Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. to Perform Excerpts from Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at MOCA’s 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at Mandarin Oriental on November 13 

The Museum of Chinese in America is presenting the 2019 Legacy Awards Gala, on Wednesday, November 13 at the Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, in New York City. Click here for tickets and more information.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Lawrence-Michael Arias in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera) and Jonny Lee Jr., the stars of Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain: The Musical, will perform several numbers as part of MOCA’s celebration of the SPIKE 150: Running Forward with Our Stories initiative, and MOCA’s two fall exhibitions: Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History andThe Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America. The pair will be accompanied by Gold Mountain Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on the keys.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Company in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain, a new original musical, is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history: the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. It is a heartfelt, universal tale that celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love, and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice among a team of Chinese railroad workers.

Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

In May, the company of Gold Mountain performed to enthusiastic houses in Salt Lake City and Ogden as part of the SPIKE 150 celebrations.

Steven Eng, Eric Bondoc, Joseph Steven Yang, Viet Vo, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Ali Ewoldt, Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr., Darren Lee, Daniel May and Lawrenc-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain was presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountainand is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

MOCA tells the untold stories of a dynamic community whose members are now at the fore-front of all sectors of America’s economic and cultural life. The Gala recognizes the outstanding contributions and accomplishments of individuals and families whose unconditional service as pioneers, role models, and leaders have paved the way for generations.

This year, the Generational Legacy Award will be presented to the Tsai Family from Long Island, New York, whose family members Erh-Ping Tsai, Cynthia Chuang, and Sue Tsai are acclaimed for their excellence in the arts. Legacy Awards will be presented to Tzi Ma, beloved Hong Kong American actor and director; The Honorable Mae Yih, Oregon State Senator, pioneering public servant and the first Chinese American state legislator from Portland, Oregon; and Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D., New York-based philanthropist and plastic surgeon of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, respectively, who are advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang are life-long jewelry and ceramic artists dedicated to communicating and expressing their love of nature through art. Their creative practices cross the boundaries between ceramics, metalworking, painting, sculpture, and horticulture. In 1993, Erh-Ping Tsai was named American Outstanding Craft Artist. They also founded Jewelry10, where they leverage their artistic and technical skills to create nature-inspired masterpieces.

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang met at the National Academy of Arts in Taiwan before emigrating to the U.S. to study at the Parsons School of Design. Their home in Long Island represents the significance of their everyday life and is fundamental to their artistic creation: an elaborate, curated and constantly evolving expression of appreciation and love for nature.

Tracing the roots of her inspiration to her family’s values, Sue Tsai, daughter of Erh-Ping and Cynthia, is an artist and designer born and raised in New York. Her striking creations of vibrant acrylic on canvas and mixed media sculptures reflect an impressive crossover of fine art, fashion, and pop culture. Her pop surrealism style has infiltrated into the music industry, creating major collaborations with stars such as Rihanna, TI, and Wale.

Sue Tsai’s creative talents and on-going entrepreneurial ventures have brought her partnerships with global brands in product design and curated events. In her recent debut collection of PUMA x SUE TSAI, she used her signature style to tell a story of flowers gone wild, rising up to take the planet back from humanity.

Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D.

A native New Yorker, Jess Ting, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Mount Sinai, where he completed the hospital’s first gender reassignment surgery in 2016 and advanced his clinical specialty to the surgical care of the transgender and gender non-binary community. Following Dr. Ting’s groundbreaking practice, Mount Sinai established the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (CTMS). Dr. Ting’s team has performed more than 400 operations to date, making CTMS as one of the first programs in the United States to offer multi-specialty transgender care in one location. After receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, Dr. Ting attended medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Documenting Dr. Ting’s journey, philanthropist and entrepreneur Michelle Koo Hayashi has aided in the public understanding towards the transgender community as producer of her heart-warming film Born to Be. Directed by Tania Cypriano, this documentary chronicles the evolution of an uncharted medical process, alongside the emotional and physical metamorphoses of some extraordinary patients. The world premiere will be held at the 57th New York Film Festival 2019. Ms. Koo Hayashi was born in Taiwan, raised in Japan, and emigrated to the U.S. in 2011. She was the CEO of a Tokyo-based real estate investment firm, and founder of an online wedding planning company in Taiwan. She has been a board member of nonprofits in Taiwan and Japan, and since relocating to the U.S., has been a board member of the Museum of Chinese in America and the China Institute.

Tzi Ma

Tzi Ma is a beloved Hong Kong American actor and director. Having started his career in New York City in 1973, Mr. Ma has an impressive number of theatre and film credits and has worked with many renowned directors and playwrights, including fellow MOCA Legacy Award recipient David Henry Hwang in his 1979 Obie Award-winning FOB and 2001 Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song. Mr. Ma’s most recent films include appearances in Arrival, Meditation Park (Best Actor Nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television), Pali Road (Jury Award, Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in Film), The Farewell, Netflix’s first martial arts original series “Wu Assassins,” and Disney’s forthcoming live-action Mulan.

Honorable Mae Yih

The Honorable Mae Yih is an internationally esteemed and admired legislator who made history 43 years ago when she won a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives as the first Chinese American elected to a state legislature anywhere in the United States. As a revered public official, Ms. Yih served 26 years in the legislature after she had served on the board of two local schools for 13 years, a total of 39 years of outstanding public services. Ms. Yih’s many accomplishments in the State of Oregon include introducing and helping to pass legislation that created a sister-state relationship between Oregon and Fujian province in China. She has made a significant impact in the development of U.S.-China relations for more than three decades. Her book, titled East Meets West: A Bridge to Understanding, Friendship, Trust, Peace, and Prosperity Between My Mother and Adopted Countries, shares her experiences and powerful lessons that she learned from life in China, America, and public services.

MOCA to Honor Tzi Ma, the Tsai Family, Oregon State Senator The Honorable Mae Yih, Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D. at 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at Mandarin Oriental on November 13

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

André De Shields to Receive 2019 Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award at SAGE Awards & Gala on October 21

SAGE, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders will be honoring Emmy & Tony Award-winning actor André De Shields with the Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th SAGE Awards and Gala on Monday, October 21, 2019.

Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway star and Tony Award–winning actress Laura Benanti will perform at the event which starts at 6:00 PM at Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street in New York.

Emmy Award–winning actor Leslie Jordan will receive the 2019 SAGE Pioneer Award, and Stacey Friedman, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for JPMorgan Chase & Co. will receive the Jack Watters Corporate Advocate Award.

SAGE Awards are presented each year to individuals, organizations, and companies who have made significant contributions and thereby enriched the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) persons, particularly the senior and elder members of the GLBT community.

In this special year—the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising—SAGE will salute those who were at the forefront of the modern LGBT movement.

Jay Toole, a Stonewall survivor and LGBT activist, will share their story. LGBT elders like Jay stood on the front lines of our community’s struggle for equality. SAGE is working to ensure that LGBT elders have the support and resources they need to age with the dignity and respect they deserve.

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award. On November 11,  he will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and on November 18, he will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He recently received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at  sageusa.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

Eva Noblezada, Phillipa Soo, Kelli O’Hara, Montego Glover, Judy Kuhn, Krystina Alabado, Julia Murney, Jeannette Bayardelle, Shoba Nayaran, Shaina Taub, Starr Busby, L. Morgan Lee, We McDonald, Liana Stampur, and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus are Set for 17th Annual Broadway Stands Up For Freedom Concert at The Town Hall on October 28

Eva Noblezada, Phillipa Soo, Kelli O’Hara, Montego Glover, Judy Kuhn, Krystina Alabado, Julia Murney, Jeannette Bayardelle, Shoba Nayaran, Shaina Taub, Starr Busby, L. Morgan Lee, We McDonald, Liana Stampur, and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus are in the lineup for the 17th annual Broadway Stands Up For Freedom concert on Monday, October 28th at 7:30 PM at The Town Hall (123 W. 43 St.).

Celia Keenan-Bolger. Photo by Lia Chang

With the theme MY BODY, MY BUSINESS, the October 28th event will honor Tony Award-winning actress Celia Keenan-Bolger (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD) with the Michael Friedman Freedom Award as well as the Tony Award-winning producer Eva Price (OKLAHOMA!, JAGGED LITTLE PILL) and Tony Award-winning producing company Level Forward (SLAVE PLAY, OKLAHOMA!). For tickets and event info, visit www.BroadwayStandsUp.com.

Rachel Chavkin – the Tony Award-winning director of the 2019 Best Musical Tony winner HADESTOWN – directs this year’s event with Annie Tippe as the associate director. The concert will celebrate the power and courage of people fighting for reproductive rights and bodily integrity of women and trans people. The evening will feature performances and appearances by Broadway performers and inspiring activists who stand up for freedom and civil liberties for all.

“Now, more than ever, we must come together as a community to fight for the rights of women and trans people, especially those most marginalized because of their race, class, disability, or immigration status,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU. “Art has always been a powerful cornerstone of social justice movements, and this year’s concert will continue the tradition of using music to bring people together, celebrate our victories, and inspire us for the fights ahead.”

Ms. Keenan-Bolger will be the first recipient of the newly re-named Michael Friedman Freedom Award. As a founding member of the Broadway Stands Up For Freedom planning committee, she has been one of the most active contributors over the years. The NYCLU and ACLU are honoring Celia for living a life and pursuing a career dedicated to social justice. She uses her talent and voice to educate, create dialogue, and catalyze social change both on stage and off. This commitment has shown through in her representation of Scout in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on Broadway, for which she received a Tony Award in 2019.

The NYCLU and the ACLU are also honoring Eva Price and the founders of Level Forward: Adrienne Becker, Abigail Disney, Rachel Gould, and Angie Wang – a female-led entertainment company, producing outstanding works on Broadway, as well as other mediums. Their commitment to projects spearheaded by female creatives and people of color challenges and inspires all of us to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Additionally, their efforts to level the playing field through innovative revenue sharing partnerships with nonprofits has the power to transform the industry.

Broadway Stands Up For Freedom is co-founded by Donna Lieberman, Liana Stampur and Erich Bergen. Additional performers and speakers will be announced at a later date.

The event this year is executive produced by Robb Nanus and Rachel Sussman. Rona Siddiqui will serve as music director. Jereme Kyle Wilson will be the production stage manager and Jeremy Leiner serves as associate producer. Kate Freer will design video and projections.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.broadwaystandsup.com. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the NYCLU’s and ACLU’s missions to promote and protect the civil rights and liberties in New York and across the country. VIP tickets ($250/500/1000) and regular admission tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and through the Town Hall website www.thetownhall.org, or in person at the Town Hall box office. To purchase sponsorship packages, please visit the NYCLU’s website www.nyclu.org or www.broadwaystandsup.com

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

Snapshots: Jeanne Sakata and Aaron Takahashi Honored by East West Players

Actor and playwright Jeanne Sakata and actor Aaron Takahashi were honored at the East West Players (EWP) Night Market fall event on Saturday, September 14, 2019.

Below is a selection of Jeanne’s snapshots of the night and her acceptance speech for  receiving the 2019 East West Players Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement & Raising the Visibility of the API Community.

Emily Kuroda, Jeanne Sakata and Gedde Watanabe. Photo by Steven Lam

“When I first encountered East West Players in the 1970’s, it was a magical and life-changing moment. I was an undergrad at UCLA, on my way to a career in Library and Information Science, when I saw a flyer for Wakako Yamauchi’s gorgeous play, AND THE SOUL SHALL DANCE. Intrigued, I went down to see it– and it unexpectedly changed my life. I had no idea there were plays about families like mine, Japanese American farming families. I had no idea there was such a thing Asian American theatre. And yet here was a play that shared the hope, humor, and heartbreak of the struggles of Issei like my immigrant grandparents Kyusaburo and Tomiye, and Nisei like my father and mother Tommy and Lily–struggles that, despite this country’s harsh and racist treatment of them, nevertheless did not diminish their dream to be recognized and accepted as true Americans.

Over the years, East West Players has given so many of us life-changing moments like that. It gave me my start as an actor in the 1980’s. And over 20 years later, it gave me another beginning. When I first discovered Gordon Hirabayashi’s amazing story of his defiance and legal challenge of a racist curfew and Executive Order 9066, it became an obsession and a personal quest, which turned into a play, and that play ended up having its world premiere with my dear friends Jessica Kubzansky and Ryun Yu here on this stage in 2007, which has since gone on to productions across the country.

Jason Ma, Honorees Aaron Takahashi and Jeanne Sakata, Snehal Desai, Dana Lee and Rodney To.
David Okuji, Cindy Okuji, Jeanne Sakata and Timothy Patterson

So thank you, East West Players. And thanks to all of you over the years for your friendship and support and love and encouragement. To Snehal Desai, to Tim Dang, to the memory of Nobu McCarthy and Mako. To Daniel Mayeda, Randy Tamura and all of you on the Board. To my husband Tim, my sister Cindy and brother-in-law Dave, and all my dear friends who are here tonight. We salute you, East West Players. We know that here on this stage, we are not limited, but limitless in our humanity. We know that those of you who keep this theatre going are also fighting the larger battle of representation onstage, onscreen, every day. We know that here, we have a family that will always ensure our Asian American stories are told with passion and fire and heart — and in so doing, say to the world, we are here.

Jeanne Sakata and Daniel Mayeda

And we are here to stay.”

Suzy Nakamura, June Angela, Jeanne Sakata, Dana Lee and Krysta Marie Yu

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.

Jake Choi, Jeanne Sakata and Rodney To

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.

Emily Kuroda, Sada Thompson, Joy.

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. Photo by Steven Lam

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.

Snehal Desai and Aaron Takahashi. Photo by Steven Lam

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.

Esther Chae von Zielbauer and Jeanne Sakata
Jeanne Sakata and Alice Tuan
Jeanne Sakata, Miya Cech, Emerson Min, Jake Choi, Araceli Prasarttongosoth, Hudson Yang
Ron Thompson, Jeanne Sakata, Sada Thompson, Takayo Fisher, June Angela, Kiyomi Emi.
Brian M. Chae, Jeanne Sakata and Esther Chae von Zielbauer.
Jake Choi and Jeanne Sakata
Karen Huie and Jeanne Sakata
Jeanne Sakata, Albert E. Aubin, Takayo Fischer. Photo by Steven Lam
Amy Lew, Takayo Fischer, Jeanne Sakata, Randy Tamura. Photo by Steven Lam
Jeanne Sakata and Emily Kuroda
Marilyn Tokuda, Suzy Nakamura, Takayo Fischer and Jeanne Sakata
Jane Kawahara, Alan and Sheila Lamson, Harry Kawahara

EWP Night Market featured tasting stations hosted by local restaurants, followed by an evening of performances 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. Proceeds of EWP Night Market support EWP’s artistic and educational programs.

Cindy Okuji, June Angela, Ron Thompson, Timothy Patterson, Emily Kuroda, Sada Thompson, Joy, David Okuji.

For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

Jeanne Sakata and Kurt Kanazawa. Photo by Steven Lam

Click here for the Facebook album of photos from the performances.

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

“Man in The High Castle” Star Joel de la Fuente Set for Benefit Performances of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Cultch Historic Theatre in Vancouver, October 18 – November 2

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

The Umami Fund (Daniel Blinkoff and Tamlyn Tomita) is presenting the international/Canadian debut of Jeanne Sakata’s award-winning play, Hold These Truths at the Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street in Vancouver from Friday, October 18 – Saturday, November 2. Opening night is Sunday, October 20 at 8:00 pm.


Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”) will reprise his Drama Desk-nominated turn in this solo play inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi, in which he seamlessly portrays more than thirty characters under the direction of Lisa Rothe (Irish Repertory Theatre’s Wild Abandon).

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi fights passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he defies the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. A story filled with hope, this play will leave you cheering for a man who stood up for the true meaning of patriotism.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

The design team includes Cat Tate Starmer (lights), Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams (sets), Daniel Kluger (sound) and Margaret Weedon (costumes), with stage manager Mary K. Botosan.

Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang
Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang

Performance schedule and ticket information:
For preview performances on Friday, October 18 @ 8pm and Sunday, October 20 @ 2pm, tickets are $25.

Beginning with the opening night performance on Sunday October 20 @ 8pm, general admission tickets are $50, seniors/students are $25. The remaining performance schedule isTuesday, October 22 – Friday, October 25 @ 8pm; Saturday, October 26 and Sunday October 27 @ 2pm and 8 pm; Tuesday, October 29 – Friday, November 11 @ 8pm; Saturday, November 2 @ 2pm and 8pm. For tickets and more information, click here.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Proceeds of the performances of Hold These Truths will be donated to three Vancouver organizations: the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, the University of British Columbia Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies, and the Kokoro Dance Theatre Society.

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) received a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Principal Performance for the run of Hold These Truths at Theatreworks SV and garnered a Drama Desk Nomination in New York City for Outstanding Solo Performance when it debuted in 2012. On television, Joel plays Chief Inspector Kido on “The Man in the High Castle,” one of Amazon Studios’ most watched original series. He also portrays Dr. Johann Pryce on Netflix’s second original series, “Hemlock Grove,” and can be seen in perpetual reruns on “Law & Order: SVU,” where he played TARU Tech Ruben Morales for 10 seasons. Currently, he appears as President Datu Andrada on “Madam Secretary” for CBS. Joel has performed in theaters all over the world, as both an avid classical theater actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang

Actress and playwright Jeanne Sakata, whose talents span across TV, film, voiceover and stage, recently received the East West Players Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and Raising the Visibility of the API Community. This summer, Ms. Sakata appeared in the Off Broadway premiere of the brilliant new comedy Do You Feel Anger? at the Vineyard Theatre in New York. She is familiar to TV audiences in the recurring roles of genius scientist Lenore Shimamoto/Mayor Saito on the animated TV series “Big Hero 6,” based on the Disney smash hit movie, and can currently be seen in three national commercials. Jeanne’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Principal Performance and Direction) has had over twenty productions across the country, and will be produced in the 2019-20 season at Barrington Stage, San Diego Rep, and People’s Light, after sold-out and extended runs last year at Arena Stage and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Since April 2019, Hold These Truths became available internationally as a special audio recording, produced by L.A. Theatre Works. The play has also been produced in recent years at Pasadena Playhouse, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers’ Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Daniel Dae Kim, co-producer), Terra Nova Collective, Silk Road Rising, Coachella Valley Rep, Plays and Players, and New Century Theatre. Premiering with the East West Players in Los Angeles, and then Off Broadway with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play was workshopped by the Lark Play Development Center and the New York Theatre Workshop. Hold These Truths is now published by Ageloff Books and available on Amazon, and it is on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington DC, where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in July 2011. 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. For more information on Hold These Truths, click on www.holdthesetruths.info.

Jeanne Sakata, Joel de la Fuente, Tamlyn Tomita. Photo by Lia Chang

Barrington Stage Presents Return Engagement Of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Joel de la Fuente, September 20 – 26 

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

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

Tony and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Serves as Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

André De Shields boards the 6:45 A.M. train to Baltimore at New York Penn Station on August 31, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields was the grand marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto parade held on August 31.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Sponsored by the Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Upton Planning Committee, Inc. and organized by Michael Johnson, the Parade kicked off the second day of the inaugural Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival, marking the 99th anniversary of Pennsylvania Avenue and honoring Holiday’s legacy.


Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields led the parade in an antique 1976 light blue Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Highlights of the Parade included classic and high-end cars and performances by Lincoln University’s and Morgan State University’s marching bands and dance troupes along the route down Pennsylvania Avenue beginning at North Avenue and ending at Dolphin Street.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Corvette in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Cadillac in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Drummers in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Lincoln University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Dance Troupe. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang

The Hadestown star and Baltimore native returned to his hometown just two weeks after receiving the Key to the City from Mayor Jack Young, who was also in attendance. De Shields and Mayor Young were presented with Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards.

Main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields received Bille Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Pennsylvania Avenue was the place to be to see the latest singers and musicians perform. Many jazz clubs and performance halls in the area, notably the Royal Theater on Pennsylvania Avenue, were part of the Chitlin’ Circuit where African American entertainers, such as Redd Foxx, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and James Brown, could perform freely in a segregated America. The Royal Theater has since been torn down, but its spirit lives on in the community and at The Avenue Bakery where its history is recounted through murals and plaques on the walls. Source: historicupton.com

In July, the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor of West Baltimore became the city’s fourth state-designated arts district. The program will offer incentives to spur economic development in the neighborhood according to a report in the Baltimore Business Journal. Resources available in Maryland Arts and Entertainment Districts include property tax incentives for buildings entirely or partially renovated for use by artists or for entertainment purposes.

Councilman Eric Costello, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, André De Shields and Kevin Brown. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang
Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, District 44 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, City Council President Brandon Scott, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, André De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett, District 7, Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang

Helen Holton, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Jules Dunham-Howie, Director Upton-Westside CDC, Helen Holton, Host, City Council President Brandon Scott, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Andre De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, District 7, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, Commissioner Harrison, Baltimore Police Department, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival and City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
Beverly A. Cooper and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz,Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty(Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

André De Shields with Kevin Brown at Nancy by SNAC in Baltimore. Photo by Lia Chang

After the parade, De Shields headed to lunch at Kevin Brown’s Nancy by SNAC  before taking the Acela back to New York.

Lia Chang and Andre De Shields. Photo by Kevin Brown

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.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Serves As Grand Marshal Of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

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

André De Shields to Receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award on November 11

The York Theatre Company will honor 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) with the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and producer Riki Kane Larimer (Cagney; Enter Laughing: The Musical) with The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award at the 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala, to be held on Monday evening, November 11, 2019 at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street).

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The VIP Reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by a concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. Michael Unger (York’s former Associate Artistic Director and recently appointed Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) is set to direct the evening’s celebration. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please contact Director of Development Shana Farr at (212) 935-5824, ext. 214 or sfarr@yorktheatre.org, or go online at YorkTheatre.org.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist and librettist who helped shape American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. His contributions to such landmark musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel are a legacy for all time. The award was created in 1988 by Janet Hayes Walker, Founding Artistic Director of The York Theatre Company, with the endorsement of the Hammerstein family and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Its purpose is to recognize significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre, and it is presented at a gala evening held for the benefit of The York Theatre Company.

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. On August 19 of this year, His Honor Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

“André De Shields is a true man of the theatre, and it is a glorious coincidence that he began his career in 1969, the same year that The York was founded,” said James Morgan, York’s Producing Artistic Director. “We can’t think of a better way to honor his fifty years in showbiz than with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Musical Theatre. We are ecstatic to honor him for a career as performer that began with Hair and wound its way through Ain’t Misbehavin’ and into the current Hadestown, with detours into writing, directing, choreographing, and teaching. Nobody is more deserving.”

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

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

2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields, Jose Llana, T.R. Knight, Noah Galvin, Alton Alburo and More Set for PRIDE PLAYS Reading of Terrence McNally’s SOME MEN at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater on June 24

2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields and Michael Urie. Photo by Lia Chang

Doug Nevin and Michael Urie, in partnership with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater are closing out the Pride Plays’ festival of play readings  commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, with a benefit reading of Terrence McNally’s Some Men, helmed by Logan Reed, on June 24, 2019 at 8pm at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Place).

Normally performed by a cast of eight actors playing nearly fifty roles, Pride Plays’ one-night-only benefit reading will be performed by a cast of forty. A limited number of tickets are available through the Pride Plays Patron Program at rattlestick.org. Nick Mayo serves as Festival Director.

The cast of Some Men includes Alton Alburo, Ken Barnett, Peter Bartlett, Will Blum, Arnie Burton, Daniel Butler, Billy Carter, Kevin Chamberlin, Dominic Colón, Jordan E. Cooper, Michael Cyril Creighton, James Cusati-Moyer, Ricardo Dávila, Tom Deckman, André De Shields, Stephen DeRosa, Frank DiLella, Noah Galvin, Sam Gonzalez, Ryan Haddad, Randy Harrison, John Benjamin Hickey, Murray Hill, T.R. Knight, Jose Llana, Michael Mastro, Nick Mayo, Larry Powell, Everett Quinton, Lance Roberts, Thomas Jay Ryan, Calvin Leon Smith, David Ryan Smith, Stephen Spinella, Bobby Steggert, David Turner, Vishal Vaidya, and Marc Vietor.

Tom Kirdahy and Terrence McNally, winner of the award for Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre at The Plaza Hotel on June 9, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Terrence McNally is the 2019 recipient of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. McNally has had a remarkably far-ranging career, including at least one new work on Broadway in each of the last six decades. A revival of his play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon is currently on Broadway. In 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award. He has won four Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his musical books for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. He has written a number of TV scripts, including “Andre’s Mother,” for which he won an Emmy Award. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, four Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards, and three Hull-Warriner Awards from the Dramatists Guild. In 1996 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He wrote the libretto for the operas Great Scott and Dead Man Walking, both with music by Jake Heggie. Other plays include Mothers and Sons; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Lisbon Traviata; A Perfect Ganesh; The Visit; The Full Monty; Corpus Christi; Bad Habits; Next; The Ritz; Anastasia; It’s Only a Play; Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone?; and The Stendhal Syndrome. Click here to learn more about his new documentary, Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life. Below is his speech from the 2019 Tony Awards.

More than a dozen play readings from celebrated LGBTQIA voices will be presented from June 20th through 24th at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, capturing the prideful spirit of the LGBTQIA community and celebrating 50 years of theatrical voices.

Set against the backdrop of World Pride and the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, Pride Plays hopes to be a reflection of the queer experience the community has braved in the years since its heroes took their stand.

The advisory committee for Pride Plays is Chay Yew, Moises Kaufman, Lucy Thurber, Sam Hunter, Lisa Scheps, Michael Sheppard, Miranda Haymon, andTed Snowdon. Calleri Casting is the casting office for Pride Plays.

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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

Ali Ewoldt, Devin Ilaw, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan, Hansel Tan, Nina Zoie Lam, Timothy Huang, Jelani Alladin and More Celebrate Steven Eng at Prospect Theater Company Gala

On Monday night, Lucille Lortel nominee Steven Eng (Pacific Overtures) was honored at the Prospect Theater Company 2019 Gala at Manhattan Penthouse along with Michelle McGorty and Harriet Slaughter.

Honorees Harriet Slaughter, Michelle McGorty and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

The evening also recognized two decades of commitment and vision from the co-Founders of Prospect: Melissa Huber, Peter Mills, Cara Reichel, and Tony Vallés.

Timothy Huang and Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony and Grammy Award nominated actress Ashley Park (Mean Girls, KPOP) hosted the evening’s festivities which included cocktails, dinner and a concert event featuring favorite songs from Prospect’s history.

Steven Eng and Ashley Park. Photo by Lia Chang

Chanel Karimkhani, Andrew Mayer, Lilli Thomas, Skyler Volpe, Cathryn Wake, members of the cast of The Hello Girls, the company’s recent Off-Broadway hit, were featured in an encore performance, alongside a line-up of other Broadway friends and Prospect artists including Ali Ewoldt, Devin Ilaw, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan, Hansel Tan, Hillary Fisher, Ben Moss, Mia Pinero, Ashley Park, Destinee Rea, LaDonna Burns, Tia DeShazor, A.J. Shively, Mary Kate Morrissey, Jennifer Blood, David Perlman, Simone Zamore and Bob Stillman.

The performances were directed by Christine O’Grady, with music direction by Andy Roninson on piano, Kiku Enomoto on violin, Brian Sanders on cello and Matt Scharfglass on bass.

The Band: Brian Sanders, Andy Roninson, Kiki Enomoto and Matt Scharfglass. Photo by Lia Chang

Steven Eng’s relationship with Prospect spans over a decade, beginning as an actor with the 2007 musical workshop of Honor. That would lead to subsequent performances with Prospect, and in the last several years to a producing partnership with National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), the non-profit he co-founded in 2009. NAAP’s mission is to showcase the works of Asian-American theater artists through performance, outreach and educational programming.

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of “Pacific Overtures” by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

A professional actor for over 20 years, he continues to perform (2018 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Pacific Overtures), direct (NAAP/Prospect’s 2018 Into the Woods), and teach on the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where his work as a voice, speech/text authority has also be presented at the national conferences of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, Mr. Eng has been interviewed on NPR and other medial outlets and served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. In May, he’ll appear in four performances of Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain in Utah as part of the Spike 150 celebration.

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Sold Out in Salt Lake City, Final Casting Announced 

Nina Zoie Lam was on hand to celebrate her NAAP co-founder.

Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt, Devin Ilaw, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Hansel Tan performed “One Time, One Meeting” from Honor.

Kiku Enomoto, Andy Roninson, Matt Scharfglass, Jason Ma, Hansel Tan, Diane Phelan, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Hansel Tan, Andy Roninson, Diane Phelan, Matt Scharfglass, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Frozen’s Jelani Alladin, a former student, presented Mr. Eng with his award.

Steven Eng and Jelani Alladin. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Jelani Alladin. Photo by Lia Chang

Below is Mr. Eng’s speech:
“Monday, November 12, 2007, the first rehearsal for the work-in-progress musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It set in feudal Japan. It would only be Act 1 for this workshop, but to me, it was the taste of something that I knew would be extraordinary. This was my introduction to the gifts of Cara Reichel and Pete Mills, and the important company that we are here to celebrate tonight.

Steven Eng and Ali Ewoldt in the 2008 production of HONOR at the Hudson Guild Theater in New York. Photo by Richard Termine

By the time the full 2-Act production of Honor had rehearsed, opened and closed half a year later, I already knew that my experience had been quite special. It remains so to this day. Just look at my incredibly talented friends who just performed for you tonight. And “Little Gray Stone” will always be one of the most cherished songs I will ever have the privilege of performing on any stage.”

NAAP co-founders Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng at the NAAP Gala celebrating 60th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein's FLOWER DRUM SONG on December 2, 2018 at The Golden Unicorn on December 2, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
NAAP co-founders Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng at the NAAP Gala celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s FLOWER DRUM SONG on December 2, 2018 at The Golden Unicorn on December 2, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Since co-founding National Asian Artists Project in 2009 with Baayork Lee and Nina Zoie Lam, my admiration for Prospect has only grown. I’ve learned that founding, running, and maintaining a non-profit theater company is hard. Producing new musicals is hard. Keeping the creative mind and heart lit when you must raise money to pay for actors, musicians, creative teams, designers, crews, costumes, sets, lights, sound, rehearsal spaces, performance venues … not to mention management, administration, marketing, development, office space … that’s … well … hard. And for 20 years.

Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel at Prospect Theater Company's 2017-18 IGNITE Series GOLD MOUNTAIN concert at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel at Prospect Theater Company’s 2017-18 IGNITE Series GOLD MOUNTAIN concert at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo Lia Chang

So to Cara, Pete, Missy, Tony and the whole Prospect family, my hat’s off to you.

Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Eric Bondoc and Steven Eng in GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Eric Bondoc and Steven Eng in GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

For myself, I’ve had the chance to wear several hats with Prospect, from actor to director to producing partner. And just as Prospect has recognized me as someone who has played a significant role in its growth, I can say unequivocally, the feeling is mutual.

Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella) and Steven Eng (Director). Photo by Lia Chang
Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella) and Steven Eng (Director) in rehearsal for INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang

So thank you for honoring me tonight, for allowing me a reason to bring my family from across the country to share in this remarkable evening, and here’s to what wonderful things lie ahead in our next 20 years.”

Steven Eng and his mom, Ping Fong Ng. Photo by Lia Chang
Brenda Wong, honoree Steven Eng, Ping Fong Ng and Sandrea Faabeng. Photo by Lia Chang
Brenda Wong, Tomas Sander, honoree Steven Eng, Ping Fong Ng, Lasse Faabeng, Sandra Faabeng. Photo by Lia Chang
Tomas Sander, Brenda Wong, Nina Zoie Lam, Ping Fong Ng, honoree Steven Eng, Sandra Faabeng and Lasse Faabeng. Photo by Lia Chang

Michelle McGorty’s interest in musical theater started in the late 70’s, when her parents took her to a touring production of CATS. An avid performer from that moment on, she joined the Princeton University Triangle Club in college, where she served as the Vice President and Tour Manager, and met future Prospect founders Cara Reichel, Peter Mills and Melissa Huber. As one of Prospect’s earliest advocates, she joined its Board of Directors in 2005 and served through 2014, championing productions such as Golden Boy of the Blue Bridge and The Underclassman and helping the company grow by launching its first Gala. A positive force in all her endeavors, after graduating from Princeton, Ms. McGorty earned her MBA from Columbia Business School and spent 12 years Booz Allen Hamilton before experimenting with “mompreneurship” via her baking company, Sweet McG’s. She is currently the Triangle Club’s Alumni Board Secretary, where she continues to support young artists.

Co-chair Jane Abramson, Honorees Harriet Slaughter, Michelle McGorty, Steven Eng and Co-chair Tira Harpaz. Photo by Lia Chang

Harriet Slaughter has been a life-long advocate for the arts, including theater, dance, poetry and visual art. Her career began as a triple-threat performer on the stage – including the original Inherit the Wind and the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. Ms. Slaughter then went on to serve in senior executive leadership positions for Town Hall, Actors’ Equity, and The Broadway League. As co-president of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), she co-produced the Women in Theatre TV series for CUNY-TV, hosted by Linda Winer of Newsday. For her achievements, she was honored by the New York Women’s Agenda with their Galaxy Award. Long a supporter of women in the arts, she was first introduced to Cara Reichel and the work of the Prospect Theater Company through the LPTW’s Lucille Lortel Committee and has since remained an avid Prospect supporter. She published a book of her original poetry and paintings, ARS POETICA and her paintings have also appeared in galleries in New York City. She regularly features her poetry at various venues on Long Island, where she now resides.

Proceeds from the evening will support Prospect’s mission to bring to life new musical theater by emerging theater artists. www.ProspectTheater.org

Hansel Tan, Devin Ilaw, Steven Eng, Nina Zoie Lam, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Hansel Tan, Devin Ilaw, Julie Miller, Steven Eng, Nina Zoie Lam, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Devin Ilaw, Ali Ewoldt, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang
Devin Ilaw, Ali Ewoldt, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang
Hansel Tan, Diane Phelan, Jason Ma, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Hansel Tan, Diane Phelan, Jason Ma, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang
A SHANGHAI LIL reunion with Jason Ma, Jeanne Sakata, Steven Eng and Timothy Huang. Photo by Lia Chang
A SHANGHAI LIL reunion with Steven Eng, Jeanne Sakata and Timothy Huang. Photo by Lia Chang

Prospect Theater Company is presenting a workshop staging of American Morning, with book, music and lyrics by Timothy Huang, from May 8 – 19, in the Mezzanine Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres. Marlo Hunter directs. The cast features James Seol, Hansel Tan, Andew Cristi, Chil Kong, Daniel Le, Dorcas Leung, Aaron Phillips and Isabel Santiago. For tickets and more information, click www.ProspectTheater.org.

Photo Flash: Steven Eng, Michelle McGorty, And Harriet Slaughter Honored At Prospect Theater Company’s 2019 Gala

James Seol, Hansel Tan, Andew Cristi, Chil Kong, Daniel Le, Dorcas Leung, Aaron Phillips and Isabel Santiago Set for Prospect Theater Company’s Workshop Production of AMERICAN MORNING by Timothy Huang, May 8 -19 

Chatting with Steven Eng – 2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for “Pacific Overtures” 

Alvin Ing and Yuriko Kikuchi Honored at NAAP Gala Celebrating 60th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s FLOWER DRUM SONG 

Jason Ma, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee and More in NAAP’s INTO THE WOODS Rehearsal

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Lia Chang
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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

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