East West Players celebrates its historic 40th Anniversary with annual Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction Spectacular on April 10

East West Players, the nation‚s premier Asian American theatre, is celebrating its milestone 40th Anniversary with a gala event at the Hilton Universal City high atop the hills of Hollywood on April 10, 2006. East West Players‚ annual Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction is an award-winning event that salutes artists who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American community through theater, film and television. Proceeds from the evening will benefit East West Players educational and artistic programs.

"East West Players has reached a milestone anniversary that has made it one of the oldest theaters of color in the United States and a cornerstone in the Asian American community. This is an amazing achievement for an arts organization to have survived 40 years despite government cutbacks, uncertain economic times, the September 11 attacks, and the 1965 and 1991 Los Angeles Uprisings. We thank the community for its belief in our mission and making EWP a place where the community may gather and share its many stories."

"But the lifeline of East West Players and the reason for its longevity is due to the many artists who have walked through our doors, giving their amazing talent, volunteering thousands of work hours and donating their hard-earned money. We've come a long way together. From working out of a church basement in the 1960s, to a 99-seat storefront black-box in Silverlake in the '70s and '80s, to a 240-seat professional mid-sized theater in the '90s, EWP is a real success story. We still have a long way to go but our future looks bright," said East West Players Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang.

Past Visionary Award honorees have included actresses Tia Carrere, Nancy Kwan, Lea Salonga and Lucy Liu; actors George Takei, Alec Mapa, B.D. Wong and Jet Li; comedienne Margaret Cho; director John Woo; and playwrights David Henry Hwang and Chay Yew. Corporations such as the Walt Disney Company and AT&T, and philanthropic organizations such as The James Irvine Foundation and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation have also been recognized for their support of Asian Pacific American performing arts.

Other awards presented that evening will include the Made in America award that recognizes an artist who has made a significant contribution to Asian American theatre and the Rae Creevey Award, named in honor of an Emmy Award-winning founder of East West Players recognizing commitment and volunteer service to EWP.

The East West Players 40th Anniversary Visionary Dinner and Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 10, 2006 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal City Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. The no-host reception and silent auction will be at 6 pm with the dinner and event program starting at 7 pm. Tickets are $175 to $1,250. For more information on East West Players 40th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction please contact Managing Director Trent Steelman at (213) 625-7000 x19 or tsteelman@eastwestplayers.org.

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Copyright 2006, Roger W. Tang

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