Vietgone

January 25 - February 18, 2018
(Opening Night January 31, 2018)

In the Lyceum Space

By Qui Nguyen
Directed by Jesca Prudencio
Set Design by Justin Humphres
Costume Design by Anastasia Pautova
Lightind Design by Bo Tindell
Sound Design by Melanie Chen Cole
Dramaturgy by Jim Short
Assistant Direction by Christine Nathanson
Stage Management by Heather Brose

Cast
Ben Levin as Quang
Katherine Ko as Tong
Lawrence Kao as Nhan/Khue/Asian Guy/American Guy
Shaun Tuazon as Playwright/Bobby/Hippie Dude/Redneck Biker/Giai
Emy Coligado as Huong/Flower Girl/Thu/American Girl/Translator

This is the story of how Quang meets Tong, how they flee from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, fall in love in a refugee camp in Arkansas, take a life changing road trip across 1970’s America and eventually give birth to a playwright named Qui Nguyen (who happens to have written this play). This love story is like no other. Told through the eyes of a very contemporary young American who loves pop culture, this sexy comedy is a mash-up of comic books, hip-hop, martial arts and Hollywood action movies. Acclaimed as one of the most innovative playwrights in the country, author Nguyen embraces two cultures and two time periods using a uniquely infectious style that The New York Times calls “culturally savvy comedy.” 

 


Press photos

Vietgone director Jesca Prudencio
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Vietgone playwirght Qui Nguyen
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Ben Levin as Quang
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Emy Coligado as Huong/Flower Girl/Thu/American Girl/Translator
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Katherine Ko as Tong
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Lawrence Kao as Nhan/Khue/Asian Guy/American Guy
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Shaun Tauzon as Playwright/Bobby/Hippie Dude/Redneck Biker/Giai
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Bios

Qui Nguyen (Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter, and co-founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company of NYC. His plays include Vietgone (2016 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, 2016 LADCC Tim Schmitt Award, 2016 Edward M. Kennedy Prize finalist); War is F**king Awesome (Frederick Loewe Award); She Kills Monsters (2014 AATE Distinguished Play Award, 2012 GLAAD Media Award nom); Soul Samurai (2009 GLAAD Media Award nom)and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys shows: The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, Alice in SlasherlandFight Girl Battle WorldMen of SteelSix Rounds of Vengeance, and Living Dead in Denmark. Recent awards include a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program (Peg+Cat) and a 2015 New York Community Trust Helen Merrill Playwriting Award. He is proud member of the WGA, The Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He’s an alumni of New Dramatists and Youngblood. For television, he's written for PBS’s Peg+Cat and SYFY’s Incorporated. Currently, he’s a screenwriter for Marvel Studios.

Jesca Prudencio (Director) is a theater director focused on creating highly physical productions of new plays, musicals, and documentary theater in New York, regionally, and internationally. Favorite credits include Will Snider's How To Use a Knife (Mixed Blood & UCSD), David Henry Hwang’s Bondage (The Drama League’s Directorfest), Ben Fisher’s Mobile Happiness Bazaar (La Jolla Playhouse’s WoW Festival), and FAN: stories from the brothels of Bangkok (Thailand). She holds a BFA from NYU Tisch, and received her MFA in Directing from UC San Diego, where she directed VENUS, The Venetian TwinsCampo Maldito, and Borealis. Assistant directing credits include Ping Chong’s Throne of Blood at BAM and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse, and Plenty at The Public Theater. She is the recipient of The Drama League Fall Fellowship, The Old Vic’s US/UK Exchange, and the inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship, which supports her travels through Thailand, Japan, and The Philippines as she explores traditional art forms and develops new work with local artists. She is founder and Artistic Director of People Of Interest, which creates new theatrical events that address community specific issues. She is currently in Manila directing A&Q, docu-theater piece on the war on drugs in the Philippines from the people who are living it.  www.jescaprudencio.com

Ben Levin (Quang) is a Chinese-American actor and musician from New York City. He has appeared in films such as ALLEGIANT (Divergent series), SLEEPWALK WITH ME, ADMISSION, and on TV shows such as UGLY BETTY, THE BIG C, COLONY, DIMENSION 404, and most recently a recurring role on ABC's TIME AFTER TIME. He will be appearing in the upcoming season of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and recurring on the third season of LOVE on Netflix. He is thrilled to be making his debut at the San Diego Rep!

Katherine Ko (Tong) was born and raised in Southern California.  In 2017 she received her MFA in acting from the University of California, San Diego, which has one of the top graduate acting schools in the nation.  Her credits include: MENDELSSOHN’S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM as Hermia at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with LA Philharmonic late 2017, "Hollywood" at the La Jolla Playhouse (Faith McClean), "Midsummer Night's Dream" at Santa Cruz, Angels in America part 1 and part 2 as Harper, and several other plays at UCSD.  She also toured with pop singer Shakira with her song "Did It Again”. Katherine is a trained dancer and co-owns her own Korean traditional dance studio with her mother in Los Angeles.  She is an employee of the LAUSD--teaching Korean music and dance to elementary and middle school students who are part of KDLP.  She is Fluent in Korean and ASL.  Katherine is thankful for the opportunity to be performing in Vietgone.

Lawrence Kao (Nhan/Khue/Asian Guy/American Guy) is an actor, or that’s what he tells people.  Son of an accountant and a mailman, he was born in Hacienda Heights California, groomed to become a doctor, a pediatrician according to his a parents.  However, forced to play musical instruments as a kid by his mother, Lawrence grew fond of the arts and a curiosity for the imagination.  While receiving his Bachelor of the Arts degree in Theatre at UC Irvine, he found another outlet of self-expression through dance, which led to his participation on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.  After graduating, Lawrence continued to flex his theatre muscles at award-winning theatre companies such as East West Players & South Coast Repertory.  If you find him on television shows, he won’t last long before he dies brutally.  He is now currently a member of The Kinjaz.  A few credits include: The Walking Dead, Sleepy Hollow, NCIS: New Orleans, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Originals, Honey 4, Circle, Hawaii 5-0, and a bunch of bootleg films he slangs out of the back of his trunk.  He is excited to be making his debut at San Diego Repertory.  Follow him @iamLawrenceKao

ShaunTuazon's (Playwright/Bobby/Hippie Dude/Redneck Biker/Giai) Memorable credits include ​#SUPERSHINYSARA (La Jolla Playhouse); BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (Intrepid Theatre Company & New Village Arts); WEST SIDE STORY (Lamb's Players Theatre); THE 25TH ANNUAL... BEE (Intrepid Theatre Company); RENT (San Diego Musical Theatre); ZANNA, DON'T! (San Diego Premiere); DECONSTRUCTION OF A DRAG QUEEN (Craig Noel Award Nomination, Circle Circle dot dot); IN THE HEIGHTS (Cabrillo Music Theatre); as well as productions with New Village Arts, Diversionary Theatre, The Old Globe, Breakthrough Workshop Theatre, Circle Circle dot dot, ion theatre, SD Asian American Rep, & Starlight Theatre. BA in Theatre Arts from SDSU. @ShaunTwaz | ShaunTuazon.com 

Emy Coligado's (Huong/Flower Girl/Thu/American Girl/Translator) credits include Broadway: Miss Saigon.  National Tour & Germany:  Miss Saigon.  Regional Theater selects:  Echo Theatre, Knightsbridge Theater, Pan Asian Rep Theater.  TV:  recurring roles in Malcolm In The Middle and Crossing Jordan; Claws, Fresh Off The Boat, Shameless, Chuck, Grey's Anatomy to name a few; regular series roles in NBC & ABC pilots.  Film:  Three Stooges, Don't Come Knocking, Miss Congeniality 2.  www.emycoligado.com.  For Mom & Dad.

 
 
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