A (not so brief) Career History:

It all may have started when she skipped kindergarten... after school, Kwana accompanied her mother to dance classes, and entertained herelf (and the class!) to the instructor's dismay by singing nonsense songs and making funny faces. She soon followed in her mother's footsteps (pun intended!) and began studying ballet and modern. Her first acting role incorporated dance and song: at age six,she made her debut as the Godmother in a Spanish Language Ballet version of CINDERELLA.

 Kwana performed in school and local theatre productions in Cincinnati, and later in Philadelphia, Chicago and Cleveland. She continued with dance at Cleveland Ballet and Footpath, and studied voice at Cleveland Institute of Music. She was also a member of the Curtain Pullers Program at the Cleveland Playhouse  and attended the Carnegie-Mellon Summer Theatre Institue. It was during this period that she began to hone her versatility, portraying characters as divergent as Dolly in HELLO DOLLY and Hecuba in THE TROJAN WOMEN.

While an undergraduate at Vassar College, Kwana attended the prestigious British American Dramatic Academy in London for a semster, getting a chance to study the works of Shakespeare and other classics in greater depth and to see some amazing theatre on the West End. During her freshman year she was nominated for an Irene Ryan Acting Award for her role as the Storyteller in THE WHEEL;throughout college, she constantly performed in plays and musicals, most notably as Marie in WOYZECK and Marlene in TOP GIRLS.

Despite being in love (with New York) , Kwana decided to move to Boston to hone her skills in graduate school at Harvard's American Repertory Theatre where she appeared on the mainstage as a derranged figure from Parsifal in Susan Sontag's World Premeiere of ALICE IN BED, and as a corseted red haired Russian Knife Thrower in a stage adaptation of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. A first year performance led to the plum role of Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, which was Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Innaugural Production, played to over a thousand people a night under the stars on the Boston Common. Kwana returned to CSC the following summer after graduation to play Juliet in ROMEO AND JULIET, and few years later was asked back again to play Miranda opposite Will Lyman's Prospero in THE TEMPEST.

After graduating from Harvard and returning to New York, Kwana began to travel the country; her first booking was an eight month contract to play the virginal social-worker Delia in BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY at Milwaukee Repertory and Arizona Theatre Company. She went on to perform as Ilya in Douglas Carter Beane's AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN at The Alley Theatre in Houston, Amy in Stephen Belber's TAPE at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Pattie Mae in Sam-Art William's HOME at Hartford Theatre Works, and as the infamous Cockney actress Nell Gwynn in Jeffrey Hatcher's COMPLEAT FEMALE STAGE BEAUTY at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

While she was back in New York and in between regional gigs, Kwana worked on and performed a group based autobiographical project with Mabou Mines' Ruth Maleczech;  participated in numerous readings at  New Dramatists; played the title role in ANTIGONE for the third time, continued to study voice, and began taking film classes and working on camera in student films. Roles on film were fun challenges:an ER nurse in a German hospital, God. Onstage in NYC, she also continued to explore extremely diverse characters: as a suicidal alcoholic in the US Premiere of Carol Churchill's A MOUTHFUL OF BIRDS, as a Diana Ross channeling Eve in the original musical comedy FRESH OUT OF PARADISE, and  as a dying pregnant woman in Horton Foote's TOMORROW; as well as modern and classical charaters at theatre of diverse styles:as a tone best friend to Billie Holiday in Lady/Speak/Easy at La MaMa, and as the Countess Almaviva in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO for the critically acclaimed Target Margin Theatre

After dozens of close calls with shows shot in New York, Kwana decided to expand her options and try the West Coast. When she first arrived in LA, Kwana was unable to secure a day of temp work, but went on her first audition and booked Karana in THE ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS at Laguna Playhouse, followed by a series of comedy sketches at MBAR, and LILY PLANTS A GARDEN at the Mark Taper. Always keen to cultivate new dialects, Kwana has been priviledged to learn and perform an East Indian dialect for AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS at The Colony Theatre, a Japanese dialect for VALIANT at the Greenway Court,  a Vietnamese dialect and three different Boston dialects for WALKIN' THRU THE FIRE at The Hayworth Theatre  starring opposite of famed TRACERS'  playwright, John DiFusco, and most recently, 7 different dialects for String of Pearls at North Coast Rep.

Kwana  has shot several commercials here in LA and currently has a commercial running online for HBO; she has also  appeared in several short films and on network television, and continues to "tread the boards"!