This Thursday, June 17, we are hosting one of our biggest and most ambitious shows yet — and that’s saying something. Not only are we producing our first-ever virtual show, we are doing it in partnership with the San Jose Museum of Art’s Third Thursday program.
We received far too many quality pieces to include this month but managed to narrow it down to 16 pieces, spanning from an excerpt from travel writer Chaney Kwak’s new memoir, The Passenger: How a Travel Writer Learned to Love Cruise & Other Lies from a Sinking Ship, a modern interpretation of Hamlet by Muse Lee; work in English and Spanish by Sebastian Gomez Biggeri and much, much more.
Who will be reading these amazing pieces, you ask? We’ve got some wonderful performers on the bill, including:
Gaz Jemeel is a storyteller in the mediums of acting and filmmaking. His calling as an artist is to help humans heal spiritually while also allowing them to question the reality around them. Raised in Pakistan, Gaz currently is based out of Los Angeles & Oakland. To connect more with Gaz, visit gazjemeel.wixsite.com/actorgaz.
Christina Shon is an educator, writer, introvert, bookworm, vegan wannabe, and podcast enthusiast. She currently lives in Timnath, Colorado where she has been social distancing for the past year.
Evelyn Huynh is a Bay Area artist of many mediums and is excited to work with Play on Words San Jose for the first time. When not creating or crafting, she devotes her time to Family Giving Tree, working to provide joy and tools for learning to those in the community who need it most. She sends her love to her ever-supportive husband and hugs to her tribe. Learn more about Evelyn’s artistic endeavors at evelynhuynh.ninja
Francheska Johanna Loy is an actor and a writer. She graduated from San Jose State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Theatre Arts. Francheska was born and raised in Baguio City, Philippines, and she takes pride in her roots and brings that part of her both in her acting and her writing.
Ivette Deltoro is the patron experience manager and casting assistant at City Lights Theatre, where she has also performed in a number of shows. She is one of the founders of City Lights’ Mini Lights Emerging Artist program, and served as the casting director for its inaugural production, boom! by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb.
Jada Roper is a junior at Milpitas High School. She has participated in productions such as Shrek Jr. and High School Musical and hopes to one day be on Broadway or become a psychologist…it’s up in the air at the moment.
Muse Lee (he/him) is the writer and co-executive producer of ARISTOS: the Musical, a pop/rock Iliad adaptation featuring an international cast and crew collaborating remotely during the pandemic. An artist and educator, he taught writing and performance behind bars as a member of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women/HIV Circle, and taught a novel writing course at a court school to youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
At Los Angeles Opera, he founded and led the Opera 90012 Ambassador Program, a training program for teens interested in arts administration. In 2019, Muse graduated with a B.A. in English from Stanford University, where he served for three years as a teaching assistant in the Theatre and Performance Studies Department. He is currently writing the textbook Acting for Non-Majors with noted Stanford theatre lecturer Kay Kostopoulos.
Tania Odesho is an acting student focusing on improvisational comedy. She won second place in Dramatic Interpretation at the National Forensics tournament in 2007 representing Leland High School. She has worked in education combining improv and learning for K-12th grade students. She is working towards her goal of being an actor. Her hobbies include playing video games, watching documentaries, and playing with her poodle Tink.
Melinda Marks is a playwright, actor and director who has performed in the Bay Area for over 20 years. She holds a BA from UCSC in Theater with an emphasis in dramaturgy, an MA from San Jose State in Theater Studies, and an MFA in Shakespeare Studies from Mary Baldwin College.
julia halprin jackson
Julia Halprin Jackson’s work has appeared in Noyo River Review, Oracle Fine Arts Review, West Branch Wired, California Northern, Fourteen Hills, and selected anthologies. She has been awarded scholarships from the Tomales Bay Writer’s Workshops, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, and is a graduate of UC Davis’ master’s in Creative Writing program. Julia contributes to Washington Square, San Jose State University’s alumni magazine, and is at work on a novel set in Spain.
Kai lives in Northern Colorado with his mom, dad, and aunt. He enjoys playing MineCraft, Roblox, skateboarding, and creating science videos, such as his submission to the Poudre School District Science Fair and his performance of “You’ll Be Back” from the Hamilton soundtrack.