Meet the crew that’s bringing theatre to your laptop.
Albert Zi Wen Cheng is a San Francisco transplant, and he has been living in Pittsburgh since 2013. Using the engineering degrees that he earned from Berkeley and UIUC, Albert works at Siemens in New Kensington as an engineer and a Digitalization portfolio developer for customer service. Albert loves building organizations and companies. Besides Hashtag Immerse, Albert also volunteers as the president of Engineers without Borders Pittsburgh Professional Chapter, consults for local non-profits through the Full Circle program from Social Venture Partners, and sits on the board for the local startup non-profit Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE). You can follow him on Twitter at @Alzcheng or find him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/albertzcheng/
Paige Borak is a New York transplant, where she received her Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Theatre from Stony Brook University in 2016. She has received training from the 13th Street Repertory Company and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She has won awards in Long Island in various branches of theatre (the Alan Alda Award for playwriting, the Peter J. Rojkowski Award for theatrical production, etc.) where she also served as the Artistic Director for Pocket Theatre Company. Her art tends to focus on audience agency, the video gameification of theatre, and immersion. Paige now works as a Theatrical Electrics and Lighting Design teacher at CAPA 6-12, and she has started becoming involved with local theatre companies such as Little Lake, Throughline, Ghostlight, and PICT.
Paige and Albert were both called to work on a little improvisation project to celebrate Pittsburgh’s bicentennial in the summer of 2016. They got to talking and batting around ideas about other ways that they could fiddle with theatre to reflect the modern millennial. Paige, who is very much used to coming up with ideas that never come to fruition, was absolutely ecstatic when Al said that he could apply his knowledge of start ups to a theatre company that could focus on and play with the exact kind of things we’d been talking about. They’ve been working ever since, and thus, Hashtag Immerse was born.