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Welcome to my website. A lot is going on!

I wrote 4 new full-length plays in 2015, a 30-minute movie musical and a 10-minute stage musical. So many stories to tell!

My new play THE SECRET WISDOM OF TREES had its first public reading at the Barrow Group’s Reading Series on Sunday, January 10, 2016.

Directed by The Barrow Group’s Co-Artistic Director Lee Brock, the reading featured Lynn Cohen (of “The Hunger Games”), Ron Cohen, Sarah Corey, Bob Kirsh, Jacob Heimer, Benjamin Russell and Nicholas Anderson. Click here to read more about the play in an interview I did with playwright/journalist Kenneth Jones
or here for an article in playbill.com

The Secret Wisdom of Trees

Other new plays: GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT (for my dear friend Reggie Lee, of NBC’s GRIMM), TRUTH AGAINST THE WORLD: A CONVERSATION WITH FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT (for my good friend, Tony-nominee Alan Campbell), and DIARY OF A DOMESTIC GODDESS (written with my hilarious colleague Kevin Duda.) I look forward to what 2016 will bring for all of these plays!

NO WAVE WITHOUT WIND (a screenplay I wrote with my seriously multi-talented friend Charles Randolph-Wright), is currently making the rounds.

Click here for other news about my plays.
You can read the scripts to a lot of my plays here

I'm thrilled to announce that BARCELONA an original musical that I wrote book & lyrics for with the amazing composer/lyricist Jason Ma was one of five new shows that were presented at Village Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in August of 2015! We were very excited to make our Pacific Northwest Debut at the theatre that developed NEXT TO NORMAL, among others, and look forward to what's to come in 2016. Stay tuned!

 

 

 


Johnson and Ma

Fabulous composer Bobby Cronin and I had a great time collaborating on Prospect Theater Company’s “Stage Fright”, a collection of 8 original 10-minute musicals, in October of 2015. Our show, MY BOYFRIEND IS AN ALIEN (AND I’M OKAY WITH THAT!), was super silly and fun.

I'm playing Richard Thomas's wife, "Linh Gaad" on
The Americans
on FX.
More to come in Season 4!
Stay tuned for dates.

 

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The Americans
On Television: I had a blast being a part of the first season of UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT and admit to binge watching it over its first weekend streaming on Netflix! So much fun! Loved shooting a scene in episode 12 (“Kimmy Goes to Court”) with Titus Burgess.
Kimmy_Schmidt
Photo: News anchor "Carol Doberman" with "Titus Andromedon" (Titus Burgess).
SVU
Also, I play the recurring role of “Dr. Celia Lee”, Olivia Benson’s son Noah's pediatrician, on LAW AND ORDER: SVU on NBC.

FIA Logo

I was so honored to speak at a plenary about “The Global Impact of Diversity on our Stages” at FIA (International Federation of Actors) at their conference in Dublin last summer. The International Federation of Actors (FIA) is a global federation of performers’ trade unions, guilds and professional associations. Founded in 1952, it represents several hundreds of thousands of performers with some 90 member organisations in more than 60 countries around the world.
TCG

An interview I did for the TCG Diversity and inclusion national conference:

Beating Down the Doors

     
 
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I've recently loved getting to do some of the great "Golden Age" musicals of all time!
Bloody Mary Dolly Levi Lady Thiang
"Bloody Mary" in SOUTH PACIFIC "Dolly Levi" in HELLO, DOLLY! "Lady Thiang" in THE KING AND I
It was such a full circle experience in this gorgeous production at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit Maine, since I made my professional debut as "Liat" many moons ago. In April and May I had a glorious time in Baayork Lee's National Asian Artist Project production. The show was directed by Lee Roy Reams, who directed the last Broadway revival, choreographed by Randy Slovacek ("Mr. Mistoffeles" in CATS with me) and musical directed by Kevin Farrell (with whom I had worked on the national tour of BOMBAY DREAMS). The company was pure joy to work with -- and living inside such a life-affirming story with all of these beautiful people was one of the most spectacular highlights of my career. On top of it all, I had amazing costumes -- including one just for the curtain call! (Photo: Lia Chang) at Harbor Lights Theatre Company in Staten Island, NY, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, OK and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida. What a gift to get to sing this glorious score in three very different theatres, both filled with so much love! I think this show is especially near and dear to my heart because I made my theatrical debut at age 11 as a "Royal Princess" at the Chappaqua Drama Group, even more moons ago than when I played "Liat"
President Bush It is always fun to meet a former president when you are at your most glamorous.
Maestro At Lyric Theatre, the conductor, a 25-piece orchestra and I shared a rare "dance" each evening, as the Maestro David Andrews Rogers called it; one I will never forget!


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I was so honored to be asked to write this piece for THE DRAMATIST Magazine! I love my Dramatists Guild!
Click on the image for a larger view.
What Turns You On

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Our film (and TRANSCENDING T-shirts) are now on sale in the gift shop at
MOCA, Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre Street, NYC

Since its debut, our documentary film,
TRANSCENDING – THE WAT MISAKA STORY
has made some powerful waves and continues to find new audiences:

On August 7, 2009, Wat Misaka’s profile was finally added to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts

On October 14, 2009, President Barack Obama invited Wat to be present at the signing of his Executive Order restoring an Asian American and Pacific Islander initiative, and acknowledged Wat’s achievements in his introductory remarks.

On December 20, 2009, the New York Knicks celebrated Wat on the court at Madison Square Garden, recognizing, at long last, his place in basketball history.

It was honored by the Honolulu International Film Festival with the Gold Kahuna Award, the Emerging Eye Directorial Discovery Award from the Roving Eye Documentary Film Festival and was an official selection of the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the Carmel Art and Film Festival, the San Diego Asian Film Festival, the Chicago Asian Showcase, opened the 2010 Houston APA Film Festival, and was a centerpiece film in 2012’s RightsFest Film Festival here in NYC.

Dreams do come true.

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Transcending Poster
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The New Deal

Library of Congress
Asian Pacific American
Performing Arts Collection

A portfolio of my plays (and our film) were inducted into the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010. I am so thrilled that the Library of Congress, in creating the APA Playwright Series, is acknowledging the importance of the Asian American playwright in the landscape of American storytelling -- and of course honored beyond belief to be a part of this collection!

This anthology of plays is now available on Amazon.com.
Click here to order yours today!

It is also available at MOCA, Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, NYC

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News about my plays (for details about and synopses of my plays, click here):
Eye D EYE D, my documentary-style theatre piece, had its debut at Symphony Space/Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre (95th St and Broadway) on Monday, December 3, 2012. Combining dramatized interviews (done with over 50 Asian American, Latin and African-American women), song, and spoken word, EYE D takes a look at real stories about race, ethnicity and the beauty of Michelle Obama. Direction was Mino Lora. Musical direction by Amanda Morton. Songs by Kirsten Childs, Gloria Estefan and Julie Gold. With Sarita Covington, Maria-Jose Fajardo, Deidre Goodwin, Jaygee Macapugay, Suni Reyes, and Dawn Saito. A post-show discussion followed the play with Vivian Lee of NY-1 and Dr. Lynn Roberts, Community Health professor from Hunter College.

EYE D was sponsored by the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee of Actors' Equity Association, and was also made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, as well as with support from The Open Meadows Foundation and The Puffin Foundation.

Also, through a generous grant from Asian Women Giving Circle and in collaboration with People's Theatre Project, EYE D was presented at Hunter College on Wednesday, March 13 -- and my hope is to continue to travel to other colleges in the future, with student casts taking over the storytelling.

INTERNAL BLEEDING made its Atlanta debut at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in October 2012. This play was previously developed with Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey in their 2010 Genesis Festival and in a 2011 NYC workshop starring Daryl "Chill" Mitchell.
Internal Bleeding

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AACALP

I've created The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project, an ongoing initiative to highlight works created and sung by Asian American musical theatre artists, as a creative response to the misperception that opportunities for Asian American artists are low because we don't exist.

Together with a group of Asian American singers, we find ways to present works created and sung by Asian American artists, to not only nurture our own community, but to create opportunities for increased visibility and have a hand at telling our own stories, with authenticity. We had a thrilling debut at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at the Signature Center in NYC on May 19, 2013. Jason Ma and I presented excerpts from BARCELONA.

On December 8, 2014, we presented the world premiere of a collectively written song cycle called “Arriving in Asian America” at Symphony Space. Click here for an NBC news article or here for one from Sinovision.


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World Of Theatre

I join such luminaries as the late great Lloyd Richards, Jane Alexander and Tina Howe in a wonderful, comprehensive book called" THE WORLD OF THEATRE, Tradition and Innovation". My profile is an interview about a subject near and dear to my heart: Non-traditional Casting.

I am also now listed in "Who's Who of American Women".

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