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This We'll Defend

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San Diego playwright Anita Yellin Simons shares her premier work, This We'll Defend, about the epidemic of Military Sexual Trauma


An estimated 1 in 4 female veterans and 1 in 100 male veterans in the VA healthcare system report experiencing MST. The repercussions of these crimes affect not only the survivor, but the family, peers and the moral of those with whom you serve. In This We'll Defend, Anita Yellin Simons' premiere production, we watch these repercussions unfold in cinematic time as she draws attention to some of our military's most prevalent issues.



Melissa Malloy


Melissa was the Resident Director for American History Theater.  Some shows she has mounted for AHT are Texas In Paris, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Belle of Amherst. Melissa has also been seen onstage around San Diego, most recently in Clybourne Park for Trinity Theatre. Some of her favorite roles are in The Odd Couple (AHT), Trojan Women (The Vex), The Vagina Monologues (Stone Soup), Dancing at Lughnasa (CMC), and Help Desk (Breeders). Before moving to San Diego, Melissa acted in San Antonio, Seattle, and the Western Slope of Colorado. She would like to thank her family and close friends for supporting her in following her dreams.



Angelynne Pawaan

Angelynne Pawaan (she/her) is a Filipina American actor, director, and content creator dedicated to works that activate communities and amplifies the womxn experience. She is a graduate from UCSD with degrees in Cognitive Science and Theatre and is the recipient of the 2020 Wagner Award. Her previous acting credits include Her Story, Good Trouble, Pippin, Sonnets for an Old Century, and more.

Claudette Santiago

Claudette is a native of San Diego and has acted locally for over ten years. She would like to thank Melissa and Anita for the opportunity to work with American History Theater and the cast and crew of This We'll Defend. She would also like to thank you, yes you, for watching live theatre.

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Shaun Lim

Shaun is a San Diego-based theatre maker who is grateful to be collaborating with American History Theatre for the first time to help tell this poignant and relevant story. Select credits include The World Goes ‘Round (Coronado Playhouse), Miss You Like Hell (Patio Playhouse), Clybourne Park (u/s, Trinity Theatre Company), She Kills Monsters (Breakthrough Workshop Theatre), Dog Sees God (OB Playhouse), Kindertransport (Zurich ZEST), An Iliad and Oleanna (Yale-NUS). Countless thanks to Melissa and the cast, as well as the AHT team for the fab rehearsal process. Forever grateful to family, friends, mentors and the cat for their constant love and encouragement. 

Maya Singh Sharkey

Maya is thrilled to be making her San Diego Theater debut in This We'll Defend. She recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Neuroscience and Theatre Arts and Studies. Her favorite credits include The Curious Savage (Ethel Savage), Cabaret (Fraulein Schneider), The Laramie Project (Various), Pippin (Berthe), Spring Awakening (Martha), and Rumors (Claire). She hopes that you enjoy the show and that this work serves to honor the individuals that have experienced MST. 

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Michele Dixon

Michele is delighted to be making her debut with AHT and is excited to bring This We’ll Defend to San Diego audiences. She has been in the previous shows: Freaky Friday – The Musical, Mamma Mia, Don’t Meet Your Heroes, The Covenant of Pleasure, Walter Cronkite Is Dead, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, Fefu and Her Friends, Making God Laugh, Women in Jeopardy, Good People, Falstaff, The Magic Flute, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Threepenny Opera, A Little Night Music, Brigadoon, Guys & Dolls, and Fiddler On The Roof. She has also been in a few short films. 

Camelina Cedillo

Camelina is honored to be making her acting debut with the American History Theater’s This We’ll Defend. She is a full-time student at Grossmont College where she is set to receive an Associates in Theater Arts. She would like to thank her friends and family for their continual support in her passion for theatre performance. 

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