LAINIE SAKAKURA co-founder/co-artistic director
NYC based Japanese American, director, educator and multi hyphenate theater maker. Award winning choreographer (recipient of the 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award and 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography) and mother of two strong Japarican daughters. Most recently directed Lizzie, TheaterWorks Hartford, and choreographed The Frogs, Rose Theater at Jazz Lincoln Center. Broadway credits: Dance Reconstruction for Fosse (1999 Tony Award Best Musical) and onstage dance captain; performer in 6 original casts.
Long time advocate for diversity and inclusion in the performing arts. Conceived & Directed, My Broadway AAPI Story: Breaking Barriers Lincoln Center Public Library for the Performing Arts (TOFT); Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS 2018 Red Bucket Follies Opening Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Flower Drum Song and Asian Americans on Broadway (Co-Conceived/Writer); Corner Of Bitter And Sweet (Book & Direction), musical adaptation of
The New York Times Bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, music & lyrics by Paul Fujimoto). Ms Sakakura has produced and directed 40+ productions highlighting multicultural stories. Directed works in NYC at Cherry Lane Theatre, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Neighborhood Playhouse, SummerStage Central Park, Theatre 71 and solo shows for the late, great Alvin Ing at The Duplex and Don't Tell Mama. Serves on multiple non-profits: Rockettes of Color Alumnae (Co-Founder/Co-Chair); New York Theater Barn (Advisory Board); Asian American Arts Alliance 2023 Jadin Wong Fellowship (Review Panelist); Abingdon Theatre Company’s Alvin Ing Scholarship Award (Founder/Chair)
32 year teaching career includes: owner of Dance Theatre Arts in CA where I developed a successful curriculum for toddlers, pre-professionals, and adults with husband, Alex Sanchez. Experience teaching students with learning and emotional challenges that include but not limited to ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger, dyscalculia, muscular and visual impairment. Guest teacher in a dozen universities including: NYU Tisch New Studio Broadway (adjunct professor), University of Michigan, Point Park, Carnegie Mellon, MSU, Chapman University, Sam Houston State, CAP21, CSU Fullerton, University of the Arts, Texas State University, Pace (adjunct professor). Directed and staged work at Point Park University, Montclair State University, Pace University, CAP21 Molloy University (upcoming CARRIE Jan 2024).
Member of 7 theatrical unions including Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC 22 years).
ALEX SANCHEZ co-founder/co-artistic director
Director, choreographer, educator, father. Teaching experience includes faculty at New Jersey Ballet for ballet and pointe. Dance faculty at Oakland School for the Arts then chaired the Theater Department, implementing a playwrights festival and student directing program as well as various acting techniques. Master classes: Japan for Carewaves, Mexico City for Dansing, Southern Methodist University Dance Department, Pace University, NYU Tisch Musical Theater Department, Manhattan School of Music, STEPS, Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Center.
Professional Performing Career includes 10 Broadway shows.
As a standby, he played Ramon Fornos in the Tony Award winning play, Love! Valor! Compassion! and the Fairground Boy in Carousel Lincoln Center. He was in the original cast of Fosse, Big, The Musical, The Red Shoes, Carousel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Chita Rivera The Dancers Life. Regional acting roles include: Ariel in Dallas Shakespeares Festival’s The Tempest. Tim Harper opposite Kristen Chenowith in Goodspeed Opera’s Strike Up The Band. John Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth at Penguin Rep Theater. Ballet Companies: Ballet Chicago soloist, guest artist for Ruth Page Ballet, Festival Ballet, Southern Ballet Theater, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company and The Chicago Rep Dance Ensemble.
Director/Choreographer Alex directed SWEET CHARITY, NEWSIES and EVITA, Marriott Theater in Chicago. IN THE MOOD, International/National tour. THE WORLD GOES ROUND, NYC Riverside Theater. Choreography: ROMAN HOLIDAY pre-broadway. In NYC: The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizon, New York City Center Encores!, and Amas Musical Theater. Regional credits: The Goodman Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Williamstown Theater Festival, Guthrie Theater, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Berkshire Theater Group,Glimmerglass Opera, St. Louis Muny, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Kansas City Starlight, Pittsburgh CLO, Riverside Theater, Woodminster Amphitheater and SDC Dancebreak.
Upcoming: Co-choreographing The Gardens of Anuncia with Graciela Daniele (dir/chor) and choreographing Florencia En Las Amazonas at the Metropolitan Opera, NYC. Alexsanc.com