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Asian American Biographies 4

Ralph B. Peña
Author: Cinema Verite, Flipzoids, This End Up: A User's Manual for Lovers of Asians, Project:Balangiga (co-written with Sung Rno), Dead Man's Socks, Tagalog text for The Romance of Magno Rubio (Obie Award), and Will Sing. His plays have been produced by Ma-Yi Theater, Northwest Asian American Theater (Seattle), San Diego Asian American Repertory, Kumu Kahua Theater (Honolulu); Asia Theater (Washington, DC), La Mama E.T.C., NYSF Public Theater, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Current projects: Fifth Exotic for The Foundry Theater, Boxing Gil for the Mark Taper Forum. Recent directing credits: Will Sing for The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, Dead Man's Socks for La Mama E.T.C. Ralph is a founding member and the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company.

Mary Ping
Mary Ping was born in in 1978 in New York. In 1996 she entered Vassar College. During her four years at college, Ping spent her breaks and holidays in the design studios of Han Feng and Anna Sui and the history'laden halls of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute.

Upon graduating with a degree in art, Ping headed for London to study design and continue her work experience with Robert Cary-Williams.

Anxious to carry out creative visions that had been incubating since she was six years old, Ping launched her label in 2001.

To date, she has shown six collections, all presented during New York Fashion Week.

Obsessed with detail and fine craftsmanship, Ping's training in sculptural fine arts are obvious in the overall design of the garment with attention paid in the three-dimensional realm. The silhouettes are a continual evolution of a personal aesthetic built on elegance, wit and new forms. This new aesthetic is known as modern majestic.

Bushra Rehman
Bushra Rehman is a vagabond poet whose work chronicles life in the immigrant desi world of New York City. Her writing captures the aunties, bodegas, Bollywood dramas, and street life of children with both humor and sincerity.

Bushra has performed her stories and poems everywhere, from divey bars in the city to Harvard University. She has also traveled with the Asian American Literary Caravan, a group of artists whose goal is to bring Asian-American literature to remote parts of the country.

Bushra is also co-editor, with Daisy Hernandez, of the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism (Seal Press, 2002), a collection of personal essays which has been adapted by colleges all over the country as essential reading material for women's studies, cultural studies and ethnic studies classes.

Sung Rno
Sung Rno is a playwright and poet. His plays include Cleveland Raining, Gravity Falls From Trees, Drizzle and Other Stories, New World, Yi Sang Counts to Thirteen, and wAve. His work has been produced by East West Players, Thick Description, Asian American Theater Company, North West Asian American Theater, San Diego Asian American Rep, Dance Theater Workshop, Immigrants' Theater Project, Seoul International Theater Festival, Ma-Yi Theater Company, and the New York Fringe Festival. Honors include a 2003-2004 NEA/TCG playwriting fellowship, 2003 Whitfield Cook Prize, and a New York Fringe Festival Best Overall Production Award (for Yi Sang Counts to Thirteen, directed by the author). His writing appears in the drama anthology But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise and the poetry anthology Premonitions. He is a second year resident of New Dramatists.

John Son
Born in (West) Germany in 1969, John Son spent his formative years in Texas and now resides in New York City. His writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story and his young adult novel Finding My Hat was selected as a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age 2004. He is currently at work on a short-story collection and a young adult novel.Born in (West) Germany in 1969. He is currently at work on a short-story collection and a young adult novel.

Sara Tanaka
Sara Tanaka began her film and television career as a young teenager. Her most notable roles have been in the films Rushmore and Old School. She has also had the opportunity to participate in numerous conferences such as the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and the Sundance Filmmaker's Lab. You can look for her in the 2004 film Imaginary Heroes.

Paz Tanjuaquio
Paz Tanjuaquio is a choreographer and dancer based in New York City since 1990. Born 1966 in the Philippines and raised in Illinois and California, she received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and her Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts from University of California, San Diego. Influenced by her background in the visual arts, she creates sculptural movement which involve many artistic collaborations. In 1994, she established Paz Danz Productions, creating multidisciplinary dance works which have since been presented in New York at Performance Space 122, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Aaron Davis Hall, Symphony Space, Joyce SoHo Presents, and nationally at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Ohio University. Internationally, her work has been seen at the National Theater in Seoul, Korea, Mindanao State University in the Philippines, and most recently taught repertory at the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet in Vietnam. She has created two evening-length works "TWELVE" (2001) commissioned by Performance Space 122,"Strange Fruit and Other Secrets" (1999) at Merce Cunningham Studio, and is now developing her third evening-work "Thunder Against 1...2...3...".

Ching Valdes-Aran
Ching Valdes-Aran is an actor/director. She received an OBIE award for her performance in the MA-YI production of R. Pena's Flipzoids directed by Loy Arcenas and a Lucille Lortel nomination for Best Featured Actress in J. Hagedorn's Dogeaters directed by Michael Grief produced at the Public Theater. She had performed nationwide and internationally. She most recently protrayed a 100 year old Chinese general, Yeh-Yeh, in Alice Tuan's Last of the Suns directed by Chay Yew, also a MA-YI production. She had produced, directed, choreographed and conceived original theatre pieces throughout her career. She will be directing S. Murakoshi's Slippery When Wet at the Penumbra in St. Paul, Minneapolis in January, 2005. Other awards include: Rockefeller MAP grant with The Foundry, Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, MA-YI's Artistic Achievement Award, and The Spenser Cherashore Fund. Her other passion is painting. Some of her work was shown in a group show at the ORENSANTZ FOUNDATION in June 2004.

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