LEILANI CHAN, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Leilani Chan is an award winning performance artist, actor, playwright, director, cultural worker, Founding Artistic Director of TeAda Productions. Leilani Chan’s newest collaboration with Ova Saopeng “Masters of the Current,” opens October 2017 at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth Tenney Theatre. Developed through a New England Foundation for the Arts - National Theater Project award to work with the Micronesian community in Hawai’i. She received her 3rd National Performance Network Creation Fund led by Intermedia Arts and Co-commissioned by East West Players for “Global Taxi Driver,” a transnational community-based ensemble performance exploring immigration and mobility in the 21st century. Leilani is co-creator of "Refugee Nation," the first nationally touring play about Laotian refugees in the U.S., was commissioned through a MAP Fund, NPN Creation Fund and by Legacies of War. Leilani is currently serving as Board Secretary for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA). Leilani received the 2009 Rainbow Award from the Los Angeles Women's Theater Festival. Leilani and obtained her M.F.A. from U.C. Irvine. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Born & raised in Hawai’i, Leilani attended Hampshire College obtained her M.F.A. from U.C. Irvine in 2004.
OVA SAOPENG, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Ova Saopeng is an actor and writer from Los Angeles, born in Savannakhet, Laos and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a TeAda Productions Associate Producer, Teaching Artist and co-creator of Refugee Nation. He received his BA in Theater from the University of Southern California and since then has performed nationally with theater companies including the Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis, Mark Taper Forum/P.L.A.Y., East West Players, and hereandnow.
Shruti Purkayastha is a cultural worker who creates in the intersections of theater, organizing and healing. Her current home is with TeAda Productions, working as a community organizer and project director. With Pop-Up TeAda, Shruti played the roles of lead artist, teaching artist, producer, actor and organizer. Currently, she is working closely with the UCLA Labor Center to produce and facilitate a healing arts workshop series called CreAtive Self-Care. She has developed theater and storytelling based healing and popular education programs with several community-based groups, including Gender Justice LA’s Theater of the Oppressed, Dignity and Power Now’s Freedom Harvest, and projects with the Labor/Community Strategy Center. Through a project called LACE (Liberation Arts and Community Engagement) Center, she supported grassroots Theater of the Oppressed groups in L.A. like Changing Ways and Teatro with TRUST South LA. She graduated with a Master’s in Applied Theater Arts in 2012, where she was trained in a broad spectrum of techniques, including Theatre of the Oppressed, Theater for Education and Development, Theater and Healing, with a strong basis in Liberation Psychology. Through this program, she trained with the Center for Theater of the Oppressed in Rio De Janiero, Brasil engaging with transnational social movements, Forum Theater, and the Aesthetics of the Oppressed methodologies. She is currently working on a interdisciplinary art project called Living Mythologies, highlighting stories from her communities of queer trans people of color.
Leilani Chan, Founding Artistic Director
Ova Saopeng, Associate Artistic Director
Shruti Purkayastha, Community Organizer
BOARD OF DIRECTORS