Esther Chae

Adjunct Lecturer


Esther Chae is an award-winning actor, published playwright, Korea-Hollywood consultant and professor in acting. Her work has been covered by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter. Her life in Hollywood was the subject of a Korean Broadcasting Station (KBS) documentary.

Esther Chae’s acting roles include Soul (Pixar/Academy Award For Best Animation 2020), Over The Moon (Netflix), NCIS, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The West Wing, 24, The Shield, Guidance (Hulu) and numerous national commercials; her theatre credits include Yale Repertory Theater, La Mama, Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theater and Harvard/A.R.T.  

As a published playwright, Esther created and performed So the Arrow Flies, her internationally acclaimed solo performance about an alleged North Korean spy and the FBI agent who interrogates her. She has performed it around the world, on stages such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), Cherry Lane Theater (NYC), David Henry Hwang Theater (LA), October Nights Theater Festival (Italy) and Dongkuk Art Theater (Korea). The play is published by NoPassport Press (US) and Dong-In Publications (Korea).

Esther Chae is also an inaugural TED Fellow and has presented her talks at TED, TEDx, Arts Council of Korea, World Women’s Forum and numerous other conferences. As a speaker, her talks and performances are about Asian American representation (and the lack of it) in the media and arts. Her TEDx talk WBLIDD; What if Bruce Lee Didn’t Die is an enlightening conversation with 75-year-old Master Bruce Lee and can be viewed here.

Esther graduated from the Yale School of Drama (MFA in Acting), the University of Michigan (MA in Theater Studies) and Korea University. Learn more at, or on IMDb.


MFA in Acting, Yale School of Drama
MA in Theater Studies, Michigan University
Korea University