East West Players

East West Players

Infobox Theatre_Group
bgcolour =
name = East West Players

imagesize =140px
caption =
formed = 1965
location = Union Center for the Arts
120 Judge John Aiso St.
Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California 90012
disbanded =
notable = Mako (d.), Artistic Director emeritus
Nobu McCarthy (d.) Artistic Director emeritus
homepage = [http://www.eastwestplayers.org www.eastwestplayers.org]
genre = Asian American theatre

East West Players is an Asian American theatre organization in Los Angeles, founded in 1965. As one of the nation’s first Asian American theatre organizations, East West Players today continues to produce works and educational programs that give voice to the Asian Pacific American experience.


Established in 1965 by Mako, Beulah Quo, James Hong, Pat Li, June Kim, Guy Lee and Yet Lock as 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 Dang led the company’s move from a 99-seat Equity Waiver "black box” into a new 240-seat venue at an Actors Equity Association contract level. EWP’s mainstage is the David Henry Hwang Theater, housed within the historic Union Center for the Arts in downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district, 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.

Educational Programs

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 Cho and 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 Company and Cedar Grove OnStage.

Current season

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 Aaron and "The Last Five Years", music & lyrics by Jason Robert Brown

ee also

* Asian American theatre


External links

* [http://www.eastwestplayers.org/ East West Players site]
* [http://www.myspace.com/eastwestplayers East West Players] on MySpace

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