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  • Writer's pictureMolly Adea

Opening Night

Tonight I am filled with pride and elation to be a Filipino performer gracing the stage in the co-world premier of How to Defend Yourself by Lily Padilla, directed by Marti Lyons for the 43rd Humana Festival with Actors Theatre of Louisville. I feel extremely honored to be a part of this beautiful work.

On the plane ride from San Diego to Louisville I couldn't help but cry from how happy/excited/scared I was to embark on this venture. This dream of mine is now starting to solidify in front of me. My dream is now turning into reality. I always hoped to be able to be in a work as powerful as How to Defend Yourself and now being here, I feel so lucky and thankful to be where I am right now. I am young and yes I know I have a long ways to go but tonight is one very big step for myself in my career. Five years ago, I started to pursue acting and tonight I am going to perform in my first professional production in a work that is very important to me.

How to Defend Yourself is an important story that needs to exist. Every character is relatable and everyone's journey will touch you in ways you might not be able to handle. And that is okay. We all have our own stories, our own struggles that we don't want the world to know or worse the world ignores. This play does not ignore you and your experiences. Thank you Lily Padilla.

Thank you UCSD and all of the wonderful, talented individuals I have met through the program and an especially deep thank you to Justin David Sullivan, Clarissa Xue, my family, DeLeon Dallas, Jennifer Chang, Todd Salovey, Marti Lyons, Kim Rubinstein, Emily Tarquin, Karyn Overstreet and Lily Padilla. I would not be here without you. I am so grateful for every opportunity you have given me and all of the love and support. Thank you for letting this Filipina girl live her dreams. Happy Opening How to Defend Yourself.


Diana - Gabriela Ortega

Mojdeh - Ariana Mahallati

Brandi - Anna Crivelli

Kara - Abby Leigh Huffstetler

Nikki - Molly Adea

Andy - David Ball

Eggo - Jonathan Moises Olivares

Susannah - Phoenix Gilmore


Director - Marti Lyons

Playwright - Lily Padilla

Scenic Designer - Kimie Nishikawa

Costume Designer - Dina Abd El-Aziz

Lighting Designer - Heather Gilbert

Sound Designer - Luqman Brown

Movement Director - Stephanie Paul

Fight Director - Drew Facher

Stage Manager - Jan Hubert

Dramaturg - Jessica Reese

Casting - Emily Tarquin


Dialect Coach - Rachel Hillmer

Associate Scenic Designer - Kelvin Pater

Properties Master - Heather Lindert

Production Assistant - Margaret Rial

Assistant to the Director - Lex Turner

Assistant Dramaturg - Alonna Ray

Directing Assistant - Emily Moler

Stage Management Apprentice - Em Hornbeck

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