Snehal Desai, producing artistic director of East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running Asian American theater and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works, announces the extension of the world premiere musical “On This Side of the World.”

With music and lyrics by Paulo K Tiról and created with and directed by Noam Shapiro, this production, originally set to close June 4, adds four more performances and will close June 10.

In addition to the previously scheduled performances of On This Side of the World, EWP adds the following performances:

Thursday, June, 8 at 8 p.m.

Friday, June 9, at 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 10, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

In “On This Side of the World,” a woman flies from the Philippines to America with a one-way ticket and a suitcase full of stories. Each story is collected from immigrants who came before her. Suspended above the ocean, she replays these stories in her mind as she searches for the courage to embrace her future. This musical gives voices to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, 8,000 miles from home.

“We are so grateful for how readily and enthusiastically our community has embraced ‘On This Side of the World,’” said Desai. “It’s so great that this musical has struck a chord with the children of immigrant parents like myself – this is not a story that we often see on our stages. The response has been overwhelming, and we wanted to make sure that everyone who wants to see the show gets the opportunity to.”

The cast comprises Steven-Adam Agdeppa (EWP’s “Crazy Talented Asians,” The Wallis’ “Invincible: The Musical,” La Mirada Theatre’s “Grease” and “In the Heights”), Zandi De Jesus (“Miss Saigon,” La Jolla Playhouse’s “Most Wanted,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” national tour), Michael C. Palma (EWP’s “Mamma Mia!” and “Imelda: A New Musical,” Cold Tofu Improv), Cassie Simone (La Mirada Theatre’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Rent,” A Noise Within’s “Man of La Mancha”), Andrea Somera (EWP’s “Assassins,” A Noise Within’s “A Christmas Carol”), and Shaun Tuazon (EWP’s “Mamma Mia!,” San Diego Rep’s “Vietgone”).

Melvin Biteng (“Disney Jr. Live: Costume Palooza” national tour, “Avenue Q,” “Mamma Mia!”) and Justine Rafael (EWP’s “Crazy Talented Asians,” Paris Las Vegas’ “Bat Out of Hell”) understudy this production.

The creative team includes direction by Noam Shapiro, music direction by Jennifer Lin and Marc Macalintal, choreography by Allen Lucky Weaver, orchestration by Ian Miller, scenic design by Yi-Chien Lee, sound design by Maddi Deckard, projection design by David Murakami, costume design by Jaymee Ngernwichit, properties design by Glenn Michael Baker, lighting design by Szu-Yun Wang, and stage management by Edward Khris Fernandez.

Performances are presented at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St. in Little Tokyo. Performance times: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday at 8 p.m., with additional 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and 5 p.m. performances on Sunday. Ticket prices range from $39 to $69.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (213) 625-7000. At time of purchase mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. Student, senior, and group discounts are available. Box office is available 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as one hour before all performances.

EWP has implemented numerous COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure that artists and audience members are able to safely enjoy their experience. For more information, visit

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