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Kelley Ho


(Kuya) Elijah Punzal

Scenic Designer

Gretchen Ugalde & 

(Bestie) Hannah Tran


Costume Designer

Adela Ahn

Lighting Designer

Shelby Thach

Asst. Lighting Designer & Master Electrician

Sonya Wong

Sound Designer 

Pan-Pan Gou


Stage Manager

Rusty Dimagiba


Jesus Lopez

Velina Hasu Houston’s play Tea follows five Japanese “war brides” who moved to Riley Kansas after World War II. The balance of life in their small Japanese immigrant community is undone when the primary character, Himiko commits suicide. Himiko’s four friends gather to clean her house and mourn her death. Over tea, they reminisce about the past and try to make sense of her death and their own lives. As they do so, Himiko’s ghost remains in the same room. 

This project will always make me feel like I had won the lottery! I was working with my friends who had similar yet unique experiences as Asian Americans, and we were passionate about giving the very best of ourselves to make this independent project an exceptional experience for the community! We collaborated with the Asian-American studies department to give educational talkbacks after the shows. And during my time at UCI, I had not seen as many Asian-American families in the audience as I had with this production.


This set consisted of a hexagon-shaped tatami matt and shoji screens directly in front of each corner of the matt. The matt has 5 walkways, representing the lives of each woman in this story. The shoji screens surrounding the matt helped the production play with the theme of ghosts being among us as actors walked behind the screens.

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