The Design & Production Team for Cowboy Versus Samurai
Marc Rita (Director) is an actor, director, producer, and supporter of Asian American theater since 1983. He has worked at the Organic, Wisdom Bridge, Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, Tinfish Productions, and other regional theaters in the Midwest and Los Angeles. Marc would like to thank A-Squared for this opportunity to direct this play that he loves. He would like to thank his family and friends for their continued love and support. He dedicates his work on this production to his friend Dr. Jack Trahey and a special lady that felt “oobly doobly” many years ago. Love and laughter to you all.
Ben Albovias (Associate Producer) is an executive recruiter by day, actor by night, occasional piano player on the weekends. Ben likes to combine business with creativity. For the past few years, he has been an ensemble member of A-Squared Theatre Workshop as an actor and the company’s financial manager. He is now excited to be part of the production team for Cowboy Versus Samurai. It is an honor to be part of a great cast and crew. Now let’s break legs and stay within budget!
Joseph A. Burke (Lighting Designer) is a visual artist based in Chicago. Joseph specializes in theatrical lighting and projection design, using his design-eye as a powerful extension of story telling. He believes that his past experience as a musician and passion for visual composition and photography allows him to create and collaborate with other brilliant artists. Joseph’s art has been seen at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Cleveland Public Theatre, Case Western Reserve University, Travesty Dance Group, Spartan Theatre Company, A-Squared Theatre Workshop, The Cassidy Theatre, Base Entertainment, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Chamber Opera Chicago.
Hope Kim (Associate Producer) co-produced A-Squared’s Ching Chong Chinaman, My Asian Mom 126.96.36.199, and My Asian Mom 2014. Her acting credits include all three editions of the My Asian Mom series of short plays, Really Rosie, Rizal’s Sweet Stranger, and The Other Shore. She recently played the lead in Jinju (Northwestern Senior Directing Short Film). Hope is an A-Squared company member and serves on its board. She thanks God, her husband, sister, and friends for the unending support of her involvement in the arts.
Emily Nelson (Costume Designer), a Chicago native, has been a costume designer since 2007. She has designed for opera, dance, and theatre companies around the Chicagoland area as well as US and European tours. She has received acclaim in the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune for some of her recent work. Emily has also worked with local artists on music videos as well as a nationally televised commercial. She is an established painter who is currently working on an exhibit that combines visual art with music. Emily is happy to be working again with A-Squared on this production.
Claudia Pyne[The House of Pyne] (Props Designer) was born in a rundown shack in Beverly Hills to a Norwegian blonde bombshell & a one-legged man. A back-story of Hollywood tall tales with a telenovela twist . . . True Story. A child of pop culture, the cold war, and the punk movement. A steamer trunk stage-door theatre kid who has worn and played many roles in life from artist, ranch hand for hire, properties master, single mother, and clown.
Theresa Ro (Assistant Director) is delighted to be working as assistant director with A-Squared for their spring production of Cowboy Versus Samurai. Have a great run everyone!
Keith Uchima (Original Music Score) began performing as an opening act for comedian Tom Dreesen. Joining MinaSama No/Angel Island Theatre, he was commissioned to score original music for Stuart Gordon’s Organic Theatre season. His original play Autumn and Spring depicted a Japanese American family in Post WWII Chicago. His play Seven Out told the real-life story of Chicago Mob lieutenant Ken “Montana Joe” Eto. He is a co-founder of Stir Friday Night. “Never Again,” from his musical Jade Monkey King was nominated for best song in Denmark. A SAG/AFTRA/NARAS member, Keith scripted WMAQ-NBC’s Emmy-winning Nothing is Simple. Films: Major League and Chicago Overcoat. Musical Theatre: Porchlight Theatre’s Pacific Overtures. His music CD State of Mind is on iTunes.
Alex Wu (Stage Manager and Set Designer) is very excited to work on this show and has worked on multiple A-Squared shows in the past. He would also like you to silence your cell phones or turn them off altogether because he can see you.
Joe Yau (Producer) is a company member of A-Squared Theatre Workshop. He has acted, directed, and produced for the company. He would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in making this production a reality. He hopes you enjoy the show.