BOARD OF DIRECTORS SDAART
ELISE KIM PROSSER, Ph.D. (President) performed in SDAART's productions of Joy Luck Club (2008) and The House of Chaos (2007). Her performances received favorable critics' reviews in San Diego Union-Tribune, the Reader, San Diego City Beat, and Asia, the Journal of Culture & Commerce. She has also written a play about Korean-Americans. Off-stage, Dr. Prosser is a marketing professor, researcher, consultant, and author on branding, forecasting, and management. She has consulted with major motion picture studios about entertainment marketing. She also served as a Grand Juror at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and has recruited films at Sundance Film Festival (2009). Her education includes a Ph.D from USC, MBA from NYU, and BS in economics from Wharton at Univ. of Penn.
PETER JAMES CIRINO (Vice President) Associate Professor SDSU and founder of innumerable Theatre companies internationally. "My greatest gift as an artist is my cross-cultural experience, both in my personal life and my professional one. I spent my formative years in Dallas, Texas, in a small area in the heart of downtown known as Little Mexico Village. Not only did Latinos (such as myself) live in this small geographical location but also Native Americans, Blacks, Filipinos, and Asians. In spite of all the turmoil and depredation that accompany an inner city existence, we came together as a community. We accepted and embraced each other's differences and began a life long journey exploring the beauty within each culture we encountered. Although many died, a few did make it out, and this is the basis for my involvement in the Diversity movement. In all I do, I strive to represent the best of all worlds, the ideas of many to express one movement, action or text. I have translated Spanish classical literature, modern South American texts and adapted German, French and Greek plays. As I nurture artists of my same ilk, I continue to create theatre with the same ideas of diversity that I used to develop the personal world around me: theatre that casts blindly, theatre that visits many cultures in one text, that explores texts in different languages, uses artists of varied disciplines to create new ones, and theatre that always fosters new mixtures of growth as artists and people of color."
MONIQUE Y. HO (Treasurer) is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. She is a member of the Firm’s Corporate Department as well as the Private Equity/Emerging Companies practice group. Her practice includes venture capital and other private equity financings; mergers and acquisitions; corporate formation and maintenance; corporate governance; convertible note and other debt financings; licensing; stock option plans and executive compensation; executive employment agreements; and cross border transactions. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the San Diego County Bar Association. A graduate of University of California-Davis (J.D.), she speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. SDAART is grateful to Monique for her participation on our Board and for sharing her legal expertise with our growing theatre company.
GINA MA (Secretary) - performed in SDAART's 2008 production of "The Joy Luck Club"; she has also performed locally with Starlight Theatre and the Patricia Rincon Dance Collection. This is Gina's first year on the AART board and she is delighted to be working with a dedicated group of people who are passionate about telling the Asian American story. Gina was born in Louisville, KY to a Chinese American father and a native Kentuckian mother; growing up "hapa" in Kentucky was an interesting experience for her. Gina currently resides in La Jolla where she works as a Manager in the Comparative Medicine department for Pfizer; she holds a BS in Biology from Colorado State University and is licensed by the state of California as a Registered Veterinary Technician.
YUNHUI BANKS - is an intellectual property attorney at Qualcomm. Her education includes a BA and BS from Texas Tech University and JD from New York Law School. She is a former board member of The San Diego Asian Film Festival and has been a long time supporter of SDAART.
TIFFANY LOUIS ...
GEORGE YE ...
NORINE NG SEDAYO received her Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University and her MBA from Golden Gate University. Her love of the Arts and involvement with non-profit organizations include serving on the community marketing committee for the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and a past board member for the Palo Alto Jaycees. More recently she has volunteered her time at a local children’s musical theatre in various capacities. She also assists with fundraising and runs the annual talent show for a local school.
VELINA HASU HOUSTON's most popular work is her critically acclaimed play Tea. It and many of her other works have been presented internationally, garnering more than three dozen writing awards. Her other critically acclaimed plays include Asa Ga Kimashita, Kokoro, The Matsuyama Mirror, Hula Heart, Ikebana (Living Flowers), Shedding the Tiger, and Waiting for Tadashi. She has been recognized three times by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, twice been selected as a Rockefeller Foundation playwriting fellow, and was a recipient of a Japan Foundation fellowship and a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation grant. She was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Remy Martin New Vision Award from Sidney Poitier and the American Film Institute. Velina Hasu Houston is also a published poet and essayist; and writes for film, radio and television as well. A specialist in Pan-Asian American feminist dramatic literature, she edited the anthologies The Politics of Life: Four Plays by Asian American Women and But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise: New Asian American Plays. She has lectured at institutions nationwide and taught screenwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theatre, Film and Television. Velina Hasu Houston teaches courses in Playwriting and Theatre History and Literature.
BRIDGET BRIGITTE McDONALD Ph.D. is also known by her singer/songwriter stage name Bridget Brigitte or Mu Bai Ju (Wheat White Jade) given by Chinese Calligrapher Liu Hsing-Chih. Award-winning songs from her CD Where Birds Meet in the Rain receive radio-play worldwide, while her music videos are televised regularly. She performs across the globe and has featured more than 150 other artists in shows she has played in and produced. Her concerts have helped raise funds for the Grammy's MusiCares, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Vietnamese American Women Artists, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, GoGirls Music, Artivist Independent Film Collective, Festival of Children and more. Having lived in Paris for years, she taught literature at the University of Orléans, while her degrees include a B.A. in History (Chinese) and Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, an M.A. in French Lit. and Ph.D. from the Humanities Center at the Johns Hopkins University. Her articles, reviews, poems, and translations have appeared widely and she is President of Bionic Sisters Productions. She is also Advisory Board Member at the Women's International Center that honors and encourages women worldwide, from Empress Nagako to Mother Theresa. As Creative Director & Artistic Liaison at 2 Life 18 Help and Rescue, Bridget uses music to help with continuing Katrina and disaster relief. Lastly, she's the proud former President of the San Diego Songwriter's Guild. Musical website: Soft Music Bridget Brigitte
MARIANNE McDONALD, Ph.D., MRIA was trained in classics and music, taught for many years at the University of California, Irvine, and is now Professor of Classics and Theatre at the University of California, San Diego. She is most well-known for her work on ancient Greek drama, mythology, and modern versions of ancient classics in film, plays and opera, but her poems, plays, and translations have also been widely published. Her latest books include Sing Sorrow: Classics in Opera, and Amid Our Troubles: Irish Versions of Greek Tragedy. Her recent play And Then Came A Woodcutter won the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play. She has helped shape the Japanese Studies program at UCSD, which is one of the reasons that this campus was selected for the Pacific Basin study program (IRPS). She is a member of many boards, including The American School of Classical Studies and she has received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (Honoris Causa) from the American College of Greece, the Archeological Association of Athens, the University of Athens, and the University of Dublin. She also is one of the few women to have been elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy. Among other awards, she has received the Order of the Phoenix from the Prime Minister of Greece, the UCI Medal, Civis Universitatis award from UCSD, gold medals from the mayors of Athens and Piraeus, a plaque of recognition from the University of Thessaloniki, and The Gold Aeschylus Award from Italy. She has six children, a black belt in karate, and plays classical piano and harp. One of SDAART's most dedicated supporters. mmcdonald.info mariannemcdonaldtheatre.com.
JUNE VAYO is Japanese-American and writes evaluations of film scripts for a film distribution consultancy in Los Angeles. She has worked on various screenplays, and has recently done some directing. This year she returned to Harvard graduate school to write a dissertation on medieval drama and poetry. She has been active in a number of arts organizations, including the Los Angeles chapter of Harvardwood and local San Diego organizations.
GREGORY JOJI TOYA is a Japanese- and Okinawan-American from Torrance, California. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, and his Master’s degree in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland at College Park. He has previously worked at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Irvine. Most recently at UC Davis, Greg served as the Interim Director of the Cross-Cultural Center and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Resource Center. Greg has also served as an Assistant Language Teacher for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Greg has been the inaugural Coordinator of the Cross-Cultural Center at San Diego State University, and collaborates with campus and community organizations to offer resources and programs that are congruent with the Center's mission. Greg also serves as the Scholar in Residence in Villa Alvarado. Greg is the 2005-06 President for the California Council of Cultural Centers in Higher Education (CaCCCHE) and was recently appointed as Associate Dean of Students at Cal State University San Marcos. Greg is also involved with the Japanese Americans Citizens League, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and San Diego Asian Film Festival. Greg’s theatrical fame stems from his role as the dog in an undergraduate performance of Momotaro.
CAROL TOHSAKU coordinates the BATS program (http://its.sdsu.edu/~bats) for faculty, staff, and students at San Diego State University. The mission of BATS is to provide the SDSU community with access to information resources via networks, training in the uses of baseline hardware and software systems, and ongoing professional and technical support for utilization of computer resources. As an educational/ instructional technologist with a background in linguistics, visual arts, economics, and educational computer technology from UCSD and SDSU, Carol has combined her professional and personal interests to promote international cultural understanding through projects with other universities abroad and children’s programs emphasizing universal living values in art, music, dance, and theatre. Carol currently serves on the board of the Hellenic Cultural Society of San Diego (http://www.hellenic-culture.org) where she and Jeanette Rigopoulos co-chair the Children’s Programs committee. Carol is also a member of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (http://www.earli.org), Friends of Classics at SDSU, the Japanese American National Museum (http://www.jaccc.org), the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (http://www.jaccc.org), and the Archaeological Institute of America (http://www.archaeological.org). She served on the board of the International Society for Performance Improvement San Diego (http://www.ispisandiego.org/). In 2006, Carol joined the SDAART board to preserve and promote the Asian American experience through theatrical productions.
RON RANSON holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is retired from the Design Faculty at University of California, San Diego. Awarded Academic Senate "Distinguished Teacher, 2000" and Warren College's "Outstanding Teacher 2001," Ron's recent design credits include guest artist residencies at Utah Stage University and University of Northern Colorado, eight seasons as Principal/Resident Scenic Designer at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and continuing design work with the San Diego Repertory Theatre. His company, Theatre Arts Video Library, produces instructional video tapes related to theatre training for schools and theatres in the US and abroad. He is a recent contributor to Stage Directions magazine and serves on several nonprofit theatre boards including the Poinsettia Theatre (Encinitas/Oceanside, CA). In the days of black and white television Ron served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. An SDAART Founding Board Member (9 yrs) who continues to help the company secure a permanent performing arts facility.
JEANETTE C. RIGOPOULOS has been involved in the Greek community for many years, serving on Parish Council, President of the Women's Organization, and Director of Folk Dance. She is skilled in fundraising and organizational efforts. She currently holds board positions in the Hellenic Cultural Society of San Diego where she and Carol Tohsaku co-chair the Children's Programs committee. Jeanette is also on the board of the Friends of Classics, a community support organization for the Classics and Humanities Department at SDSU. Inspired by her beloved friend Dr. Marianne McDonald, she is very interested in the timelessness of the Greek Classics, Asian theater, and multi-cultural approaches to production. Jeanette enjoys working with SDAART, particularly to promote cross cultural interest within various communities and to see stories told on stage from an Asian Pacific Islander perspective about life and culture in the US and abroad.
DR. PATRICIA HARRIS has been a clinical and consulting psychologist for over 14 years specializing in diversity management, team building, coaching, executive development, cross-cultural communication, and developing clinical cultural competence. She has authored several publications on cross-cultural assessment and training. Patricia's professional and community activities include: San Diego Psychological Association, Cross Cultural Committee, Chair, Girl Scouts of America San Diego and Imperial County, Board Member San Diego Filipino American Humanitarian Foundation, Board Member Professional Psychology, Editorial Board Member
PETER CHU (AART 12 yr Charter Member) The Law Offices of Peter Darwin Chu, Immigration Law Specialists. www.peterchu.com Peter graduated from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. Degree in History and Chinese Language. He is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. After graduating from California Western School of Law in 1981, he entered private practice in San Diego, specializing in Business Immigration Law. He serves as Director, Metro United Bank, President; Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association; Director, Hong Kong Association; Director, SDRI; and former director, San Diego Opera. .Over the past 18 years, Mr. Chu has been interviewed on immigration law issues in San Diego news media, including television stations KNSD and KFMB, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Mr. Chu has also represented Olympic athletes, stage and screen actors, symphony musicians, and other performing artists. He is a member of the California Bar and a founding AART Board member
Dr. LEEVA CHUNG is an Associate Professor at USD.
DONNA RAE DEANE is a theater enthusiast whose background is in medicine. She is a 1959 graduate from the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing and from 1959 to 1965 she practiced pediatric nursing in Boston and Miami. Then she began her operating room nursing career at various hospitals in Miami, Florida, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and San Diego, California with an emphasis on Ophthmology, Orthopedics, Open Heart Surgery, Neurosurgery and General Surgery. She spent 2 years in the Cardiac cath lab in conjuction with open heart surgery program at Alvarado Hospital. She has also been operating room head nurse at Scripps Encinitas and supervised the era of non invasive surgery for GYN, General Sugery and Orthopedic procedures. She has worked as a surgery scheduling coordinator at Scripps Memorial Hospital, Home Health Community Liason, and with Efficare Home Health. Donna has also spent 10 yrs traveling to Mexico to assist with plastic surgery procedures in association with the UCSD Field Plastic Surgery Program. She's been on the Committee for the first San Diego Marathon crossing the Coronado bridge and was a Head Start Nurse for a year in Miami under President Kennedy's program, as well as a Fresh Start volunteer at Dr Nigro's program for a number of years. Donna has coordinated fundraising events for Mainly Mozart, the Asian American Repertory Theater, Sixth at Penn Theatre, and Francine Busby. She has been a volunteer at the Neighbor House Senior Day Care Center and remains a proud supporter of SDAART.
MARIO FIRME has a history in tax preparation and accounting and served SDAART as former Financial Director.
NATALIE GUISHAR has marketed the legal services of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, Attorneys, having previously served as marketing and database manager at Foley & Lardner, a multi-practice national law firm. Natalie is former media coordinator and spokesperson for Amnesty International, local Group 137. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from University of California, San Diego.
ANNIE HINTON has been a professor of Theatre at the University of San Diego and co-founded the Actor's Alliance. She is also an active performer on area stages. Credits include appearances at The Globe Theatres and Our Town (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Husbandry (Empty Space Theatre), MayDays (A Contemporary Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (New Mexico Repertory Theatre).
NANCY KENNEDY (SDAART 8 yr Charter Member including service as Treasurer) is Director of Operations for U. Inc,a company which helps students find and finance their education. Media properties include Colleges.com, Employment.com, Campaign.com and U. Magazine, the largest circulated national college magazine in the United States. Nancy has over 15 years of experience in business management at Fortune 500 companies and private institutions. She frequently serves as a spokesperson for the educational market, and is often called on as a guest speaker for educational forums and national college events. She has published articles on student life, health, travel politics and current affairs. Nancy is an active participant of the University of California-San Diego and University of San Diego alumni associations and resides in San Diego.
ARNOLD MARQUEZ a founding board member of SDAART, is currently President at Asian Pacific Historic Collaborative. He has been Manager and Film Curator at Philippine Cinema Showcase, Campaign Coordinator at Mitz Lee for City Counci, and Publisher & Editor at FILIPINO LIVING Magazine.
LOUIE NGUYEN CFA (SDAART 10 yr Charter Member including service as President) is Chief Investment Officer, Soledad Investment Management. Previously he was a Partner/Founder of Medius Capital Group, a portfolio manager at Brandes Investment Partners and Needelman Investment. Prior to joining Brandes, Louie worked in Japan for 4 years at a major international bank in Tokyo. Louie has a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University, St. Louis and studied Japanese at Waseda University in Tokyo. His compassion for others came out in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when he and some friends drove truckloads of supplies to needy survivors. His singular brush with the theatre was as a marching Egyptian soldier in the opera Aida in Tokyo, conducted by Zubin Mehta. He is also a former board member of the San Diego Asian Film Festival
VINCE SOBERANO an SDAART founding board member.
SHARON WAMPLER, Ph.D. is passionate about education as a medium to enable positive change in peoples’ lives and communities. She is Cofounder and VP of Bio4Front, Inc. Formerly, she was Director of Program Development for Executive Education at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management where she developed programs to help professionals develop their business acumen in leadership and management. Previously, Sharon was Director of Bioscience at UCSD Extension, where she managed over 80 courses and programs for the life science community both for professional development and career transitioning. Dr. Wampler has worked in the biotech industry as a research scientist, marketing manager and field application scientist. She currently co-chairs the BIOCOM Workforce Development committee and has taught for biotech training programs at SD City College and Miramar College and co-founded the SD Biotechnology Education Consortium (SDBEC). Additionally, she served on the boards of both the SD Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and AWIS National based in Washington D.C. (a non-profit dedicated to achieving equity and full participation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology). Sharon received her B.A. in Biology from the U. of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Biology from UCSD in 1993. She has lent her skills to the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, a non profit dedicated to breaking the epidemic of youth violence. Sharon has also been a volunteer Usher Captain for the La Jolla Playhouse since 1997 and has acted in "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "West Side Story" when she was a student. After 20+ years of left-brained existence, she recharged her right-brain and brought many skills and talents to SDAART.
SDAART COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Education: THEATRESHOP Coordinator/Instructor - Team
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