By Inda Craig-Galván
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13
Mary Ellen Pleasant was a 19th-century abolitionist, an entrepreneur, a real estate tycoon, and the first African American millionaire... and you’ve probably never heard of her. Pleasant uses contemporary music, humor, and unconventional storytelling to explore the life of this self-described “capitalist by profession” who used her role as a humble domestic worker to cloak her badassery. Scandals, rumors, and one angry Karen threatened to bury her legacy, but Pleasant seeks to unearth her invaluable and lasting accomplishments.
Tickets to all festival readings require reservations and are free. Reservations for Globe subscribers and donors are available Friday, December 15, 2023 at 12:00 noon. Subject to availability, reservations for the general public will be available beginning Thursday, January 4 at 12:00 noon. A line for standby seating will form 30 minutes before each performance of the Powers New Voices Festival. Based on ticket-holder attendance, those standing in the standby line may be seated. Seating is based on seat availability and is not guaranteed. Latecomers with tickets are also not guaranteed admittance.
La Jolla Playhouse Presents... DNA New Works Series: HUMAN MUSEUM by Miyoko Conley - 12/01 @7pm, 12/3 @ 3pm
By Miyoko Conley
Directed by Jesca Prudencio
Friday, Dec 1 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, Dec 3 at 3:00 pm
Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center (PDC) at La Jolla Playhouse
Set in a future where humans have gone extinct, Human Museum follows a group of robots on Earth that run a museum dedicated to organizing the physical and digital artifacts of human life. On the centenary of human extinction, a sudden radio call upends everything the robots thought they knew about the last days of humanity. Human Museum explores what we will leave behind when we’re gone, and who will carry on our legacy.
Shaun plays robot 65. Come see what movies like Wall-E, Waterworld, & Independence Day have to do with this utopian future!
Little Amal is the 12 foot puppet of a 10 year old Syrian refugee child at the heart of The Walk. She has become a global symbol of human rights, especially those of refugees.
Between September 7th and November 26th, 2023, Amal is journeying 9,000 miles across the United States and Mexico in one of the largest free public festivals ever created. 40 towns and cities from Boston to San Diego and 7 cities from Tijuana to Tapachula will create 100+ free public events to welcome her.
Since July 2021, Amal has travelled over 6,000 miles to 97 towns and cities in 14 countries and been welcomed by more than a million people on the street, including hundreds of artists and civil society and faith leaders, as well as by tens of millions online. Her journeys are festivals of art and hope that draw attention to the huge numbers of children fleeing war, violence and persecution, each with their own story. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us”.
Step outside the lines...
Date: 4 Nov 2023
Local Start Time: 2:00pm
Location: Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
La Jolla Playhouse will take Amal on a joyous adventure in San Diego to celebrate the power of theatre and the city’s rich cultural diversity. In partnership with La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls program.
Date: Saturday November 4th
Start time: 2:00pm
Location: Bea Evenson Fountain, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
It is always free to walk with Amal. To help make a difference The Amal Fund with Choose Love supports displaced children across the world. If you can, please make a donation today: chooselove.org/theamalfund
JOIN THE CROWDFUNDING EFFORT for EWP's recording of an album for OTSOTW, a new musical giving voice to Filipino-American immigrants!
In July of 2022, East West Players (EWP) produced a workshop of On This Side of the World, written by Paulo K. Tiról and directed by Noam Shapiro.
A year later, the heartfelt musical made its way to East West Players' main stage at the David Henry Hwang Theater. The show was extended, proving its impact on the Filipino-American and immigrant community in Los Angeles and beyond, and becoming the highest grossing new musical in EWP’s history.
Now, for the first time since 2005, EWP is recording an original cast album for On This Side of the World- but we can't do it alone. EWP is committed to completing the project, and has already invested $10,000 into ensuring we rightly compensate the incredible artists involved in the creation of the show. Today, we are humbly asking for your support in raising an additional $5,000 for a total of $15,000 to help us recoup the additional costs that come with recording, mixing, mastering, artists’ royalties, and distributing this very special cast album.
We're launching this Indiegogo to ask for your support in making this project the best that it can be. As we aim to continue creating impactful work, every dollar counts towards helping us immortalize the magic of Paulo's work.
Please join us on this journey of creating the On This Side of the World Cast Album. Make a tax-deductible contribution today to help us bring a piece of EWP magic straight to you!
Cast and Crew Announced for East West Players’ Production of ‘On This Side of the World’ A World Premiere Musical Produced in Association with FilAm ARTS
On This Side of the World
Contact: Gavin Pak, (213) 625-7000 x18, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Goldman (213) 500-8532 email@example.com
For more press and event information: www.eastwestplayers.org
For press photos or interview requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • LOS ANGELES, CA
Cast and Crew Announced for East West Players’ Production of
On This Side of the World
A World Premiere Musical
Produced in Association with FilAm ARTS
Music & Lyrics by Paulo K Tiról
Created with & Directed by Noam Shapiro
Dates: May 11 – June 4, 2023
Opening Night: May 14, 2023
March 15, 2023, Los Angeles, CA | East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running Asian American theater and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works presents the world premiere of On This Side of the World. With music & lyrics by Paulo K Tirol and created with & directed by Noam Shapiro, this soaring new musical takes flight at the David Henry Hwang Theater May 11 through June 4, 2023 with opening night on Sunday, May 14.
A woman flies from the Philippines to America with a one-way ticket and a suitcase full of stories. Each story is collected from immigrants who came before her—tales of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies; snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses and first-generation Americans. Suspended above the ocean, she replays these stories in her mind as she searches for the courage to embrace her future. This world premiere musical gives voices to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, eight-thousand miles from home.
“On This Side of the World is one of the most transporting and moving new musicals I have encountered in a long time. It explores the beautiful ways in which we immigrants contribute to the rich tapestry of what it is to be an Asian American. We’re proud to be able to premiere the world premiere of this humorous, inventive, and deeply heartfelt new musical in partnership with FilAm ARTS. With this production we hope to pay homage to and honor the countless immigrants before us who took the first, daring steps to leave all that they know behind with just a suitcase and their dreams in hopes of building a better life for themselves and their families.”
Snehal Desai, East West Players Producing Artistic DirectorOn This Side of the World will perform at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Little Tokyo. The David Henry Hwang Theater is located in the Union Center for the Arts, celebrating its 100th anniversary. The historic building was originally dedicated in 1923 as the Union Church before becoming home to three non-profit arts organizations including East West Players as the Union Center for the Arts in 1998.
East West Players produces On This Side of the World in association with FilAm ARTS (The Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture). A special Filipino Community Night with FilAm ARTS performance of On This Side of the World will be held May 13 at 8pm. This special preview night performance will include a pre and post-show reception featuring food and drinks.
“We have been so fortunate to have Paulo K Tiról & Noam Shapiro as part of our FilAm ARTS Pamilya, and are honored to have presented highlights from On This Side of The World two years ago as part of A Love Letter to HiFi. This spring collaboration between East West Players and FilAm ARTS is a testament of our community and cultural partnership. We look forward to seeing you at the theater!”
We have been so fortunate to have Paulo K Tiról & Noam Shapiro as part of our FilAm ARTS Pamilya, and are honored to have presented highlights from On This Side of The World two years ago as part of A Love Letter to HiFi. This spring collaboration between East West Players and FilAm ARTS is a testament of our community and cultural partnership. We look forward to seeing you at the theater!
The cast of On This Side of the World comprises:
Steven-Adam Agdeppa* (EWP’s Mamma Mia! & Crazy Talented Asians, The Wallis’ Invincible: The Musical, La Mirada Theatre’s Grease! & In the Heights)
Zandi De Jesus (Miss Saigon, La Jolla Playhouse’s Most Wanted, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Nat’l Tour)
Michael C. Palma* (EWP’s Mamma Mia! & Imelda: A New Musical, Cold Tofu Improv)
Cassie Simone* (La Mirada Theatre’s Hunchback of Notre Dame & RENT, A Noise Within’s Man of La Mancha)
Andrea Somera (EWP’s Assassins, A Noise Within’s A Christmas Carol)
Shaun Tuazon* (EWP’s Mamma Mia!, San Diego Rep’s Vietgone, Cabrillo Music Theatre's In the Heights, La Jolla Playhouse's #SuperShinySara & Hoopla!)
Melvin Biteng (Disney Jr. Live: Costume Palooza Nat’l Tour, Avenue Q, Mamma Mia!) and Justine Rafael (EWP’s Crazy Talented Asians, Paris Las Vegas’ Bat Out Of Hell) understudy this production.
The creative team includes direction by Noam Shapiro, music direction by Jennifer Lin and Marc Macalintal, choreography by Anjanette Maraya-Ramey, orchestration by Ian Miller, scenic design by Yi-Chien Lee, projection design by David Murakami, costume design by Jaymee Ngernwichit, properties design by Glenn Michael Baker, lighting design by Szu-Yun Wang, and stage management by Edward Khris Fernandez*.
Paulo K Tiról (Music & Lyrics) is a composer, lyricist, and bookwriter originally from Manila, Philippines and now based in Jersey City, NJ. His work includes music and lyrics for On This Side of the World (created with and directed by Noam Shapiro; world premiere at East West Players; presentation at NAMT Festival 2020; residencies at the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Catwalk Art Institute, Access Theater; readings and workshops at East West Players, Musical Theatre West, Prospect Theater Co., Access Theatre / Three Hares); music, lyrics and book for Dear America, adapted from the memoir of journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas (directed and book co-written by Noam Shapiro; residencies at the Drama League, Theater Latté Da, Catwalk Art Institute); music, lyrics and book for Called (developed as a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow); and orchestrations for the off-Broadway musical Felix Starro (Ma-Yi Theater Co.). He was commissioned to contribute to Prospect Theater Co.’s off-Broadway song cycle Notes from Now, and Rattlestick Theater’s Gen Speak. He is also an award-winning composer of choral liturgical music, with work published by Oregon Catholic Press. Training: Ateneo de Manila University; Berklee; MFA Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch (full-tuition scholarship); BMI. More at www.paulophonic.com.
Noam Shapiro (Director & Co-Creator) is a DC and New York-based director and the Producing Artistic Director of Three Hares Theater. He is the 2022-2023 Drama League Next Stage Resident Director, where he is developing Dear America, adapted from the memoir of journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, with Paulo K Tiról. Noam was the SDC Foundation’s inaugural Kurt Weill/Harold Prince Directing Fellow at Encores! New York City Center, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellow, a Drama League First Draft Resident Artist, and a winner of OPERA-America’s Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize for The Little Prince. His recent projects include On This Side of the World (East West Players; Rhinebeck Writers Retreat; NAMT Festival; Three Hares/Access Theater); Sweeney Todd (Yale Dramatic Association), Gonzo (LaGuardia Performing Arts Festival), Speaking as Then (Columbia University School of the Arts), Little League (Three Hares), The Laramie Project (Johns Hopkins Barnstormers), and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Lyra Theater). Associate Member of SDC. BA Yale. www.noamshapiro.com
Calendar information about On This Side of the World
All performances of On This Side of the World are presented at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 in Little Tokyo. On This Side of the World performs May 11 through June 4, with opening night occurring Sunday, May 14. Performance times Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday are at 8pm, with additional 2 PM matinees on Saturday and 5pm performances on Sunday. Ticket prices range from $39 to $69. A Pay-What-You-Can performance is scheduled for Monday, May 22 at 8PM.
Tickets may be purchased online at eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000. At time of purchase please mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. Student, senior, and group discounts are available. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change. Box office is available 11AM – 5PM, Monday-Friday, as well as one hour before all performances.
East West Players 2 Musical Memberships are available now. All memberships will include tickets to the world premiere musical On This Side of the World and the Tony Award winning Best Musical Spring Awakening. Memberships may be purchased online at eastwestplayers.org/2musicals or by calling (213) 625-7000.
Tickets to the Filipino Community Night with FilAm ARTS performance of On This Side of the World on May 13 at 8pm may be purchased at bit.ly/on-this-side-of-the-world-filamarts.
EWP has implemented numerous COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure that artists and audience members are able to safely enjoy their experience. For more information, please visit eastwestplayers.org.
About East West Players
East West Players (EWP), the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, was founded in 1965, at a time when Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (APIs) faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape. EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation in entertainment and media.
About FilAm ARTS
FilAm ARTS exists as a resource for Filipino-American artists and culture bearers outside the Philippines to cultivate a community who are rooted in our collective history and actively striving to represent, celebrate and express Filipino culture and our unique Filipino-American identity. FilAm ARTS is committed to serve as a cultural consultant to other organizations actively looking to further Filipino representation in the global community.
Shaun Tuazon serves as Lead Props for the World Premiere of...
THIS MUCH I KNOW
By Jonathan Spector
Directed by Josh Costello
Runtime: 2 Hours
There will be a 10-minute intermission and a 5-minute intermission.
The writer of Eureka Day returns to Aurora with an explosively theatrical interrogation of agency and culpability. Through his all-too-personal lectures on psychology, Lukesh attempts to unravel a mystery with his wife Natalya at the center. What happened to Natalya? The search for answers will launch us on a time-hopping fugue, weaving together the stories of Stalin's daughter defecting to America, the son of a white supremacist growing to doubt the beliefs he was raised with, and the secret despair of an accidental killer. How do we truly make decisions? How do we change our minds? And what does it mean to be complicit?
Jonathan Spector’s writing is “lively, alarming, and entertaining... [Spector is] observant and empathetic.”
— Ben Brantley, NEW YORK TIMES
Read the This Much I Know dramaturgy article here
SINGLE TICKET PRICING:
$75 for Opening Nights
$40 for Previews
All other dates are based on the number of tickets sold, $41–$66. Buy early for the best prices! There will be a $6 processing fee added to each order.
We also offer Pay-What-You-Can Tickets, $20 Rush Tickets, and other discounts.
Check out our discounts page for more information.
Please join us for a discussion of Aurora's production of This Much I Know by Jonathan Spector, hosted after the show on the select days listed below. Discussion host, Dawn Monique Williams, may be joined by the actor, director, community members, and or local storytellers.
Friday, September 9
Tuesday, September 13
Wednesday, September 21
Thursday, September 29
Check out Shaun's work as Lead Props. This one was a lot of fun!
Sarah Rose Leonard
Assistant Costume Designer
Lisa Anne Porter
Assistant Stage Manager
Dawn Monique Williams
* Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers,
**United Scenic Artists Member, +Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Member
Jonathan Spector’s award-winning, critically acclaimed play Eureka Day will have its European premiere in September at London’s Old Vic, starring Oscar-winner Helen Hunt. His newest work, Best Available will be part of the Ashland New Play Festival in October.
Jonathan’s plays have been produced across the country and abroad at theaters including Asolo Rep, Aurora Theater, Colt Coeur, Custom Made Theater, InterAct Theater, Mosaic Theater, Mugwumpin, Syracuse Stage, Spreckles Theater, The State Theater of South Australia, and Just Theater, where he was the long-time co-Artistic Director. He has developed work with Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Crowded Fire, New Harmony Project, The Lark, Manhattan Theater Club, PlayPenn, Roundabout, and South Coast Rep, among others.
Honors include the Edgerton Award, Glickman Award, Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award, Theater Bay Area Award, Global Age Prize and Rella Lossy Award. He is a Core Writer at Playwrights Center, and has been a MacDowell Fellow and a Resident Playwright at Playwrights Foundation. Jonathan has received commissions from Roundabout Theater Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theater Club, South Coast Rep and Aurora Theater. He is represented by CAA and Kaplan/Perrone.
Josh Costello (Artistic Director & Director) At Aurora and previously as the founding Artistic Director of Impact Theatre and the Artistic Director of Expanded Programs at Marin Theatre Company, Josh has worked to make theatre more accessible for more people, sharing a passion for the visceral experience of live theatre with new audiences and underserved communities. Josh has directed several productions at Aurora, including Exit Strategy, The Importance of Being Earnest, and the world premiere of Eureka Day, which won every Bay Area new play award. His world-premiere production of Aaron Loeb’s Ideation with the San Francisco Playhouse in both SF and NYC won the Glickman Award for best new play in the Bay Area and the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Direction, and was named a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Other directing work includes My Children! My Africa! at Marin Theatre Company, House of Lucky at Magic Theatre, and his adaptations of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and Aphra Behn’s The Rover. Josh holds a BFA in theatre from Boston University, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Rajesh Bose* (A/Lukesh) has performed extensively off-Broadway and throughout the country – favorites include three productions at Bedlam Theatre (Persuasion, The Crucible, and Pygmalion), Henry VI (National Asian American Theatre Company), Against The Hillside (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Indian Ink (Roundabout), King Lear (Northern Stage), Oslo (St. Louis Rep), Mary Stuart (Folger Theatre), Guards at the Taj (Capital Stage), Disgraced (Playmakers Rep, Huntington Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre – Connecticut Critics Circle Award, IRNE Nomination), Invisible Hand (Westport Playhouse, Hartford Theaterworks), and The Who & The What (Gulfshore Playhouse, Hartford Theaterworks). Rajesh has guest starred on several network television shows, including Bull, Elementary, Damages, Blue Bloods, and Quantico among others — he appears in the series finale of The Sopranos, and the Academy Award nominated film Frozen River. Rajesh made his professional directing debut earlier this year at Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ, where he directed the East Coast premiere of The Giant Void In My Soul. Upcoming: Life of Pi at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA.
Anna Ishida (B/Natalya) was last seen at the Aurora as Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest. Currently based in the Bay Area but also performs on the East Coast - recent credits include: Olga in The Three Sisters (Two River Theater, NJ), The Antelope Party (Dutch Kills, NYC), Shipwreck (Woolly Mammoth, DC), Moby-Dick (American Repertory Theater, MA), Henry VI Parts 1 & 2 (NAATCO, NYC - Drama Desk Nomination: Best Revival), Trigger (Leviathan Lab, NYC), It Can’t Happen Here (Staged & Radio Play @ Berkeley Rep, CA), Mr. Burns: a post-electric play (American Conservatory Theater & The Guthrie, CA/MN), Water by the Spoonful (Theatreworks Silicon Valley, CA), Beowulf—A Thousand Years of Baggage (Shotgun Players/Banana Bag & Bodice: US/UK tours). Film: I Am a Ghost & Bitter Melon (writer/director/composer: H.P. Mendoza) www.annaishida.com – Thank you all for coming tonight and thank you to mom and papa and my deep Bay Area roots & community.
Kenny Toll is an LA native and a graduate of San Francisco State University. He was last seen at Aurora in The Heir Apparent. He originated the role of Mr. Wickham in Lauren Gunderson's The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley. Most recently he has been seen in Frost/Nixon at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Lobby Hero at Capital Rep in Albany NY, Shakespeare in Love at Marin Theatre Company, and Richard II at Kingsmen Shakespeare in Los Angeles. He is a proud member of AEA.
Shaun's Theatrical Portfolio
Contact Shaun via email here!