Giovanni-Ortega

Playwright Giovanni Ortega

East West Players and Japanese American National Museum Presents The  Writers Gallery Reading of
Iyakan Blues (Crier for Hire)

By Giovanni Ortega
Directed by Tim Dang
Thursday, March 19, 2015 | 7:30 PM
Tateuchi Democracy Forum at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
111 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles 90012

Aurora, Remedios, and Eugenia are three of the most sought-after professional criers (individuals paid to cry at funerals) in Monterey Park. They are eager to welcome Aurora’s 14-year-old daughter Ligaya (nicknamed Gaya) from the Philippines into their world and teach her their somber trade. However, they soon realize that Gaya has the opposite effect on people, making them laugh instead of cry. What ensues is a hilarious and heartwarming story of cultural identity, generational conflict, and finding home in a new country.

Featuring Jonathan Arroyo, Nicholas Downs, Nikki McKenzie, Myra Cris Ocenar, Joy Regullano, Sandy Yu, and Julian Yuen.

This reading is FREE and open to the public. RSVP here.

Then join EWP and Playwright Giovanni Ortega for “Meet and Eat,” a dinner fundraiser, presented by FilAm Arts at Yojie Japanese Fondue following the reading!


Giovanni Ortega (Playwright) wrote ALLOS: The Story of Carlos Bulosan, which was commissioned by East West Players for their Theater for Youth Tour in 2011. It was produced in Chicago the following year by the CIRCA Pintig Theater Company, who once again presented ALLOS as part of Migrant Stories. During the same time, East West Players included an excerpt of his work in Our American Voice in 2014.

Giovanni has performed and spoken at over 300 organizations, universities and prisons in North America with various one-person shows including Playfair, a program that incorporates motivational speaking and Diversity Engagement. He recently conducted a performance workshop for Upstage Theater in Bern, Switzerland. In 2013, he took the literary artist category for FPAC Pahayag Project for the most sought after author with Leaves from the Silverlake Barrio, and is currently working on his next book entitled Boroughs of an Andalusian Gypsy. Giovanni is a visiting professor at The Pomona College Department of Theatre & Dance. For more information go to: www.giovanniortega.com

Additional works include: Agos, Flow (Getty Museum), Lost in the Margins, Lazy John, Kwentong Pinoy (Pacific Asia Museum), Freedom (Kularts), Vida y Muerto (Fowler Museum), People Power (Southern Utah University). (Director) East West Players New Works Festival: I Heart LA, Head Aches, Max and the Revolution, Apple Falls from Tree, Guava Season, No Strings Quintet, Laid Off, The Charlatan and Jack in Common. Pomona College: Spring Awakening, Medieval Mystery Plays (Actor) East West Players- Imelda as Pres. Marcos, Inside the Ford – Romance of Magno Rubio, Center Theater Group- Dogeaters. (Choreographer) East West Players – Tea, with Music, Cinnamon Girl, Blood Wedding, Girl Most Likely To, Smoke and Mirrors, Romeo and Juliet 3.