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SDAART THEATRE ARTIST PROFILES

The following Theatre Artists have worked with SDAART in the past and may be current or future collaborators. Our organization is grateful to all those who have participated in SDAART's history and eagerly welcome continuing collaborations.

This is only a partial list of AART Associate and Resident Artists. SDAART Artists:
SDAART Collaborators: please send us an email with short bio and photo if you are not on this page and want to be.

 

CARLENNE LACOSTA
Literary Associate and Production Assistant for Native Voices at the Autry; a Teaching Artist for Young Native Voices: Theater Education Project at Sycuan; and the founding Executive Director and Literary Manager for THE COLLECTIVE theatre company. Ms. Lacosta is a master's candidate in Theatre Arts at SDSU, where she received her B.A. in Theatre Arts and Psychology cum laude in 2003. Dramaturgy credits include: Lord Derby's Giant Eland (which she also co-produced); Electricidad; listen; The Cherry Orchard; Angels in America, Parts I and II; Skin; Hamlet; and The Laramie Project (2003 Patté Award).

 
TOMMY ISHIDA - Actress
Tommy is a born and raised native of traditional countryside Japan. She traded in the rice fields and peach trees for the beach when she started her undergraduate studies at San Diego State University. Often mistaken for an identity crisis, Tommy is involved in the Filipino community in San Diego and was chosen as the Most Outstanding Filipino Graduate of her graduating class. Traditional, she enjoys the beauty of Japanese traditions such as the art of Noh/Kyogen, Iaido and Kabuki, and western traditions such as opera and ballroom dancing. Yet modern, she spends her free time checking out hip-hop and house DJs, watching football, and snowboarding during the season. She hopes to express tradition through modern ways. Tommy currently works in Government and Community Relations in the Division of University Advancement at San Diego State University.

 
ANDY LOWE - Actor
Andy Lowe first gained notoriety when his play The Cultural Hyphen won production in the California Young Playwrights Contest in 1994, and was endorsed by David Henry Hwang and Edward Albee. Andy went on to co-found the San Diego Asian American Repertory Theatre in 1995 where he was a company member for the next ten years. As the company's Producing Artistic Director ('97-'05) he had created opportunities for Asian American Actors & Directors, and brought life to plays by APA Playwrights in over thirty-five full stage productions, and countless staged readings, while fostering collaboration and working relationships with Diversionary Theatre, San Diego Black Ensemble, The Fritz Theatre, The Muse Theatre, PASACAT Asian Pacific Arts, Asian Story Theatre, and the San Diego Public Library. In 2001 Andy helped inaugurate San Diego's first Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Festival ('01-'03) which brought visibility to hundreds of APIA performers from classical and folk, to the modern and contemporary on multiple stages. For his work he received an official mayoral commendation, and was recognized as one of the "Top 30 most influential Asian Americans Under the age of 30" (Political Circus Magazine '01). As a director, he has received critical praise for Trying to find Chinatown ('98), Cleveland Raining ('99), F.O.B ('01), The Goddess Of Flowers ('02), and Fentor ('03). After receiving a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program through the California State Library, Andy, with the Asian Story Theatre, work shopped and developed the world premiere of Dear Miss Breed(’07) at the Lyceum Theatre, based on the award winning book by Joanne Oppenheim. Andy is currently employed with the La Jolla Playhouse where he serves as the Theatre in Residence Program Manager, and continues to develop independent theatrical projects for Chinese Pirate Productions.

 

WENDY GRICE - Actress
Wendy joins AART as Marketing and Publicity Manager for the world premiere of The House of Chaos Production. Wendy is a native of Thailand. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from UC Berkeley. She and her family moved from the San Francisco Bay Area many years ago.
Her experience includes promoting local school plays such as Fiddler on the Roof and Li’l Abner through print, TV and radio media as well as local business sponsors. Wendy has always been interested in Performing Arts involving herself as well. Some of her recent experiences included print work, voice over, infomercial, video, and industrial film. She hopes to see more people of different ethnicities and all ages become involved in the entertainment business.
Wendy performed Thai Dancing at her junior college, local preschool, and schools in the area. She also spoke about Thai culture. Currently, Wendy is a member and volunteer at the San Diego Asian Film Foundation. She also keeps up with her acting skills by attending The Rehearsal Room and Joni Wilson Voice Studio.

 

WENDY BAUER - Grantwriter
Wendy has an extensive background in investigative research and writing in the not-for-profit realm, as well as working as a government employee. In the past she has worked diligently as a board member for a not-for-profit musical arts program for children and youth in San Diego, and for a United Way neighborhood house organization in Minneapolis. In her position in Minneapolis, she coordinated more than 100 volunteers at once, as well as planned and publicized major events. She presently serves as a board member at her local church. Wendy is currently working towards a certificate in Fundraising and Development at UCSD, to further her skills and credentials. She is a AARTs dedicated grant writer to help bring much-needed financial support to this special theater company.

 

LIZZIE TRAN - Marketing
Lizzie has a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Classical Studies and concentration in Creative Writing (fiction and poetry) from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. She was the PR writer for Rollins College web page and newspaper and has been treasurer of The Asian American Society Association of Rollins College. A member of the International English Honor Society (Sigma Tau Delta), Lizzie has also volunteered and recruited for the Orlando Fringe Festival (an annual festival that pulls together well-known and unknown writers, artists, and performers dealing with new, edgy, and controversial topics). She has also written articles for The Vien Dong Vietnamese newspaper in Orange County, CA and currently teaches English as a foreign language for Language Studies International in downtown San Diego. In addition, she also substitute teaches at Springall Academy, a non-profit school for special education students in the San Diego school district. Lizzie is also enrolled in a MA/PhD Asian American Literature program while being a fervent AART supporter who enjoys bringing new voices to the stage.

 
Velina Hasu Houston (Playwright) is an internationally acclaimed playwright as well as a published poet and essayist, screenwriter, producer; and Professor of Theatre, Director of Dramatic Writing, and Resident Playwright at the School of Theatre, University of Southern California, where she founded the Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing program in 1990. Since her work first appeared Off-Broadway when she was 22, she has been recognized as a Japan Foundation Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation Fellow (twice), Sidney F. Brody Fellow, and James Zumberge Fellow (thrice); been honored by Sidney Poitier and the Pinter Review Prize for Drama, and received thirteen play commissions. Tea and Houston’s other plays have been produced internationally throughout the U.S and Asia including at Manhattan Theatre Club, Pasadena Playhouse, Old Globe Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Smithsonian Institution, Whole Theatre (Olympia Dukakis, producer), NHK (Japan, nationwide), Negro Ensemble Company, Syracuse Stage, and others. Her works are archived in The Velina Hasu Houston Collection, Huntington Library, San Marino, California. Since 2000, Houston has had seven world premieres of six different plays--Ikebana (Living Flowers), Shedding the Tiger, Amazing Grace, Waiting for Tadashi, Point of Departure, The Lotus of the Sublime Pond, and The Peculiar and Sudden Nearness of the Moon--in regional theaters (The Pasadena Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Sacramento Theatre Company) and other venues across the country. Tea, as well as other plays of Houston’s, have been produced internationally to popular and critical acclaim. A documentary film that Houston co-produced –Frank Suffert’s Desert Dreamers – also premiered on PBS-KQED’s Truly California series in September 2006 with Peter Fonda as Narrator. Currently, three of Houston’s plays will have their world premieres in 2007: Calling Aphrodite at International City Theatre, The House of Chaos at Asian American Repertory Theatre, and Bloody Hell (Or) I Wouldn’t Change A Thing About You as a part of the commissioned Messy Utopia at Mixed Blood Theatre Company. In addition, her play Tea is slated for three productions this season, one being a 20th anniversary production in New York at Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. Houston also is in pre-production as Executive Producer and screenwriter for a documentary film, Cherry Blossoms on the Prairie, with The Tea Project. www.velinahasuhouston.com

Peter James Cirino (Director) graduated from the University of California San Diego with a Master of Fine Arts. He received his Bachelor of Arts degrees from Southwest Texas State University and also studied at the Guildhall in London, England. After graduating from UCSD, Peter founded Planet Earth Multi-cultural Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. Planet Earth is a small alternative theater that produces avant-garde plays, late-night cabarets, traveling shows, collaborative works, and new works produced by Planet Earth Phoenix Playwrights’ Circle. Peter has translated many classic Spanish works for English productions. Professional acting experience includes numerous Spanish-language commercials, films, and voice-over credits. Currently Peter is a professor at San Diego State University teaching Theatre of Diversity and Acting. He has also taught at UCSD creating a series of student written plays and monologues. Additionally, Peter developed the curriculum for the Teatro Meta program at the Globe Theatre, and has been the Globe’s public relations liaison to the Spanish speaking community. Peter is a board member and officer of the Friends of City Heights Performance Annex. As Artistic Director, Peter is driving THE COLLECTIVE to be a bi-national company with plans already in progress to create and exchange works with Mexico.

 
Kelli Jean Groskopf (Lighting Designer)
is a second year graduate student at San Diego State University in the area of Lighting Design. Past productions include Electricidad; Mandance (a co-produced project with the Jean Issac’s Dance Company); Translations; Kiss Me Kate; and Dante, the Musical.

 
Jeannie Galioto (Costume Designer)
earned a degree in Costume Design from the University of Minnesota and has been designing costumes for the last sixteen years. She is currently enrolled in her final year of graduate studies in costume design. She has been the costume shop manager for the San Diego Repertory Theatre for the past two seasons and designed costumes for Bad Dates and Romance at the Rep. Other credits include productions for Sledgehammer, Sixth @ Penn, ion theatre, Mo’olelo Performing Arts, The Great American History Theatre, The Guthrie Lab, Mixed Blood Theatre, and Shakespeare in the Park among others. In addition to freelance costume designing, Ms. Galioto also does millinery, fashion design, and styling on photo and video shoots and teaches at SDSU.

 
Jhomar J. Josue (Sound Designer)
is currently attending San Diego State University in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Film and Television with minors in Art and Media Arts and Technology. He is currently working on sound, stage, and lighting for Soundstorm Entertainment with their video department and at different events such as hip-hop dance competitions and live band performances. Previously, he was the Music Composer and a Videographer on the SDSU production of Electricidad. His future plans include graduating in Spring 2008 and finding an opportunity to share his creative art and skills with an animation/multimedia studio. You can see his work featured on www.opticalelement.com

 
Mark Legaspi (Videographer)
is currently pursuing a B.S. in Television, Film, and New Media with a minor in Multimedia Arts and Technology at SDSU and will be receiving his degree at the end of the Fall 2007 semester. This is his second production with THE COLLECTIVE theatre company having served as the Assistant Director and Videographer for their production of Edward II; and his first with the San Diego Asian American Repertory Theatre. He was also a Videographer on the SDSU production of Electricidad.

Eduard Cao (Chorus of Fraternal Spirits)
has worn many hats in the theater: actor, singer, writer, assistant stage manager, dancer, costume designer, and director. Favorite roles include Baby John in West Side Story; the Scarecrow in The Wiz; Doody in Grease; Puck and Philostrate in three separate productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream; Paris Hilton in Pieces of Paris; Tweedledum and Daisy in Wonderland!; and Julian in Scabbed! He has crewed on several productions at the University of California, Riverside and was the Assistant Stage Manager for their production of Urinetown. Recently, he designed costumes for Wonderland!

Oniric A. Cirino (Chorus of Double Exiles)
started her acting career when she was six months old as baby Segis Mundo in Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderon de la Barca. Pervious credits include Conversations with the Moon, a children’s play that she, along with students from SDSU wrote and toured around the impoverished schools of San Diego and Mexico City. She plans on majoring in English with a minor in Theater at either Columbia or NYU.



Kristin D'Andrea (Victoria)
began her performing career at 16 dancing with companies such as Ballet Theatre of Boston and Boston Ballet. She then moved to San Diego with her family and danced with the California Ballet while attending UCSD. Since living in L.A. she has appeared on film, TV, and the stage as an actress and dancer. Last summer she was recruited to join the first MFA Acting class of the new program headed by Andrew Robinson at USC. During her first year, besides playing Lady Macbeth under the direction of Charlotte Cornwell, one of her most rewarding experiences was participating in the MFA Playwright Workshop where she became acquainted with Velina Hasu Houston. Favorite stage roles include: Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Dorine in Tartuffe, and Inez in No Exit.

Wendy Grice (Maternal Spirit)
is a native of Thailand. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from UC Berkeley. Her recent experiences included print work, voice over, infomercials, video, and industrial film. She has done showcases for agents, directors, managers, and producers for both San Diego and Los Angeles. In recent showcases, she played Nicole Gemanis in Not Without My Daughter and Mrs. Norman in Children of a Lesser God. Ms. Grice has also worked behind the scenes promoting local school plays such as Fiddler on the Roof and Li’l Abner. Occasionally, she performs Thai dancing and speaks about Thai culture.

Diahann McCrary (Chorus of Double Exiles)
has been performing all over the San Diego area, and was most recently seen in SDSU’s production of Electricidad. Other credits include: Dames at Sea at the former Lamplighter’s Theatre of La Mesa; Man of La Mancha at USDHS; Grease at the Saville Theatre; and THE COLLECTIVE’s Moving Cultural Theatre’s Conversations with the Moon. Currently she is working towards a B.A. in Performance Arts from SDSU and holds an Elite dance scholarship at The Academy of the Performing Arts.

Duy Nguyen (Fraternal Spirit)
made his debut in The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus where he played Ralph and Envy. He was last seen in The Grapes of Wrath at SDSU and recently returned from Mexico City where he toured Conversations with the Moon to inner city school children with THE COLLECTIVE’s Moving Cultural Theatre.



Jhoselle Padilla (Chorus of Double Exiles)
is a junior at San Diego State University with a double major in Speech Language Pathology and, recently added, Theatre Arts. She debuted with the California Young Actors Conservatory Theatre as Mary Jane Wilkes in Big River, directed by Shaun T. Evans. Other credits include the Minstrel in Once Upon a Mattress, Sarah (US) in Ragtime, and the Factory Witch in Les Miserables. Ms. Padilla is a member of Samahan Filipino-American Performing Arts and Education Center and Andres Bonifacio Samahan of SDSU where she shares her passion for Philippine dance, music, and culture

Elise Kim Prosser, Ph.D. (Mina)
is making her North American acting debut in The House of Chaos. Her prior performance was as Adelaide in Guys ‘N’ Dolls at Seoul Foreign School in Seoul, South Korea in 1983. During the twenty-four year hiatus, she was a marketing executive and professor in the business school at the University of San Diego. She has been involved with the San Diego Asian American Repertory Theatre and San Diego Asian Film Festival as a grand juror.

Tony Perez (Tillman)
is currently finishing an M.A. in Bilingual Theatre for Young Audiences at SDSU. He has recently returned from Mexico City where he, Peter Cirino and SDSU students presented Conversations with the Moon to inner city school children. Mr. Perez is currently working on El Tigre de Guadalajara, composed from personal narratives gathered from orphaned children in Mexico City and school children in the US, which will tour locally in January 2008 and be presented in Mexico City in May 2008. He has worked with the La Jolla Playhouse, has toured the Midwest with The Lawrence Arts Center in Kansas, and has portrayed the role of Kent from Edward II with THE COLLECTIVE theatre company. Mr. Perez plans to continue the interchange of theatre between America and Mexico leading up to a presentation at The Cervantino Arts Festival in Guanajuato, México.

Kimberly Miller Actress
Kim has served as Associate Artistic Director since 1998. She received her degree in Theatre from the University of California, San Diego and studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Performing credits with AART include Tea, Cleveland Raining, Sister Mary Ignatius..., Fentor, and M. Butterfly. Directing credits include Struggling Truths (2000), F.O.B. (2001), and S.A.M. I Am (2003). She has also performed with the Lamb's Players Theatre, San Diego Rep, Sledgehammer Theatre & Grassroots Greeks, Black Ensemble Theatre and others. When not in a theatre, Kim can be found on the road doing corporate training all over the western U.S. (http://www.orlandoward.com/), or working as a singer with the local jazz vocal quartet, Party Of 4.

Anne Tran Actress
After performing in Letters to a Student Revolutionary in 1998, Anne continued her work with AART by becoming the Marketing Manager. She received her degree in Business with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside in 1996. Other AART credits include: Cultivated Lives, F.O.B. (2001), Redwood Curtain, S.A.M I Am (2003) and Oleanna. Anne has also performed with the San Diego Black Ensemble Theatre, Epic Risk Theatre and Grassroots Greeks and has beof en a member several comedy troupes. She made her solo directing debut with AART's But Can He Dance? in Fall 2003.

APRIL DOCTOLERO Actress
joined AART as a Marketing Associate after playing the title role in the world premiere of The Goddess of Flowers in 2002. She received her bachelor's degree in Theatre from the University of California, San Diego and is a former intern of the Late Show With David Letterman. Recently, April was featured in an episode of UPN's Veronica Mars. She continues to participate in San Diego theatre productions and is proud to be working with such talented individuals.

Angie Chan Actress
A native New Yorker, Angie first became involved with AART performing in S.A.M. I Am in 2003. Other theatre credits include Perfect Wedding (Scripps Ranch Theatre), Memoirs of an Almost Geisha (Split I.d. Theatre, L.A.), Fentor (AART) and You Should Be So Lucky (OnStage Playhouse). Angie graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A in Communications with a minor in Fine Arts. She is currently working on her B.S. in Graphic Design at the Art Institute of California-San Diego.

George Ye (Director)
first worked AART assistant directed the world premiere of Cultivated Lives. Since then he has directed, Flipzoids, Struggling Truths, Oleanna, Sister Mary Ignatius, and has designed sound for twelve productions earning a Patté Award in Theatre Excellence. Outside AART George has worked on numerous productions with the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Repertory, North Coast Repertory, 6th@Penn, Cygnet Theatre, and The Diversionary. He has performed with theatres across the country including The Missouri Rep, The Playmakers Rep, The New Theatre, and Tecumseh. He has accumulated over 40 directing credits under his belt including an international show for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. George earned an M.A. in Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.F.A. in Directing from Florida Atlantic University. Currently he teaches theatre at the University of San Diego, Mesa College, City College, and has taught acting through the Old Globe Theatre’s education program. Current directing projects: Over the Asian Airwaves, Woman form the Other Side of the World, The Bacchae.

EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS TO AART GUIDING LIGHTS PAST & PRESENT:

THELMA VIRATA DE CASTRO
THELMA VIRATA DE CASTRO has studied playwriting at UCLA, the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute and the Muse Theatre, and received a residency at Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers. Her plays have been performed locally by the Fritz, Muse and Carlsbad Playhouse, as well as by theatres in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Nantucket. AART produced the world premier of her play THE GODDESS OF FLOWERS. Her work is collected in the Asian American Women Playwrights Archive. For many years, Thelma served as Literary Manager for AART.

KIMBERLY MILLER
Kimberly served for many years as AART's Associate Artistic Director beginning in 1998 and is proud to be part of a thriving young company. She received her degree in Theatre from the University of California, San Diego; studied at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco; and continues to perform with other professional theatres in San Diego.

CHAD SAKAMOTO
Chad has appeared in AART's productions of S.A.M. I Am, Trying to Find Chinatown, and Cultivated Lives, and has co-produced several shows. Other credits include Bluebird On My Shoulder, 12-1 A, Fishcakes, Auntie Mame at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, and The Misanthrope at Epic Risk Theatre. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Theatre. Chad has served as AART's Managing Director.

ANNE TRAN
After performing in Letters to a Student Revolutionary in 1998, Anne continued her work with AART by becoming the Marketing/Communications Manager. She received her degree in Business from University of California, Riverside in 1996. Anne has also appeared in AART’s Cultivated Lives, F.O.B. (2001), and Redwood Curtain; and The Misanthrope at Epic Risk Theatre and various other local productions; and has been a member of several comedy troupes, including Watt Now and the Fault Line Players. Anne has served as AART's Business and Marketing Manager.

Thomas Villegas has served as AART's Managing Director.

Jennifer Wong Jyl Kaneshiro, Donna Maglalang, Jolene Hui AND TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED AND CONTINUE TO HELP AART BRING VOICES TO THE STAGE...




 


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