Suzen Murakoshi, born in ‘Aiea, Hawaii, received an MFA from the Actors Studio New School for Drama, NYC, in Playwriting and Acting. Her theatrical journey has led her from dance to acting, to playwriting and presently physical comedy/clowning. Ms. Murakoshi is the Artistic Director of the Physical HI Comedy Theatre Festival in Honolulu. Her latest work, Hā Hā Hawai`i, features the work of the ‘Aiea Ali`i Asian American Amateur Acting Association (AAAAAAA), of which she plays the President. Hā Hā Hawai`i explores the history of comedy in Hawai’i from the beginning of time through the present.
As a playwright, Suzen is now working with at-risk teens at the Honolulu Detention Center. She has collaborated with Obie-Award winner Ching Valdes-Aran (HOME). Including Ms. Aran, Suzen’s other mentors are Willie Reale (Dreamgirls), the late Romulus Linney (Sorrows of Frederick), the late Milan Stitt (The Runner Stumbles) and the late poet Felix Dennis (I Just Stepped Out). BREATHE, LOVE, REPEAT, Suzen’s solo play, was produced at the United Solo Theatre Festival, off-Broadway in NYC, the Frigid Festival at Under St. Marks, NYC, in ‘Aiea, HI, and in Edmonton and Calgary, Canada. She received critical acclaim for BREATHE, LOVE, REPEAT, which “tackles death without turning dark” (****1/2 stars, Calgary Herald).
Her play, SLIPPERY WHEN WET (SWW) was also given full productions off-Broadway at La Mama, Experimental Theatre Company in NYC, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and at the Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, MN. SWW was also given a reading at the NY Theatre Workshop, off-Broadway, featuring Michael Potts (The Prom, The Musical) and Olivia Oguma (Mama Mia).
Other produced plays include SISTERS at Circle in the Square Downtown, NYC. Her short play, DUNNO, GOTTA GO was accepted and given a reading at the Edward Albee Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, 2004.
As an accomplished performer, Ms. Murakoshi has been seen on Broadway stages, off-Broadway, in Europe, Canada and in American regional productions. Some of her roles have included “Juliet” in Romeo and Juliet at the Cleveland Playhouse and “Connie” in A Chorus Line on Broadway. She was nominated for an ‘Acting Excellence” award for her role as “Helen” in SWW at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Suzen has also appeared in films and television. Most recently, she played "Mrs. Franks" in Magnum, PI.
Ms. Murakoshi work with the 52nd Street Project in New York City has influenced her greatly. With the 52nd Project, she worked for many years as a writer, actor, dramaturg and director with kids from the Hells’ Kitchen Projects and Oscar winning actors. While there, she co-wrote short plays with 'Genius Award’ fellow, Willie Reale, as well as having been directed as an actor by Oscar winner Frances McDormand.
In 2007, Ms. Murakoshi was awarded with a Mayoral Proclamation from Michael Bloomburg and the City of New York for her work with the Kids Project where she was the Artistic Director. The Kids Project performs free shows for the NYC area with a target audience of 10,000 children and adults annually.
Suzen presently spends her time between her home in ‘Aiea, Hawaii and New York City.