Alan Muraoka was born in Mission Hills, California in 1962. His first experience as a performer came at the age of ten in an elementary school production, where he appeared as "The Candy Man." He continued to perform in school productions through high school. It was also high school that provided Muraoka with his first experience as a director- a highly praised production of Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf.
In 1980 he was accepted into the Theatre Department of UCLA, where he studied musical theatre. During this time UCLA presented Muraoka with the Carol Burnett Musical Theatre Award for performance. While at college, he also gained experience as a performer in various Walt Disney World productions, during sabbaticals and summer breaks.
After receiving his B.A. in Theatre Arts from UCLA in 1985, Muraoka spent time as a performer on Princess Cruises. He worked for the company for a year and a half before receiving his first Broadway credit, performing six roles in the short-lived production of Mail. After Mail opened (and closed, after one month) in 1988, Muraoka remained in New York.
For the next ten years, Muraoka continued to act in theatrical productions, both on Broadway and in regional and touring productions. Most notably, he was a member of the original cast of Shogun, The Musical on Broadway and had a long run in the lead role of "The Engineer" in Miss Saigon. He also appeared in the 1996 revival of The King and I, with Jenna Ushkowitz and Lou Diamond Phillips.
After auditioning several times through 1997, Muraoka joined the cast of Sesame Street in 1998. He plays "Alan," the new owner of Hooper's Store. He has continued to appear as Alan through the 2006 season. While appearing in Sesame Street, Muraoka has continued to perform in theater, most recently earning good reviews in the 2004 Broadway revival of Pacific Overtures.
Muraoka also has continued to direct. He was highly praised by the New York Times for his direction of a non-traditional (all-Asian) version of Falsettoland for the National Asian American Theater Company in 1998. In 2004 he directed veteran Sesame Street puppeteers John Tartaglia, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, and Jennifer Barnhart in Empty Handed and John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty. He also directed Ann Harada (star of Avenue Q) in her own one-woman show.
Alan Muraoka is active with many Asian American organizations. In 2004 he was honored with the Inspiration Award from APEX, a mentoring organization in New York City. He regularly maintains and updates his website, Alanmuraoka.net
Performed in the play "My Favorite Year" at Lincoln Center in 1992
Performed on Broadway in "The King and I" (as the Interpreter) with Marie Osmond as Anna in 1996
Was recently seen on the hit cable show "Louie" on F/X in the segment "Ellie" which aired on August 18, 2011
- Sesame Street was not the first time Muraoka worked with Sesame Workshop. He appeared as a stereotypical Japanese chef on a man's TV as he prepares popovers in a Square One TV segment about measuring.
- Muraoka made his directorial debut on Sesame Street, directing a yoga class film that appeared in Episode 4180. Muroka also choreographed the Sesame Street float performance in the 2001, 2013 and 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.