tfy_susan ahnBorn to Lead: The Susan Ahn Cuddy Story
By Vivian Keh-Hue
Directed by Jennifer Chang (Our American Voice and Animals Out of Paper)

Despite the challenges facing women and minorities of her generation, Susan Ahn Cuddy never took for granted the sacrifices of her democracy. With the freedom to speak her mind and make her own choices, Susan held fast to realizing her dream of one day becoming an officer in the U.S. Navy, persisting even though she was initially rejected because of her ethnicity. Her diligence paid off – she became the first female aerial gunnery officer in the history of the U.S. Navy, and by the time World War II ended, she had earned the title of Lieutenant. Through her choices and actions, Susan forged a life characterized by fearlessness and integrity, qualities which we attribute to our heroes. Indeed, in all spheres of her fascinating life, she was a trailblazer and her story merits telling.

Featuring Rich Lee, James Han Liu, Irene Park, and Kathleen Park.

Costume Design by Nancy Wei
Sound Designer by Howard Ho
Prop Master Naomi Kasahara

Public performances for the 2015 Theatre for Youth touring production Born to Lead: The Susan Ahn Cuddy Story will be held at:

  • South Pasadena Library on Friday, March 27 at 7 pm (Free)
  • Burbank Public Library on Tuesday, March 31 at 7 pm (Free)
  • East West Players presented by Wells Fargo on Friday, April 3 at 7pm with pre-reception at 6pm. Space is limited. RSVP to Marcia Choo at (Free, RSVP required)

Learn more about Susan Ahn Cuddy by visiting For more information, please contact Arts Education Director Marilyn Tokuda at or (213) 625-7000 x 15.

Sponsored by Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, Department of Cultural Affairs, and California Community Foundation.