popular shows for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Comedy Central, Netflix, TBS, and IFC, including a recurring role on the critically acclaimed USA Network series “Mr. Robot”. He has been featured as a supporting lead actor in comedy blockbusters such as “Yes Man” opposite Jim Carrey, “Welcome to the Jungle” opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme, and “The Wedding Ringer” opposite Kevin Hart.

Aaron’s long-lasting relationship with East West Players includes an 8-year run in the Theatre for Youth touring program, starring opposite Gedde Watanabe in the main stage production of Ixnay, teaching his commercial acting workshop as part of the Actors’ Conservatory, countless volunteer hours, and emceeing numerous events for the theatre.

Performances for EWP Night Market will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at East West Players’ David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Cocktails and tasting stations will be available starting at 6:00PM (5:30PM for VIP Early Access). The evening continues with performances at 7:30PM. EWP Night Market is a benefit performance with levels of sponsorship available ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. Sponsorships include VIP tickets, reserved seating, early access, and recognition in the program card. Individual tickets are available beginning at $350 for VIP reserved seating in the Preferred Orchestra section, $250 for reserved seating in the Orchestra section, and $150 for reserved seating in the Balcony. For information about sponsorships and tickets, please email Development Manager Dora Quach at dquach@eastwestplayers.org.

Performers and event host will be announced soon. Sponsorship packages and individual tickets may be purchased at www.eastwestplayers.org or please call (213) 625-7000 ext. 14. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.

For more information about East West Players or EWP Night Market, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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