East West Players' Celebrity Benefit Reading: Parminder Nagra, Rizwan Manji, Marc Anthony Samuel, and Sherri Saum

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sounds like it should be a great time - definitely get out there are support EWP if you can.

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2017
Los Angeles, CA

Contact: Patricia Tumang
(213) 625-7000 ext. 12


East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is pleased to announce One Night Only: The Secret Play Project, a special one-night-only benefit reading on January 30, 2017, which will be directed by award-winning director, writer, and actress Lily Mariye, and starring celebrities Parminder Nagra, Rizwan Manji, Marc Anthony Samuel, and Sherri Saum.

“We wanted a unique one-night-only experience for our audience with a little air of mystery. Audiences will only find out in person on the 30th what play this star-studded cast will be reading. Just be ready for a great evening of laughter and surprises,” says EWP Artistic Director Snehal Desai.

Best known for portraying Neela Rasgotra on NBC’s hit series ER, Parminder Nagra was also a series regular on NBC’s The Blacklist, playing the CIA operative Meera Malik, and in JJ Abram’s Alcatraz on Fox, playing Dr. Lucy Banerjee. She will soon be seen in Season 2 of the critically acclaimed Sky Atlantic and Pivot drama, Fortitude, also starring Dennis Quaid and Michelle Fairley, set to premiere in January 2017. Most recently, she completed a guest arc on ABC’s Agents of Shield. Her breakout role was in the international hit Bend it like Beckham, playing the spirited Jess.

Canadian actor Rizwan Manji is best known for playing Rajiv Gidwani on NBC’s Outsourced, and has played regular or recurring roles on shows like NCIS, 24, Better Off Ted, and Backstrom. He has appeared in films like American Desi (with Kal Penn), Charlie Wilson’s War (with Tom Hanks), The Mikado Project (with Tamlyn Tomita), and The Wolf of Wall Street (with Leonardo DiCaprio).

Marc Anthony Samuel is best known for playing gay nurse Felix Dubois on General Hospital, and has appeared on NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Best known for her groundbreaking role playing lesbian adoptive mother Lena Adams Foster on Freeform’s The Fosters, Sherri Saum has been nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for playing Keri Reynolds on One Life to Live and Vanessa Hart on Sunset Beach. Saum has guest-starred on How to Get Away with Murder, Heroes, Gossip Girl, and the Law & Order series.

Actress Lily Mariye played nurse Lily Jarvik on NBC’s hit series ER, and has since pursued writing, directing, and filmmaking. After being chosen as a director for the ABC/Disney/DGA Creative Development Program, Mariye directed her first television episode for ABC’s Nashville, which Entertainment Weekly praised as, “…the best episode of this season of Nashville so far—and by quite a long shot.” Mariye recently directed Amazon’s Just Add Magic; “Leap of Faith”, her second episode of Nashville for CMT; and “Diamond in the Rough”, an episode of Freeform’s The Fosters, after directing her film debut, Model Minority. She is currently participating in the 2017 CBS Director’s Initiative.

“I’m thrilled to be working with East West Players for the first time as a director,” says Mariye. “I acted in many staged readings at East West Players, back when the theater was in Silver Lake. When EWP’s new Artistic Director Snehal Desai asked me to be involved as a director, I jumped at the chance to come full circle, and I look forward to nurturing my relationship with EWP and directing more projects in the future.”

“Lily is an incredibly charismatic and visionary director, who has used her creative experience as an actress and writer as a springboard to direct for TV, film, and now theater,” says Desai. “We are thrilled to be working with her for this special one-night staged reading to benefit EWP’s award-winning productions, engaging arts education programs, and initiatives to support and showcase Asian Pacific Islander artists, directors, and playwrights.”

One Night Only: The Secret Play Project, a special one-night-only benefit reading, will be held on January 30, 2017 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Cocktails will be served in the courtyard at 6:30 p.m., and the reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. The play will be announced on the day of the event. A post-show VIP reception will take place at 9:00pm at Far Bar.

General Admission tickets start at $50. VIP tickets (includes the hosted bar, show, and VIP reception at Far Bar) are $75. Tickets may be purchased at https://eastwestplayers.secure.force.com/ticket or please call (213) 625-7000, making sure to mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. The date, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.

For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.