By Susan Soon He Stanton
Directed by Mina Morita
Emily Chang’s life is falling apart. A nasty breakup and a stalled writing career send her packing from Manhattan back to O‘ahu. But her fantasy of a picture-perfect homecoming collides with reality as she begins to discover how little she really knows about those she loves most—and how difficult it is to let her true self be known to others. Susan Soon He Stanton’s critically-acclaimed play, Today is My Birthday, is a wise and witty comedy about loneliness in the age of connectivity.
Meet the Artists
Susan Soon He Stanton
Susan Soon He Stanton
Susan Soon He Stanton is a playwright, television writer, and screenwriter originally from ‘Aiea, Hawai‘i, and now living in New York and London. Susan is a producer/writer for HBO’s Succession, for which she has received Writers Guild of America and Peabody Awards. Upcoming television work includes HBO/Sister Pictures’ The Baby; Amazon’s Modern Love; Amazon/Annapurna’s Dead Ringers; Hulu/Element Pictures/BBC’s Conversations with Friends, adapted from the novel by Sally Rooney; as well as several projects in development. She is a co-writer of the award-winning feature film, Brooklyn Love Stories. Her film Dress, directed by and starring Henry Ian Cusick, won the Audience Award at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. Her plays, which have been produced internationally and regionally across the United States, include we, the invisibles; Today is My Birthday; Both Your Houses; Takarazuka!!!; Cygnus; Solstice Party!; The Things Are Against Us; The Underneath; Navigator; and more. Susan is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch Dramatic Writing Program and David Geffen School of Drama. She holds commissions for new work from Yale Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater/Crowded Fire, South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and others.
Mina Morita is the Artistic Director of Crowded Fire Theater. She has worked at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Center REPertory Company, American Conservatory Theater, Campo Santo, Shotgun Players, Playwrights Foundation, TheatreFirst, Ferocious Lotus, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Just Theater, and Crowded Fire with such creators as Anna Deavere Smith, Star Finch, J.C. Lee, Christopher Chen, Lauren Gunderson, Philip Kan Gotanda, Young Jean Lee, Idris Goodwin, Susan Soon He Stanton, Lloyd Suh, Dave Harris, Amelia Roper, Adam Chanzit, Sean San Jose, Min Kahng, and Dustin Chinn. Previously, she served as the Artistic Associate at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and its center for the creation and development of new work, The Ground Floor. In 2016, Theatre Bay Area (TBA) awarded her the 40@40 distinction for her impact on Bay Area Theater and also has honored her with the 2014 Outstanding Director of a Musical Award and 2017 nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Play. In 2015, Mina was honored to share her story on TEDx, and in 2016, she was chosen as one of the YBCA100, for “asking questions and making provocations that will shape the future of culture.” Mina is a Beinecke Fellow at David Geffen School of Drama this spring.
Bridget Lindsay (she/her) is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where her credits include Mr. Burns, a post-electric play and Measure for Measure. Other assistant credits include Seven Spots on the Sun at the Geffen School and Cadillac Crew at Yale Repertory Theatre. She holds a B.A. in theater arts from Towson University, where she designed several productions including The Bald Soprano, No Exit, and Polaroid Stories. BridgetLindsay.com
David Mitsch (he/him) is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where his credits include Reykjavík and The Salt Women (canceled due to COVID-19). Yale Cabaret credits include the moment before…, Elon Musk and the Plan to Blow Up Mars: The Musical, Red Speedo, Burn Book, Avital, The Whale in the Hudson, and hosting the wildly popular annual Dragaret as Tipsy von Tart. David holds an M.F.A. in acting from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. Recipient of The Zelma Weisfeld Scholarship for Costume Design (David Geffen School of Drama). @davidmitschdesign | davidmitschdesign.com
Nicole E. Lang
Nicole E. Lang
Nicole E. Lang is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama. Her recent designs include When Day Comes (Crossroads Theatre Co.); Infernal, a Rock Musical (The Flea); the moment before…, Dragaret 2020, bodyssey, WASTE//LAND, The Whale in the Hudson, The Purple Flower (Yale Cabaret); Fun Home, Othello (David Geffen School of Drama); Salome: Woman of Valor (Chutzpah! Festival); DICK: After Melville (Dixon Place); and Approaching Power Collision (Bard College). She is a co-creator and puppeteer of Let’s Go to the Moon!, a virtual space-puppet musical for all ages; and she served as a co-artistic director of Yale Cabaret for season 53. nicoleelang.com
Noel Nichols (they/she) is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where their design credits include Fun Home. Select design credits with UptownWorks include already there (Kennedy Center), Fires in the Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage), Nightwatch (Dorset Theatre Festival), and The Masses Are Asses (Wesleyan CFA). Other local design credits include Kitchen of Truth, We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…, How to Relearn Yourself (Yale Cabaret); Latinos Who Look Like Ricky Martin (Verano Cabaret); Counting Pebbles (Faultline Ensemble). NoelNicholsDesign.com
Matthew Armentrout previously worked at Yale Rep on Manahatta (2020). Broadway: Bernhardt/Hamlet. Off Broadway: Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout), Othello (Shakespeare in the Park). Regional: Bliss (The 5th Avenue Theatre), Jitney (National Tour), Paradise Square (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).
Jisun Kim (she/her) is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at David Geffen School of Drama, where her credits include Measure for Measure directed by Alex Keegan and How Black Girls Get Over Fuckbois, Vol. 1 written by Angie Bridgette Jones. Other recent dramaturgy credits include Constellations by Nick Payne, The Whale in the Hudson by Brad McKnight Wilson, and Taking Warsan Shire Out of Context on the Eve of the Great Storm by Christopher Gabriel Núñez (Yale Cabaret). She is also a co-creator of a puppet musical, Let’s Go to the Moon!, and a non-verbal puppetry/movement piece, benjisun presents bodyssey (Yale Cabaret). Jisun served as a co-artistic director of Yale Cabaret and a managing and web editor of Theater magazine. She received her B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Ewha Woman’s University, South Korea.
Dani Mader is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama. Previous Yale Rep credits, in various capacities, include A Raisin in the Sun (canceled due to COVID-19), Girls, Cadillac Crew, and El Huracán. Prior to Yale, she worked at Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Kansas City Rep, Barrington Stage Company, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Dani received a B.F.A. in technical theater from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Cynthia Santos DeCure
Vocal and Dialect Coach
Cynthia Santos DeCure
Cynthia Santos DeCure is certified in both Knight-Thompson Speechwork® and Fitzmaurice Voicework®. Some credits include Quixote Nuevo at Round House; El Huracán at Yale Rep; I Come from Arizona at Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis; In the Heights at Phoenix Theatre Company, AZ, and Chance Theater, CA; Shelter at Center for New Performance/CalArts; The Long Road Today/Diálogos at South Coast Rep. Television: Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), The Affair (Showtime). Recently, she co-adapted a bilingual version of Lorca’s Blood Wedding. She co-edited the book, Scenes for Latinx Actors, and has taught in Puerto Rico, Barcelona, and Shanghai, and at conferences in London and Montreal on empowering underrepresented voices. Cynthia is a member of VASTA, ATHE, SAG/AFTRA, and AEA. She is an Assistant Professor Adjunct of Acting at David Geffen School of Drama.
Erica Fae is a theater/filmmaker, actor, and teacher. Her first feature film, To Keep the Light, was awarded the Fipresci Prize (International Critics’ Prize/Mannheim), Best Director (Berlin Independent Film Festival), Best of Show (Bendfilm), Best Emerging Director, two Best Narrative Feature Awards, and two Best Cinematography Awards, and is available on Amazon Prime. Recent works for theater as creator/co-creator/performer are Saved Again and by Him and Take What Is Yours, a New York Times Critic’s Pick. As an actor, she has appeared in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Random Acts of Flyness, and Doll & Em; and the films First Reformed, Little Children, and Synecdoche, New York. She will be seen on Netflix’s upcoming Partner Track and is currently in development on her second feature film. She is a Lecturer in Acting at David Geffen School of Drama.
Tara Rubin, C.S.A.
Tara Rubin, C.S.A.
Tara Rubin, C.S.A. has been casting at Yale Rep since 2004. Selected Broadway/National Tours: Six, Ain’t Too Proud, King Kong, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, The Band’s Visit, Prince of Broadway, Indecent, Bandstand, Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon, Dear Evan Hansen, A Bronx Tale, Cats, Falsettos, Disaster!, School of Rock, Les Misérables, The Heiress, The Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot, Shrek, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Producers, Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys. Off-Broadway: Gloria: A Life, Smokey Joe’s Café, Jersey Boys, Here Lies Love. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Bucks County Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse. tararubincasting.com
Sujotta Pace, C.S.A.
Sujotta Pace, C.S.A.
Sujotta Pace, C.S.A. is a casting associate at Roundabout Theatre Company and serves on the Board of Directors of the Casting Society of America. Pace is also a freelance Casting Director casting short films, new media content, and plays (New York and regionally). Previously she worked at Actors Theatre of Louisville as the Professional Training Company Producer and Casting Associate. Pace contributed to the casting, recruitment, and season planning of the PTC 2020–21 apprenticeship program, Actors Theatre Direct Season, Virtual PTC Season, and the Humana Festival of New American Plays. She is honored to have worked with Tara Rubin in casting this amazing play!
Kevin Jinghong Zhu
Kevin Jinghong Zhu
Kevin Jinghong Zhu (he/him) has worked in various capacities on Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway; A Raisin in the Sun (canceled due to COVID-19) and El Huracán at Yale Rep; Criminal Queerness Festival at National Queer Theater; In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nation (Broadway for Biden); When the Party’s Over, Reykjavík, Pivot, Trouble in Mind, Rock Egg Spoon, and Henry VI, Part 3, at David Geffen School of Drama; A Voice in the Dark, Elon Musk and the Plan to Blow Up Mars: The Musical, Burn Book, and Dear 2020, With Love: A Euphoric Play at Yale Cabaret. Member, Actors’ Equity.
Halima / DJ Solange / Goddess Sweet Leilani / Hostess / Voice
Atra Asdou (she/her) is an actor/improviser/writer who is so grateful to be making her Yale Rep debut playing alongside the incredibly talented artists and production team of Today is My Birthday. She spent the last three years creating and performing several critically-acclaimed comedic revues at The Second City e.t.c. in Chicago. Other theater credits include work at Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Lookingglass Theatre (where Atra is also an artistic associate). Television credits include Somebody Somewhere (HBO), South Side (HBO Max), Chicago Med, and Chicago P.D. (NBC). Film credits: Love in the Time of Irony, Start Without Me, and her international festival-placing short films Fever and Reneè.
Kurt / Richard / Sebastian / Keoni / Sergio / Franklin
Gabriel Brown (he/him) is making his Yale Rep debut. Off-Broadway credits include Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout Theatre Company); Love and Money (Signature Theatre Company); The Mystery of Love and Sex, The City of Conversation (Lincoln Center Theater). Regional: Walden (The New York Times Critic’s Pick, TheaterWorks Hartford); Tartuffe (Huntington Theatre); Watch Me (Berkeley Rep Ground Floor); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Ovation Award, Mark Taper Forum); Love and Money, A Raisin in the Sun (Westport Country Playhouse). Television: Issa Rae’s Minimum Wage, I’m Dying Up Here, Madam Secretary. Film: Carole’s Christmas, American Nightmares, Signal. Training: University of North Carolina School of the Arts, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Dad / Bill Tapia
In the season before the pandemic shutdown, Francis received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Soft Power, a Lucille Lortel Award for Cambodian Rock Band, and a Bay Area Critics Circle Award for The Language Archive. On Broadway, Francis has appeared in M. Butterfly, Pacific Overtures, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Other favorite theater credits include Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Wild Goose Dreams (OBIE Award); Yellow Face (OBIE and Lortel Awards); Love’s Labour’s Lost; Coraline; Falsettoland; King of the Yees (BATCC); In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (AriZoni Award); Cabaret (BATCC); Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Drama-Logue Award); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Francis made his Yale Rep debut in The Winter’s Tale in 2012. Film and television: Joyful Noise, Madam Secretary, New Amsterdam, Hightown, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU.
Mom / Mrs. Kobayashi / Alyssa / Joyce / Mrs. Asuncion / Patsy
TheatreWorks (The Language Archive, Calligraphy); New York Theatre Workshop; American Repertory Theater (Endlings); Page 73 (Today is My Birthday); Actors Theater of Louisville (we, the invisibles); Pan Asian (Brothers Paranormal); Huntington Theatre, Alliance Theatre (Tiger Style!), Artists at Play (Two Mile Hollow), South Coast Rep (Fast Company, Ballad of Yachiyo, Our Town). Other theaters include East West Players, Kirk Douglas, Mark Taper Forum, Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Singapore Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, The Doolittle, LATC, Zephyr, LA Women’s Shakespeare Company, and the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival. Recent television: All Rise, The Good Doctor, The Resident, Drop Dead Diva, Gilmore Girls. Recent films: Kimi, Porcupine, Take the 10, Party Boat, Red, and The Sensei. Awards: Drama-Logue (Ikebana, The Maids, Minamata, The Golden Gate, and Visitors from Nagasaki), LA Commendation (About Love), Garland (Straight as a Line) and Entertainment Today (Winter People).
DJ Loki / Grandpa Z / Dr. Johannes Connection / Landon / AmazingPresence83 / Troy
Chivas Michael previously appeared at Yale Rep in Twelfth Night; Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 (also at American Conservatory Theater); The Caucasian Chalk Circle; and A Doctor in Spite of Himself. His other theater credits include Antony and Cleopatra (The Royal Shakespeare Company, London; The Public Theater); Brooklyn Omnibus (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Romeo and Juliet (Classic Stage Company); The Broadway Problem (Lincoln Center concert); Sliding Into the Beast (New York Theatre Workshop); Wild With Happy (Baltimore Center Stage); The Servant of Two Masters (Guthrie Theater); A Doctor in Spite of Himself (Berkeley Rep); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare on the Sound). Chivas is the creative director of No Dream Deferred NOLA, a community-anchored theater production company in New Orleans. Education: B.A., Dillard University; M.F.A., NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.
Jeena Yi previously appeared at Yale Rep in Girls. She made her Broadway debut in Network. Other credits include Judgment Day (Park Avenue Armory), Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage Uptown), Walden (TheaterWorks Hartford), Vietgone (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and Light’s Rise on Grace (Woolly Mammoth). Television and film: Modern Love (Amazon Prime), Only Murders in the Building (Hulu), Succession (HBO), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix), and Manifest (NBC). @JeenaYi
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