Award-winning Director and Producer Shashin Desai to Receive Asian Heritage Award in Innovation
Shashin Desai, Founding Artistic Director of Long Beach’s International City Theater (ICT) and an award-winning director/producer with over 35 professional awards and nominations, is the recipient of the 2103 Asian Heritage Award in Innovation. Desai, along with 11 others in a variety of professions, will be honored during the Tenth Annual Gala Ceremony Sept. 14, 2013 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina, 333 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego.
As a theatre director, Desai has directed more than 175 productions covering a wide range of works, from international classics to world premiers to modern plays and musicals.
Shashin's interest in the Arts began at a very early age going regularly to stage shows and films with his parents. By the age of 13, he was participating on stage as an actor; and at the age of 18, he started his own theatre company, Kalpana Theatres. He was the youngest director hired by the Indian Government to direct radio plays on the ALL India Radio.
Success on the Stage and Radio led to further education at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England and at the University of Southern California. Shashin holds two Masters Degrees in Film and Theatre from USC.
Upon graduating, he immediately went into film working for Metro Mayer Goldwyn Studios and later Universal Studios. His love for education and theatre brought him back to USC to teach and in 1966 to Long Beach City College as the Professor of Theatre and Film.
From 1976 to 1991 he held the position of the Chairman of Performing Arts (Theatre, Film and Dance). During his tenure at LBCC, as artistic director/producer, he presided over the highly acclaimed Long Beach Summer Repertory Theatre for 24 years creating more than 72 productions. In early 1990's he worked for Walt Disney Productions as the Executive Director of the Professional Entertainment Program on the Queen Mary.
As the founding artistic director of International City Theatre, the Award-Winning Professional Regional Theatre, Shashin produced over 120 productions and ran the company in the black for 22 years out of 25 years. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Artist Award from Public Corporation for the Arts as well as a commendation from the County of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach.
On behalf of ICT, for the year 2000, he accepted the L.A.Drama Critics Circle's prestigious Margaret Harford Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatre. After ICT's Silver Jubilee Season, in March 2011, Shashin stepped down with the firm belief that "no organization if it is to survive should be completely identified with just one person. To leave a legacy, one has to step aside and let new ideas and new talent lead the organization."
In the last ten years, the Asian Heritage Society’s Asian Heritage Awards has become the premiere event of its kind for Southern California and has been called “the most festive and lavish social event for the Asian Pacific Islander community.” The event has been recognized by the U.S. Congress, the City and County of San Diego and twice cited for its public service by the San Diego Press Club, one of the largest organizations of its kind in the country.
Principal sponsors include SDG&E, the U.S. Navy and the Avery-Tsui Foundation.