In Other People’s Shoes Productions reimagines the way children and young people experience storytelling.
We want to lift up and highlight stories of diverse communities, so that all children are able to experience the richness of not only their own culture, but of cultures different from their own. We envision a world where every member of our community is safe from racism and discrimination, and has equitable opportunities to thrive.
We partner with writers and imaginative creative artists in order to bring each story to life in whatever ways and forms are best suited for each individual story.
Our goal is that eventually all of the stories will be presented live, but we’re excited to explore different mediums and forms of storytelling. We’re especially dedicated to finding or commissioning narratives that are currently underrepresented in Theatre for Young Audiences.
By sharing these stories, whether in a park, school playground, parking lot, indoor theatre, or digitally in audio, video or in book form, we want to contribute to a world where young people know that everyone is valued for who they are.
Mireya (Murry) Hepner was born in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. when she was four years old. She believes deeply in creating theatre that encourages empathy and that opens young minds to new possibilities. Her career over the past 35+ years includes work on Broadway, Off Broadway, in Regional Theatre, and on tour, working on diverse projects in various artistic, production and management capacities. As Artistic Producer of Rancho Cucamonga’s MainStreet Theatre Company, she curated and collaborated on 40 innovative shows geared specifically for children and family audiences. She serves on the board of TYA/USA, the national service organization for Theatre for Young Audiences.
Robert Castro is a theatre director who directs classics, new works and opera across the U.S. and internationally. He is dedicated to making work that is aesthetically challenging, culturally relevant and filled with deep moral energy. As a Citizen, Artist and Educator, Robert is committed to Art as Moral and Social Action.
Janet Greaves is a British actor living in California. She has worked extensively in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences for thirty years, as both a performer and director. A passionate advocate for young people, Janet is a licensed resource parent for the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.
Deborah Wicks La Puma is a multi-award winning composer and one of the most produced Theatre for Young Audiences artists in the country. She is a proud Mexican-American, "Navy brat", and member of TYA/USA and the Dramatists Guild. A mother to three daughters and Mimi the cat, she lives in Southern California with her loving husband/attorney/PR agent.
Jully Lee is the Artistic Director of COLD TOFU, a non-profit arts organization, and the nation’s first and longest running Asian American improv troupe. Jully is also a proud member of a number of other theatre organizations that focus primarily on promoting diversity and representation including We Tell Stories, Hero Theater and PlaygroundLA. .
Akeime Mitterlehner is a set and prop designer, teaching artist, dialogue facilitator, and design mentor who has been working in Los Angeles theatre and film/tv production for 30 years. She is transitioning to classroom teaching and is committed to quality art making for people of all ages, and believes deeply in the power of theatre to create change. She and her husband of 15 years met on a show and are currently raising a teenage theatre nerdling, along with too many dogs and cats
Katharine Davis Reich is a Los Angeles–based writer and communicator whose mission is to help people connect with our natural world and with ways to act on climate change. She grew up in rural Vermont, where community theatre and youth playwriting programs played a key role in her survival of teenagerhood. She holds a Master's in environmental education from New York University.
Mireya "Murry" Hepner served as Artistic Producer of MainStreet Theatre Company, a theatre company for young audiences, for 14 years. In May of 2020, her position became a casualty of the Coronavirus pandemic. Knowing this work was vital, and not being ready to give up on it, Murry began exploring ways to continue serving the children of Southern California.
She connected and consulted with Kiyomi Emi, an old friend and colleague with whom she had worked with at Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group. They had many conversations about how the pandemic was causing the theatre community to re-think what is possible. Attempting to discover what that could mean in the world of theatre for young people led to the birth of of IN OTHER PEOPLE’S SHOES Productions.
We believe deeply in treating our team and our collaborators as people first, and artists second. In our governance and in our artistic practice, we lead with love and empathy. This also means that we’re slowing down and making time for conversation, letting some things happen organically. We question past assumptions, and are excited to discover what comes next.
Kiyomi Emi, Tyrone Davis, Patricia Garza, Howard Ho, Tara Nitz, Michael Solomon