East West Players Will Honor Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas And Gedde Watanabe
East West Players (EWP), the nation's longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical work, is pleased to announce that its signature EWP Night Market season kick-off event on Saturday, September 15, 2018 will honor Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Second District), and actor Gedde Watanabe (Sixteen Candles). Co-hosted by actress Mouzam Makkar (ABC's The Fix), EWP Night Market will feature tasting stations hosted by local restaurants, followed by an evening of performances. Proceeds of EWP Night Market support EWP's artistic and educational programs.
"For this year's EWP Night Market, East West Players would like to celebrate the achievements of Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gedde Watanabe. As we usher in our exciting 53rd Anniversary Season, Culture Shock, it felt fitting to honor these two incredible leaders who have been trailblazers in their careers. Every step along the way, they have fought to give visibility to communities of color and shifted the narrative and the lens by which we have been perceived. They have been incredible allies, leaders, and activists in both their work and personal lives, and we dedicate this year's EWP Night Market to them. We are also proud to highlight local businesses in Little Tokyo and Los Angeles, as well as feature some amazing Asian-American artists, including welcoming Mouzam back to our stage since she had her EWP debut four years ago and is now one of the most in-demand actresses in town," says Snehal Desai, EWP Producing Artistic Director.Hon. Mark Ridley Thomas has been reelected twice to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors since being elected in 2008. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas previously served the 26th District in the California State Senate, where he chaired the Senate's Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development; served as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus (2008); and led the Caucus in unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration with counterparts in the Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses. He has served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years and has served two terms in the California State Assembly. His extensive career and legislative work has addressed economic and workforce development, healthcare, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection, and civic participation.
Gedde Watanabe, who has been acting since 1974, is a member of the original Broadway cast of Pacific Overtures (1976), originating the roles of Priest, Girl, and The Boy. He has since appeared in a number of films and television series, and is known for playing Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles (1984), playing Hiroshi in Sesame Street (1988 to 1991), voicing Ling in the Disney animated film Mulan (1998), and having a recurring role as Yoshi Takata on NBC's ER (1998 to 2002). Most recently, he played Zaza in East West Players' production of La Cage aux Folles (2015).
Mouzam Makkar can be seen playing the series regular role of Loni Kampoor in the new ABC drama The Fix, co-written by Marcia Clark, premiering in 2019. She was last seen in the series regular role of Britney in the NBC comedy Champions, created by Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy. Other TV credits include recurring roles in The Exorcist (Fox), The Vampire Diaries (CW), The Following (Fox), and Chicago Fire (NBC). Film credits include She's in Portland and Freelancers Anonymous, both premiering in 2018.
Performances for EWP Night Market will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at East West Players' David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Cocktails and tasting stations will be available starting at 6:00PM (5:30PM for VIP Early Access). The evening continues with performances at 7:30PM.
EWP Night Market is a benefit performance. Levels of sponsorships are available ranging from $1,200 to $5,000 with VIP tickets, reserved seating, early access, and recognition in the program card. Individual tickets for cocktails and the show are available for $250 VIP for reserved seating in the Preferred Orchestra section, $200 General for reserved seating in the Orchestra section, and $125 Balcony for reserved seating in the balcony. For information about sponsorship and ticket opportunities, please email Development Manager Dora Quach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Performers will be announced soon. Sponsorship packages and individual tickets may be purchased at www.eastwestplayers.org or please call (213) 625-7000 ext. 14. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change. For more information about East West Players or EWP Night Market, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.