Our People

Kyoung’s Pacific Beat centers people of color at every step of the work based on our Community Agreements that ensure a culture of safety, boundaries and consent. 

Our leadership is 85% Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and our resident ensemble of Mondragons is 80% BIPOC, including Afro-Latiné, Arab American, Asian American, Black, Cherokee, Chicanx, Jewish and Muslim artists. Gender-wise, our Board identifies as 56% Female, 22% Male, 22% Trans/Gender Non-Conforming/Nonbinary and 44% self-identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Our Founder

Kyoung H. Park

Kyoung H. Park (he/him) is a North Korean writer and theater-maker, born and raised in Santiago, Chile, currently living in Brooklyn, New York. As Artistic Director of Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, he has written/directed four full-length plays — disOriented, TALA, PILLOWTALK and NERO — and created over 40 community-based, experimental projects including performances for new media. His work centers stories of (im)migration, queerness, trauma and the way these intersect in communities of color. He’s published in Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas by Duke University Press and he’s been featured in ABC News/Univision, Lambda Literary, Howlround, The Brooklyn Rail and The Korea Times.

Kyoung is recipient of numerous fellowships including the 2023 Rockwood Leadership Institute, 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship (Recommended Alternate), 2021 NYFA Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color, 2019-2020 Dramatist Guild Fellowship, 2018-2020 APAP Leadership Fellowship, 2018-2019 Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellowship, 2017 Creative Mellon Fellowship, 2015-2017 Field Leadership Fund Fellowship, 2014 Target Margin Theater Inst. for Theater-Making Fellowship, and was named a 2010 UNESCO-Aschberg Laureate (Paris). He is a NYTW Usual Suspect, co-founder of The Sol Project (Obie Award), member of Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab, alum of Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood (Obie Award) and was a 2004 Edward Albee Fellow. He has been a grant panelist for the NEA, TCG, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, ART/NY, NALAC and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University (Dean’s Fellow), MA in International Politics from Kyung Hee University’s Graduate Institute for Peace Studies, and BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (Founder’s Day Award).

Kyoung lives in Brooklyn, New York with his husband, Daniel Lim, and rescue pitbull, She-Ra. He continues his self-education in Buddhism, having made his refuge vows with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.

Advisory Council

Kyoung’s Pacific Beat formed its first governance body in 2016 by establishing a Leadership Circle with 8 advocates, artists, and supporters of our organization. In 2018, Chicago-based community partners for our tour of PILLOWTALK recommended KPB decenter its cis male, queer perspectives and make space for lesbian and non-binary voices in Chicago’s local community. Following a long-table conversation addressing intersectional feminism in Chicago, Park shifted KPB’s governance structure to legally establish an intersectional board of primarily non-binary, trans and women of color as KPB’s Board of Directors, which has led the organization between 2020-2024 and remains an Advisory Circle for the organization. 

Current Advisory Council

Claudia Acosta (2023-2024 KPB Board Co-Chair, 2017-2024 KPB Mondragon)

Claudia Acosta is a New York based actor, director, producer and teaching artist. As an actor, she has most recently appeared in Boundless Theater Company’s How to Melt ICE. Other credits include: Page 73’s Man Cave, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater Seven Spots on the Sun, WP Theater Architecture of Becoming, HERE Don Cristobal Billy Club Man, Platforma Internațională de Teatru București in Romania Two Arms and a Noise. She has worked with INTAR, Teatro IATI, Chautauqua Theater Company and many others. Originally from Texas, she has also been in many productions at Hip Pocket Theater, Cara Mia, Artes De la Rosa and Teatro Dallas. Claudia is a featured narrator for Performing Arts Fort Worth and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in their annual bilingual Children’s Educational Programs at Bass Performance Hall for fifteen years. Claudia has directed for Lehman College, SUNY New Paltz, and Teatro Dallas’s Grave is Given Supper in association with New Ohio’s Ice Factory Festival. She is a founding collective member and producer of readings and workshops for the Obie Grant winner, The Sol Project. For the last two years, Claudia coproduced and facilitated Echoes Writing Group with Primary Stages uplifting emerging women, trans and non-binary playwrights. Claudia has been a teaching artist for over fifteen years serving many organizations including MTC, Arts Connection, New York Theater Workshop and Lincoln Center Education.

Jason Tseng (2024-2020 KPB Board Co-Chair, 2016-2020 KPB Leadership Council)

Jason Tseng is a queer, non-binary Chinese-American playwright based in New York City, originally hailing from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Their plays have been presented and developed by Flux Theatre Ensemble, Judson Arts, Mission to dit(Mars), Theatre COTE, Inkubator Arts and Second Generation. They are a Creative Partner of Flux Theatre Ensemble, a member of The Civilians’s 2019/2020 R&D Group, and a member of Mission to dit(Mars)’s Propulsion Lab, a group of Queens-based playwrights. Jason’s full-length plays include Rizing (World Premier, Flux Theatre Ensemble), Like Father, Same Same, Ghost Money, Fear and Wonder, and The Other Side. Find more at www.jasontseng.co

Ann Marie Lonsdale (2024-2020 KPB Founding Board Member and Vice Chair, 2015-2020 KPB Funder)

Ann Marie Lonsdale is an arts worker with a background as a producer and administrator working in innovative and experimental live performance and founder of Partake Arts. She began her career as a performer, stage manager, and producer in theater and dance in Chicago and New York, with such companies as The Hypocrites, the Vittum Theater (now Adventure Stage Chicago), the side project, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Sitelines festival. As an administrator, she worked as Program Manager for the Creative Capital Professional Development Program, as General Manager at the Center for Performance Research, as Director of Programs and Deputy Director of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, as Executive Director of Cave Canem Foundation, and Managing Director of the Story Collider. Ann Marie is also one of the co-creators of the Freelance Artist Resource Project, an iterative rapid response comprising webcasts, a website, and other online tools for learning and community building created in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020. She has also worked in the performing arts community as an educator, consultant, grant panelist, speaker, and facilitator with TCG, Network of Ensemble Theatres, Theatre Bay Area, LMCC, among others. She has trained with artEquity, and is actively engaged in a national community of practice around anti-racism in the theatre and arts. Ann Marie is a proud graduate of the University of Chicago and holds a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jess Applebaum (2023-2024 KPB Board Secretary, 2015-2024 KPB Dramaturg)

Jess Applebaum is a dramaturg-scholar whose practice is rooted in contemporary performance and social action. As a dramaturg she works collaboratively with performance makers, academics, and activists to develop and facilitate creative processes. Her work pays particular attention to lifting up the cultural and political context of each project: identifying how the content developed serves both its creators and its audience in a shared, live moment. As a PhD candidate in CUNY’s Theater and Performance program, Jess’s scholarship focuses on the labor of dramaturgy: pushing the perceived boundaries of how research is performed and applied in both creative and academic work. She believes that bodies perform knowledge, process activates power, and that, together, they can inspire new pedagogical and civic practices

Sooyoung Hwang (2020-2024 KPB Board Treasurer, 2017-2020 KPB Leadership Council Member)

As a member of the East Coast Business Development team, Sooyoung Hwang develops quality pipeline for Nonprofit Finance Fund’s lending program, assess project viability, and manage client and partner relationships. Sooyoung’s honored to have partnered with inspiring nonprofits in health, education, and human services sectors including Ascend Charter Schools, Ali Forney Center, Community Connections for Youth, Make the Road New York, and RISE (Rockaway Waterfront Alliance). Sooyoung also leads the Financial Services team’s Equity Initiative to develop and apply a racial equity lens to NFF’s investments. Prior to joining NFF, Sooyoung served as the Associate Managing Director of Yale School of Drama as well as the Associate Producer at CJ Entertainment & Media, producing theater and developing business strategy for the largest media corporation in South Korea.

PennyMaria Jackson (2020-2024 KPB Board Member, Community Engagement Chair)

PennyMaria Jackson is a dedicated arts professional, advocate and enthusiast with nearly 15 years of arts management experience. She has worked with renowned arts companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Apollo Theater, and various civic organizations. Her experience encompasses marketing, communications, audience development, community engagement, patron activations, live streaming, and cultural and corporate partnerships. PennyMaria’s marketing campaigns have promoted performances and events featuring artists and entertainers such as Jason Moran, Jill Scott, Common, Camille A. Brown, Bill T. Jones, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Oprah Winfrey, among others. In 2020, she launched ArtzVenture, a cultural communications agency truly for and of the culture. PennyMaria was born and raised in Miami, Florida to a family of Bahamian immigrants. Her interests in the arts, community, and education were nurtured by her elders and at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Ultimately, she earned an M.A. degree in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University. Utilizing the power of the arts as a driving force, PennyMaria is dedicated to bridging the gap between cultures for decades to come.

Mike Klein (2024 Research Advisor)

Mike Klein (he/him), Ed.D. is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Justice and Society Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. He teaches undergraduate courses in Leadership for Social Justice, Active Nonviolence, Qualitative Research, and Making Art for Social Justice, and graduate courses on critical pedagogy, Paulo Freire. His research, writing, and consulting focus on democratizing leadership, critical pedagogy, peacebuilding and the arts, intersectionality, and racial justice. He is also a public artist working in sculpture, murals, and photography. Klein was a 2007 Bush Foundation Fellow and completed the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute in 2011. He develops personal and collective agency for structural and cultural transformation.

Kyoung H. Park (2020-2024 KPB Board Member, Fundraising Chair, KPB Founder)

Kyoung H. Park is a North Korean writer and theater-maker, born and raised in Santiago, Chile, currently living in Brooklyn, New York. Kyoung’s work centers stories of (im)migration, queerness, identity and the ways these intersect in communities of color; it’s described as “intensely personal” by American Theater Magazine and “very much of this moment” by the New York Times. Kyoung has been nationally recognized as a top 13% arts leader of color through the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI), Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Leadership Fellowship programs and NYFA’s 2021 Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color, funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Ryan Shen (2023-2024 KPB Board Member, 2012-2024 KPB Community Partner)

Ryan Shen has been part of GAPIMNY’s Steering Committee since 2013. He was born and raised in NYC but lived apart from his family after college to explore his gender identity. He believes all important things are political and good education will show that collective struggle is the only way to liberation. Ironically, he still hates conflicts and will avoid difficult conversations like you would expect from a Pisces.

Joe Tolbert, Jr. (2023-2024 KPB Board Member, 2020-2023 KPB Cultural Strategist)

Joe Tolbert, Jr. is a minister, scholar, writer and cultural organizer whose work is at the intersections of art, culture, spirituality and collective liberation. He received his B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and completed his M.Div. with a concentration in Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York. His work has been supported by fellowships from National Art Strategies Creative Communities Fellowship, and the Intercultural Leadership Institute. His goal with his work is to help others live, dream, achieve, and inspire. Joe is a sought after facilitator, cultural strategist and writer.

Advisory Council Alumni

Stephanie Hsu (2020-2023 Founding Board Member and Co-Chair, 2013-2020 KPB Facilitator & Advocate)

Stephanie Hsu is an associate professor of English and American Studies program director at Pace University in New York City. She teaches and writes in the fields of Asian American studies, queer and trans studies, and disability studies about the embodiment of race, gender, and desire. She is an editorial collective member for the Q+Public book series published by Rutgers University Press, and she was honored with the 2020 Community Catalyst Award by the National Queer Asian/Pacific Islander Alliance.

Daniel K. Isaac (2016-2020 KPB Leadership Council Member, 2011-2022 KPB Mondragon)

Daniel K. Isaac (he/him/his) is a queer Korean American actor and writer based in New York City. As an actor, Daniel was recently in Los Angeles at The Geffen Playhouse’s production of Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahue, directed by Colm Summers. He has also been seen on off-Broadway NYC stages in You Will Get Sick (Roundabout); The Chinese Lady (Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Ma-Yi/The Public); Travel/Turn Step, You Never Touched the Dirt (Clubbed Thumb); The Chinese Lady (Ma-Yi/Barrington Stage), The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon), Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), and Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Daniel’s film and television credits include seven seasons as ‘Ben Kim’ on “Billions” (Showtime); “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “The Deuce,” “Crashing,” Too Big To Fail (HBO); The Drummer (opposite Danny Glover); “The Expecting” (Quibi); Money Monster (dir. Jodie Foster); “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND); “Person of Interest” (CBS); and ‘Jeremy’ on “The Other Two” (Comedy Central). Upcoming features: Plan B; Dirty Rhetoric, Caravan. Daniel’s writing has been championed by Ma-Yi Theater Company, National Endowment for the Arts, MTC’s Groundworks Lab, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Bedlam, Barrington Stage, NYTW, Page73’s Interstate73, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, Queens Theatre, The Tank, TheatreC, Leviathan Lab, and Lambda Literary. 

Daniel Lim (2016-2020 KPB Leadership Council Member, 2021-2023 KPB Diversity and Equity Consultant)

Daniel Lim is a queer social change maker of Chinese descent who was born in Myanmar and raised in an immigrant, working-class family in the unceded territory of the Canarsie-Lenape people in present day Brooklyn, New York. These identities and the respective positions of privilege and oppression that he occupies in his life shape his work as founder and principal of Daniel Lim Consulting, a social justice consulting, facilitation, and training firm that partners with organizations and communities to build regenerative and liberatory cultures. His practice is strongly rooted in the wisdom of living systems, teachings of Black- and indigenous-led liberation and sovereignty movements, and draws on the somatic healing and liberatory practices of his Chinese-indigenous heritage. Daniel’s biggest passion is to achieve collective liberation for all our relations and repair humanity’s relationship to the land and our more-than-human kin. He studied ecology, ecological design and community development at the University of Vermont (B.S. Natural Resources, McNair Scholar), and community-based planning, environmental justice, and disaster planning at Pratt Institute (M.S. City and Regional Planning).

Laurence Pagnoni (2016-2020 KPB Leadership Council Member)

Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA is a national expert on advanced fundraising strategies. He is author of “The Nonprofit Fundraising Solution,” the first book on fundraising ever published by the American Management Association, as well as “Fundraising 401: Masterclasses in Nonprofit Fundraising That Would Make Peter Drucker Proud.” Laurence is a fierce advocate for a fully capitalized “higher-profit” sector, founder of LAPA Fundraising, a blogger with integrity, a husband and a father to two growing sons.He has been a faculty member of the New York University Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising, has coached dozens of nonprofit executive directors with the Rutgers Business School’s Institute for Ethical Leadership, is a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and teaches workshops across the country.

Diane Ragsdale (2018-2019 KPB Leadership Council Member – In Memoriam)

A speaker, writer, and advisor on a range of arts and culture topics, Diane Ragsdale was director and co-lead faculty of the Cultural Leadership Program at Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity. In June 2020 she completed a three-year appointment as assistant professor at The New School (TNS) in Manhattan, where she successfully launched, built, and directed a one-of-a-kind MA in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship for performance-based artists. While at TNS she also designed and launched a new graduate minor in Creative Community Development focused on the role of artists in building healthier, more equitable and more sustainable communities. For Yale University’s Theater Management MA, Ragsdale taught a workshop on aesthetic values in a changed cultural context. Ragsdale previously worked as a program officer for theater and dance at Mellon Foundation; was managing director of the contemporary performing arts center On the Boards, in Seattle; turned around a music festival in the panhandle of Idaho; worked for the Sundance and Seattle film festivals, as well as for Peter Gabriel’s music festival WOMAD USA and Seattle’s arts festival, Bumbershoot; and began her arts career as a theater practitioner (she has an M.F.A. in acting & directing). She was a doctoral candidate at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, where she lectured in the cultural economics program from 2011-2015. Her dissertation examined the evolving relationship between the nonprofit and commercial theater in the US over an 80-year period. She served on the board of Anne Bogart’s SITI Company and Marty Pottenger’s Art At Work; on the editorial board for Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts; and on the Advisory Council for the online theater platform and journal, HowlRound.

Tim Tompkins (2016-2020 KPB Leadership Council Member)

Tim Tompkins works to understand and improve cities through Shared City Shared Space, which explores how the interaction of ideas, institutions, individuals and culture can contribute to prosperous and vibrant cities. He leads the Sustaining Places Initiative at NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management and teaches Urban Planning at NYU’s Wagner School. He led the Times Square Alliance from 2002-2020, transforming Times Square’s public spaces and founding Times Square Arts. He chaired the International Downtown Association and founded Partnerships for Parks, which catalyzed the revitalization of the Bronx River. He has degrees from Yale and Wharton and has lived in New York, Paris and Mexico City.

Tiffany Vega-Gibson (2020-2023 Board Secretary, 2016-2020 KPB Leadership Council Member)

Tiffany Vega-Gibson is a Puerto Rican arts administrator, creative producer, and educator from East Harlem, NYC, co-founder of Evolution Management Consultants and is the President & Founder of La Vega Management. She is a trained and certified Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion facilitator through artEquity and Northwestern University. She was Co-Producer of the WE WILL DREAM: New Works Festival, an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University-New Orleans, and a Senior Consultant with Jennifer Brown Consulting. Previously, she was an Associate and Consultant with ALJP Consulting, the General Manager at Hi-ARTS NYC (Formerly Hip-Hop Theater Festival), a Client Success Manager with AudienceView, and an Adjunct Professor at Dillard University. Tiffany is currently on the National Board of the Parent Artist Advocacy League, an organization that advocates for parents and caregivers who work in the performing arts. She has over a decade of experience of serving on various national grant panels for the arts and is also an active member of the Latinx Theatre Commons, Alternate Roots, Women of Color in the Arts, Arts Administrators of Color, Creative and Independent Producer Alliance, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. Tiffany is considered an industry expert in Black, Latine, and Hip-Hop Theatre. She holds an MFA in Theatre Management & Producing from Columbia University and a BA in Theatre Performance from the University of Maryland-College Park.


Current Mondragons

Kyoung’s Pacific Beat creates work with a team of “Mondragons,” a diverse ensemble of outstanding resident performers, visual artists, theater designers, choreographers, and musicians, who collaborate in the devising of our productions following our peace-oriented mission and core values. Mondragons are invited into the company for their unique artistic voices, commitment to our company’s mission, and their willingness to take risks. For our Alumni Mondragons, click here.

Claudia Acosta (Performer, 2017-2024)

Claudia Acosta is a bilingual actor, producer, director, writer and teaching artist. Off-Broadway: Seven Spots on the Sun (Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater), The Architecture of Becoming (Women’s Project), Dance for a Dollar (INTAR), Don Cristobal Billy Club Man (HERE Arts Center). Regional: Guadalupe (Chautauqua Theater Company), Electricidad (Rose Marine Theater), Hotel Juarez ‘Taboo Theater: Sex and Violence on Stage’ (Cogella). Claudia created and co-produced the first-ever Rose Marine Latino Film Festival in Fort Worth, Texas and produced a short documentary of with Academy Award Winning Director, Nigel Noble. Ms. Acosta is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education, MTC, and New York Theater Workshop. Claudia performed “Two Arms and a Noise”, a one-woman piece developed at New York Theater Workshop by Elena Araoz in the 2016 Bucharest International Theater Platform in Romania. Claudia is co-founder and collective member of the Sol Project.

Yadira De La Riva (Performer, 2021-2024)

Yadira is a theater artist from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She is an alumna of UC Santa Cruz and NYU where she wrote, performed and produced One Journey, a one-woman show exploring US/Mexico border identity, which she toured throughout the U.S. and along the U.S./Mexico border. Her recent credits include: LINES (Theatre LILA), I, Migration (Falconworks Theater), Zoongoro Bailongo (New York Children’s Theater), Papo’s Variety Store (LATEA Theater), La Negra (BRIC), Alonzo (2019 New York Latino Film Festival), Noche de Alebrijes (One Blue Cat and Art VallARTa) and Carla’s Quince (The Voting Project). Yadira is dedicated to empowering and liberating storytelling and thrilled to join Kyoung’s Pacific Beat with such wonderful artists! www.yadiradelariva.com

Yoon Young Choi (Set and Video Designer, 2021-2024)

Yoon Young Choi is a New York-based multidisciplinary designer with experience across diverse design fields, including theater, exhibition, and product design. Having resided in the United States, China, and South Korea, she has cultivated a global perspective that enriches her creative approach. Her theater credits as a set design assistant are Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater), Soft Power (Public Theater) and many more with Clint Ramos in the U.S. and the Han Show, Yang Li Ping Dance Festival and ‘Rotations’ (Art exhibition) with Tim Yip in China. She holds BA in visual communication design from Ohio State University and MFA in Yale School of Drama.

Ariel Estrada (Performer, 2011-2024)

Ariel Estrada is an actor, singer, arts advocate, producer, and Founder & Producing Artistic Director of Leviathan Lab. As an actor and singer, Ariel has performed on television, film, commercials, industrials, new media, and Off, and Off-Off Broadway. As the founder of Leviathan Lab, he has produced acting and writing salons, cabarets, fundraising events, staged readings, showcase productions, and short films, including its national award-winning film Two Weeks; and through his grant writing, has secured multi-year NYC grant awards and residencies in support of Leviathan’s work. As an arts advocate, he is the current National Coordinator for Diversity & Inclusion at Actors’ Equity Association and Marketing and Membership Director for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. He was designated an Emerging Arts Leader by New York Foundation for the Arts and a Rising Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group. www.arielestrada.com

David Gelles (Performer, 2011-2024)

David Gelles is best known for his work as Aaron Clover on NBC’s Deception. He also appears in The Blacklist, Law & Order: SVU, and Mercy. Film credits include the award-winning This is It (Alexander Engel), Unicornland (Lucy Gillespie), Creative Control (Benjamin Dickinson), Someone Else’s Heart (Zachary Wigon), and Very Sorry (Sarah-Violet Bliss). On stage, David starred in Lincoln Center’s critically-acclaimed Graceland. Other work includes Romeo & Juliet (Romeo, Shakespeare & Company), Microcrisis (Ma-Yi Theater Company), and featured roles in Photograph 51, Winners, Close Ties, and White People (Ensemble Studio Theatre).

JC Gorritti (Sound Engineer, 2022-2024)

Born 90 years after 1895, JC Gorritti is a Peruvian-American entertainer who evolved from a modest success as a sound engineer in the NYC indie film circuit to one of the leading entertainers of the twentieth first century with a highly popular comedic career in motion pictures for over seven quarters of the century. (Or so will history say… maybe).

Andrew Jordan (Costume Designer, 2015-2024)

Andrew Jordan is a brooklyn-based artist and costume designer. He has designed for stage and screen with recent forays into opera, ballet, parade, and experimental performance. Andrew experiments with the interplay between various art forms driven by his interest in the relationship of sculpture, installation, and puppetry to the movement and form of the human body. He received his MFA with an emphasis in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA in Fine Arts, with a minor in Media Studies, from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Andrew is also known under the moniker andytoad. www.andytoad.com

Ash Mayers (Performer, 2020-2024)

Ash Mayers is an actress and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a B.F.A. in Acting from Brooklyn College. Ash has been very fortunate to be involved in numerous new theatre pieces, and she is ecstatic about joining the cast of NERO. In addition to her work onstage, she enjoys storytelling through film and sometimes writes sketches to prove that she paid attention in her UCB classes. Recent theatre: Term of Art (JACK); Woe is Me (Public Theatre); Hair Ye, Hair Ye (Estrogenius Festival). #blacklivesmatter www.ashmayers.com

Sanae Ohno (Cinematographer, 2022-2024)

Sanae Ohno is a Japanese cinematographer and photographer based in NY. She is widely successful in the film, commercial, fashion and TV industries. Her works include over 40 designers at New York Fashion Week. Her cinematography works were screened at several film festivals and won prizes.

Imran Sheikh (Performer, 2017-2024)

Off-Broadway: American Dreams (Working Theater), Confidence and the Speech (Theatre Row). NYC/Regional: Disgraced (Milwaukee Rep, Florida Rep), The Invisible Hand (ACT/ Artists Rep), I Like to Be Here (New Ohio), The Myth Project (Noor Theatre/New York Theatre Workshop), Carousel of Progress (Queens Theatre), Brahman/i (Crowded Fire), Disconnect (San Jose Rep), The Girl with Her Hands in the Sand & Radio Mara Mara (FringeNYC), Chaos Theory (Crossroads Theatre), Why We Left Brooklyn (Blue Coyote). Television: Guy Code (MTV, Comedy Central), Blue Bloods (CBS), Big Dogs (Amazon). Follow @imransheikhinfo

Kaila Saunders (Performer, 2020-2024)

Kaila Saunders (she/her) is a Panamanian Afro-Latina performer, arts administrator, songwriter, and audio engineer born in Connecticut and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her acting work can be seen in several productions such as KPB’s NERO (Pregones/PRTT), Young Jean Lee’s Lear (Don Buchwald Theater), Mac Wellman’s The Lesser Magoo (Don Buchwald Theater), Heloise Wilson’s La Folie (Black Lady Theater), Ben Gassman’s 40s and Chestnuts (New Workshop Theater). Kaila is a graduate of the Presidential Scholar program at Brooklyn College where she received a BFA in Acting. Kaila is also a graduate of Labyrinth Theater Company’s Summer Intensive Ensemble. More recently, she graduated from the Studio Engineering program at the Blackbird Academy, where she earned a full ride scholarship through She is the Music.

Ishmael Thaahir (Performer, 2018-2024)

Ishmael Thaahir (he/him) is a producer, performer, and educator born in Harlem, NY. Ishmael is a trained actor who earned his B.F.A. in Theatre from North Carolina A&T State University in 2019. Ishmael was both an actor and assistant director in NERO, KPB’s latest production, performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Triad Stage) and toured with KPB’s PILLOWTALK (Victory Gardens). Ishmael has worked as an educator both for high schoolers (North Carolina Governor’s School West) and middle schoolers (Hunts Point Alliance for Children) and has trained actors, built reading and writing comprehension, and facilitated discussions with students on how to bridge gaps between perceived differences. Ishmael was a Dowdy Scholar at A&T (HBCU – Summa Cum Laude), graduate of the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Program and alum of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. While not at work, Ishmael enjoys playing video games, checking out the latest K-Pop releases, and going on never-ending walks around the city.

Helen Yee (Composer, 2015-2024)

Helen Yee is a violinist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, currently violinist for the eclectic string trio, Trio Tritticali. Helen was a 2011 fellow at Music Omi International Musicians Residency and has composed and performed music for plays including Miss Julia (2014: Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro in Bogotá, Colombia and Cádiz, Spain, and festivals in Manizales, Medellín, Napoli), Harry’s Christmas, Krankenhaus Blues and Manon/Sandra (NY Fringe). For ten years she was a founding member of Invert, a string quartet that released three CDs with roots in rock, jazz and world music. She enjoys exploring and collaborating with artists in multiple art forms.

Marie Yokoyama (Lighting Designer, 2011-2024)

Marie Yokoyama is a New York-based lighting and set designer. Work: TALA (The ToRoNada Theater), vanya (Paisley in Blue), Dream Babies (Riant Theatre), American River (Lesser America), Baudelaire La Mort (Pan Asian Rep), The Turn of the Screw (Opera Moderne), Faust (Curtis Institute of Music), Hamlet/Hamyut (La MaMa), Barriers (Desipina & Co.), Compulsion (Yale Repertory Theatre), We in Silence Hear a Whisper (Red Fern Theatre), and lobby installation design for Haunting the Reynosos (Theatro IATI).

Alumni Mondragons

Raquel Almazan (Performer, 2019-2024)

Raquel Almazan is an interdisciplinary artist, facilitator and activist. She holds (B.F.A. in Theatre – U. of F. / M.F.A. in Playwriting – Columbia University). Her original work has participated in New York City- including Off-Broadway, throughout the United States and internationally in Greece, Italy, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala and Sweden. Almazan has been performed in over 100 venues, including Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Actors Studio, City Center, La Mama, Repertorio Español, BRIC Arts, INTAR, Pregones, and in independent films that screened at Cannes, HBO NYLIFF, Canada International, Honolulu, Mexico, and Philadelphia International Festivals. Select TV roles: Alicia Watkins on Limitless opposite Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Maricela on Law & Order: SVU, as Rosa Heredia opposite James Spader on The Black List, Rita Campos on White Collar, a Cuban exile opposite Cristina Ricci in PAN AM. Additional roles on Blue Bloods and the Michael J. Fox Show. www.raquelalmazan.com

David Anzuelo (Performer, 2020-2024)

Off-Broadway: Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven (Atlantic Theater), Fish Men (Intar Theater), Intimacy (New Group). Regional:Mother Road (Arena); The Motherf#cker With the Hat (Kitchen Theater), Frost/Nixon (Geva), Our Town (Northern Stage), Oedipus El Rey (Woolly Mammoth). Film: A Walk Among the Tombstones; Remember Me; A New York Christmas Wedding. TV: Succession; Strangers; The Americans; Elementary; Blue Bloods; White Collar; Deadbeat; Mercy.

Elizabeth Barrett Groth (Costume Designer, 2012-2015)

Elizabeth Barrett Groth is a costume designer. New York: Vassa (Lee Strasberg Institute), A Midsummer Night’s (Queer) Dream (The Hive), Billy Witch (Studio 42), Estrella Cruz, the Junkyard Queen (Ars Nova), Created Equal, We in Silence Hear a Whisper, and A Shot Away (Red Fern Theater Company), Cendrillon (NYU Steinhart), L’Enfant et Les Sortileges (Manhattan School of Music), Up Up Down Down (NYTE). Regional: Eclipsed (Yale Repertory Theatre, Boston University Opera Institute, A.R.T. Institute, and Berkshire Theatre Festival). Elizabeth received her MFA in Design from Yale School of Drama. www.ElizabethBarrettGroth.com

Rafael Benoit (Performer, 2011-2015)

Theatre: lead in Orchestra (MTC Studios), co-lead in Clear Cold Place (Secret Theatre), co-lead in Decompression (Kraine Theatre), lead in Brooklyn Crossing (Gallery Players), lead in My Artichoke Heart (Theatre for the New City), and supporting cast member in Magic Kingdom (Connely Theatre). TV: co-star in Broad City (Comedy Central), co-star in Blue Bloods (CBS), and co-star in Unforgettable (CBS). Rafael received his MFA in Acting from Columbia University and gives thanks to God, his parents and all those that come out to support him in his performances.

Veracity Butcher (Performer, 2011-2022)

Veracity Butcher is a performance artist born, raised, and based in downtown New York City. With over a decade of experience on Off-Broadway, she has performed as an actor at venues such as Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Abingdon Theater, INTAR, The Flea, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Public Theater, The Gene Frankel Theater, Dixon Place, 45 Bleecker, La Mama, and Atlantic Theater. Veracity has performed as a singer for her band, VIOLETS, at venues including PIANO’S, DROM, Leftfield, FAT BABY, LIT Lounge, Pete’s Candy Store, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Matchless, COCO 66, SIGNAL Gallery, and NuBlu. Since graduating Middlebury College with a BA in Acting and Arabic, she has participated in over 50 developmental workshops and readings. She is a member of José Rivera’s writing circle and pens stories, poetry, lyrics, plays, and screenplays. www.veracitybutcher.com

Chuan-Chi Chan (Lighting Designer, 2011-2015)

Chuan-Chi Chan is a lighting designer, originally from Taiwan. She is a 29th Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production. Chuan-Chi was recently invited by National Taiwan University, Drama and Theatre Department to join its faculty as an adjunct instructor of lighting design for the performing arts. Work: Twelfth Night (National Taiwan University, Drama and Theatre Department, 2014), August: Osage County (Greenray Theatre Company, 2014), The Servant of Two Masters (Seattle Repertory Theatre, 2013; Arts Emerson, 2013; Guthrie Theater, 2012; Shakespeare Theatre Company, 2012; and Yale Repertory Theater, 2010), Next To Normal/ Pterodactyls (Red House Art Center, 2014), Peter Pan (Red House Art Center, 2013), Caucasian Chalk Circle (Stella Adler Studio of Acting, 2013), Instant Vaudeville: Breaking Bamboo (2nd Generation, 2012), TALA workshop (Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, 2012), and God of Carnage (Shanghai Dramatic Art Center, 2011). www.ChuanChiChan.com

Flor De Liz Perez (Performer, 2012-2015)

Flor De Liz Perez has been a member of Kyoung’s Pacific Beat for over four years after joining the production of TALA at HERE Arts Center in the role of Lupe. The Public: Comedy of Errors, Pericles. International: The Motherf**ker with the Hat (National Theatre, London). Off Broadway: TALA, Los Monologos de la Vagina, and In the Time of the Butterflies. Regional: The House that Will Not Stand, Seven Homeless Mammoths…, Wander New England, In the Continuum, Pride and Prejudice, Nicholas Nickleby, All My Sons. Film: The House that Jack Built. TV: “The Good Wife”. MFA: UNC-Chapel Hill. www.FlorDeLizPerez.com

Brandon Kyle Goodman (Performer, 2015)

Dubbed a “Renaissance Man” by his 8th grade history teacher, New York native, Brandon Kyle Goodman continues to hold the reputation of a multifaceted powerhouse! As an actor and writer, Brandon continues to make a name for himself using his candid and comedic approach to tackle controversial cultural and political happenings of the day. Brandon has been a featured performer at many of New York’s most respected venues for comedy and performance including, Ars Nova, The People’s Improv Theater, and Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. Brandon was also featured in the first New York NBC Diversity Showcase and has appeared beside Reverend Al Sharpton on Politics Nation and in the hilarious viral webseries Next Time on Lonny. Brandon is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Daniel K. Isaac (Performer, 2011-2022)

Daniel K. Isaac is a queer Korean American actor and writer based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in five seasons of Showtime’s “Billions.” NYC Theatre: You Never Touched the Dirt (Clubbed Thumb), The Chinese Lady (Ma-Yi), The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon), Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), and Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). For Kyoung’s Pacific Beat: PILLOWTALK (BRIC Arts), TALA (Performance Project @ University Settlement, HERE Arts & Mabou Mines) and DISORIENTED (Theatre C). Daniel’s full-length plays include FULLERTON (2020 O’Neill Finalist), ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME (2019 O’Neill Finalist), [untitled gay sex and conversion therapy play] (National Endowment for the Arts), and OR OR OR &&& (available as a podcast recording on The Parsnip Ship). Training: UCSD, BADA. www.DanielKIsaac.com

Tahir Karmali (Photographer, 2015-2018)

Tahir Karmali, born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya now based in Brooklyn, NY. Having begun his career as an ink painter, he combines abstract painting with portraiture. Tahir picked up the camera as a creative outlet while he traveled and worked in Asia and Europe. In 2013, he moved into a studio at Kuona Trust in Nairobi to concentrate on his practice and began mixing his painting and photography practice. His first solo exhibit, “Value,” was a provocative show where he depicted male sex workers with their most valuable possession. Working closely with found object artists and sculptors, Tahir was inspired to create his exhibit “Jua Kali” – where he his discusses themes around the Kenyan economy through the informal sector. He won the POPCAP ’15 Prize for Contemporary African Photography and had the opportunity to show during Art Basel. His work is also part of the “Making Africa” Exhibit at the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Forbes named him as one of 15 Africans rebranding the face of the continent. Tahir received his Masters of Digital Photography at SVA and continues to experiment with mixed media, installation and digital photography. www.tahirk.com

Raja Feather Kelly (Performer, 2015-2017)

Raja Feather Kelly is a performer/choreographer living and working NYC. Kelly has performed in the companies of David Dorfman Dance, zoe | juniper, Reggie Wilson, Kyle Abraham/ Abraham.In.Motion, and creates collaborative projects with B.S. Movement – This has garnered him critical acclaim in the U.S. and abroad. An English and dance major (Connecticut College) with deep interest in both verbal and nonverbal forms of expression, Kelly founded his performance company the feath3r theory after writing a novel of the same name. Kelly was a 2014 LMCC Workspace Recipient, and a commissioned Artist in residence at Dixon Place Dance, NYC.

John Knowles (Video Designer, 2012-2015)

John Knowles is a New York-based video artist. He has been building live video projection installations for several years based out of the Roger Smith Hotel. John met Kyoung at the Vermont Studio Center as a fellow Writer-in-Residence. You can learn more about John’s work at panmanmixtapes.tumblr.com, www.panmanproductions.com, and twitter.com/pancity.

Jason Krugman (Installation Artist, 2012-2015)

Jason Krugman is an experienced hand working at the intersection of physical computing, fine art and lighting. He runs a boutique design firm specializing in interactive, architectural LED systems and public artworks. As an artist and a designer, Krugman specializes in arranging electricity and light within 3-dimensional spaces, taking advantage of many different materials and manufacturing processes. He currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and has also taught at Rhode Island School of Design and Eugene Lang College, New School University. Jason holds degrees in Economics and Interactive Media from Tufts University and NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. www.JasonKrugman.com

Svetlana Maras (Composer, 2011-2015)

Svetlana Maras is a composer and sound artist from Serbia. She studied composition at University of Art (Belgrade) and received her M.A. at Aalto University, Helsinki Media Lab (Finland). The abstract of her Master’s thesis, Embodied composition – Treatment and meaning of physical object in experimental music and sound art, was published in Leonardo Electronic Almanac. Svetlana’s work encompasses live electronic music, performance, interactive sound installations, electro-acoustic compositions, radiophonic pieces, web applications, music for film and theatre. She is an experienced improviser and performs internationally. She has presented her work at Espace Multimedia Gantner (Bourogne), Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens), A38 (Budapest), Ausland (Berlin), Kunstradio-Radiokunst (Vienna), Radio Belgrade (Belgrade), ICMC (New York), UCSD (San Diego), and Orpheus Institute (Ghent) among other places. Svetlana teaches Pure Data (Pd) courses, is co-founder of ImprovE and a member of Ensemble Studio 6, both music collectives in Belgrade. She currently lives in Serbia. www.SvetlanaMaras.com

Opalanietet (Performer, 2020)

Ryan Victor Pierce or “Opalanietet” is a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal nation. Upon graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Opalanietet has performed in workshops and productions at such renown New York theatrical institutions as New Dramatists, LaMaMa E.T.C. and New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. In 2012, Opalanietet founded Eagle Project, a theater company dedicated to exploring the American identity through the performing arts and our Native American heritage, www.eagleprojectarts.org. Through his leadership, Eagle Project has collaborated with and performed at the Public Theater, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Ashtar Theater in Palestine. This past April of 2020, Eagle Project has collaborated with the American Indian Community House of New York City and First Nations Theatre Guild to create Native Theatre Thursdays, a virtual reading series of new Native work.

Irfan Prawira (Assistant Director, 2015)

Irfan Prawira was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and has worked with Jakarta Conservatory Orchestra, Batavia Madrigal Singers, Jakarta Broadway Singers, Indonesia Youth Committee and was a high school theatre coach from 2006 to 2008. He founded 42nd Street Production in 2006, an independent theatre production specializing in musical theatre. In New York City, Irfan has been working with Kyoung’s Pacific Beat for TALA (University Settlement, 2015) and PillowTalk (BRIC, 2015).

Lawrence Schober (Sound Designer, 2015-2020)

Lawrence Schober is a New York based sound designer. New York: Kingdom Crosses Over, tiger tiger, Pillowtalk, Come Back Up, TALA, Woyzeck: The Human Experiment, No One Asked Me, The Mormon Bird Play. Regional: For the Lulz, Songs for a Future Generation, Sarah, Five Times in One Night. University (Fordham): Agamemnon, ANTIGONE, God’s Ear.

Will Shaw (Performer, 2012-2019)

Will Shaw is a native New Yorker and with a focus on new work and the classic canon. His most recent work includes Nero (Kyoung’s Pacific Beat), BKPI (dir. Hye Yun Park), The Glass Menagerie and A View From The Bridge (Light Fantastic Theater Company), among others. He is a graduate of Tufts University and Brown/Trinity MFA Acting Program.

Isaac Winston (Stage Manager, 2020-2021)

Isaac Winston is a native New Yorker and community-based stage manager, lighting designer, and technical director. He is currently working as an adjunct professor for Borough of Manhattan Community College as well as their lighting designer for their mainstage production of Project Sankofa by Karl Williams at Tribeca Performing Arts Center. He is also working as a stage manager for Greenwood by Celeste Walker scheduled for March 2023 in Beaumont, Texas. A few of his past credits for stage managing includes A Streetcar Named Desire, My Mama the Super Action Hero both directed by Kenthedo Robinson. His lighting design includes Dreamgirls, Fame, A Raisin in The Sun, Fences, Piano Lesson; (ArtsConnection), “The Jungle Book” Broadway Jr., “Willy Wonka” Broadway Jr., “Seussical” Broadway Jr.; (Maria Fusté Assistant lighting designer), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Madame Butterfly”, “In the Heights”, “Abigail”, and “Newsies”. He received his B.F.A. in technical theater and production with a concentration in Lighting design from Brooklyn College.

Yin Yue (Choreographer, 2011-2015)

Yin Yue is a versatile performer and choreographer. Born and raised in China, she attended Shanghai Dance School, where she received rigorous training in technically demanding and highly structured Chinese classical and folk dance as well as classical ballet. She continued her education at Shanghai Normal University. She has appeared in many festivals and dance competitions throughout China and was ranked in 2005 as one of the top ten performers in the National Dance Competition in Yunnan. She moved to New York City in 2006 to pursue an MFA in Contemporary Dance at New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts. Yin Yue was winner of Northwest Dance Project’s 5th Annual Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition in 2013 and first runner-up of The A.W.A.R.D. Show 2010! presented by New York’s The Joyce Theater Foundation. Yin Yue is also Artistic Director of Jiangxi Zhongshan Dance School.

Community Partners

Through Community Co-Lab, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat collaborates with local, community-based, social justice organizations, academic, and cultural institutions, to co-create brave and inclusive spaces for artists and local communities to imagine a culture of peace and non-violence.

Through remunerated partnerships, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat community partners work with us to design community-driven public events, social media advocacy campaigns, and participatory research. 

Currently, our Community Partners are:

Asians Fighting Injustice

Asians Fighting Injustice is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to uniting the AAPI community in fighting against systemic injustice & hate. Our goal is to reduce Asian hate crimes in our local communities. AFI is 100% volunteer run.

Caribbean Equality Project

Founded in 2015 by Mohamed Q. Amin in response to anti-LGBTQ+ hate in Richmond Hill, Queens, NY, the Caribbean Equality Project (CEP) is a community-based organization that empowers, advocates for, and represents Afro and Indo-Caribbean, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, and queer Caribbean immigrants in New York City. Through public education, community organizing, civic engagement, storytelling, and cultural and social programming, the organization’s work focuses on advocacy for LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights, gender equity, racial justice, immigration, and mental health services, and ending hate violence in the Caribbean diaspora. To date, CEP is the only educational-based agency serving the Caribbean-American LGBTQ+ community in New York City, with a dedicated aim to cultivating supportive and progressive Caribbean neighborhoods free of violence, oppression, and discrimination. CEP’s organizing fosters solidarity, community partnerships, and greater family acceptance.


Founded in 1990, GAPIMNY is an all-volunteer, membership-based community organization with the mission to empower queer and trans Asian Pacific Islanders* to create positive change. We provide a range of political, social, educational, and cultural programming and work in coalition with other community organizations to educate and promote dialogue on issues of race, sexuality, gender, and health.

The Exponential Festival

Exponential is a month-long January festival dedicated to New York City-based emerging artists working in experimental performance. The participants in this multi-artist, multi-venue festival are committed to ecstatic creativity in the face of commercialism. Exponential is driven by inclusiveness and a diversity of artists, forms, and ideas coupled with utopian resource-sharing, mentoring and the championing of risky, rigorous work in eclectic fields.

Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater

Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (aka Pregones/PRTT) is a multigenerational performing ensemble, multidisciplinary arts presenter, and owner/steward of bilingual arts facilities in The Bronx and Manhattan. Our mission is to champion a Puerto Rican/Latinx cultural legacy of universal value through creation and performance of original plays and musicals, exchange and partnership with other artists of merit, and engagement of diverse audiences.