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Press Release: Coleman ’72


Funny and touching story part of the 25th Pacific Playwrights Festival

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Mar. 29, 2023)—A cross-country journey that covers much more than miles takes the stage next as South Coast Repertory (Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) present Coleman ’72 by Charlie Oh. Directed by Chay Yew, the world premiere production runs April 23-May 14 on the Julianne Argyros Stage as part of the 25th Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF).

Coleman ’72 wraps up the 2022-23 Julianne Argyros Stage season. It is Oh’s first production at SCR and tickets are available at

Coleman ’72 takes you back to the summer of 1972 through the eyes of three Korean American siblings: Jenn, Michelle and Joey, who pile into the family Buick for an All-American road trip—spontaneously orchestrated by their father. From Milwaukee to Los Angeles and back again, they hit the open plains, stocked with kimchi, banchan and lemon drops, rickety Coleman camper in tow. But Korean parents and American kids hold conflicting ideas of what they’re looking for and the real purpose of their journey comes to light.

“I’m beyond excited to share the world premiere of Charlie Oh’s beautiful and complex story about his Korean American family. Charlie is an exceptional writer, a terrific human and we are honored to support his work with this production,” Ivers said.

A recent graduate of The Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, Oh started writing Coleman ’72 sitting in his parents’ basement in Chicago during the depths of the pandemic. He said it gave him a chance to call aunts, grandparents, cousins and other relatives and listen to their stories.

“This is a story about what it means to be American, what it means to grapple with family that you love, but who also may have hurt you. How do you reconcile the really messy things about your family?... How do you come to your senses about your family history?,” Oh said.

Oh’s work has been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Lark, Second Stage, Goodman Theatre, the BMI Lehmen Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, NYC Songspace, the American Musical Theater Project, The Brooklyn Generator and Catwalk Writer’s Residency. His play LONG won the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, placed second for the Mark Twain Prize for Comedic Playwriting and was a 2019 Honorable Mention selection for the American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award.

Coleman ’72 received the Kennedy Center’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award.

One of the most accomplished theatre directors in the country, Yew returns to SCR to direct Coleman ‘72 eight years after helming the critically acclaimed Cambodian Rock Band. Yew directed Cambodian Rock Band off-Broadway (Signature Theatre), one of 11 New York credits on his resume. Winner of the 2007 Obie Award for his direction of Durango by Julia Cho, Yew’s regional directing credits include productions at most of America’s major regional theatres, including Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Alley Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Kennedy Center, Alley Theatre, Center Theatre Group and the Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others.

Coleman ’72 features Paul Juhn (James), Jessica Ko (Michelle), Jully Lee (Annie), Tess Lina (Jenn) and Ryun Yu (Joey). Lee and Yu return to SCR after appearing in the 2015 production of tokyo fish story. Lee also appeared in Aubergine (2018). Yu played four characters in last spring’s SCR production of Tiger Style!

The design and creative team include Daniel Ostling, set design; Sarah Ryung Clement, costume design; Pablo Santiago, lighting design; John Zalewski, sound design; Stephan Mazurek, projections design; Andy Knight, dramaturg; Yong Kim, Korean language coach, and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting director. Maisie Chan is the production manager, Darlene Miyakawa is the production stage manager, and Lauren Buangan is the assistant stage manager.

Coleman ’72 received generous support from The Playwrights Circle, which includes Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Julie and Robert F. Daley and David Emmes and Paula Tomei.

Tickets are now on sale and range in price from $27 to $98, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatregoers ages 25 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at (714) 708-5555. More information is available at

Related Information for Coleman ’72

  • Preview Performance Dates, Times
    • Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, Wednesday, April 26 and Thursday, April 27 at 7:45 p.m.
  • Regular performances
    Note: Friday, April 28 is invitation-only.
    • Evening Performances:
      • April 29, May 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12 and 13—7:45 p.m.
    • Matinees:
      • April 29, 30, May 6, 7, 13 and 14—2 p.m.
    • ASL Interpreted Performance:
      • Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m.

Special Events

  • Post-Show Discussions:
  • Tuesday, April 25 (Director/Designer Conversation). Wednesday, May 3 and Sunday, May 7, (Actor Conversation with members of the cast). Wednesday, May 10, (Deep Dive, where audience members share their thoughts about the play in a respectful discussion hosted by SCR’s artistic staff). Thursday, May 11, (Performance Perspective, a look into the themes of Coleman ‘72 with members of SCR’s artistic staff).
  • Inside the Season: Saturday, April 13, from, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively 90-minute session includes in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from the production staff, revealing secrets and offering insights into SCR’s productions of Coleman ‘72. Julianne Argyros Stage. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door.

Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.

2022-23 Productions: Coleman ’72, April 23-May 14, 2023. avaaz, April 29-May 27, 2023. The annual showcase of new works, the Pacific Playwrights Festival, runs May 5-7, 2023. Outside SCR’s production of La Havana Madrid runs July 15-Aug. 4, 2023 at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Complete information is available at

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY:  Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964, is led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei. SCR is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern plays and musicals, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program—The Lab@SCR—which includes one of the nation’s largest commissioning programs for emerging, mid-career and established writers. Of SCR’s more than 500 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.

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