The Joy Luck Club
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Christopher Chen* (Canning Woo, Moon Lady, etc)makes his SMP debut and is pleased to be working with the legendary Tim Dang for the very first time. Chris is from Cleveland, Ohio and studied Theater at Northwestern University in Chicago. SoCal area stage productions include: Joseph...Dreamcoat(Baker), A Christmas Carol(Marley), The Full Monty(Reg), and Merrily We Roll Along(Joe). Chris has had guest roles on Criminal Minds, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Mindy Project, Atypical, Abby’s, Superstore, Grace and Frankie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, andModern Family. Commercially, he’s that Geico Bowler/Salsa Dancer and DirecTV Glass Door Collider Guy. His performances and humble career are dedicated to his Chinese immigrant parents. christopherchen.com
Lee Chen (Lindo)is thrilled to be back on stage with this production. Growing up in China, she was a child performer in Chairman Mao’s Propaganda Performing Troupe. She came to America to pursue an M.A. in Education. While teaching in Chicago, she accidently got cast in her first American play The Primary English Class. Other theatre and dance productions include: M. Butterfly, The Great Gatsby, Madame Mao’s Memories, And the Soul Shall Dance, The Waiting Room,and her one-woman show Life Flies.TV: Veep, Good Trouble, NCIS: Los Angeles, Arrested Development, Disney’s Girl Meets World, Southland,and many independent films including Justice for Vincent. She alsodanced in Eminem’s video Venom.Lee thanks her husband and sons for their love and support.
Victor Chi* (Ensemble Man 1) is making his SMP debut. He has performed with Inner-City Arts, Company of Angeles, hereandnow (Los Angeles), MACLA (San Jose), The Young Vic (London), and American Repertory Theater (Boston). His film TV credits include appearances in Blackhat, MARVEL: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Speechless,NCIS: Los Angeles, The Bold & The Beautiful, and the sitcom REL. He is a graduate of the UC Riverside where he owes much gratitude to his mentor Eric Barr. Follow Victor on social media with handle @VictorSChi to see him attend various video game and comic conventions, trying food around town, and giving the illusion of #FitLife.
Debbie Fan (Amah/Chwun Hwa/Ensemble)was born and raised in Utah to the parents of Chinese immigrants. The Joy Luck Clubis a story that she related to when it first came out and is thrilled to be a part of SMP’s production. Thank you to Tim and Christian for the opportunity to work with so many Chinese artists. Debbie lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three dogs and cat and in her spare time you can find her volunteering with the South LA Animal Shelter and Downtown Dog Rescue. Recent credits includea recurring role on General Hospital, Seal Team, and the popular teen web-series Zoe Valentine. Website: debbiefan.com
April Lam (Rose) was born from first-generation Chinese-Americans and she is eager to share experiences from her and her family’s history to tell this compelling story. An alumna of AMDA with a BFA in Musical Theatre, Lam is making her SMP debut as “Rose.” She won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Love Is Blind, and has been featured in numerous commercials (FedEx, Sea World San Diego, and Ford). She's also performed in riveting musical stories, such as Miss Saigon, In the Heights, and The King and I. She'd like to thank our Heavenly Father, her parents, Shaheen Vaaz, Tim Dang, Christian Lebano, Estelle Campbell and The Bridge Church. Enjoy the show! @april.lam | www.aprillam.com
Katharine Chen Lerner*
Katharine Chen Lerner* (Lena)is thrilled to be a part of The Joy Luck Cluband work with this amazing cast! Theater: The Launch Prize(Bridge Rep), Ms. Oriental(Glicker-Milstein Theater), Ghost Girl(Workshop Theater). Workshops/Readings: Ars Nova(Rattlestick Theater), The Lark, (Ma-Yi Theater Company, Tectonic Theater Project). Film/TV: Adam Ruins Everything(TruTV), Baker's Dozen(Amazon Prime), Projecting (Seriously TV), Younger(TV Land). Training: Maggie Flanigan Studio, Marymount Manhattan College, UCB Theatre. www.katharinelerner.com
Christine Liao (Waverly) started Chinese folk dance and ballet classes at 3 years old when she discovered her love for storytelling through movement. She has since performed at various venues sharing Chinese culture and stories throughout Los Angeles and San Francisco. She was a part of a theater troupe in college and after graduating, took classes at East West Players with Dom Magwili, which culminated with her playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.She has since worked in various short films, independent features and web videos. Christine feels so honored to be a part ofThe Joy Luck Club and is thrilled to work alongside such a talented cast and crew. She is also thankful for her parents’ and brother’s support in her life journey.
Sharline Liu (Su Yuan) thanks you for supporting live theater at SMP! She most recently performed in the Hawaii premiere of Allegiance, after initially appearing in the Broadway show’s 2018 Los Angeles premiere with George Takei. She’s grateful to work again with director Tim Dang (East West Players’ record-breaking La Cage Aux Folles).Career highlights: Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes; leads in Sweet Charity, The Wiz, Grease, Flower Drum Song; U.S. Dept. of Defense tour in Europe/Persian Gulf entertaining U.S./U.N. troops; and cheering professionally for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. “Thank you, Mom, for your lifelong generosity and sacrifices to give your children and grandchildren better lives. I’m here because of you.” www.SharlineLiu.com
Peggy Lu* (Ying-ying) began her professional acting career in New York. Fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and Texan, Peggy has built a solid reputation in the industry for her unique combination of contemporary American & fresh off the boat. She has appeared in numerous film, television and theatre productions, most recently in Marvel’sVenom, Netflix’s Always Be My Maybeand NCIS: Los Angeles,among others. Peggy is also a hospice pharmacist, a DIY enthusiast, and a proud daughter of immigrant parents who paved the path for Peggy to achieve her American Dream; she is dedicating every performance to her loving devoted parents. Additionally, she is immensely grateful for this extraordinary artistic journey working with Christian Lebano, Tim Dang, the cast and crew of The Joy Luck Club.
Nancy Ma (Jing Mei) is an actress and writer from Chinatown New York. She recently premiered her solo show, Home, directed by Geoffrey Rivas, at The Los Angeles Theatre Company. She is also the creator and co-host of the podcast, Hustle in Color, a platform that highlights women of color in the entertainment industry. Credits include The Affair(Showtime) and Tabloid(Investigation Discovery). BA, Williams College. And, her Chinese name means jade aroma!
Robert O’Hare (Ensemble Man #1) is delighted and incredibly thankful to be returning to the Sierra Madre Playhouse to help tell this beautiful story after appearing in last spring’s Stuart Little. He was born and raised to be a football player in San Antonio, TX, but always had the itch to pursue the arts. After earning a BFA from the University of Oklahoma he moved out to Los Angeles where he has been working ever since. Favorite credits include: Selridge (Biloxi Blues), Master Ford (The Merry Wives of Windsor), and The Cowboy (Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta). Robtheartist.com | @rob_ohare
Grace Shen* (An Mei)is honored to be making her debut at SMP in The Joy Luck Club. Having played five other roles in the touring company, this mother/daughter story holds a special place in Grace’s heart. Favorite theatre credits include: Two Rooms, The Big Funk, South Pacific, Brigadoon, Gigi,The King and I, Hello, Dolly!, Miss Saigonand The Full Monty.Favorite Film/TV credits: Grey’s Anatomy, The Young and the Restless,MacGyver, All About Nina,Love Shot(Amazon), A Stone-Cold Christmas(Amazon), Swimming(2019 LAAPFF), Monday (NBCU & HBO Award Winning Short Film, 2017 LAAPFF), The Disappointment Tour(2016 LAAPFF), Flat Echo andBlood Light. Grace thanks Tim Dang, Christian Lebano and the cast and crew for this amazing experience. To my family, friends and husband Charles, thank you for your undying love and support. www.graceshen.com @graceshen54
Gloria Tsai (Second Wife, Chwun Yu, etc.)is a Taiwanese-American actress, voiceover artist and performer new to the Los Angeles area. Growing up in Houston, Gloria caught the acting bug when she was cast as the lead in a class play at 8 years old. She studied theater/acting as well as dance and music throughout school and went on to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. In early 2015, Gloria made the bold decision to leave a corporate career and pursue her childhood dreams. After building her acting resume the last 4 years in Austin, TX and becoming SAG eligible, she decided to further her acting career by making the big move to Los Angeles. Learn more about Gloria by visiting www.GloriaTsai.com.
Yee Eun Nam