- East West Players
name = East West Players
formed = 1965
location = Union Center for the Arts
120 Judge John Aiso St.
Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California 90012
notable = Mako (d.),
Artistic Directoremeritus Nobu McCarthy(d.) Artistic Directoremeritus
homepage = [http://www.eastwestplayers.org www.eastwestplayers.org]
East West Players is an
Asian Americantheatre organization in Los Angeles, founded in 1965. As one of the nation’s first Asian American theatreorganizations, East West Players today continues to produce works and educational programs that give voice to the Asian Pacific Americanexperience.
Established in 1965 by Mako,
Beulah Quo, James Hong, Pat Li, June Kim, Guy Leeand Yet Lockas a place where Asian American actors could perform roles beyond the stereotypical parts they were being limited to in Hollywood, early STATEMENT OF PURPOSE read:
"To further cultural understanding between the East and West by employing the dual Oriental and American heritages of the East-West Players." [1968 playbill for "The Medium"]
East West Players has been called “the nation’s pre-eminent Asian American theater troupe” [New York Times 12/16/01] for their award-winning productions blending Eastern and Western movement, costumes, language, and music. EWP has premiered over 100 plays and musicals about the Asian Pacific American experience and has held over 1,000 readings and workshops. Its emphasis is on building bridges between East and West; attendance estimates are 56% Asians and 44% non-Asians.
In 1998, EWP Producing Artistic Director
Tim Dangled the company’s move from a 99-seat Equity Waiver "black box” into a new 240-seat venue at an Actors Equity Associationcontract level. EWP’s mainstage is the David Henry HwangTheater, housed within the historic Union Center for the Arts in downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyodistrict, where it serves over 10,000 people each year, including low income audiences provided free and discounted admissions and deaf audiences attending a series of ASL-interpreted shows.
EWP offers a growing array of educational programs training over 200 multicultural artists each year – the Actors Conservatory (performance workshops and an intensive Summer Conservatory); David Henry Hwang Writers Institute; the career program, Alliance of Creative Talent Services (ACTS); and the touring Theatre for Youth (reaching an estimated 50,000 K-8th graders and their families via in-school performances and festivals).
Notable EWP alumni include actors Mako,
Nobu McCarthy, Pat Morita, James Hong, Yuki Shimoda, John Lone, Rodney Kageyama, B.D. Wong, James Saito, Freda Foh Shen, Lauren Tom, Amy Hill, Alec Mapa, Alan Muraoka, Emily Kuroda, Sala Iwamatsu, Chris Tashima, John Choand Daniel Dae Kim, and dramatists Wakako Yamauchi, Hiroshi Kashiwagi, David Henry Hwang, Philip Kan Gotanda, Roberta Uno, R.A. Shiomi and Judith Nihei. East West Players has also had the opportunity to work with many respected artists and faculty such as actors Dennis Dun, Danny Glover, Bill Macy, Takayo Fischer, George Takei, Tsai Chin, and Nancy Kwan, directors, Lisa Peterson and Oskar Eustis, musician Dan Kuramoto and instructors Calvin Remsberg and Fran Bennett.
Over seventy-five percent of all Asian Pacific performers in the acting unions living in Los Angeles have worked at EWP. East West Players has provided training and opportunities to many emerging and professional artists who have gone on win
Tony Awards, Obie Awards, Emmy Awards, LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, and Academy Awards.
East West Players has collaborated with many organizations though its history, including
Center Theatre Group, Robey Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Companyand Cedar Grove OnStage.
2008/09 43rd Anniversary Season
Be Like Water", written by Dan Kwong, directed by Chris Tashima
The Joy Luck Club", written by Susan Kim, directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera
* "Ixnay" by Paul Kikuchi, directed by Jeff Liu
Marry Me a Little", music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Jules Aaronand " The Last Five Years", music & lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Asian American theatre
* [http://www.eastwestplayers.org/ East West Players site]
* [http://www.myspace.com/eastwestplayers East West Players] on
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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