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hells canyon

Hells Canyon

by Keiko Green '22

directed by Professor Vanessa Stalling


Performance Dates

Preview: May 3 @ 7:00pm
Showings: May 5-6 & 12-14 @ 7:30pm


a woman's face peeks out from a forest

    Click image to view full digital program


Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre



Visit our ticketing page to purchase tickets. We hope you enjoy the performance, and encourage you to explore other titles in the Wagner New Play Festival! You can receive a 25% discount on additional festival shows using promo code WNPF after your first purchase.

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The Company

Click the names and photos below to view performers' resumes or websites.


The Cast


Sabrina Liu MFA '24


Spencer Hunsicker MFA '23


Noah Keyishian MFA '23


Abby Huffstetler MFA '23


Josiah Rey Cajudo MFA '24

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Claire (understudy)

Miriam Edwards


The Creative Team


Professor Vanessa Stalling


Keiko Green MFA '22


Production Stage Manager

Karina Ortega MFA '24


Scenic Designer

Michael Wogulis MFA '23

Costume Designer

Grace Wong, undergraduate


Lighting Designer

Bryan Ealey MFA '23

Sound Designer

Salvador C. Zamora MFA '23


Intimacy/Fight Director

Rachel Lee Flesher

Assistant Director

Mary Liu, undergraduate


Asst. Director / Special FX

Sabina Fritz, undergraduate

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Stage Manager

Haley Baugher, undergraduate 

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Stage Manager

Yulin "Lisa" Fang, undergraduate 

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Stage Manager

Joseff Paz, undergraduate 

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Costume Designer

Ty Nii, undergraduate

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Lighting Designer

Benjamin Diaz, undergraduate

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Lighting Designer

Stephaney Knapp, undergraduate

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Scenic Designer

Russel Chow, undergraduate

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Asst. Sound Designer

Cristin Huffman, undergraduate


Writer in Training

Emmalias, undergraduate

a woman's face peeks out from a forest

Production Assistant

Kali Boston, undergraduate






About the Play

A seven-month pregnant Ariel Wong arrives at a cabin, nestled deep in the Eastern Oregon mountain range for a weekend away with a group of friends. As hidden resentments surface and tensions rise, the gang turns their attention to an unseen force outside, attempting to break through the front door. In this horror-thriller, Ariel must come to terms with a long history of conflicts, big and small, before they manifest into an unstoppable darkness.


Content Warnings

Racially motivated violence against people of Asian descent; issues with pregnancy; atmospheric effects - haze and flashes of light


Director's Statement 

Hells Canyon is a horror film for the stage. It will make you laugh, cry, scream, and most importantly, think. The characters in the play are haunted by a heinous moment of racial violence against people of Chinese descent, the Hells Canyon Massacre. As violence ultimately stems from fear, it makes sense that each character is grappling, in one way or another, with their own personal fears. And in this world, the longer violent histories are unaddressed and covered over, the more they fester and infect us all - earth, plant, animals, and people.


About the WNPF

This show is part of the Wagner New Play Festival, an annual festival of new works by MFA playwrights, in collaboration with MFA/PhD directors, actors, designers, stage managers, and dramaturges. 


About the Playwright

Keiko Green is a playwright, performer, and second year MFA Playwriting student at UC San Diego. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia to a bilingual household (Japanese and English). She received her BFA from NYU's Tisch School with a focus on Experimental Theatre. Keiko lived in Seattle for six years, where she is a Core Company Member at ACT Theatre and a former member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre's Writers' Group. In 2017, her play "Nadeshiko" won the Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play, as well as landing on the Honorable Mentions for the national Kilroys List. At Annex Theatre, she wrote the book and lyrics for the musical “Bunnies," as well as the Comic Con show "Puny Humans," co-written with Bret Fetzer. Her plays have been developed with support from the Kennedy Center, National New Play Network, ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Playwrights Realm. She was a finalist for both the Many Voices and Jerome Fellowships at the Playwrights Center. As an actor, Keiko has performed at the Denver Center of Performing Arts, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, and the National Asian American Theatre Company among others. Keiko's original work focuses on marginalized voices, specifically spinning narratives to centralize characters that are usually plot devices.


About the Director

Vanessa Stalling is an Associate Professor of Directing at UC San Diego and a professional theatre director. She received her M.F.A. from Illinois State University where she was a recipient of an Outstanding University Teacher Award and an Impact Award. She was the Associate Artistic Director of Redmoon Theater in Chicago, the 2016 Michael Maggio Fellow at The Goodman Theatre, has been listed on the “Players” list of The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago, is a 2019 honored finalist of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition Collaboration Award, and is a former company member of The House Theater of Chicago. She is also known for directing United Flight 232 which she adapted from Laurence Gonzales’ Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival. The production received six Jeff Award nominations, winning for Best Production Midsize and for Best Ensemble.

For ten years, Vanessa was a primary artist at Redmoon Theatre, an internationally recognized maker of large-scale outdoor spectacles. While at Redmoon, she developed all original works of theater as an actor, director, and ultimately as Associate Artistic Director. Memorable experiences at Redmoon include directing Mickle Maher’s The Cabinet, which toured Brazil as part of the FILO Festival, and directing ephemeral performances for President Obama’s initial Halloween Celebration at the White House. Professor Stalling has held teaching positions at Roosevelt University, Columbia College, and the University of Chicago. At UC San Diego, she will advise and instruct graduate directing and acting students, teach undergraduate directing courses, and direct productions.