Playwright Lauren Yee interviewed by Actor ​Joe Ngo
available to ​stream
January 14, 2021 - February 14, 2021

You’re given money to write a play. Now what? In this insightful series on how new plays get developed, SCR’s commissioned playwrights get put in the hot seat. And who better to interview them than some of our favorite actors? Episode 4 of #Commissioned premieres Jan. 14, when you’ll get to know Lauren Yee. Her Cambodian Rock Band rocked audiences—and the American theatre scene—at its 2017 SCR world premiere, off-Broadway and across the nation. This, along with other recent successes, King of the Yees and The Great Leap, made her one of the most-produced playwrights in the country. Your interviewer? Obie Award-winning actor and musician Joe Ngo, who has been a collaborative force at every step of the Cambodian Rock Band journey, originating the role of Chum and sharing his own family’s Cambodian experience. His performances have electrified audiences, coast to coast, in such works as White Snake, King of the Yees and Vietgone.

Watch the video here.

This event is part of SCR ​comm​UNITY:

SCR commUNITY is South Coast Repertory’s new digital platform dedicated to amplifying the artists and narratives of our region by producing stories inspired by or about the rich diversity of people living in Southern California. Using “virtual/digital” platforms, SCR commUNITY creates free play readings, interviews, radio plays and original innovative content. SCR commits to engaging Southern California-based writers, actors, directors, composers, designers and other artists to collaborate on these projects that lift our community, celebrate the human kaleidoscope and ensure that all see themselves in our work.

Lauren Yee was the second most-produced playwright in America for the 2019-20 theatrical season (American Theatre Magazine). Her plays include Cambodian Rock Band (South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, City Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre) and The Great Leap (Denver Center Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Guthrie Theater, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre). Her numerous honors include a Doris Duke Artists Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/American Theatre Critics’ Association Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, Horton Foote Prize, Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize and Hodder Fellowship. In 2017, her plays were the top and second works on the Kilroys List. She is a member of New Dramatists, Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab and is a Playwrights Realm alumna. Her television writing credits include “Pachinko” (Apple TV) and “Soundtrack” (Netflix). She earned a BA from Yale University and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. www.laurenyee.com

Joe Ngo is an actor/writer who made his debut at South Coast Repertory in the world premiere of Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, with subsequent productions at La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Signature Theatre (New York City), for which he received an Obie Award for his performance as Chum. His other notable regional credits include White Snake (Baltimore Center Stage), King of the Yees (A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle; Baltimore Center Stage) and Vietgone (Studio Theatre, Washington, D.C.) His solo performance and writing includes Words, Words (Leviathan Lab, BarnFest NYC). His television credits include “Crashing” (HBO) and his voiceover work includes “Funan” (gKids). He earned an MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle. Joe-Ngo.com


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