Broadway veterans Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez started a teen/tween mentoring group and class series called SAKACHEZ; the name is a combination of Sakakura and Sanchez representing Asian, Latin, African American cultures. Their group is all inclusive with a focus on the Asian American performing artists community because they are the only ethnic group not rising in numbers on Broadway.
SAKACHEZ students appearing in the photos: Audrey Bennett, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Gabby Beredo, Carlos Carreras, Michayla Catron, Sydney Chan, Lynn Masako Cheng, Ellis Gage, Carly Gendell, Spencer Jones, Christie Kim, Ellie Kim, Julia Rosenberg, Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez, Ian Saraceni, Josh Turchin, Phoebe Young.
The Sakachez Sunday class series is geared specifically for professional musical theater performers that are in transition from child performers to adults. Requirements to stay competitive rise quickly during a time when teen years are challenging, having to juggle many new responsibilities, pressures, and changes. Their self confidence is always tested and they need a constant balance of being pushed and reassured. Lainie and Alex created a class series to help support our young performers during this difficult time. Professional kids are smart and focused and able to learn at an accelerated rate. Laine teaches ballet technique in a very specific way to support theater jazz fundamentals. This way there is no wasted time, and technical problems are prevented that may become more apparent as they transition to adult performers.
Many do not talk to young performers about the emotional challenges of show business and how many times it’s the emotional exhaustion that causes us to retire, not the physical problems. Lainie and Alex believe community is key for support. After class, students are welcome to join them for lunch to ask questions and receive advice about their careers and concerns. The class is limited to only 11 students. They view their training methods as mentoring the whole performer not just teaching.They strive to help their students connect more deeply with their craft and their peers and community. For more information, email SAKACHEZ@msn.com.
FOSSE: “Who’s Got The Pain”
About Alex and Lainie
Alex Sanchez is a Puerto Rican, NYC based director and choreographer. Over 45 professional productions including: The Public, Playwrights Horizon, City Center Encores, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Goodman Theater, Chicago Shakespeare, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theater Festival and The Guthrie. Recipient of the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography. As a performer he has appeared in ten Broadway shows, five City Center Encores, countless regional productions, and soloist with Ballet Chicago, Ruth Page Ballet of Chicago, Festival Ballet, Southern Ballet Theater and Gus Giordano Jazz Ensemble. As an educator, he had headed the Oakland School of The Arts theater program and guest teacher/choreographer for Manhattan School of Music, SMU, NYU and all over the country and Japan. Alexsanc.com
Lainie Sakakura is a Japanese American writer, director, choreographer. Most recently directed and wrote CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET with music & lyrics by Paul Fujimoto. A musical adaptation of the NY Times best seller ‘Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet’ by Jamie Ford produced by 5th Avenue Theatre, Ann Ramsey-Jenkins, Abingdon Theatre Company at Theatre 71, NYC. Additional NYC directing credits includes work at Cherry Lane Theatre, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Summer Stage, Neighborhood Playhouse, and cabarets. Recipient of the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography and 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography. An advocate for multicultural education through the arts. Co-chair for the PS 87 Culture & Community Committee producing over 25 free multicultural performance events. Teaching artist 30 years including NYU New Studio on Broadway, Pace University, Jacob’s Pillow, ABT, Joffrey Ballet. Original casts of 6 Broadway shows including FOSSE (dance reconstruction, on-stage dance captain), 3 City Center Encores, Radio City Rockette, Ballet Hispanico, Met Opera. LainieSakakura.com
FOSSE: “Steam Heat”
A CHORUS LINE
An Afternoon of Pure Joy at Lainie Sakakura’s UWS DANCE
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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