Dmae Lo Roberts has the distinction of working with every member of the talented Gil-Kashiwabara family. She worked with John Kashiwabara as a scenic designer for three shows she’s directed including “Where The Mountain Meets The Moon” at Oregon Children’s Theater in which his daughter Lulu Kashiwabara, 19, was an actor. Last year she finished a project for MediaRites with Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara who was the mental health consultant and co-editor of The -Ism Youth Files book and podcast project in which Mila Kashiwabara, 13 was featured as one of the youth writers and podcast host.

Lulu just returned from her first at Montclair State University in New Jersey where she majored in theater. Mila just finished an impressive run in a principal and endearing role in “Borderline” at Milagro Theatre and is now reprising her youth role in the exuberant and heartwarming production of “Matilda” at Portland Playhouse running until June 30th. And John is now working with Dmae as set designer for the touring production of “Shizue: An American Story” for which she wrote the libretto and is directing for Portland Opera.

Both parents work full-time outside of theater. John works as an architect and public art designer at rhiza A+D Architecture and Eleanor (Dr. Gil-Kashiwabara, PsyD) founded Luminosa Psychological Services, a consulting and training organization for multicultural/cross-cultural therapy. She became later in life largely because of her daughters.

In this “living room” edition of Stage & Studio visited with the Kashiwabaras to talk about what it’s like to be a theater family. You’ll also hear a praise for Portland’s two professional youth theaters, the Northwest Children’s Theater and Oregon Children’s Theatre. The family credits both organizations for training Lulu and Mila but also a tributes the late Stan Foote for his role in giving the family theater opportunities and mentorship. Read the ArtsWatch’s Bob Hick’s tribute to Stan Foote. Plus a shoutout for OCT’s current fundraiser.

(Photo by Ela Roman of youth in “Matilda” at Portland Playhouse: L-R: Henry Tullis, Finley Wright, Jake Fung, Madeline Cromer, Nia Scott, Mila Kashiwabara, Chenoa Johnson & Claire Rigsby. Show runs until June 30th. Tickets at