Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Apr. 20: East West Players’ Honors Paula Madison of Madison Media Management LLC and “Fresh Off The Boat” Executive Producers Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin Mar

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s premier Asian American theatre, celebrates its Golden Anniversary at their Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. The Visionary Awards laud the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft. The fundraising event will take place on Monday April 20, 2015 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

“From our humble beginnings, with Mako and our founders rehearsing in a church basement, writing their own stories beyond geisha girls, waiters and gang members, East West Players has become the largest producer of Asian American artistic work in the country. ” says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director. “East West Players’ Golden Anniversary is an important milestone to be celebrated with our ground-breaking honorees who continue to pave the way for Asian American artists. It is also an opportunity to thank our supporters who continue to build upon the work of East West Players.”

The 2015 Honorees are:

Paula Williams Madison. Madison (Chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC)

Paula Williams Madison. Madison (Chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC)

Receiving the EWP/AARP Real Possibilities Visionary Award is Paula Williams Madison. Madison is Chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a Los Angeles based media consultancy company with global reach.

In 2011, Madison retired from NBCUniversal, where she had been Executive Vice President of Diversity as well as a Vice President of the General Electric Company (GE), then the parent company of NBCU. During her 22 years with NBCU, she held a number of successful leadership roles, including President and General Manager of NBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Regional General Manager for NBCU’s Telemundo TV stations and Vice President and News Director of NBC4 New York.

Her career as a journalist led to a 1996 Peabody Award for NBC4 New York’s investigation, “A License to Kill. Madison’s continued dedication to quality journalism helped NBC4 Los Angeles earn numerous Emmy, Golden Mike and Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Madison is the executive producer and subject of Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China, a compelling documentary that chronicles her journey to her maternal grandfather’s homeland in China and the reconnection of her family with his 300 descendants. HarperCollins will publish a memoir on the journey, Finding Samuel Lowe China, Jamaica, Harlem in April 2015.

“I am deeply humbled that the East West Players and AARP would honor me with their Visionary Award. A few years ago, I retired from the corporate world and focused on bridging a gap to connect with my grandfather’s descendants in China after an almost 100-year separation. This award truly recognizes and celebrates this recent chapter in my life’s story. It characterizes what we Hakka Chinese people say in our Hakka dialect, “Chee Gah Ngin” or “Many Places, One People.”

Nahnatchka Khan (Creator/Executive Producer “Fresh Off the Boat”). Photo by Karen Neal

Nahnatchka Khan (Creator/Executive Producer “Fresh Off the Boat”). Photo by Karen Neal

East West Players also honors Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin MarNahnatchka Khan is the creator for television/Executive Producer and Melvin Mar is Executive Producer for the new comedy Fresh Off the Boat, which airs Tuesdays on ABC and is produced by FOX.

“As a girl with glasses, I take special pride in receiving the Visionary Award from East West Players. It’s truly an honor to be recognized by this great organization,” said showrunner & executive producer Nahnatchka Khan.

Nahnatchka Khan is creator for television and executive producer of Fresh Off the Boat. Prior to that, she was the creator and executive producer of Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23, which aired for two seasons on ABC, from 2011-2012. Before creating her own series, she served as an executive producer on the Fox animated show American Dad.

Eddie Huang, Hudson Yang, Melvin Mar and MSNBC anchor Richard Lui during the talkback at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Eddie Huang, Hudson Yang, Melvin Mar and MSNBC anchor Richard Lui during the talkback at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Melvin Mar (Executive Producer, “Fresh Off the Boat”)

Melvin Mar (Executive Producer, “Fresh Off the Boat”)

Melvin Mar began his career at Dreamworks SKG and then at Scott Rudin Productions, where he built a solid relationship with Orange County director Jake Kasdan. They’ve worked together since on The TV SetWalk Hard: The Dewey Cox StoryBad Teacher,New Girl and Sex Tape. Besides serving as executive producer on Fresh Off the Boat, he is also executive producer for the upcoming Fox series Weird Loners.

“Growing up I had Chinese parents who constantly reminded me how I had to be a doctor to be successful. East West Players represents that a Chinese kid could pursue his dreams in the arts. It’s an honor to be recognized,” said executive producer, Melvin Mar.

Current major sponsors (as of March 18) of the gala include: PLATINUM CIRCLE – AARP, CBS Corporation, Comcast NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Company; SILVER CIRCLE – IW Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment; BRONZE CIRCLE – Tim Dang & Darrel Cummings, HBO, Robert M. Kawahara and Martie Quan, Mattel (3), Sanrio Inc., Lynn Waggoner.

MSNBC anchor Richard Lui, #FreshOfftheBoat executive director Melvin Mar, star Randall Park and Jeff Yang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

MSNBC anchor Richard Lui, #FreshOfftheBoat executive producer Melvin Mar, star Randall Park and Jeff Yang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Beijing Olympics/Shaolin Monks, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar Award-winning film The Last Days) will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

East West Players’ Golden Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. The VIP Reception for table sponsors will begin at 5pm. No-host reception and silent auction will start at 6pm. The dinner and awards program will start at 7pm. Individual tickets are $200- $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available. For more information on East West Players’ Golden Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction, please visit or contact East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or Development Manager Monika Ramnath at

#FreshOffTheBoat Articles
KoreAm Feature on the FRESH OFF THE BOAT Viewing Parties Across the Country 
Mar. 10: Also-Known-As, Inc. Hosts FRESH OFF THE BOAT Viewing Party and Talkback at Taj
FRESH OFF THE BOAT Community Screening and Talkback with Hudson Yang, Jeff Yang, Jen Kwok, Ray Rahman and Jen Chung at the Time & Life Building
The Greene Space at WNYC presents Preview Screenings of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT; Conversation with Amy Chua, Awkwafina & Jay Smooth, moderated by Jeff Yang
Photos: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Eddie Huang, Richard Lui, Lori Tan Chinn and More at #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC Watching Fresh Off the Boat With 999 Asian-Americans ‘Today, We’ve Arrived’: Fresh Off the Boat Makes TV History“It Takes More Than Lunchables to Assimilate” Arthur Chu, Jennifer Lai, and Phil Yu discuss the Fresh Off the Boat premiere. An Inside Look at The Fresh Off the Boat Launch Party in New York ‘Fresh off the Boat’ Made People Uncomfortable Before It Even Aired ABC sitcom ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ is a satire that works Fresh Off the Boat’s showrunner talks joking about race (without being racist)
Feb. 4: “Fresh Off the Boat” Live Viewing Party at THE CIRCLE NYC with Hudson Yang; ‘Fresh On The Air’ by Jeff Yang and Louie Chin
ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” starring Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen, Premieres on February 4 & 10

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: David Byrne, Alex Timbers, Jaygee Macapugay, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Guettel, Sarah Saltzberg and More Celebrate Jose Llana’s Lincoln Center American Songbook Debut
Photos: In Rehearsal with Jose Llana; Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut
George Takei & Broadway Bound ALLEGIANCE Create Indiegogo Campaign as Endowment for the Japanese American National Museum
Photo: Stan Egi, Ellen Crawford, Paige Lindsey White, Bruce Turk, Greg Watanabe and More in Jessica Kubzansky helmed PYGMALION at The Pasadena Playhouse through April 12; PYGMALION Themed Activities
East West Players’ Honors Paula Madison of Madison Media Management LLC and “Fresh Off The Boat” Executive Producers Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin Mar on April 20
11th annual 72 Hour Shootout™ Filmmaking Workshops on March 19 and April 16; Enter to Win a Free 72 Hour Shootout Registration
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call
Cheryl L. Davis’ Maid’s Door Sweeps AUDELCOs with 7 Wins; Complete List of 2014 AUDELCO Recipients
Signature Theatre Company’s Founding Artistic Director James Houghton To Step Down After 2015-16 25th Anniversary Season
Photos: “Swimming Awkward Moment,” the newest works by painter Arlan Huang at Trestle Gallery through March 27
Mar. 26-29: 2015 Asians On Film Festival at the Japanese American National Museum
Broadway Bound Doctor Zhivago Featuring Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan, Lora Lee Gayer, Melody Butiu and More Kicks Off Rehearsal; Previews Begin March 27
Mar. 28: NBT’s INSIGHT / SECOND SIGHT: Celebrating the Journey of Veteran Actresses Michele Shay, Lynda Gravatt, Carol Maillard, Laurie Carlos, Barbara Montgomery, Ebony Jo-Ann, Terria Joseph & Seret Scott
Brandon J. Dirden, Merritt Janson, Roslyn Ruff, Andrew Hovelson and Charles Weldon Set for World Premiere of YOUR BLUES AIN’T SWEET LIKE MINE, written and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson at Two River Theater, April 11-May 3
Apr. 8: Big Trouble in Little Tokyo Screens John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA at the Japanese American National Museum
Jon Tenney,Tessa Auberjonois, John de Lancie, Emily Ruth James and Kwana Martinez Set for World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory, April 12-May 3
Apr. 13: THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE Original Cast Album Release Party at Joe’s Pub will feature André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kevin Mambo, Kyle Beltran, Ken Barnett, Britton Smith, Akron Watson and Juson Williams
Rebecca Naomi Jones kicks off run as Yitzhak in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH on April 14
Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed to star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ, helmed by Amy Morton, at Atlantic Theater Company, May 20-June 28
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Photos: National Black Theatre Festival 2013; NBTF runs August 3-8, 2015 and will include Act III – A Celebration of Life Reception saluting the late theatre icon Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.
ALL MY CHILDREN ALUM Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams to Co-Chair the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival, August 3-8
Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and Telly Leung Set to Co-star with George Takei in ALLEGIANCE; Previews Begin at the Longacre Theatre on October 6
Photos: John W. Kuo, Jessica Hagedorn, and Neal Katyal Receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards
Suzan-Lori Parks’ FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS, PARTS 1, 2 & 3 is the 2015 Winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History 
Photos: Francis Jue, Telly Leung, Jennifer Lim, Jo Mei, James Saito, Sue Jin Song, Harriet Harris and More at Opening Night of The World of Extreme Happiness
Video: Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks, Phylicia Rashad and More Share Stories in American Masters-August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand Documentary
THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016 Ken Jeong to Star in ABC Medical Comedy Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’
Photos: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, NEFA, Graham Sheffield CBE and Susan Stockton Receive 2015 ISPA Awards
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Crafting a Career
Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Backstage Pass with Lia Chang on
%d bloggers like this: