East West Players celebrates its Golden 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.

The fundraising event will take place on Monday April 20, 2015 at the Universal Hilton. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

“From our humble beginnings, with Mako and our founders rehearsing in a church basement, writing their own stories beyond geisha girls, waiters and gang members, East West Players has become the largest producer of Asian American artistic work in the country. ” says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director. “East West Players’ Golden Anniversary is an important milestone to be celebrated with our ground-breaking honorees who continue to pave the way for Asian American artists. It is also an opportunity to thank our supporters who continue to build upon the work of East West Players.”

Paula Williams Madison (EWP/AARP Real Possibilities Visionary Award) is Chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a Los Angeles based media consultancy company with global reach.

In 2011, Madison retired from NBCUniversal, where she had been Executive Vice President of Diversity as well as a Vice President of the General Electric Company (GE), then the parent company of NBCU. During her 22 years with NBCU, she held a number of successful leadership roles, including President and General Manager of NBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Regional General Manager for NBCU’s Telemundo TV stations and Vice President and News Director of NBC4 New York.

Madison is the executive producer and subject of “Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China,” a compelling documentary that chronicles her journey to her maternal grandfather’s homeland in China and the reconnection of her family with his 300 descendants. HarperCollins will publish a memoir on the journey, Finding Samuel Lowe China, Jamaica, Harlem in April 2015.

Jeff Imada (Visionary Award) has amassed over 400 credits in feature films, TV shows, commercials, and Jeff Imadamusic videos as a 2nd Unit Director, Stunt Coordinator, Fight Choreographer, Technical Advisor, Stuntman, and/or Actor. His most recent work can be seen in Fast and Furious 7. Besides acting, another passion in Jeff’s life is the martial arts. In 1973, he met the legendary Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s protégé and colleague) and has been training with him ever since in numerous styles. Jeff currently holds the rank of Senior Instructor with Inosanto and is one of the few certified instructors in Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino/Indonesian martial arts.

East West Players also honors Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin Mar. Nahnatchka Khan is the creator for television/Executive Producer and Melvin Mar is Executive Producer for the new comedy Fresh Off the Boat.

Nahnatchka Khan (Visionary Award) is creator for television and executive producer of “Fresh Off the Boat.” Prior to that, she was the creator and executive producer of “Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23,” which aired for two seasons on ABC, from 2011-2012. Before creating her own series, she served as an executive producer on the Fox animated show “American Dad.”



Melvin Mar (Visionary Award)  began his career at Dreamworks SKG and then at Scott Rudin Productions, where he built a solid relationship with “Orange County” director Jake Kasdan. They’ve worked together since on “The TV Set,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” “Bad Teacher,” “New Girl” and “Sex Tape.” Besides serving as executive producer on “Fresh Off the Boat,” he is also executive producer for the upcoming Fox series “Weird Loners.”


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

Celebrate the evening with our Buy It Now – Serve it Now wines! And also peruse our 11 pages of amazing getaways, intoxicating wines, and great gifts prior to Monday night!

Our Silent Auction item highlights include:
• One Hour Private Lesson in Stage/Movie Fight Techniques with EWP Visionary Award Honoree Jeff Imada
• Free movies for a year with a year-long pass for two at AMC Theatres
• Two tickets to the finale performance show of AMERICAN IDOL
• Los Angeles Lakers Jeremy Lin Autographed Jersey & Basketball and a #17 New York Knicks Jersey
• The Who’s “Tommy” (1975) Memorabilia
• And more!

Click here to view the full catalogue.

Make Bidding Faster and Easier!
New this year is our “Smart BID #” express check-out program. We aim to make the silent auction & donation process as easy and convenient possible for you. You can pre-register your credit card number with us and save time and effort on the night of the event.

Here’s how it works…
Everyone will be assigned a BID # that will be printed on your name tag that you will pick up at the event registration table when you arrive. There will be several opportunities to make donations during the evening. At each of those moments, a credit card number (or check or cash) is needed.

Instead of having to fill out your credit card information at every single point in the night, you have the option of making your BID # a “SMART BID #” by having a credit card number on file with us. At the giving opportunities and at the silent auction check out, you need only provide your SMART BID # and there will be no additional forms to fill out. The silent auction check out will have dedicated SMART BID # lines that will move quickly. We’ll know you have a SMART BID # because you’ll have a fun red star on your name tag.
All credit card information will be destroyed after processing.

How can you make yours a SMART BID #? Just fill out this form and email it to mpatt@eastwestplayers.org. Or call the office and we can fill out a form over the phone with you.

Questions? Contact Audience Services Manager Meredith Patt at mpatt@eastwestplayers.org or 213-635-7000, ext. 16.

PLATINUM CIRCLE AARP, CBS Corporation, Comcast NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company

GOLD CIRCLE 20th Century Fox Television, East West Bank

SILVER CIRCLE IW Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Wells Fargo

BRONZE CIRCLE The Africa Channel, Tim Dang & Darrel Cummings, HBO, Jake Kasdan, Nahnatchka Khan, Robert M. Kawahara & Martie Quan, Melvin Mar, Mattel (3), Sanrio, Inc., Union Bank, William Morris Endeavour, Lynn Waggoner

FRIENDS CIRCLE Asian Americans Advancing Justice , Albert E. Aubin , Samuel H. Bersola , Kin Cheng and Hervé LePand , Cold Tofu Improv, John Gong (2) , Friends of Leslie Ishii, Robert M. Kawahara & Martie Quan (2), Iku Kiriyama, Lear Family Foundation, Ed Lew, Daniel Mayeda & Susan Rosales (2), Jack Nguyen & Yula Chin, Paramount Pictures, Frank & Marian Sata, Jon Shirota & Friends, SoCalGas, Laura Takaragawa , Scott Brown, Ken Takemoto, Friends of Marilyn Tokuda, Warner Brothers

**Full table sponsorship packages are available! Complete the Sponsorship and Individual Ticket Order Form (PDF) and submit via email at galaguests@eastwestplayers.org or fax to (213) 625-7111.

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.

View photos from the 47th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction when East West Players honored director Jon M. Chu, seminal Asian American comedy improv group Cold Tofu, YouTube star Kevin Wu aka KevJumba, and actor Steven Yeun. The event was co-emceed by actress Tamlyn Tomita and actor Harry Shum Jr.

For additional 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


Carrie Ann Inaba


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



Alec Mapa

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.