WORLD PREMIERE GOES FROM COSTA MESA TO NEW YORK
South Coast Repertory, in Association With Manhattan Theatre Club
Presents New Work by Qui Nguyen
Heartwarming, Funny and Optimistic Vietgone Charts Journey of Playwright’s Family
COSTA MESA, Calif.—South Coast Repertory, in association with Manhattan Theatre Club, presents the world premiere of Vietgone, the latest work by Qui Nguyen. The funny, irreverent and heartwarming story follows two very new Americans (Nguyen’s parents) as they meet and fall in love at an Arkansas refugee camp after the fall of Saigon. Their courtship led to marriage and to, well, Qui. SCR commissioned and developed the play through its CrossRoads Initiative with funding from the Time Warner Foundation.
Performances at SCR run Oct. 4-25, 2015, directed by May Adrales. Tickets are available at www.scr.org. Performances at Manhattan Theatre Club will be in the fall of 2016 at NY City Center Stage I.
While exploring the Orange County, Calif., Vietnamese community as part of his CrossRoads playwriting residency, Nguyen stumbled upon a treasure trove at the Southeast Asian Archive Center at the University of California, Irvine. In particular, he found a collection of pictures taken at the refugee camp in Fort Chaffee, Ark., where his parents met after they were separated from their loved ones during the fall of Saigon. The genesis for Vietgone was born. The play had a staged reading as part of SCR’s 2015 Pacific Playwrights Festival.
“It took me about 15 years to be brave enough to take a chance with this story about my family,” Nguyen said. “I wanted to tell a culturally relevant story, but also an irreverent and funny story.”
“This is such an all-American story about a road trip, about determination, optimism, American hope and the capacity for love,” said Adrales.
“Qui has written a very funny play, but it also brings to light for us another side of the Vietnam War and the refugee experience,” said SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “It is a fundamentally American story. His innovative style—a mash-up that makes the 1970s come to life in the language and expression of today—makes this a truly exciting work that we’re proud to produce.”
Nguyen is a Brooklyn-based playwright, fight director and co-founder of the Obie Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company in New York City. His plays include She Kills Monsters; Krunk Fu Battle Battle; The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G; Soul Samurai; Trial By Water; Aliens Versus Cheerleaders; Six Rounds of Vengeance; Alice in Slasherland; Fight Girl Battle World; Men of Steel and Living Dead in Denmark. He is a recipient of the 2015 New York Community Trust Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, 2014 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellowship, 2014 McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman Fellowship, 2013 American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award (She Kills Monsters), and 2012 and 2009 GLAAD Media Award nominations for She Kills Monsters and Soul Samurai. He is a resident artist at New Dramatists, a core member of The Playwrights’ Center and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. For television, he writes for the PBS children’s cartoon, “Peg+Cat.”
The cast for Vietgone includes Jon Hoche, Raymond Lee, Samantha Quan, Maureen Sebastian and Paco Tolson.
The design and creative team includes Timothy R. Mackabee, scenic design; Anthony Tran, costume design; Jaymi Lee Smith, lighting design; Shane Rettig, original music and sound design; Jared Mezzocchi, video projection design, Andy Knight, dramaturg, and casting by Joanne DeNaut, CSA. The show’s production manager is Joshua Marchesi and the stage manager is Kathryn Davies.
Vietgone is generously supported by Honorary Producers Marci Maietta Weinberg and William Weinberg. It is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.
Tickets start at $22. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, full-time educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. For complete information, visit: www.scr.org.
Related Information for Vietgone
Tickets: Vietgone tickets may be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the Box Office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run Oct. 4-25; low-priced preview performances run Oct. 4-8. Ticket prices start at $22.
Performance Dates, Times:
- Sunday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m.
- Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 6-8, 7:45 p.m.
Note: Friday, Oct. 9, is an invitation-only performance
- Regular performances
Special notes: There are no Monday performances. There is no evening performance on Sunday, Oct. 25.
- Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 10-11, at 7:45 p.m.
- Tuesday -Sunday, Oct. 13-18, at 7:45 p.m.
- Tuesday-Saturday, Oct. 20-24, at 7:45 p.m.
- Saturdays-Sundays, Oct. 10-11, Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 24-25, at 2 p.m.
- ASL-interpreted: Saturday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m.
- Post-Show Discussions: Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Wednesday, Oct. 14. Discuss the play with cast members of Vietgone during free post-show discussions led by South Coast Repertory’s literary team. Julianne Argyros Stage.
- Inside the Season: Saturday, Oct. 17, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively two-hour session features in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from SCR's production staff, revealing secrets and offering insights into SCR’s production of Vietgone. The event includes a guided tour of the set. 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.
Current and Upcoming Productions: One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean (Sept. 11-Oct. 11, Segerstrom Stage); Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (Oct. 4-25, Julianne Argyros Stage); Abundance by Beth Henley (Oct. 16-Nov. 15, Segerstrom Stage); A Year with Frog and Toad by Richard and Willie Reale (Theatre for Young Audiences, Nov. 6-22); A Christmas Carol adapted from Charles Dickens (Nov. 27-Dec. 27, Segerstrom Stage); The Madwoman in the Volvo by Sandra Tsing Loh (Jan. 3-24, 2016, Julianne Argyros Stage); and Red by John Logan (Jan. 22-Feb. 21, 2016, Segerstrom Stage). The 19th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival runs April 22-24, 2016. Full season information is available online: www.scr.org.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions 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. www.scr.org