Performer and writer Kalean Ung (she/her) is an award-winning multi- disciplinary theater artist whose professional career ranges from Shakespeare to experimental theater to contemporary opera and solo performance. She has performed at The Kirk Douglas Theatre, Disney Hall, REDCAT, The Getty Villa, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Boston Court Pasadena, The Hammer Museum, The Actor’s Gang, among others, collaborating with critically- acclaimed theater and opera companies including Critical Mass Performance Group, The Industry, The LA Philharmonic, Rogue Artists Ensemble, Independent Shakespeare Company, Four Larks Theatre (Ovation Award winner), and CalArts's Center for New Performance.
She is a company member with Independent Shakespeare Co. and can often be seen performing in the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. She was just awarded a lead acting award from Stage Raw for her work as Lady Macbeth. This year she premiered two pieces as a vocal soloist in Khmeraspora with the Long Beach Symphony. Kalean's voice acting can be heard as the lead in the English version of Denis Do's award-winning, animated feature about the Cambodian genocide, Funan, the Duplass Brothers Cinema Toast on Showtime, Playstation’s Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, among others. She also narrated the audiobook When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge by Chanrithy Him.
Her solo play Letters From Home (LFH) had its East Coast premiere at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in 2023 and was nominated for four Elliot Norton Awards including Outstanding Solo Play. LFH has had performances at Independent Shakespeare Company, UC San Diego, Cambodia Town Film Festival, Willamette University, LA Mission College, UC Irvine, as well as a four-camera live-stream adaptation that was workshopped at Boston Court Pasadena. In addition to these residences, she co-curated a companion exhibit called “Music, Letters, Home: An Exhibition Celebrating the Journey of Composer Chinary Ung and Actor Kalean Ung” at The Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center. LFH has received support from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, CalArts, and MAP Fund. Kalean was just awarded the competitive California Arts Council Established Artist Fellowship for her artistic work spanning the last ten years.
Kalean teaches the Barrantes Voice System in the CalArts School of Theater. She has also taught at California State University, Los Angeles and Northridge. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of California at Santa Cruz.