Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Evolving List of Asian American Directors

Updated: 7/26/2018

PLEASE NOTE: For the most current and continuously updating list of Asian American Directors, please visit This blog is archival and is not being updated.

This is evolving and updating list of Asian American directors to be used as a resource for playwrights, artistic director, and other theatre makers who searching for us. The list contains names, website links, SDC status, city-base, higher education degrees, artistic leadership positions, and higher education faculty positions. A key of information and some stats can be found at the bottom of the list.

Ernest Abuba* (New York)
May Adrales* (New York - MFA: Yale - Ed: Yale; aAD: Milwaukee Rep)
Kaiser Ahmed (Chicago)
Stafford Arima* (USA/Canada - AD: Theatre Calgary)
Andrea Assaf (Tampa - MA: NYU [Performance Studies]; AD: Art2Action Inc)
Brian Balcom (Chicago/Minneapolis - MFA: DePaul University)
Leilani Chan (Los Angeles - AD: TeAda Productions)
Jennifer Chang** (San Diego - MFA: UC San Diego [Acting] Ed: UC San Diego)
Tisa Chang* (New York - AD: Pan Asian Repertory)
Desdemona Chiang* (Seattle/San Francisco - MFA: University of Washington)
Ping Chong* (New York - AD: Ping Chong + Company)
Peter Cirino (San Diego - Ed: San Diego State)
Alison M. De La Cruz (Los Angeles)
Nana Dakin (New York - MFA: Columbia [2018])
Snehal Desai* (Los Angeles - MFA: Yale - AD: East West Players)
Tim Dang* (Los Angeles - Ed: University of Southern California)
Sandeep Shekar Das (Chicago)
Nelson T. Eusebio* (New York - MFA: Yale)
Kareem Fahmy** (New York - MFA: Columbia)
Ethan Heard* (New York - MFA: Yale)
Leslie Ishii* (Los Angeles - MFA: American Conservatory Theatre [Acting])
Alberto Isaac (Los Angeles)
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar* (New York - MFA: Carnegie Mellon)
Lavina Jadhwani* (Chicago - MFA: DePaul University)
Anish Jethmalani (Chicago)
Jesse Jou (Jubbock, Texas - MFA: Yale - Ed: Texas Tech University)
Chil Kong (New York)
Shishir Kurup* (Los Angeles - MFA: University of California, San Diego [Acting])
Peter J. Kuo** (Los Angeles/New York - MFA: The New School for Drama [2018])
Flordelino Lagundino (New York - MFA: Brown University; AD: Leviathan Lab)
Young Jean Lee (Brooklyn - MFA: Brooklyn College [Playwriting])
Jeff Liu** (Los Angeles - MFA: University of California, Los Angeles)
Jeffrey Lo (San Jose)
Victor Maog* (New York - AD: Second Generation)
Jess McLeod (Chicago - MFA: Northwestern University)
Zaraawar Mistry (Minneapolis - MFA: University of California, San Diego [Theatre])
Mina Morita (Bay Area - AD: Crowded Fire)
Dipankar Mukherjee (Minneapolis - AD: Pangea World Theater)
Alan Muraoka* (New York)
Katie Naka (Somerville, MA - MFA: Columbia)
Ron Nakahara* (New York)
Meena Natarajan (Minneapolis)
Oanh Nguyen* (Orange County - AD: The Chance Theater)
Lane Nishikawa (San Francisco)
Aya Ogawa (Brooklyn)
Evren Odcikin (San Francisco)
Ralph Pena (New York - AD: Ma-Yi Theater)
Ruth Pe Palileo** (Las Vegas - PhD: Trinity College Dublin [Drama and Performance])
Orlando Pabotoy* (New York - Ed: Tisch School of the Arts)
Jesca Prudencio (New York - MFA: UC San Diego)
Randy Reyes (Minneapolis - MFA: The Juilliard School [Acting] - AD: Theatre Mu - Ed: St. Olaf College )
Jon Lawrence Rivera* (Los Angeles - AD: Playwrights' Arena)
Rick Shiomi (Minneapolis - Co-AD: Full Circle Theater)
Nathan Singh (Los Angeles - MFA: DePaul University)
Seema Sueko* (D.C. - aAD: Arena Stage)
Suzi Takahashi (New York - MA: NYU [Performance Studies] - MFA: Southampton Arts)
Mei Ann Teo (NYC/MA - MFA: Columbia; Ed: Hampshire College)
Eric Ting* (Berkeley - MFA: University of Tennessee [Performance Studies] - AD: Cal Shakes)
Andrew Tsao (Seattle - MFA: CalArts - Ed: University of Washington)
Giselle Ty (New York/London)
Meiyin Wang (Berkeley - MFA: Columbia)
Elizabeth Wong (Los Angeles - MFA: NYU/Tisch School of the Arts [Dramatic Writing])
George Ye (San Diego - Ed: University of San Diego)
Chay Yew* (Chicago - AD: Victory Gardens Theater)
Helen Young (Chicago)

* = Full or (**) Associate Member of SDC
MFA = Master of Fine Arts; [Non-Directing Degree or Expected Graduation Year]
AD = Artistic Director; a = Associate; ED = Executive Director
Ed = Faculty at Higher Educational Institution

# on List = 63
Full SDC Members = 22
Associate SDC Members = 7
With MFAs = 29

If you would like to be added to the list, or have any updates or corrections, please feel free to contact me. Thanks! Peter J. Kuo


Archive Original Post 8/17/14: As many of you know, I recently moved to New York to start earning my MFA in Directing at The New School for Drama. Part of this move was my evaluation of the directing career potential in Los Angeles, but also the directing career potential for Asian American directors. As I did my research I felt there weren't a great number of us, so I decided I would create a list. If you are an Asian American director and would like to be added to this list, please email me or comment on this blog. There are power in numbers, and I believe we need to show that there are numbers. This information will be helpful for my panel on "Creating and Maintaining a Directing Career" for the National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival, which is Saturday, October 11 at 4:30 p.m. in Philadelphia, PA. Confirmed speakers include Desdemona Chiang, Snehal Desai, Randy Reyes, and Mei Ann Teo.