Friday 19th January 2018,

Bad Ass Asians

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Direct from New York, Vietgone Coming Soon Across the Country

posted by Brittney Le

City Center Stage
Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

The Mixed Blood Theatre Company announced this week that Vietgone will be coming soon to Minnesota, reports the Star Tribune.

The play, written by Qui Nguyen, is about Vietnamese immigrants adapting to life in the U.S.: it is the story of Nguyen’s parents fleeing Saigon and meeting in an Arkansas refugee camp in 1975. Mixed Blood plans to stage Vietgone from April 10th to April 30th in 2017. The play had closed in New York in early December – the Manhattan Theatre Club had been staging it since October 4th, according to Northwest Asian Weekly.

“They’re cool, and they’re sexy, and they’re not exotic,” Nguyen told the New York Times.  They can be feminist, strong women, and they can be sexy men.”

Mixed Blood’s artistic director, Jack Reuler, said, “It really is one of those plays that will have you laughing and challenges you and at the end, you are in tears.” Reuler expects many other theaters across the U.S. to stage “Vietgone” during the 2017-2018 seasons.

To distinguish between characters speaking Vietnamese and those speaking English in the play, Nguyen uses contemporary English and exaggerated nonsense English, respectively: English would be conveyed through phrases like, “Yee-haw! Get ’er done! Cheeseburger, waffle fries, cholesterol!”

Vietgone is the first play in a trilogy. The Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory have already co-commissioned the two sequels. Although the play has not yet gone to Broadway, it has been very well-received; before New York, it was staged in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Not only does he write plays, but Nguyen also won an Emmy for his contributions to an animated PBS series and is currently working on a Marvel Studios project. Nguyen’s career is a huge step for Asian America; underrepresentation of Asian Americans in Hollywood has long been the case.

Visit the play’s website to learn more:

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