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East West Players

Our Classes

New Year, New Play


with Alice Tuan

Calendar Jan 23, 2021 at 10 am, runs for 8 weeks


It's a new year, a clean slate, the fresh air of possibility. What a good time to explore new characters, new ideas, new thoughts.  Come to this workshop and try your new pages, write out the idea that's been knocking on your mind and see what new paths, new scenes unfold.  Each week we'll warm up with writing exercises and then workshop new scenes with feedback and guidance to move forward.  Or maybe you have new eyes to look at an early draft--come on in and give it a rewrite.  Take this chance to build your writing practice and meet other writers--there is nothing to lose, only to gain. All levels welcome.

Level: All levels


Alice Tuan is a nationally-acclaimed, internationally-produced playwright, teacher and performer.  Her play Last of the Suns (Berkeley Rep, Ma-Yi Theater) had a bilingual Chinese-English version commissioned and performed by the Chinese International School in Hong Kong, where she was Artist-in-Residence March 2019. Almasi Collaborative Arts also staged a reading of this play with an African cast in Zimbabwe July 2019. Tuan is best known for Ajax (por nobody) (Flea Theater, Salvage Vangard, Melbourne Fringe).  It was staged at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival and written about in ‘The Shelf Life of Shock’ (The Drama Review). Ajax (por nobody), along with four other plays, are archived in the Billy Rose Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Cocks Crow (Americans trying to do business in Shanghai) was developed at the Ojai Playwrights Conference August 2018 and had a reading through East West Players’ CounterCulture series in 2019. Other works have been produced at Humana, Foundry, East West, Taper Too, Edinburgh Fringe. Before she was a playwright, Tuan taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Guangzhou and Los Angeles. 

Introduction to Acting


with Dom Magwili

Calendar Feb 1, 2021 at 6:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks


Although diversity has become a major concern in both theatre and the entertainment industry, actors of color continue to struggle with a predominantly white community of producers. As the longest-running theatre of color in the nation, East West Players continues its mission to produce artistic work and educational programs that advocate inclusion and equitable representation. 

This course is perfect for those who have always wondered what it would be like to be an actor, for those interested in enhancing presentation skills, and for those seeking personal discovery. The class will include theatre games and improvisational exercises as well as a survey of basic acting fundamentals that address specific issues for Asian American actors. As the educational arm of the first and foremost Asian American theatre company in the nation, this course maintains a safe, respectful, and proactive environment to explore the state of Asian American acting today.

Level: Beginner

Scholarships are limited and based on availability. For more information, please email  


Dom Magwili, award-winning actor, director, producer, and teacher for East West Players since 1974. Trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, with Darryl Hickman, and East West Players, Dom has guest starred on such TV shows as Close to Home, How to make it in America, and ER. He received critical acclaim for his work in the East West Players Production of Proof, as well as the Lodestone Theatre’s production of American Monsters 2, and the Center Theatre Group’s production of Dogeaters.

Dom wrote and co-directed Independent film, Much Adobo About Nothing, as well as directed Cine Excel Entertainment’s movie, MAGMA. He spent 20 years directing Cultural Nights for UCLA. His musical play, A Jive Bomber’s Christmas had a 10 year run at the Japanese American National Museum and throughout the southland. Dom received his Master of Fine Arts in Acting at Cal State Long Beach, is currently teaching Asian American Film & Video at Cal State Fullerton. He teaches his own acting class, the Acting Dojo.


Payment plan available: $100 deposit plus 4 payments of $62.50, paid weekly.

Introduction to Voice Acting


with Zehra Fazal

Calendar Feb 6, 2021 at 10 am, runs for 6 weeks


Voiceover—it’s a booming area of the entertainment business lots of actors talk about wanting to do, but often lack an understanding of the artistry, techniques and business acumen required to have a thriving career. Zehra is here to help!

As a working actor across multiple genres in the Los Angeles market, Zehra learned a lot of practical, specific information about the voiceover industry that I’m excited to share. As a teacher, Zehra helps actors identify their natural strengths, hone in on building acting techniques, and strategize the next steps they need to take towards building a career in voiceover.

In this introductory class to voice acting, the class will focus on the genres of commercial voiceover, animation and video games. The class will center around mic time—getting you up and practicing your acting and receiving direction during each class. By the end of the course, you will have a working knowledge to tackle multiple genres of voiceover, an overview of the business process in the Los Angeles market, and a deeper understanding of your unique strengths as a storyteller and collaborator.

Length of Course: 6 Saturdays, 10am-1pm PT starting February 6th, 2021

Level: Beginner/Intermediate

**Please note:** All classes will be conducted virtually on Zoom. No recordings of class are allowed, other than you recording your own individual reads on your computer. There will be no engineer, and no recordings of the class will be made. No recordings of Zehra, other students, or any other portion beyond your personal work are allowed to be made, broadcast, or published in any form. Unfortunately, there are no make-up classes or refunds.


Within a few short years of arriving in the LA market, Indiana native Zehra Fazal was booking regular, recurring and guest roles for series on Disney, WB Animation, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, Netflix, Comedy Central and more. She has provided voice work for live action series and feature films, including Lost in Space and Daredevil, and became known in the video game world on AAA titles such as Borderlands 3, Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Destiny 2, League of Legends, and more. Her commercial clients have included Ford, Old Spice, Xfinity, Saks Fifth Avenue, Quickbooks and Dominos Pizza. In 2019, she was the voice of the Fox Sports Women’s World Cup and won two Society of Voice Arts and Sciences awards including Best Overall Body of Work. On-camera credits include How to Get Away with Murder, Lucifer, Magnum PI and Mr. Mayor.

Before becoming a full-time actor, Zehra tutored middle and high school students for several years, working on alternative learning strategies tailored to the individual learner. This experience helps her provide guidance that is adaptive to a student's specific experience, circumstances and needs. Zehra ran a monthly VO workout group at North Hollywood Sound and has taught acting workshops at Syracuse University and Wellesley College. She has trained with multiple teachers at The Groundlings, The Voiceover Connection, VAN, Stephen Book Improvisation Workshop, Annie Grindlay and Margie Haber Studio and Wellesley College.

Payment plan available: $75 deposit plus 5 payments of $60.00, paid weekly.

Will run

Stand-Up Comedy Fundamentals


with Dat Phan

Calendar Feb 13, 2021 at 11 am, runs for 6 weeks


In this performance based class Dat Phan (the original winner of Last Comic Standing) will guide you in creating and refining a stand up set. As a road veteran of over twenty years, Dat focuses on both technique and practical application. Using methodology inspired from his martial arts training, he will teach you the fundamentals of stand up comedy as both an art form and as a business. By tapping into your fundamental self this course will strengthen you as a performer, both in stand up and in acting. While the class will mold to the needs of the students enrolled, some topics covered will be: social dynamics, professionalism, reading and reacting to the audience, and comedy formulas and techniques that he used during Last Comic Standing and has refined since.

LEVELS: Beginner to Intermediate; Some acting class experience preferred. 


Dat Phan is the Original Winner of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and is a Headlining Comedian touring  live across the U.S. He has made numerous TV and movie appearances including “Hawaii Five-0” and  “Magnum P.I.”. Dat Phan has been included in The Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition of The Top 10  Most Influential Vietnamese-American Individuals. 

Dat was born in Saigon, Vietnam and immigrated with his mother to San Diego, CA. Moving to LA he  had to live out of his car, and even after being robbed at gunpoint he wouldn’t stop pursuing his dream of performing comedy. Dat answered phones for The Improv in Hollywood during the day and tried to get as much stage time as possible at night. Later, Dat took the risk and auditioned for the experimental,  comedy based show produced by NBC that would launch his career. The rest is history as he was named  the funniest person in America on August 5, 2003. 

Dat’s culturally insightful comedy inspects ridiculous stereotypes, and shares his experience of being a  regular American guy with a Vietnamese heritage. His youthful energy and truly unique life experiences  are combined to create the message of living your dreams and reaching out for the stars. Dat Phan’s  mission is to bring a more positive portrayal of Asian-Americans to mainstream entertainment and  Hollywood. “We want to be seen as more than just martial artists, or bad stereotype token roles in  American TV & movies.”


Payment plan available: $100 deposit plus 5 payments of $55.00, paid weekly.

Musical Theatre Appreciation in the 21st Century


with Howard Ho

Calendar Mar 14, 2021 at 4 pm


The class will only meet on the following specified dates:

March 14th, March 28th, April 11th, and April 25th. 

4pm-6pm PST


Musicals are crafted to tug at your heartstrings and your intellect in very specific and surprising ways. Designed for musical theatre lovers as well as musical theatre creators, this class will cover how classic song structures are continually redefined in exciting new ways in the shows of 21st Century Broadway. In addition to examples from the Golden Age to Sondheim, we will discuss how today's musical theatre creators are innovating in such shows as Hamilton, Hadestown, Fun Home, A Strange Loop, Six, In the Heights, Passing Strange, and many more.


Howard Ho is a playwright and composer. His short musical END OF THE LINE (co-written with Kristen Rea and Chris Edgar) was in The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival and is published in Theatre Now New York’s Short Musical Anthology and licensed by MTI. His play VARIOUS EMPORIA was a 2017 O'Neill National Playwrights Finalist and was a Finalist in the ScreenCraft Stage Play competition. His musical PRETENDO was featured in the Center Theatre Group (CTG) Library Reading Series. His musical MOLL-E was a NY Musical Festival Finalist. He was a 2016 Center Theatre Group Literary Fellow and a 2013 NY State Summer Writers Institute Scholarship recipient. His plays and musicals have been developed with Moving Arts, East West Players, The Vagrancy, Playwrights’ Arena, Company of Angels, Kaya Press, New Musicals Inc., Playground-LA, Santa Monica Playhouse, and Here and Now. His popular Youtube videos analyzing the musical HAMILTON ( have been recognized by Lin-Manuel Miranda and have earned millions of views and over 50,000 subscribers. With over 50 sound design credits, he has earned two Ovation Award nominations and has sound designed at Center Theatre Group, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Playwrights’ Arena, and East West Players among many other theaters.  His music was recognized in the City of Los Angeles concert series COMPOSE LA, highlighting notable LA composers. His articles about theatre have been published at HowlRound and the Los Angeles Times. He holds a musicology degree from UCLA and a Master of Professional Writing from USC, where he was Stage and Screen Editor of the Southern California Review. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, Cold Tofu Improv, the Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theater, and the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.

Payment plan available: $50 deposit plus 2 payments of $50.00, paid every four weeks.

Will run

Introduction to Playwriting


with Lisa Sanaye Dring

Calendar Apr 1, 2021 at 7:30 pm, runs for 8 weeks


In this workshop we will learn about playwriting through practice and discussion. We'll go over basic components of beginning/middle/end, action, dialogue, character, and formatting, as well as structure and style. We'll read some fabulous plays. Each writer will leave class with a polished 10-minute piece as well as the beginning of a full-length play.

Level: Beginners

Scholarships are limited and based on availability. For more information, please email  


Lisa was honored as a recipient of the 2020/21 PLAY LA Stage Raw/Humanitas Prize. The Wicked One was a finalist for the Relentless Award, a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, a finalist for the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and a semi-finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, a play she co-wrote with Chelsea Sutton, was nominated for 8 Ovation Awards including Best Production (winner of 5). Lisa's work has been developed/produced by The New Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, East West Players, Circle X, SCF @ Son of Semele, Playwrights’ Arena, Rogue Artists Ensemble, The Motor Company and Theatre of NOTE. Lisa is co-writing the next chapter of Kaidan Project as an augmented reality project, an EWP/Rogue Artists collaboration coming in October. She is a MacDowell Fellow, a member of EWP’s Writers Group and will go to Yaddo in 2021. Lisa co-founded and co-directs Rogue Artists’ Rogue Lab, an incubator for hyper-theatrical new work. She serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Circle X Theatre Co.

She has made theatre for nursing homes, gardens, bars, cars, virtual reality universes, earbuds, fields, warehouses and performance venues.

Payment plan available: $100 deposit plus 5 payments of $55.00, paid every two weeks.

The Body Series Solo Intensive


with Giovanni Ortega

Calendar Apr 20, 2021 at 7:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks




A Two-Part Solo Performative Series (Online)

This 2-part solo performance series is a venture for the artist to discover & experience full expression by integrating writing, storytelling, performance as well as various theatrical pedagogy through the lens of a virtual platform and achieved through the cinematic lens of performance. The artists will learn to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

LANGUAGE OF MY BODY will lead participants in a 4-week written process from personal narrative, dramatic theory, thematic writing, script self-analysis as well as viewership to innovative solo productions. An interactive webinar will be held each week were artists are encouraged to develop their craft from the one-person performative lens, in addition to individual sessions with the instructor.

LEAVES ON MY BODY is a weeklong intensive that will lead the participants on a journey that includes the implementation of auto-dramatic exercises, various acting techniques, imagination meditation and adapting the written text into a performative structure.

The Body Series Showcase 2021

LANGUAGE OF MY BODY 2021 Tuesday, April 20 7:30-10pm

Tuesday, April 27 7:30-10pm

Tuesday, May 4 7:30-10pm

Tuesday, May 11 7:30-10pm


Tuesday, May 25 7:30-10pm

Wednesday, May 26 7:30-10pm

Thursday, May 27 7:30-10pm

Friday, May 28 7:30-10pm

About the Workshop:

The Body Series have been workshopped around the globe engaging artists to deepen their understanding and use of acting techniques in solo performance, representational and devised theatre to instill depth and breadth in the portrayal of believable characters whether they are based on reality or imagination. Workshop participants will create their own theatrical pieces utilizing personal and artistic narratives as a thematic backdrop through various writing pedagogy, acting techniques and online embodied movement practices whils’t learning to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

Who It Is For:

Emerging performer and writers, or more experienced artists keen to further their research and development of new or existing ideas. Some basic storytelling and performance experience are welcome but creatives from other artistic disciplines (music, dance and writing for film) encouraged to take part. We all have our own stories to share ingrained in our bodies yearning to be told.

The Body Series Timeline

Skin & Art, Creation of My Body (COMB) – HCAC, Singapore

Creation of My Body (COMB) - Brisbane

Creation of My Body part 2 (COMB) – Singapore

Katawan, The Filipino Body – Campbelltown, Sydney

Words of My Body (WOMB) – Singapore

Words of My Body part 3 (WOMB) – Singapore

Thoughts of My Body (TOMB) – Singapore

Canvas of My Body (COMB) – National Theatre of Parramatta, New South Wales

Map of My Body - HCAC, Singapore

The Body Series - East West Players


Giovanni Ortega (SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA) considers East West Players (EWP) his artistic home. Additional works as a director include: Little Women- The MusicalScrimmage (EWP), Lena Passes (Pasadena Playhouse), Pogi Boy, The Hotel Play (Associate Director, Center Theatre Group/ Playwrights’ Arena), La Madre de Todos los Exilios (Bogotá), Cabaret, The Musical, The House of the Spirits, Spring Awakening, Urinetown, In the Next Room, The Government Inspector, Convergence Zone, Mama Bares Concert (EWP). Directing Film Credits: Kanto Cuentos: Stories from the Pandemic, Cuentos from My Barrio, Belonging (Poetry Festival Singapore), A Hero of Our Time, Upon the Fragile Shore (LA Asian Pacific Film Festival). As a Playwright, he recently finished The Pinoy Trilogy: The Butterfly of Chula Vista (San Diego Rep), Criers for Hire (EWP), ALLOS, the Carlos Bulosan Story (EWP). Giovanni has performed nationally and internationally with various one-person shows including Playfair & Allos. He is an Assistant Professor in Pomona College Department of Theatre for the Claremont Colleges and last taught The Body Series for East West Players.

Payment plan available: $100 deposit plus 2 payments of $91.66, paid every four weeks. Final payment of $91.68.

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