The generous support from our funders (Creative NZ, Auckland City Council and Asia:NZ Foundation) has made it possible for The Oryza Foundation for Asian Performing Arts and THE EDGE to collaborate in the commissioning and presentation of a home-grown work that draws on and acknowledges Asian (in particular, Chinese) cultural traditions, the increasingly significant Asian population in Auckland as well as our growing community of local Asian performing arts practitioners. The ability to provide professional employment and opportunities to our creative team and crew, in particular our ensemble cast of 8 Asian actors is in itself a major achievement.
Leand is best known as the much loved “Mexi-Doug” from the Instant Kiwi advertisements, encouraging thousands of people to “Get a perm”. Aside from this, Leand has a strong background in stage performance, appearing early in 2010 as Paul in Rent at the Civic Theatre. In 2009, he appeared in The Oryza Foundation’s production of Asian Tales: Native Alienz at the Herald Theatre, and received the “Best Supporting Male Actor” at the Auckland Community Theatre Trust Awards for his role in The Laramie Project.
Yuri Kinugawa is the Founder and Director of Impro Works (the longest-running improvisational theater company in Japan) and Yellow Man Group of Tokyo, Japan.
Her experience includes a BA in Theatre and Drama. She studied improvisation with Keith Johnstone and since 1996, has been teaching, performing, and developing training programs using improvisation skills. Yuri is also a special Staff Member for Coaches Training Institutes Japan, and part of the Co-Active Leadership Program in Japan. Under her guidance coaches in these programmes conduct over 200 workshops every year. Her international experience includes invitations as a professional improv performer and teacher to America, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
She is the author of Impro Game, the first book about improvisation in Japan, and she published 4 books about improvisation and theatre. She is writing her fifth book focusing on Zen and Impro.
She is also a professional actress. She won Best Actress 1998 Stockholm International Film Festival and Best Foreign Performer 1998 New Zealand Film Award for her role as Sayo in Memory & Desire (Best New Zealand Film1998) Director Niki Caro New Zealand.
Recent theatre experience includes performing at the International Seattle Improvisation Festival, Warwick Broadhead’s The Resting Show, her one woman show Me and Dick Frizzell and Shooting Rats (Tokyo)
Before Min Kim became an actor he has had various professions ranging from a professional Martial Artist, a Fashion Model, an Architect and a Free-lance 3D Designer in Korea. He arrived in New Zealand in 2007 with a dream of working within WETA Workshop as a 3D Modeller. Whilst freelancing as a 3D Anatomy Modeller and working on a Bollywood film project, he decided to attend Wellington Performing Arts Centre in order to improve his English and confidence and to learn more about the Western Culture. It was during this time that he found his new kindled obsession. Once completing WPAC in 2008 Min felt a strong connection to acting and seriously considered it as a new career path.
After being accepted into South Seas Film and Television School in Auckland, he left Wellington behind to start a new life with his new career. To makes ends meet whilst studying full time, Min chose to reignite one of his passions; to work as a Fashion Model. From this he has been featured in numerous international television commercials as well as runway modelling and high fashion photoshoots. And he has been featured in short films for festivals around the world.
Min is currently involved in an acting troupe where he is constantly training and developing as an actor as well as working as a professional Actor and Model.
JJ Fong is a NZ born Chinese performing artist. She has trained professionally in commercial dance, musical theatre, acting and presenting. She has her own business called JJ Fong Productions Ltd, and sings, dances and choreographs her own shows for festivals, corporate functions, and charity dos. She is currently in the midst of recording some songs for an EP album and exploring the presenting side for T.V. opportunities. You can check out her website at www.jjfong.com
Omer Gilroy has been a part of Young and Hungry for the previous two years, appearing on Sit On It! (dir. Ben Crowder) in 2009 and Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory! (dir. Simon Coleman) in 2010. Omer is also an accomplished dancer – as a member of the hip hop crew “Clueless” she performed on the Pride of the Pacific Tour with Dei Hamo, 6 Pound and Chong Nee in 2007, and has also competed with Salsa Con Coco, who placed second at the New Zealand Salsa Congress qualifying to represent New Zealand in the World Salsa Championships in Olando, Florida. USA.
Perlina Lau is currently in her second year at AUT studying a Bachelor of Communications. After high school, she took a gap year in England teaching music and drama at a school and travelled around Europe. She enjoys both piano and cello and participated in last year’s Fringe and this year’s Short and Sweet Festival playing live music. This is her first professional theatre show and is delighted to be working with the cast and director.
Mitchell is a Kiwi-born Chinese, aged 18. He has studied screen acting for two years and is a former national gymnast and springboard diver. He is trained in the art of Chinese Kung Fu or Wushu and is currently part of the performance and stunt team Dragon Origins. He also breakdances for Loko-motion crew and enjoys the occasional deep fried chicken wing.
To date, Hweiling has appeared in a number of short films, and in 2008 was awarded “best Actress Award” for the Auckland Region Finals of the 48hours Film Competition, and starred in a national finalist film for the same competition in 2005. She also has an interest in directing and producing, and has acted in these roles for a number of short films. Hweiling was an executive board member for WIFT (Women in Film and Television) from 2003 – 2005.