East West Players celebrates its 50th Anniversary at their Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. The Visionary Awards laud the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione
Tisa Chang
Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna

Hilton Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA 91608

Monday, April 25, 2016
5:30 PM   VIP Reception*
6:00 PM   No-Host Cocktails and Silent Auction
7:00 PM   Dinner and Awards Show

(*For Platinum, Silver, and Bronze Sponsors)

Purchase Tickets Online

The 2016 Honorees are:

Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, producers of the groundbreaking musical, Allegiance. "Allegiance" with Lea Salonga, George Takei, and Telly Leung

Fresh off its run on Broadway, 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.

Jay KuoJay Kuo is a composer, author, author, producer and social media addict. He is the co-creator of the Broadway musical Allegiance, the marketing of which gave him the opportunity to help develop the Facebook and Twitter pages of George Takei and other socialebrities. He currently serves as Chief Creative Officer at the Social Edge, a leading digital publishing and social media company.


Lorenzo ThioneLorenzo Thione is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for the intersection of technology, art, design, communication and social value.

He is a Tony-Nominated Broadway producer and is the co-creator and lead producer of Allegiance, the 2015 Broadway musical starring George Takei and Lea Salonga, for which he co-authored the book. In developing Allegiance, he spearheaded social-media viral strategies that led to astounding growth and unprecedented awareness and audience engagement for Allegiance and for its star and inspiration, George Takei, and from there to the founding of The Social Edge, where he currently serves as Chief Executive.

Tisa Chang, Founding Artistic Director of Pan Asian Repertory in New York City.

Tisa_Chang 02photo seriousTisa Chang is a dancer, actor, director, producer, celebrating 50 years in the American performing arts. Inspired by the independence and civil rights movements, she founded Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in 1977 to champion professional opportunities for Asian American artists to reach the heights of one’s dreams and aspiration with many graduates now in LA.

She is a former Executive Board member of SDC, member of Coalition of Theaters of Color in NY and a founding board member of CAATA the national coalition of AA Theatres and Artists that will produce the 5th CONFEST this October in Ashland.

Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

T"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"he hit CW sitcom 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.

Rachel-Bloom2-webRachel Bloom is a comedian, actress, writer and singer based in Los Angeles. She currently stars in the TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on the CW Network and earned both a Golden Globe and Critics Choice award for her performance.

She has been named a comic to watch by Cosmopolitan, Time Out LA and Backstage Magazine, and has been featured in Variety and the LA Times.Rachel developed and starred in a musical pilot for Showtime called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, co-written with Aline Brosh McKenna and directed by Marc Webb. The series was eventually picked up by the CW Network.

AlineBroshMcKenna-webAline Brosh McKenna is one of the most accomplished screenwriters working today, telling modern, character-based stories that have resonated with a wide audience. She is also one of the highest-grossing female writers of all time, with a worldwide gross of more than $850 million dollars.

Currently, McKenna is Executive Producer. Showrunner on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which has received incredible praise for its innovation, comedy, and musical numbers along with its smart and sharp approach at mental illness, feminism, diversity, friendship and relationships. She co-created the series with the series star, Rachel Bloom.



Musical Director Award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Beijing Olympics/Shaolin Monks, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar Award-winning film The Last Days). More to be announced!


PLATINUM CIRCLE Arts Consulting Group, CBS Corporation, Comcast NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company
SILVER CIRCLE Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Melvin Mar, Brad & George Takei, Wells Fargo
BRONZE CIRCLE Tim Dang & Darrel Cummings, HBO, Friends of Leslie Ishii, IW Group, Sanrio, SoCal Gas Company, Harry & Patricia Tom Mar, Randall & Mari Tamura, Union Bank, Lynn Waggoner
FRIENDS CIRCLE Albert E. Aubin, Artists at Play/Japanese American Community Cultural Center, 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 (4), 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

Silent Auction

Peruse 35 pages of amazing getaways, intoxicating wines, and great gifts! Celebrate the evening with our Buy It Now – Serve it Now wines!

Click HERE to view the full catalogue.

Make Bidding Faster and Easier!
Have your eye on something in the Silent Auction?  Plan on winning your table’s Centerpiece?  You can pre-register your credit card number with us and save time and effort on the night of the event with our Smart Bid Form.

Click HERE to download the Smart Bid Form.

View photos from the Golden Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction when East West Players honored Author/Filmmaker/Media Entrepreneur Paula Williams Madison, Martial Artist Jeff Imada, and Fresh Off the Boat‘s creator for television/Executive Producer Nahnatchka Khan and Executive Producer Melvin Mar. The event was emceed by actor Parvesh Cheena.

View photos from the 48th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction when East West Players honored playwright/screenwriter Paul Kikuchi, actor Reggie Lee, and Hawaii 5-0 executive producers Peter Lenkov and Ken Solarz. The event was emceed by actor Parvesh Cheena.

For information, contact Gala Producer Snehal Desai or Development Manager Monika Ramnath at galaguests@eastwestplayers.org or (213) 625-7000.

Past Honorees:

Lynn Fukuhara Arthurs

Tom Bradley

Tia Carrere
Cedar Grove Productions
Terence Chang
John Cho
Margaret Cho
Jon M. Chu
Rae Creevey

Wenda Fong

Philip Kan Gotanda

Sumi Sevilla Haru
Amy Hill
James Hong
David Henry Hwang

Jeff Imada
Carrie Ann Inaba

Nahnatchka Khan
Daniel Dae Kim
Nancy Kwan

Christopher Lee
Guy Lee
Jason Scott Lee
Reggie Lee
Peter Lenkov
Jet Li
Pat Li
Lucy Liu
Yet Lock
June Kyoko Lu

Paula Madison (AARP Real Possibilities Award)
Alec Mapa
Melvin Mar
Nobu McCarthy
Noriyuki Pat Morita

Sandra Oh
Soon-Tek Oh

Councilmember Jan Perry

Beulah Quo

Bank of America
California Community Foundation
Edison International

Pixar Animation Studios
Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
S. Mark Taper Foundation

Sony Pictures Entertainment
The James Irvine Foundation
The Walt Disney Company

Prince Gomolvilas
Velina Hasu Houston
Hiroshi Kashiwagi
Paul Kikuchi

Cherylene Lee
Perry Miyake
Edward Sakamoto
Jon Shirota

Nathan Wang
Wakako Yamauchi
Chay Yew

Rae Creevey
Tom Donaldson
Irma Escamilla
Michael Hagiwara
G. Shizuko Herrera

Rodney Kageyama
Alberto Isaac and Emily Kuroda
Mark Jue
Saachiko and Dom Magwili
Nelson Mashita

Nobu McCarthy
Scott Nagatani
Ken Takemoto
Andrew K. Wong, D.D.S.