Vlogger “Self-Made” Jade Kim is in hot water for making ageist remarks on her channel. When she learns that her grandmother June is about to get kicked out of Happy Pleasant Valley Senior Apartments, Jade gladly comes to the rescue—in order to record and broadcast her heroine-ism, saving her reputation. What Jade doesn’t count on is the cause of June’s eviction threat: her “active-living” sex life, which seems to be killing the men she sleeps with. June swears that she and her libido are being framed, and enlists Jade’s help in tracking down the real murderer.Happy Pleasant Valley seeks to explode the myth that the enjoyment of sex stops after a certain age, and will explore themes of generation gaps, ageism, and finding connection and relevance in the digital age—all with a little bit of good old-fashioned murder thrown in.
Min Kahng is the recipient of a Kurjan/Butler commission from TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.
MIN KAHNG (Book, Music, and Lyrics; he/him) is an award-winning playwright, composer, lyricist and creative coach whose works include The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga (TheatreWorks: Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Edgerton New Play Award, Theatre Bay Area Award), Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (South Coast Repertory, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre), Jin vs. the Beach (La Jolla Playhouse), GOLD: The Midas Musical (Virginia Rep, BACT), and The Adventures of Honey & Leon (NYC Children’s Theater). Kahng is a MacDowell Fellow, a Travis Bogard Fellow, and an alumnus of the Playwrights Foundation Resident Initiative, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, and Djerassi. Kahng is an NEA Grant Recipient, a Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, a Richard Rodgers Award Finalist, and a Dramatists Guild committee member. www.minkahng.com
JEFFREY LO (Director) is TheatreWorks’ Casting Director and Literary Manager, and has previously directed TheatreWorks’ productions of Little Shop of Horrors, The Language Archive, and The Santaland Diaries. A Filipino-American director and playwright, his additional directing credits include Vietgone and The Great Leap at Capital Stage, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin and Hold These Truths at San Francisco Playhouse, and Between Riverside and Crazy at San Jose Stage Company. He is the first recipient of TheatreWorks’ Susan Fairbrook Playwright Fund for emerging playwrights, the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Arts Council Silicon Valley Emerging Artist Laureate, and Theatre Bay Area Director’s TITAN Award. In addition to his work on stage, Mr. Lo does work nationally promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in the arts. He is a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute and a proud alumnus of the UC Irvine Drama Department. JeffreyWritesAPlay.com
WILLIAM LIBERATORE (Music Director) is TheatreWorks’ Resident Musical Director and has conducted 45 shows, including Little Shop of Horrors, Ragtime, Sense and Sensibility, Tuck Everlasting, Fun Home, The Prince of Egypt, Rags, Sweeney Todd, Once on This Island (TBA Award), Little Women, Crowns, Ragtime, and Pacific Overtures. He was Musical Director at American Musical Theatre of San Jose, conducting over 30 shows including Flower Drum Song, Gypsy, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Follies, and Children of Eden. He has won Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for A Little Night Music, South Pacific, Damn Yankees (AMTSJ), and Bat Boy: The Musical; Into the Woods; Emma; Caroline, or Change; The Light in the Piazza, The Four Immigrants, and The Bridges of Madison County (TheatreWorks). He is also the director of the award-winning Gunn High School Choirs.
RANDALL K. LUM (Stage Manager) finishes his 12th season as resident stage manager with TheatreWorks with Steel Magnolias and New Works Festival 2023 – Happy Pleasant Valley, A Senior Sex Scandal Murder Mystery Musical. Recent productions away from TheatreWorks: Nina Simone: Four Women, Jack Thorne’s A Christmas Carol, and Pericles. Upcoming production: The Legend of Georgia McBride for Center Rep. Other companies: Oregon and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, Denver Center Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Old Globe, American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theatre, Berkeley and Seattle Repertory Theatres, Laguna and Pasadena Playhouses, and South Coast Repertory. Some favorite productions: The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Equivocation, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, Restoration Comedy, The Birds, Three Days of Rain, Confederates, Hold These Truths, Fade, The Royale, They Promised Her The Moon, and Fun Home.
DENNI REBERO (Production Assistant, they/them) is a young creative and technician working within TheatreWorks. They provide support behind the scenes of TheatreWorks’ productions—from scene carpentry to backstage crew to assistant production and beyond. They began at TheatreWorks in 2022. Having found a fresh passion and a safe space in their college theatre, returning to that world a little down the line felt only natural. They believe it is imperative to make, support, and share art with open minds and open hearts. In their free time, they enjoy drawing, playing music, and taking pictures of their cat.
RINABETH APOSTOL thoroughly enjoys her time with TheatreWorks - in The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga, Red and numerous New Works Festivals. She has also appeared in many new works onstage at American Conservatory Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, Seattle Rep, TheatreWorks, CalShakes, The Magic, Arizona Theater Company, East West Players, Skirball Center for the Arts, and Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, among others. 2022-2023 productions: Redwinged Blackbird (world premiere), Fun Home (42nd Street Moon), Monument (world premiere, Magic Theater), Smart People and The Chinese Lady (Capital Stage), South Pacific (Billings Symphony) and Hamlet (Marin Shakes). Offstage, you can hear her on Sirius XM/Marvel’s UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL Podcast as Gretchen Campbell. Upcoming: Bald Sisters and My Home On The Moon. Proud member AEA, SAG-AFTRA. @rbdtwo | rinabeth.com
LAWRENCE-MICHAEL C. ARIAS is honored to join this year’s New Works Festival. He was recently seen as “Mushnik” in Theatreworks’ Little Shop of Horrors. He also performed in M. Butterfly (Kurogo), Red (Red Guard), Batboy: The Musical (Roy/Mrs. Taylor, etc. at select performances for James Monroe Iglehart), Jane Eyre The Musical (Robert u/s), and Pacific Overtures (British Admiral/Merchant). He originated the role of ‘Wong’ in Utah Shakespeare Festival’s world premiere of Gold Mountain. Other regional credits: National Asian Artists Project/Prospect Theatre’s staged concert of Gold Mountain (Wong). Other Bay Area credits: Hillbarn Theatre - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney); Los Altos Stage Company - Yellow Face (HYH); Pintello Comedy Theatre - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Miles Gloriosus); Western Stage - Man of La Mancha (Sancho). Film: Protection Detail (Sonny).
LUCINDA HITCHCOCK CONE: TheatreWorks appearances include Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Tuck Everlasting, Outside Mullingar, Big River, The Clean House, Ragtime, and Cabaret. She appeared in the National Tour of Big River. Recently she appeared in Grand Horizons at San Jose Stage Co. where she also played Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman. Regional credits include productions at Hartford Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Folger Theatre, ACT, Berkeley Rep., San Jose Rep., Sacramento Music Circus, Capital Stage, B Street Theatre, Aurora Theatre, AMTSJ, Marin Theatre Company, PCPA, and the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Lucinda received four SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle awards, and a Dramalogue award. Lucinda studied Mime with Etienne Decroux.
JACQUELINE DE MURO has performed with TheatreWorks in A Little Night Music (Mrs Segstrom), Pacific Overtures (Shogun’s Mother), Joy Luck Club (Amah), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Marta), and Into The Woods (Cinderella’s Mother). Most recently, she appeared in New Conservatory Theatre Center’s Encore. Other favorite local productions include Broadway by the Bay’s The King And I (Lady Thiang) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Muzzy), Woodminster’s Flower Drum Song (Madame Liang), Palo Alto Players’ City Of Angels (Alaura/Carla) and The Baker’s Wife (Genevieve), Busbarn’s And The World Goes Round and Baby (Pam), 42nd Street Moon’s Grand Night For Singing and By Jupiter (Buria), Ohlone Stage’s Man Of La Mancha (Aldonza), and Foothill Theatre’s South Pacific (Bloody Mary), for which she won a Bay Area Theatre Critics Award.
MICHAEL PATRICK GAFFNEY has been working as an actor in the Bay Area for the past 25 years and is very honored to be performing this summer with TheatreWorks! Last spring he played the role of the Interlocutor in The Scottsboro Boys with 42nd Street Moon. Other regional theatre companies Michael has worked with include: Center Rep, Shotgun Players, Aurora Theatre Company, San Jose Stage Company, Word for Word, and Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Michael has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association since 1997.
EMILY KURODA worked at TheatreWorks (The Language Archive, Calligraphy), South Coast Rep (Tiger Style!, Fast Company, Our Town, Ballad of Yachiyo), New York Theatre Workshop (Endlings), Yale Rep (Today is My Birthday), Pan Asian (Brothers Paranormal), American Repertory Theater (Endlings), Page 73 (Today is My Birthday), Actors Theater of Louisville (we, the invisibles), Huntington Theater (Tiger Style!, Woman Warrior), Artists at Play (Two Mile Hollow), Alliance Theater (Tiger Style!), Sundance Theater Lab (Today is My Birthday, A Cage of Fireflies), East West Players (over 45 productions), Kirk Douglas, Mark Taper Forum, Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Singapore Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, The Doolittle, LATC, Zephyr, LA Women’s Shakespeare Company, and the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival. Selected TV: Mrs. Kim in Gilmore Girls, Baymax, All Rise, The Good Doctor, The Resident, Drop Dead Diva, Sequestered and Amazon’s The Power. Recent Films Strange World, Kimi, Porcupine, Take the 10, Party Boat, Red, Yellow Face and Sensei.
CLAIRE KWON is ecstatic to be a part of Happy Pleasant Valley at TheatreWorks! She recently made her Broadway debut in Almost Famous (Swing) and her professional debut in Life After (US Hannah/Furies) at Goodman Theatre. This summer, she led the new work Yoko's Husband's Killer's Japanese Wife, Gloria (Ruby) at the National Musical Theatre Conference (Eugene O'Neill Theater). She graduated from Northwestern University in 2022 with a BA and honors in Theatre & International Studies. She is also a working voiceover actress (LG, Webtoon, ESL) and was featured as Joy in the SeriesFest sitcom Fraternal. Big thanks to this team, friends, family, and Soffer Ent.! Follow her @clairekwon
MARY JO McMCONNELL (DeeDee) performed in the national tours of The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), All Shook Up, and Sister Act. Off-Broadway credits include Soap Star-original cast of Menopause the Musical, Hysterical Blindness, and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. Regional highlights include Freaky Friday (La Jolla, Cleveland Playhouse, Alley Theater), Convenience (Geva), and Sunday in the Park with George (ACT). On television she appeared in “Hunters”, “Pan Am”, “Masters of Sex”, and “One Life to Live” and indie films Vent, Wilt, and Better Dead Than Red. MJ earned her MFA from ACT. She is a founding artist of NYC’s Musical Theatre Factory and winner of their inaugural Builder’s Award. Captain McConnell is a proud veteran of the US Army Nurse Corps.
EZRA REAVES (they/he) is an actor, comedian, writer, and director. TV/Film credits include 4400 (The CW), Suckhole (FX). Regional: Wizard of Oz (ACT), As You Like It (SF Playhouse), The Red Shades (Z Space), Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (NCTC), The Daughters (SF Playhouse), and The Speakeasy (Boxcar). Reaves has spent 10+ years as an ensemble member of the Neo-Futurists, writing and performing nationally and internationally in their critically-acclaimed long-running shows Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and The Infinite Wrench. Reaves holds a BFA in acting and studied at the Atlantic Acting Conservatory in NYC. ezrareaves.com