True Nature of All Being Cast
MICHIKO MORIYA (Asuka Morinaga Derfler)
Asuka Morinaga Derfler is from Hiroshima, graduated from the Toho Gakuen drama department and was a member of the Haiyuza Theater Company in Tokyo. Japan credits include: Seagull (Nina) at Haiyuza Theater, Chidori (Chidori) at Kinokuniya Southern Theater, Ino Tadaka Story (Ino Shino) at the New National Theater in Tokyo and others as well as voice over works at NHK, movies, and Play Station games. She was trained at Herbert Berkoff Studio as a scholarship student from the Japanese Government. She has performed in plays, readings, at HERE, Flea Theater,[email protected] and others. Voice over work at FCI and USN. She is a teaching artist at Ping Chong + Company and has also been working to develop a theater education program between NYC and Japan.
HIROSHI MURASAKI & MONKEY TRAINER (Zak Ma)
Zak Ma is a New York based actor and physical theatre artist from Southern California. He believes in the healing power of art, and aims to erase the limitations from the culmination of societal, ancestral, and cultural dictations. Zak recently created, produced, and performed in his solo show, Ma: The Exodus, an exploration of his personal experience as a Asian American immigrant. He obtained his Master’s in Acting at The Actors Studio Drama School, and his Butoh training with RenGyoSoh Butoh theatre company, where he officially became a core member since 2020. Recent performances include Ikigai (Hollywood Fringe Encore Producers’ Award), EN:2021, Ma on the Edge, and Watch Me (An Original Play by Kervigo Ensemble). zak-ma.com
FUMIKO MURASAKI (Samantha Shen)
Raised in the Bay Area of California, Samantha was heavily involved in theater and music ministry. Her love for the arts continued to grow, so she moved to Los Angeles to earn her BA in Ethnomusicology at UCLA. Now, she resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she has found a balance between her life and her life’s work. Samantha shares her love of storytelling and music through releasing original songs as well as playing characters that portray minority stories, uplifting the voices that have been silenced for far too long.
HANA MORIYA (Shoko Rice )
Shoko Rice was born and raised in Niigata, Japan. She moved to the states by herself without speaking English in 2006. She has been living in Los Angeles since, now it’s her second home. She has worked on many films and TV shows in Hollywood over a decade. Her recent film credits include her leading feature film “Call Me Emanuelle” “A Wiseguy Christmas” ”The Awakening of Emanuelle” “Kill Plan”. She proved that an immigrant with English as their second language could lead in a Hollywood film. True Nature Of All Being is her theater debut production. She is also a singer and painter, she puts so much passion into each of her works. [email protected]
TERU MORIYA (Koji Ono)
Koji Ono is originally from Japan and has been performing as a professional actor for 11 years in Shiki Theatre Company which is the most famous theatre company in Japan. Koji has performed with such shows as A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Aida, Lion King, Evita and so many other shows. He is so excited to join this amazing project “True Nature of All Being”!
AUNT YOSHIKO (Julie Rhee )
Julie Rhee is a writer, director and actress from NYC. Her one-act plays including Mother’s Day, Blind Date, have been presented and she has also directed short plays in NYC play festivals. As an actress, she has played “Lauren” in Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker, and “Juror #8” in Twelve Angry Jurors by Reginald Rose. She also enjoys stand up comedy, and has competed at the She-Devil Comedy Fest in NYC along with forty-seven women comedians selected across the country.
AUNT YUIKO (Junko Nishiguchi Cheng)
Junko Nishiguchi Cheng was raised in Osaka, New York, and Southern California where she now resides with her husband of 34 years and their two grown children. After 30+ years as an international recording artist, she switched to acting in 2018 when she was cast as the “lipstick lady” in Taylor Swift’s music video Delicate. She has since appeared in several films, commercials, and TV shows, and she is excited to be cast in her first stage production since her musical theater days in college. Junko and David are looking forward to their upcoming trip to Aruba which she won on Wheel of Fortune. IG and Twitter @junkocheng