Donatella Galella is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of California, Riverside. She has written on race, racism, and casting in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen. Her first book America in the Round: Capital, Race, and Nation at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage provides a critical history of one of the leading regional theatres in the United States. Her second manuscript theorizes affect and yellowface in twenty-first century musical productions. She has worked as a dramaturg for Leviathan Lab, an Asian American creative studio.
Kimberly Guerrero is an actor, producer, writer, and director who centers her practice-based research around righting the misrepresentation and under-representation of Native Americans in mainstream media. Guerrero has worked extensively with indigenous youth using filmmaking as a tool for empowerment, and is a founding member of The StyleHorse Collective—an award-winning group of indigenous artists who work with tribes to create educational film, online media, and music projects. Guerrero’s lengthy acting resume includes appearances in “Longmire,” “Hidalgo,” and “The Cherokee Word for Water,” though she’s best known for playing Jerry’s Indian girlfriend on “Seinfeld.” She also originated the role of “Johnna” in Tracy Letts’ Tony Award winning play, August: Osage County, which she performed in Chicago, on Broadway and in London. Guerrero received a BA from UCLA, and garnered an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for Performing Arts from UCR where she currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production.
Katherine Kinney teaches 20th c. American literature and film at the University of California Riverside. The author of Friendly Fire: American Images of the Vietnam War (2000), she is currently writing a book on acting in 1960s film. Recent articles include “The Haunting of Don Draper,” Pacific Coast Philology; “The Resonance of Brando’s Voice,” Postmodern Culture; and “Facing the Camera: Black Actors and Direct Address,” forthcoming in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.
Brandi Wilkins Catanese is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. Her first book, The Problem of the Color[blind]: Racial Transgression and the Politics of Black Performance (University of Michigan Press, 2011), addressed questions of racial performativity across a variety of media. She is currently working on a book focused on the development of post-racial aesthetics through the medium of television. In addition to her campus teaching and administrative responsibilities, she is currently the Associate Editor of Theatre Survey.
Snehal Desai is the Producing Artistic Director of East West Players, the nation’s largest Asian-American theater company and one of the longest running theaters of color in the country. He has directed plays at venues from The Old Globe in San Diego to Boom Arts in Portland, Oregon to the Old Vic in London, and worked at more than a dozen theaters in New York City. Desai is also a member of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) and serves on the board of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) and Theater Communications Group (TCG). He was previously the Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager at East West Players. Desai has also served as Resident Director of Theater Emory; participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab; and was a literary fellow with London’s Royal Shakespeare Company. A Soros Fellow and the recipient of a Tanne Award, Desai was in the Inaugural Class of Theatre Communications Group’s (TCG) “Spark” Leadership Program. He was also the Inaugural Recipient of the Drama League’s Classical Directing Fellowship. Snehal is on the faculty of USC’s graduate program in Arts Leadership where he teaches Executive Arts Leadership. Snehal is a graduate of Emory University and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.
Actress Elizabeth Frances is best known for her on-camera roles such as troubled girlfriend Angela Maryboy in Drunktown’s Finest, produced by Robert Redford which premiered at Sundance Film Festival; rock star Bad Penny in the Emmy®-nominated series Her Story; NBC’s Heartbeat; tough but lovable MMA fighter Lilly Rowan on Netflix’s Love from producer Judd Apatow; and currently her role as the young and headstrong Prairie Flower on AMC’s hit series The Son starring Pierce Brosnan. Elizabeth was born on a military base in Okinawa, Japan and raised in San Diego, California. After receiving her degree from Cal Arts, she immediately began her professional career, both regionally and in Los Angeles, working with such notable theaters as Center Theater Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Native Voices, and the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Recently, Frances has taken on a new role as Executive Producer working with both Through The Wilderness (Blessed, Seppuku, First Girl I Loved) on their next feature Coastin On E, and Writer/Director Lisa Donato on her film Foxy Trot, which premiered in Vancouver and at Outfest in Los Angeles. After finding mentors on the AMC producing team, and partnering up with Zero Gravity (Ozarks, Beasts of No Nation) Elizabeth began development with Co-Creator Glenn Stanton on the drama/sci-fi show INHERENT, along with a comic book of the same name. They will begin shooting a short version in early 2019 with Director Tripp Reed and Producer Margie Templo Parks, along with an all-star cast. Off-screen and stage, she volunteers her time, working with youth in the arts on reservations and in Los Angeles.
Brian Eugenio Herrera is, by turns, a writer, teacher and scholar – presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico. Brian’s work, whether academic or artistic, examines the history of gender, sexuality and race within and through U.S. popular performance. He is author of The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening: A Narrative Report (HowlRound, 2015). His book Latin Numbers: Playing Latino in Twentieth-Century U.S. Popular Performance (Michigan, 2015) was awarded the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism and received an Honorable Mention for the John W. Frick Book Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society. With Stephanie Batiste and Robin Bernstein, Brian serves as co-editor of “Performances and American Cultures” series at NYU Press. He is also the Inaugural Resident Scholar for The Sol Project, an initiative dedicated to producing the work of Latinx playwrights in New York City and beyond. He is presently at work on two book projects: Casting – A History, a historical study of the material practices of casting in US popular performance, and Starring Miss Virginia Calhoun, a narrative portrait of a deservedly obscure early 20th century actress/writer/producer. Brian Eugenio Herrera is Associate Professor of Theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, where he is also affiliated with the Programs in Gender and Sexuality Studies, American Studies and Latino Studies.
Dorinne Kondo is a playwright, dramaturg, and Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity/ Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Her books include Crafting Selves: Power, Gender, and Discourses of Identity in a Japanese Workplace (University of Chicago Press, J.I. Staley Prize for its impact on Anthropology), About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater (Routledge, Cultural and Literary Studies Prize from the Association for Asian American Studies), and Worldmaking: Race, Performance and the Work of Creativity, Duke University Press, 2018.  She has written three full-length plays. (Dis)graceful(l) Conduct, a high disco revenge fantasy about sexual and racial harassment in the academy, won Mixed Blood Theater’s “We Don’t Need No Stinking Dramas” national comedy playwriting award; her But Can He Dance? premiered at Asian American Repertory Theater in San Diego. Kondo’s play Seamless, based on interviews with her parents about Japanese American incarceration, forms the conclusion of Worldmaking, a genre-bending book that integrates ethnography, theory, and creative work.
Makeda Kumasi is the founder of WE 3 PRODUCTIONS, as well as the founder and artistic director of The Umoja Ensemble of the Inland Empire. She is a playwright and author of two published books, I see Hip Hop Africa (a picture poetry book) and 12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey (a travel memoir) and producer of a documentary short, 12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey Docu-Journal. Makeda has received numerous awards and recognitions including, California Arts Scholar, Ida Mae Holland Playwright’s Award, Top Spoken Word Artists Black Business Expo, and the Phyllis E. Williams’ Artist Grant. She attended Cal Arts before receiving her B.A. in Communications from Cal State, Fullerton, and her M.F.A in Theater from the University of Southern California. Along with being a featured performer on stage and T.V., Makeda has danced for two prominent Southern California-based African dance ensembles, Abalaye African Dancers, an Orange County Arts Group, and Niancho Eniyaley African Performers, and has performed in several popular AmericanmMusicals including a role as Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, and Cha-Cha in Grease. She has also been featured on MTV’s Starting Over, BET’s Fly Poet, and the first season of So You Think You Can Dance?, as well as several independent films and theater projects, including Clickbait 2018. Makeda currently teaches in the Dance and Theater, Film, and Digital Production departments at UC Riverside, and is a Central Casting, and IMDb member. Furthermore, she has written and directed several plays and multi-media productions including, I Know Women; Soliloquies of Feminine Comprehension which was a featured as a UCR ARTSblock event in 2015.
Dr. Monica White Ndounou is Associate Professor of Theater, Sony Music Fellow (2017-2018), and the convener of The 2018 International Black Theatre Summit at Dartmouth College. She is also the immediate Past President of the Black Theatre Association of (ATHE, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education) as well as the founder and executive director of The CRAFT Institute, a non-profit focused on overhauling formal training across platforms to more accurately reflect national and global demographics. In addition to performing a range of roles she has directing credits that include new works and plays by August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, and many others. She is the award-winning author of Shaping the Future of African American Film: Color- Coded Economics and the Story Behind the Numbers. Her current book project, Acting Your Color: The Craft, Power and Paradox of Acting for Black Americans 1950s to the present is part of a multi-media project exploring black American acting theories and practices.
Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón is the Director of Research and Civic Engagement for the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Ramón is a social psychologist who has worked on social justice issues related to equity and access in higher education and the entertainment industry for over ten years. She is the co-principal investigator of the Hollywood Advancement Project and manages its graduate research team. She is the co-author (with Dr. Darnell Hunt) of the annual Hollywood Diversity Report series that the project produces. She is also the managing editor of LA Social Science, an e-forum that showcases the vibrant and cutting-edge knowledge generated within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.
DeLanna Studi DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) recently starred in the world premiere of the Emily Mann’s new play Gloria: A Life directed by Diane Paulus at the Daryl Roth Theater. Her theater credits include the First National Broadway Tour of Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County, Off-Broadway’s Informed Consent, and Regional Theaters (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone, and Indiana Repertory Theater). DeLanna originated roles in over eighteen World Premieres. She wrote and performed And So We Walked based on retracing her family’s footsteps along the Trail of Tears with her father. And So We Walked was produced at Triad Stage, Portland Center Stage, and tours this fall. DeLanna received the 2016 MAP Fund Grant, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation Grant, and the Autry National Center’s Butcher Scholar Award. TV credits include Dreamkeeper, Edge of America, Shameless, General Hospital, and Z Nation. She serves as chair of SAG-AFTRA’s National Native Committee.
Dr. Nancy Wang Yuen is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Biola University. She is the author of Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism and co-author of Tokens on the Small Screen: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Prime Time and Streaming Television. She has appeared on Dr. Phil, BBC World TV, Teen Vogue, New York Times, and Washington Post among others. She is a guest writer at HuffPost, Remezcla, and Elle.


Photo Credit: Cherokee Word for Water – c/o Kimberly Guerrero