Qui Nguyen’s play “Vietgone” is on fire!! It is especially timely because its a refugees story.
Here’s an excerpt from the article on NBC news about this play and the momentum its gathering:
“For Nguyen, writing a story about Vietnamese refugees was his way of humanizing Asian Americans and refugees of all races. He notes that, unintentionally, the play reflects today’s Syrian refugee crisis, the stigma that comes with immigration, and experience of starting over in a new country.
“That’s what’s so great about art: it allows us to humanize people and create bridges between people,” Nguyen said. “Lots of different people are part of the American fabric. That’s what our country was founded on.”
So far, the show has run in California, Oregon, Washington, and New York, playing its last show at the Manhattan Theatre Club this past December. Its success there opened doors for a regional production in Minnesota at Mixed Blood Theatre from April 10 to 30 this year — timed to coincide with the Fall of Saigon’s 42nd anniversary.
Orange County’s South Coast Repertory and the Manhattan Theatre Club have also commissioned sequels: two new plays covering Nguyen’s family history and the Vietnamese refugee experience. These shows are scheduled to go on stage every two years: play two in 2018 and play three in 2020. They will first play in California, Nguyen said.”
Qui Nguyen’s hit play Vietgone is among one of 5 finalists for the prestigious Edward Kennedy prize. It is one of the most financially generous awards given to new plays and previous winners include Hamilton and Detroit 67.’
Broadway world writes,”The Edward M. Kennedy Prize is given annually through Columbia University to a new play or musical that, in the words of the Prize’s mission statement, “…enlists theater’s power to explore the past of the United States, to participate meaningfully in the great issues of our day through the public conversation, grounded in historical understanding, that is essential to the functioning of a democracy.”
Qui Nguyen is a playwright, TV/Film writer, and Co-Founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys of NYC. His work, known for its innovative use of pop-culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia, has been lauded as “Culturally Savvy Comedy” by The New York Times, “Tour de Force Theatre” by Time Out New York, and “Infectious Fun” by Variety.
Scripts include Vietgone (2016 Steinberg Award, 2016 LADCC Ted Schmidt New Play Award, 2016 Kennedy Prize Finalist); She Kills Monsters (2013 AATE Distinguished Play Award, 2012 GLAAD Media Award nom); War is F**king Awesome (Frederick Loewe Award);Soul Samurai (2009 GLAAD Media Award nom); Begets: Fall of a High School Ronin; Krunk Fu Battle Battle; Bike Wreck; Aliens vs Cheerleaders; and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys productions of The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, Six Rounds of Vengeance, Alice in Slasherland, Fight Girl Battle World, Men of Steel, and Living Dead in Denmark.
Qui’s play “Vietgone” is currently playing in NYC at Manhattan Theater Club and he was just featured in the NY Times! Congrats Qui! Go see the play in NYC!
Here’s an excerpt:
“Vietgone” may seem to be a drastic departure. The playwright calls it a “romantic comedy” about how his parents met at a refugee camp in Arkansas in 1975, having immigrated right after the Vietnam War. It’s a story that Mr. Nguyen grew up hearing and knows well, but it has also been filtered through his pop-culture-filled and irreverent sensibility.
“When my parents told me stories about Vietnam, they told me the real stories, what actually happened,” he explained. “But what I imagined was kung fu movies. Because the only things I ever saw [growing up] that had a lot of Asian people in it, were kung fu movies.”
So there is kung fu in “Vietgone,” and ninjas. As in Mr. Nguyen’s other works, everyone speaks in a modern voice and raps — and no one speaks with “an Asian accent,” part of his fight against minority stereotypes.
Qui Nguyen is a playwright, TV/Film writer, and Co-Founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys of NYC. His work, known for its innovative use of pop-culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia, has been called “Culturally Savvy Comedy” by The New York Times, “Tour de Force Theatre” by Time Out New York, and “Infectious Fun” by Variety.
Scripts include Vietgone (South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Seattle Rep), She Kills Monsters (The Flea, Buzz22 Chicago/Steppenwolf, Company One); Begets: Fall of a High School Ronin (Waterwell); War is F**king Awesome (Sundance);Krunk Fu Battle Battle (East West Players); Bike Wreck (EST); Trial By Water (Ma-Yi Theater); Aliens vs Cheerleaders (Keen Teens); Soul Samurai; The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G (Ma-Yi Theater & Vampire Cowboys); and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys productions of Six Rounds of Vengeance, Alice in Slasherland; Fight Girl Battle World; Men of Steel; and Living Dead in Denmark.
OU MFA Playwriting Alum, Qui Nguyen has a new play in Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s upcoming season! Qui has made a name for himself with his adventurous, fun “geek” theater and we are very excited about his newest production opportunity!
From the Oregon Shakes Website: Opening in March is Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (March 30–Oct. 29, 2016). The play is based on the real-life story of Nguyen’s parent’s exodus from Vietnam in 1975 and their subsequent meeting and romance in a refugee camp in Arkansas. Vietgone will be directed by May Adrales, who will also direct the world premiere production of Vietgone at South Coast Repertory this fall.
Check here for the Season Announcement and here for Oregon Shakes Website
More about Qui
Qui Nguyen is a playwright, screenwriter, and Co-Founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys of NYC. His work, known for its innovative use of pop-culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia, has been lauded as “Culturally Savvy Comedy” by The New York Times, “Infectious Fun” by Variety, and “Tour De Force Theatre” by Time Out New York. This past season, The Chicago Tribune praised him as a “refreshing, break-the-rules writer” as Time Out Chicago named his play She Kills Monsters one of the 10 Best Plays of 2013.
Scripts include War is F**king Awesome (currently being developed by Sundance); She Kills Monsters (The Flea); Krunk Fu Battle Battle (East West Players); Bike Wreck (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Trial By Water (Ma-Yi Theater); Aliens Versus Cheerleaders (Keen Teens); Soul Samurai; The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G (Ma-Yi Theater & Vampire Cowboys); Lush Valley (HERE); and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys productions of Alice in Slasherland; Fight Girl Battle World; Men of Steel; and Living Dead in Denmark.
His scripts are published by Samuel French, Playscripts, and Broadway Play Publishing.
Recent honors include being a 2014 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellow; a 2014 McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman Fellow; a 2013 Sundance Theatre Lab Fellow; a recipient of a 2013 AATE Distinguished Play Award (She Kills Monsters); a 2012 TCG Young Leader of Color; and receiving 2012 & 2009 GLAAD Media Award nominations for his plays She Kills Monsters and Soul Samurai.
He is a proud resident artist at New Dramatists, a core member of The Playwrights’ Center, an alumnus of Youngblood, and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and the Keen Company New Play Lab.
Currently, Qui’s at work on new plays at South Coast Rep (Vietgone), Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis (Samantha Rai & The Shogun of Fear), HERE (Trade Practices), NYU (Five Days Till Saturday), The Playwrights Center (Dust), The Professional Performing Arts School (Begets); and Vampire Cowboys (Six Rounds of Vengeance). For television, he’s writes for the children’s cartoon, Peg+Cat, currently airing on PBS KIDS.
His company, Vampire Cowboys, often credited for being the pioneers of “geek theatre”, holds the unique distinction of being the first and currently only professional theatre organization to be officially sponsored by NY Comic Con. They’ve been praised by the Village Voice as “New York’s Best Army of Geeks” and currently in-residence at The New Ohio Theater and IRT.
Ohio MFA Playwriting Alum, Qui Nguyen’s play “She Kills Monsters” has an upcoming production at Available Light Theater this December in Columbus, Ohio!
Qui Nguyen, a co-founder of the NYC based theater company “Vampire Cowboys Theater”, has had his work produced at such venues as The Flea, South Coast Rep and the Playwrights Center in Minnesota.
Available Light Theater says in their missions statement that they: “Engage our community by staging provocative works that examine our culture, expose its shortcomings, and reveal the beauty of humankind.” The production runs December 4th through the 20th and there are a limited number of pay what you can seats. Go see it!
More Info on Production:
She Kills Monsters is an ingenious trip into the world of fantasy role-playing games, as played by Tilly Evans, a lonely, geeky, and gay Ohio teenager who takes refuge in her action-packed imaginary world.
It’s a tribute to the power of stories, packed with homicidal fairies, raunchy ogres, bloodthirsty cheerleaders, and more 1990s pop culture references than you can shake a thigh-master at.
Recommended if You Like: Skyscrapers of the Midwest, God’s Ear, Dungeons & Dragons
Robin & Peter Hersha present…
SHE KILLS MONSTERS
by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Ian ShortDecember 4 — 20, 2014
Riffe Center Studio Two
77 South High St.
Nguyen was one of eight new writers to join the group of 25 Core Writers. “The Core Writer program brings a diverse range of playwrights to the Center for play development workshops in collaboration with prom is the Co-Artistic Director of the Nguyen is an OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys of NYC. His plays include “She Kills Monsters,” “Soul Samurai,” “Alice in Slasherland,” “The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G,” and the musicals “Krunk Fu Battle Battle,” “War is F**king Awesome” and “Samantha Rai and the Shogun of Fear.” He is a proud member of The Playwrights’ Center, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab. His company, Vampire Cowboys, often considered the pioneers of “Geek Theater,” holds the unique distinction of being the first and only professional theater organization to be sponsored by NY Comic Con.inent directors, actors, dramaturgs and designers. Over the three-year term with the Playwrights’ Center as an artistic home, selected work by Core Writers is showcased in the community through the PlayLabs festival and the Ruth Easton New Play Series.”
Sams, a MFA graduate this year, was one of five playwrights named a Core Apprentice. That program”pairs student playwrights with a mentor and offers play development support.”
Sams is an Actor/Writer/Producer based in New York City. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School, where she earned the distinction of being Tisch’s first ever Triple Major (Acting, Dramatic Writing, Africana Studies). At NYU she studied acting through the Strasberg Film Institute and Royal Academy Dramatic Arts (RADA) London, England. Her writing mentors at NYU included Richard Wesley, Beth Turner, George Malko, John Guerre (Honors), Kenneth Lonergan (Honors) and Daniel Goldfarb. Since graduating her work has been seen at Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theater, Old Vic Theater London and Public Theater in New York. She has performed as an actor at Cleveland Public Theater, Florida Studio Theater, Old Vic London, Public Theater NY, and can be seen on film in Rent directed by Chris Columbus. She is a full member of the Old Vic New Voices Network New York under Artistic Director Kevin Spacey. She has produced several ten minute play festivals in New York and Los Angeles, and is moving into full length off broadway theater. She is recent graudate from the MFA in Playwrighting at Ohio University with Charles Smith. For more information go to www.biancasams.com.
The Playwrights’ Center is “one of the nation’s most generous and well-respected theater organizations, the Playwrights’ Center focuses on both supporting playwrights and promoting new plays to production at theaters across the country. The Center has helped launch the careers of numerous nationally recognized artists, notably August Wilson, Lee Blessing, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jordan Harrison, Carlyle Brown, Craig Lucas, Jeffrey Hatcher, Melanie Marnich, and Kira Obolensky. Work developed through Center programs has been seen nationwide on such stages as the Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth, Guthrie, Goodman, and many others.”
Indie Theater Now has also published her play “Light of Night,” and it’s available to purchase. Other plays by OU Playwrights available on Indie Theater Now include: Jeni Mahoney and Qui Nguyen.
“Light of Night” will also be produced by Venus Theatre in Laurel, MD this coming spring. It is the second production of this play that was first penned at OU and the first regional production. (Youtube Promo Video.)
NoPassport’s 30/30 Scheme will have Cecilia’s play, “Tiene Duende (It Has Soul)” Read on March 31 in Texas, and it’s directed by OU MFA Director Vanessa Mercado-Taylor. ( Interview with NoPassport Press.)
Cecilia Copeland’s play, “Light of Night” was named one of the 101 Plays by the New Americas, Latino Plays in the American Cannon you should know on HowlRound, by Tlaloc Rivas. (HowRound Article.)
Her article “Contradiction & Compromise: My Uncle & The Next Time” was published in HowlRound in conjunction with her play, “The Next Time” in the Gun Control Plays Collection. (HowlRound Article.)
She was Interviewed and Featured in the Huffington Post for her play, “The Next Time” along with Neil LaBute, Caridad Svich and others. (Link to Huffington Post Article.)