Lava is originally from Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii where she learned the art of Bunraku puppetry. She graduated with an MFA in acting from California Institute of the Arts and has been creating theatre in Portland for more than a decade. Credits include design and acting work for Portland Playhouse, defunkt theatre, Tears of Joy Theatre and Many Hats Collaboration, among others. Directing credits include Columbinus, Charlotte's Web and Locomotion for Oregon Children's Theatre, and staged readings for Profile Theatre and Playwrights West. She is an associate member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC).