For Immediate Release
April 18, 2016
Los Angeles, CA

Contact: Kat Carrido
PR@eastwestplayers.org

East West Players 50th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction
April 25, 2016 Hosted by Grammy-Winning Tia Carrere and Mark Dacascos
Presenters Include George and Brad Takei, Vincent Rodriguez III, and Jodi Long

Tia Carrere, "Wayne's World 1 & 2," "Lilo & Stitch," "Celebrity Apprentice"

Tia Carrere

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s premier Asian American theatre, celebrates its milestone 50th Anniversary with the Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction on Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Universal Hilton. Proceeds benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

Confirmed to host the evening’s festivities are Grammy Award-winning musician and actress Tia Carrere and renowned martial artist and actor, Mark Dacascos. “I am so excited and honored to share the stage on the occasion of East West Players’ 50th Anniversary Gala with my dear friend Mark Dacascos as well as George & Brad Takei,” remarks Carrere. “It is important to support the good work that East West has done for the Asian American creative community in Los Angeles.”

Mark Dacascos

Mark Dacascos

This Gala is also the final one that Tim Dang will helm as Producing Artistic Director. “I had the pleasure to work with Tia and Mark at the start of their careers and each have an incredible success story as role models that you can make it in this business with hard work and dedication,” said Tim Dang, producing artistic director. “It’ll be great to see them again at the top of their game hosting the gala. As East West Players faces an exciting time of a change with arts education director Marilyn Tokuda and me stepping down at the end of June, I look forward to our next generation of role models.”

Carrere has enjoyed an accomplished career in film, television and music, known for popular classics such as Wayne’s World and Disney’s Lilo and Stich. As a musical artist, she won a Grammy Award for her work with fellow Hawaiian musician Daniel Ho, for original Hawaiian language compositions. Dacascos’ filmography spans almost 40 films, popularly known for his breakout role in the Brazilian martial art action film Only the Strong among many more. He is also known as “Chairman” for Iron Chef America and Australia.

Fresh off his Broadway debut in the groundbreaking musical, George Takei, along with his husband Brad, will present the Visionary Award to Allegiance producers Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione.

Vincent Rodriguez_1

Vincent Rodriguez III

Presenting to Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, producers of the CW/CBS hit comedy-drama Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is Vincent Rodriguez III, who plays Josh Chan, the Filipino American suburban “ex-boyfriend” whom Rachel Bloom’s character, Rebecca Bunch, follows to West Covina, California.

Veteran actress Jodi Long will present to Tisa Chang, founding artistic director of Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. Long is an accomplished theatre, film and television actress and director. She is President of the Board of Directors of Visual Communications, the first non-profit organization in the nation dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of Asian Pacific Americans through the media arts.

Jodi Long

Jodi Long

Hosting the VIP Reception for major sponsors is Reggie Lee, from NBC’s Grimm, The Dark Knight Rises and Fast and the Furious. Lee is also the choreographer for EWP’s upcoming production of La Cage Aux Folles. Actress Amy Hill, who can currently be seen on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, will be on hand to appear during a fundraising moment.

The 2016 Honorees are:
Tisa Chang, Founding Artistic Director of Pan Asian Repertory in New York City. Chang founded Pan Asian Rep in 1977 to increase opportunities for Asian Americans in theatre. Actor, dancer, producer, and director, Chang’s extensive credits include The King and I, Sweet Charity, and Flower Drum Song on Broadway, and the tour of Pacific Overtures.

Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, producers of the groundbreaking musical, Allegiance. Allegiance welcomed the stage debut of George Takei and also featured Lea Salonga and Telly Leung. Kuo is also the lyricist, composer and playwright of Allegiance, his fourth musical. Thione co-wrote Allegiance with Kuo and Marc Acito.

Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The hit CW comedy-drama about a highly successful Manhattan attorney who leaves for California in hopes of finding true love with an old flame. The show follows her adventures, which include embracing her ex-boyfriend’s Filipino family.

Current major sponsors (as of April 18) of the gala include: PLATINUM CIRCLE – Arts Consulting Group, CBS Corporation, Comcast NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company; SILVER CIRCLE – Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Brad & George Takei, Wells Fargo, Melvin Mar; BRONZE CIRCLE – Tim Dang & Darrel Cummings, HBO, Friends of Leslie Ishii, IW Group, SoCal Gas Company, Harry & Patricia Tom Mar, Randall & Mari Tamura, Sanrio, Inc., Union Bank, Lynn Waggoner; FRIENDS CIRCLE – Albert E. Aubin, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Samuel H. Bersola, Eric Chan & Cathleen Kozen, John Gong, Roy Ito, David & Carrie Lee, Ed Lew, Daniel Mayeda & Susan Rosales (2), Martie Quan Kawahara (3), Paramount Pictures, Pasadena Playhouse, Frank & Marian Sata, Carmen J. Smith, Laura Takaragawa & Scott Brown, Ken Takemoto (2), Friends of Marilyn Tokuda, Wells Fargo/Pasadena Playhouse.

Award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Beijing Olympics/Shaolin Monks, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar Award-winning film The Last Days) will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

East West Players’ 50th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. VIP Reception for table sponsors starts at 5:30pm. No-host reception and silent auction starts at 6pm. The dinner and awards program begins at 7pm.

Individual tickets are $200- $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available. For more information please contact East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or Development Manager Monika Ramnath at mramnath@eastwestplayers.org.