WHO’S WHO (Production Team)

HOWARD RUBENSTEIN (book & lyrics) is a physician, writer and photographer. He was born in 1931 in Chicago. Published plays: Agamemnon, a play by Aeschylus (with reconstructed stage directions), The Trojan Women, a play by Euripides, winner of most San Diego Playbill awards theater season 2001; Brothers All, 2007; The Golem, Man of Earth, 2007; Tony and Cleo, 2008; Britannicus, a play by Racine, 2009; Romance of the Western Chamber – a Musical, 2010 with Max Lee (sponsored by Lilly Cheng and the Confucius Institute SDSU, winner Asian Heritage Award in Performing Arts, 2011); Shiloh, 2015; The Defiant Soul, 2016. Other Published Works:  “Maccabee,” an Epic in Free Verse, 2004. “Photographs of Howard Rubenstein,” 2014. In 1953 he received a B.A. from Carleton College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi and won the Noyes Prize for excellence in ancient Greek studies. In 1957 Rubenstein received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.  In 1967, he was appointed Physician and Chief of Allergy at the Harvard University Health Services.  In 1989, he was appointed a Medical Consultant to the Department of Social Services, state of California. He is married to Judith Selig Rubenstein; the Rubensteins live in San Diego, have four children and four grandchildren. He is listed in “Who’s Who in America” and in “Who’s Who in the World.”

MAX LEE (music) The music of composer and arranger Max Lee has been performed in the U.S. and China. Along with playwright Howard Rubenstein and the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, he is a co-winner of a 2011 Asian Heritage Award, honoring work in the performing arts that celebrates Asian culture. To create the music for The Romance of the Western Chamber, Mr. Lee arranged and adapted some of China’s most well-known and beloved folk tunes, as well as composing original material. Max Lee is a pseudonym. Under his real name (which shall remain anonymous), he is the composer of nearly 100 concert works, which have received more than 1,000 performances in 20 countries and on six continents. The Romance of the Western Chamber is Max Lee’s first full-length musical theater work.

SHELA XOREGOS (director) began life as a dancer on the West Coast: choreographer and guest artist for Pacific Ballet at Hollywood Bowl and Stern Grove; learned and danced some of the great Charles Weidman’s repertoire, under his direction and staged his Lynchtown and Brahms Waltzes (Opus 39) for Oakland Ballet to acclaim. (NEA grant recipient). She came to New York in the 1980’s: she directed and choreographed Hamlet for Grass Roots Shakespeare in Bryant Park; directed Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Medea, Hippolytus, The Trojan Women and choreographed The Tempest for various NY companies. She was a Resident Director for Quaigh Theater: NY premiere of Tennessee Williams’s Dragon Country and plays by Jean Anouilh, Eugene Ionesco and several originals; choreographed the premiere of Charles Strouse’s Nightingale at the Egg, in Albany.  Favorites of regional and summer stock companies include: The Importance of Being Earnest, Romance, Romance, Antigone.  She founded the Xoregos Performing Company in 2004, which does classical, avant garde and original plays, dances and music.  The company has discovered and premiered short plays by Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sarah Bernhardt, and a treasure trove from the Harlem Renaissance which it has presented in several programs, Songs of the Harlem River. It commissioned the libretto and music for an a capella opera in the round, Circle of Haunts in 2014.

ERICH RAUSCH (music director, piano, flute, clarinet) is a recipient of the Rising Star Award from Paper Mill Playhouse for music direction of Once on This Island. He has worked on over 500 productions as a composer, arranger, music director, director, stage manager and actor. He most recently music directed a production of Spring Awakening at Johns Hopkins University, and composed songs for the new musical Mad Mel Saves the World at the Midtown International Theater Festival. He was the music director for the NY premieres of Brecht’s The Roundheads and the Pointheads, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and received excellent notices in Newsday, The Village Voice, and The New York Times for productions of A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady, and original music for Beaumarchais’s The Barber of Seville. Revues include the Everly Brothers’ Dream! Dream! Dream! at the Claridge in Atlantic City, the Carpenters’ Close to You, and a Lorenz Hart show. He has played leading roles in over 50 award-winning shorts on the festival circuit, including Remember Us, Everything’s OK, and Dinner and a Movie at Cannes in 2016.    www.ErichRausch.com

MANDARIN WU 吳曉清 (choreographer) is thrilled to choreograph this production of Romance of the Western Chamber. Her creative works reflect her upbringing, fusing both elements of East and West. Her choreographic works have been seen at Jazz at the Lincoln Center, NYU Skirball Center, Haidian Theatre (Beijing), Kodak Theatre (LA), LA Music Center, Ford Amphitheatre (LA), to name a few. She has choreographed for a wide range of productions, from live US-China TV show broadcasts to straight concerts; but her proudest work was producing “Dance Bistro”, a festival showcasing dance crossing genres and cultures, at Carpenter Center (Long Beach, CA). As a performer, career highlights include: dancing at the Metropolitan Opera (Orfeo et Euridice, directed by Mark Morris), originating the role of Fairy False in Pan Asian Rep’s A Dream of Red Pavilions, Ariel in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, competing Chinese dance in Beijing’s Tao Li Cup, and singing like a broad in “Moon Song” (Mame) with NAAP Broadway Community Chorus founded by Baayork Lee. This September she will be teaching dance classes at Marymount Manhattan College to their Musical Theatre students. Education: NYU Tisch Dance MFA; UC Irvine Dance BA, Digital Arts Minor. www.mandarinwu.com  She dedicates this endeavor to the memory of her Grandfather and Great Aunt, who were Peking Opera artists; and to her mother, who was a former historian/researcher at the renowned Palace Museum of Taiwan. 

MARY CATE MANGUM (production stage manager) is thankful to be joining this production of Romance of the Western Chamber. She has had the pleasure of working in theatre, fashion, and various orchestra settings. Her most recent credits include: Sweet Bird of Youth (The Gallery Players), Twisted Valentines (Axial Theatre), The Gift of the Magi (The Schoolhouse Theater), Nuncrackers (Interlakes Theatre), and Untameable (Highly Impractical Theatre and the Unsoft War). Other work includes: New York Fashion Week 2015, 2016 (IMCD Lighting), company management (Brevard Music Center) and stage managing the 2015 Summer Concert Series. Most notably: A Prairie Home Companion, The Steep Canyon Rangers, and Keith Lockhart Conducts Mahler 1. 

JESSA-RAYE COURT (costume designer) NYC: Night Tide (NYMF, dir Luis Villabon), Marty’s Shadow (Strindberg Rep; dir Whitney Gail Aronson), Abu Casem’s Slippers (Strindberg Rep; dir Janet Bentley), Connected (Project Y; dir Michole Biancosino), Mourning Sun (Theatre 167; dir Ari Laura Kreith), Kristina (Strindberg Rep; dir. Whitney Aronson), Barcode (NYC Fringe, dir Joe Barros) Regional: Oklahoma! (Charlottesville Opera, dir Mary Birnbaum), Midsummer Night’s Dream (SRU, dir Tom Gleadow); Antigone (SRU, dir Reggie Phoenix); Dames at Sea (Infinity Theatre Co; dir. Randy Skinner) MFA: Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers. www.jessarayecourt.com

JOYCE LIAO (lighting designer) has worked both on Broadway on Soul of Shoaling and Off-B’way, including Dead Dog Park, The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Breakfast with Mugabe, Final Analysis, The English Bride, Years of Sky and Ethel Sings. Her lighting design on Brothers from the Bottom was nominated for an Audelco Award. Joyce’s lighting work has been seen both across the US and internationally, including Taiwan, Austria, Romania and China. For more information please visit www.joyceliaodesign.com

SAL PERROTTA (set designer) has been the principal set designer on well over 100 shows. Favorite Off-Broadway credits include: In a Clean House, Brotherly Love, One More Time, The Painted Ladies, The London Cuckolds, Dorian Grey, Hat Full of Rain and PIG. Favorite regional credits include Singin’ in the Rain, Italian-American Reconciliation, Crazy for You, The Producers, Man of La Mancha, Enchanted April, Gypsy, Leader of the Pack and Cabaret. Sal feels privileged to work with this classic story and this very talented cast and crew.

WILDLY PRODUCTIVE PRODUCTIONS/BOB OST (producer). Bob Ost is the founder and executive director of Theater Resources Unlimited, an arts organization dedicated to nurturing and educating producers. An award winning playwright, composer and lyricist, he created Wildly Productive Productions to self-produce his work, including cabaret shows Love and Laughter and the MAC-nominated Not Quite What You Expected. He branched out to produce others, including Civil War Voices by James Harris, which won 8 Best of Festival Awards at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, and went on to a record-breaking production at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon Virginia, as well as a tour. The show is licensed by Dramatic Publishing. He also produced the musical Rip by Dan Furman, also in the Midtown Festival, and his own musical Angel in My Heart which was named Best Musical in the 2014 Fresh Fruit Festival. Bob has produced three CD’s: A Special Place: Songs from the Heart featuring Broadway stars Alice Ripley, Lillias White, Rebecca Luker; an all-star recording of his off-Broadway revue Everybody’s Getting’ into the Act with Bob Cuccioli, Nancy Opel, Mark Kudisch and other Broadway stars, and Keyes to Heaven: The Songs of Eben Keyes starring a stellar lineup of cabaret favorites including Julie Reyburn and Heather MacRae.

DOROTHY STONE (cello) is grateful to have performed both “In the pit” and on stage for over 30 years. She has played with the Interharmony Festival Orchestra, and was featured as both cellist and vocal soloist in concerts with legendary baritone John Raitt. She was principal cellist of the Vintage Music Theatre Orchestra, and has sung leading roles in Opera, Concert and Oratorio. She is currently on the Voice Faculty of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

ROBIN CARUS CASTING. Robin Carus has been casting for 17 years. She was Head of Casting for TheatreworksUSA for nine years. While there, she auditioned thousands of actors and cast over 200 national tours and countless off-Broadway shows created by emerging playwrights and directors. Since then, she has cast countless Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows, regional theater, festivals and films. 

THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE of San Diego State U. (producer) was established in collaboration with the Office of Chinese Language International Council (Hanban). Hanban is committed to making Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services available to the public and to the promotion of cultural diversity and harmony. Through academic partnership with Xiamen University, the CI at SDSU aims to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation between China and the United States. This partnership will serve to promote the development of Chinese language education in the greater San Diego region and Baja California as a whole, while continuing to foster historical understanding and cultural collaboration on both sides of the Pacific. The CI at SDSU focuses especially on teacher training. By offering both on-site and online classes, while also utilizing the most advanced language teaching pedagogy and technology, the CI at SDSU aims to establish a public face and a central environment for Chinese teachers training in Southern California and Baja California and the greater San Diego region as a whole.

DR. LI-RONG LILLY CHENG is the Managing Director of the Confucius Institute of San Diego State University.   She produced the premiere in China of Romance of the Western Chamber – a Musical in Howard’s English adaptation, with Mandarin supertitles, at the Dongpo Theatre, Hangzhou, China, in 2011.  For this achievement she won the Asian Heritage Award in performing arts, 2011.