Meet the Team
Leilani Chan is an award winning performance artist, actor, playwright, director, cultural worker, and Founding Artistic Director of TeAda Productions. She is currently a Faculty member at Cal State University Long Beach’s Theater Department and she has also taught at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Leilani is co-creator of Refugee Nation, the first nationally touring play about Laotian refugees in the U.S. which was commissioned through MAP Fund, NPN Creation Fund and by Legacies of War. Leilani is currently serving as Board Secretary for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA). Leilani received the 2009 Rainbow Award from the Los Angeles Women's Theater Festival. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Born & raised in Hawai’i, Leilani attended Hampshire College and obtained her M.F.A. from U.C. Irvine.
Co-Creator, Community Navigator, Tinana
Innocenta Sound-Kikku is a community leader in Hawai’i originally from the beautiful island of Lukunor in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. With 10 years of law enforcement as her background, she is an active advocate, storyteller, interpreter, teacher, and cultural navigator with a particular passion for women and children. Innocenta is founder of the intergenerational youth program “Pacific Voices” at Kokua Kalihi Valley (KKV), and Vice-Chair of the Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition. She plays a key role in connecting her community to resources and cultural support and advocates for their rights to health and culture.
Co-Creator, Playwright, Tamana
Ova Saopeng is an actor, teaching artist, associate artistic director and producer with Los Angeles based TeAda Productions. Born in Savannakhet, Laos, and raised in Hawaii he has a B.A. in Theater from the University of Southern California. With his partner in life and art, Leilani Chan, the dynamic duo are champion leaders for equity, diversity and inclusion in the field of theatre. Ova is co-creator of Refugee Nation, a play about the Lao-American refugee experience. Previous works with TeAda Productions include:Kalo Projects, Native Immigrant, TeAdaWorks, Delicious Reality, Refugee State, all work that focus on highlighting the refugee and immigrant experience. He toured colleges, universities, and primary schools with Asian American led hereandnow theater company, and children’s theaters We Tell Stories and Waters Edge Theater. He dedicates this production to the memory of Patrick Balecha and Wendell Pascual. You can follow him on IG og_ova
Emeraldrose Philbrick grew up on the island of Kosrae, where she was born in the one and only hospital! She has been to many other islands but will always consider Kosrae her home. Emerald’s family is half American, half islander. Her family’s cultural style is a mixture of Kosraean and American. She celebrates many American traditions and also celebrates and shows full respect towards island cultures and traditions.
Jayceleen Ifenuk is a native of Chuuk, one of four Federated States of Micronesia. She arrived in her new land of Honolulu, Hawaii and was raised in Kalihi, known as a rough and tough neighborhood. She is a graduate of Kalaheo High School and continues to pursue a Sociology and Political Science degree at the University of Hawaii. In the midst of negativity, she clung to her role models, who showed her to hope and believe that anything is possible, even for a small island girl. Jayceleen wanted nothing more than to share these same lessons to the next generation of Micronesian youth.
Gideon Mana Lorete
Gideon Mana Lorete is honored and excited to be making his debut with TeAda Productions as Alonso in Masters of the Currents. Born and raised in Saipan till the age of 14, Mana has continued to master the talents that he’s crafted since his time in the island along with many more talents and accolades during his time on the mainland. After winning the Gold Medal for Forensics League competitions across the island of Saipan, Mana has been bitten by the thespian bug ever since. Graduating from Baldwin Wallace University with a BFA in the focus of performing arts, multimedia entertainment and entrepreneurship, he has made appearances across the mainland in films, tv, fictional podcasts, and theaters. He would like to wish a Si Yu’us Ma’ase, Mahalo nui loa, Mauru’uru roa, and Fa’afetai lava to the cast, crew, creators, my aunty Leilani Chan, my uncle Ova Saopeng for all the love and support you’ve given me to use this power and responsibility to give out my heart to the people and the lands of which I call my own, to you for taking the time to open your heart, mind and soul to this beautiful and important work and, of course, to God for this truly humbling opportunity! To you and for you: One World, One Heart, One Love! Follow him on the IG @gideon_mana.
Jade Puga is TeAda’s Development Director, in addition she produces and manages TeAda programming. Jade’s passion for social justice arts began as a teenager, performing and producing street theater in Santa Ana, CA, where she was exposed to historical and contemporary issues of racial and economic injustices. She was raised and has roots in the Texas/Mexican border. A graduate from USC School of Theater, she co-founded Safada Y Sano Productions, a film and media company. She produced Pass The Mic, a 60 min doc on the contributions of Latinos to the HipHop genre; distributed by Image Ent., screened at AFI Music Doc series, and included in Harvard’s Global Hip-Hop Archive. As the 2021 LA region California Arts Council Administrators of Color Fellow, Jade researched and co-wrote with Richard Montes a Historic Cultural Monument Nomination for a prominent Highland Park Chicano mural submitted on behalf of Avenue 50 Studio to preserve Highland Park's Chicano art history.
Joan Osato (Video Designer)
Joan Osato has played a pivotal role in local and national theater for over two decades and has been a core member of Youth Speaks since 2001. At Youth Speaks she produces live performance events for the organization including Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival as well as Life is Living in cities around the country. She’s brought a multiplicity of production and design talents to cutting edge touring artists and ensembles including the critically acclaimed theater group Campo Santo. She was the inaugural recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Artist and Communities Partnership Grant (2007), Theater Bay Area Award for Excellence in Video Design. She is an awardee of prestigious grants from the MAP Fund, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, SFAC’s Individual Artist Commission, NEFA National Theater Project and the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network Creation Fund. She is honored to be a part of this amazing project!
Maximiliano Urruzmendi (Technical Advisor)
Maximiliano Urruzmendi was born in Atlanta to Uruguayan immigrants, Maximilian fell in love with performance at a young age. Since moving to the Bay, he has had the privilege of working alongside an amazing community of artists, theaters and professionals in creative and technical capacities. Currently lucky enough to be the PM/TD/LD for Teada’s Masters of the Currents, Contra-Tiempo’s Joyus Justus and Youth Speak’s Brave New Voices.
Breaking Wave Theatre Company
CJ Ochoco is a Guam-raised theatre creative who is currently based in Nashville but constantly finds herself back home on Guam. She earned her BA in Fine Arts: Theatre from the University of Guam (2016) and her Masters of Arts Leadership and Cultural Management through Colorado State University (2019). CJ enjoys wearing many hats. While her first passion was stage management, she has found joy in producing, arts administration, playwriting, and even bass playing for Guam band “Friends with Instruments.” From the University of Guam Theatre to the Guam International Film Festival to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, CJ has been involved with various arts organizations. In 2018, she helped found a nonprofit on Guam, Breaking Wave Theatre Company, where she serves as the President and primary Producer for the company. CJ believes in the healing power of the arts, and she believes that healing can begin when everyone has the space and opportunity to share their stories. She aims to use her skills to create and elevate diverse storytelling, on stage and behind it.
James Aevermann is an artist who has dabbled in many different mediums including writing, acting, building, and blacksmithing. James' involvement with the theatre has been a hobby of his the past several years, with his involvement ranging from acting, writing, building sets, and designing props. He has had a hand in many UOG productions and has been involved with Breaking Wave Theatre Company since their first production, Tuesdays with Morrie. James recently completed a Master of Science in Forensic Biology from the University of the Southwest while remaining a part of BWTC and continuing his passion for the arts on Guam. He is also still a practicing blacksmith, striving to ensure that the art does not disappear from the Pacific.
Technical Director / Lighting Designer
Christian Jay Santiago
Christian Jay Santiago has tried his hand at many different artistic pursuits, including painting, graphic design, comic book drawing, sewing and amateur interior decorating. He is lucky to have found theatre, where each production poses new and interesting challenges in which he can apply his existing skills and develop new ones. He received his BA in Theatre from the University of Guam, where he designed the sets for three main stage productions. Additionally, he was the scenic designer for five children’s summer theatre camp productions. His goal as an artist is to use his skills and knowledge to foster local talent and a greater appreciation for the arts through theatre-based education on Guam and in the Pacific.
Show Stage Manager
Ean graduated from the UOG Theatre program and was involved in various productions. He has directed Improv Shows, and he aspires to either teach or help create a greater presence of theatre on Guam. He hopes people of all ages, cultures, and interests can share the experience of bringing stories to life while learning more from ourselves, our community, and the process of making art.
Grace Keh Gonzaga
Grace Gonzaga is a theatre artist, born and raised on the island of Guam. She earned her B.A. in Theatre with a minor in Mathematics at Seattle University (2021). She has a great interest in all aspects of theatre, specifically design. She recently participated in Seattle University’s production of “She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen – as an actor and costume crafts maker (Spring 2021) and BWTC's production of "Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare as an assistant set/props designer (Spring 2022). Through her work, she wants to showcase the different stories of people of color (particularly Asians and Pacific Islanders) and work towards more representation of those people onstage. She hopes to create an inviting stage for everyone’s voices to be heard.
Grace is grateful to be working as the stage manager for "Masters of the Currents" and hopes that you enjoy the show!
A UOG Theatre student who wishes to do theatre full time but knows its not enough - yet - to pay the bills. For now, she is content with being part of any production which holds special meaning to her.
Rayanna also wishes to be a beach bum. So, if you find a magic genie willing to grant these wishes for free, send it her way. Thanks!
Mel Etumai has performed in GATE Theatre and all island honor choir shows since he was 8 years old. After acting in many of Father Duenas's theatre productions from 2005 - 2009, he declared a Theatre Major and a Music Minor at the University of Guam. Mel has also traveled and competed with the University Singers through multiple tours in Southeast Asia and Europe from 2010 - 2014.
Sound / General Tech
Jerome graduated from the University of Guam with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts: Theatre. His work continues with the Breaking Wave Theatre Company as one of its founding board members. Focused on technical theatre, Jerome has experience in lighting, sets, prop management, with his primary interest in sound design. He has designed for several UOG and BWTC productions.
Alexandra Castro continues to gain more experiences as a member of Breaking Wave Theatre Company. She is the General Tech Assistant for the production of Masters of the Currents. She is also a freshman student at the University of Guam. Alex greatly enjoys anything storytelling related, and she’s currently hooked on role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Alone Among the Stars.
Kayla Mari Del Rosario
Front of House Manager
Front of House Crew
Elizabeth Elmore is a Guåhan-based writer and dancer dedicated to fostering artistic expression within her community. She remains active in local artistic spaces such as Breaking Wave Theatre Company and The Aquifer Writing Group, the latter of which she co-founded with fellow University of Guam alumni. Elizabeth’s hope as an artist is to build a more loving, inclusive world through storytelling.
Front of House Crew
Xavier Bryce Pegarido Borja
Stating in 2018, Xavier has gone through the journey from the front of the stage to the back of the house. His goal is to have the best well-rounded education in the theatrical arts through hands-on experience in the many gears that turn the giant mechanism that makes the shows go round. Passions in acting, singing, art, and fashion, he wishes to make his path to many theatre districts around the mainland USA.
Steph found her love for the arts the first time she watched Vagina Monologues in 2012 at the University of Guam. She was deeply inspired by the women and their stunning performances that she auditioned and was cast as the next Angry Vagina in 2015. She loved the adrenaline and freedom she felt on stage that she decided to dive deeper into the world of theatre. She involved herself in shows as an actress in plays such as "The Laramie Project" or as an assistant stage manager for Molière's "Tartuffe" and "Seasons of Love: A Musical Showcase". In 2019, stage managed "21 Chump Street: The Musical" by Lin-Manuel Miranda, where they traveled to different schools around Guam to showcase the 14-minute mini-musical. She continues to try her hand at graphic designing. She continues to support the arts and offers a helping hand whenever one is needed.
Mikhailla is a Fine Arts major at the University of Guam and a dual major in Marketing and Visual Communications at Guam Community College. Her favorite mediums at the moment are sculpture with clay and photography.