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Vanessa Kai Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (6)

Overview (2)

Birth NameVanessa Kwong
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

An actor, collaborator, and native New Yorker, Vanessa Kai was born Vanessa Kwong. After her parents divorced, Kai legally changed her name to combine the surnames of both her parents: (K)wong & Ng(ai).

Kai studied acting at New York City's LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, also known as the "FAME" school. She is also a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she concentrated her studies in Sociobiology and Psychology.

Most recently, Kai was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in KPOP, a new immersive musical sensation produced by Ars Nova (Broadway's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) in association with Ma-Yi Theater + Woodshed Collective. Book by Jason Kim (HBO's Girls). Music & Lyrics by Helen Park & Max Vernon. Directed by Teddy Bergman. Other Off Broadway credits include The Architecture of Becoming at Women's Project Theater, Somebody's Daughter by Chisa Hutchinson, in an extended run at Second Stage Theater, and Henry VI (Parts 1-3) by William Shakespeare (a NYT Critics' Pick) with the National Asian American Theater Company.

Regional theater credits include Top Girls by Caryl Churchill. Directed by TONY Award Nominee, Liesl Tommy (Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, Dolly Parton's Heartstrings (2019), Respect (2020), and Insecure (2016)). Other regional theater credits include Brownsville Song (B-side for Tray), Far East (Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Debut by the Connecticut Critics Circle), Infinite Ache by David Schulner, and The Christians by Lucas Hnath.

In addition to her theater, television and film work, Kai has also helped develop new works at the The New Group, Lark Play Development Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New Dramatists, and others.

Upcoming, Kai will be performing with Halley Feiffer & Hamish Linklater in The Pain Of My Belligerence written by Halley Feiffer at Playwrights Horizons. Directed by Trip Cullman (Broadway's Choir Boy (MTC), Lobby Hero (TONY Award Nominated for Best Revival) (Second Stage), Significant Other (Roundabout Theatre).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trivia (6)

Was honored with the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Debut by the Connecticut Critics Circle for her performance in A.R. Gurney's 'Far East' as The Reader.
Attended Manhattan's Fiorello La Guardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. Also known as the "FAME" School.
Was accepted to La Guardia High School for both Drama and Vocal.
Has bungee jumped off of New York City's Manhattan Bridge three times [2004].
Legally changed her name after her parents divorced. 'Kai' comes from 'K'wong and Ngai (Ng'ai'), the last two letters of her mother's maiden name.
Graduated from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Sociobiology and Psychology.

See also

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