The Writers

Jade Wu

Jade is veteran actor, writer, director. She received awards from Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship, Jerome Foundation, Film/Video Arts, Ms. Foundation. She was BlueCat Screenplay Semi-finalist, a PEN USA Rosenthal Emerging Voices Writing Fellowship Finalist. Her plays have had selected readings at the Santa Clara Experimental Festival, Nuyorican Poets Cafe Emerging Playwrights Series and Urban Stages Emerging Playwrights Series. She is a published financial journalist and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. She currently has three original television series in development.

In acting, Jade plays lead in Sundance/Humanitas pedigree films and currently recurs on three network primetime series. She has workshopped plays by Alexa Jung, Mia Chung, Susan Soon He Stanton, Leah Nanako Winkler, Teresa Huang, Mashuq Deen, Play On Shakespeare, EST, The Old Globe, New Dramatists, NYTW, NYS&F and Page 73/Yale. Upcoming are SNAKEHEAD, “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens” and “DMZ.”

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, a PWC Core Writer, and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Winner. His full-length plays include The Empty Place (NYU commission), Flood, The Betterment Society (published by Methuen Books), The Shaking Earth, and Draw the Circle (productions: PlayMakers Rep, Mosaic Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; published: Dramatists Play Service; winner Lambda Literary Award). Deen’s work has been presented/developed/supported by a number of institutions including Sundance Institute at Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, The Public Theater, NYTW, MacDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation & Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation, Target Margin Theatre, Keen Company, New Harmony Project, Phoenix Theatre, Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, InterAct Theatre, Page73, Ma-Yi, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and Queens Theatre in the Park. He is a member of the NYTW Usual Suspects, Ma-Yi Writers Lab, founding member of the Public Theater Alumni Writers Group, and the Dramatists Guild. He is represented by the Gurman Agency.

Max Yu

Max Yu is a Chinese-American writer and performer from the San Francisco Bay Area who is now based in Shanghai. He has been featured in the New York Times for winning the 2019 Relentless Award for his play, Nightwatch. He is a member of Page 73’s 2021-22 Interstate 73 Writers Group. His plays have been workshopped and developed at Horizon Theater and Shaking the Tree Theater. His poetry and prose have been published in Spittoon and Babel. He studied playwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles. Learn more at his website,

Ren Dara Santiago

Ren Dara Santiago is a Fili-Rican nurturer and storyteller from Harlem. Plays: All the Time, I’ll Write You Down in Brick & Mortar, The Siblings Play, Something in the Balete Tree, SUBLIMINAL. Shorts: Building Models, Hard as You Can, Heard You, In the Shit, Love & Animation, Someone’s Family, Where We At. Theaters: Clubbed Thumb, En Garde Arts, The Lark, MCC, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Rising Phoenix Rep, SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Theatre Co. Radio: MTA Radio Plays, creator and curator. Upcoming: SEE YOU IN YOUR NIGHTMARES premieres Summer 2021 on iHeartRadio, Head Writer. AIN’T IT THOUGH, feature-length indie anthology, co-writer/producer.

Philip Kan Gotanda

Philip Kan Gotanda has created one of the largest canon of Asian American-themed works and is instrumental in bringing stories of Asians in the U.S. to mainstream American theater as well as to Europe and Asia. Mr. Gotanda holds a law degree from Hastings College of Law and studied pottery in Japan with the late Hiroshi Seto. Mr. Gotanda is a respected independent filmmaker. His 3 films: Life Tastes Good, Drinking Tea, The Kiss, all have presented at the Sundance Film Festival. A CD of Mr. Gotanda performing his original songs in a 1980 concert with violinist DH Hwang is available at Mr. Gotanda is a professor and vice chair with the Department of Theater Dance and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. Mr. Gotanda’s newest work is the libretto for the opera-play, BOTH EYES OPEN, in collaboration with New York based composer, Max Duykers.

Shinji Eshima (Composer)

Shinji Eshima, born in Berkeley, is a double-bassist in San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Opera orchestras. He is a graduate of Stanford University and The Juilliard School.

In 2011, SF Ballet commissioned him to compose the score for Yuri Possokhov’s RAkU. The ballet has been performed by the Company and ballet companies around the globe, and the score was recorded by the SF Ballet Orchestra and released the following year. Swimmer was his second ballet collaboration with Yuri Possokhov, also commissioned by SF Ballet. A CD recording is due to be released in 2021

In 2019, Carolina Ballet set his Bariolage (for double-bass and cello), choreographed by Robert Weiss and Zalman Grinberg . This led to a commission by that company for a full-length Snow White ballet set to premiere in 2022. His most recent major commission is Zheng, a new opera about the late mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao.

He has served on faculty at San Francisco State University, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

He was the recipient of the Stanford Humanities Award and was honored by the city of Berkeley with a declaration on December 6, 2011, “Shinji Eshima Day,” for his contributions to the arts.