Upcoming Shows - In the Works:

January 29, 2012
Sunday 5-7pm
Latino Theater Company Play Reading
Los Angeles Theater Center
514 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

March 13, 2012
UCLA Asian American Studies 187A
Professor Valerie Matsumoto
"Exploring Ethnic Cultural Arts through Oral History"

March 29, 2012
Thursday 6:30-9:30pm
Break the Silence Open Mic held at
The Manazar Gamboa Community Theater
1323 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, CA, 90813

April 4, 2012
Wednesday 11-1pm
Cal Arts in Valencia
Theater History
Professor Chantal Rodriguez E108

Los Angeles, CA
Produced by TeAda Productions and The Latino Theater Company
May 31 - June 24, 2012
Thursday-Saturday 8pm, Sunday 3pm
General $30|Students/Seniors/Groups: $20
Los Angeles Theater Center
514 S. Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Fall 2012-Portland, OR
Fall 2012-Vermont
Stay tuned for times and locations.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Count down

One more day until our first show at the Abingdon. We've got four performances to go to help close out the NAATF. Leilani and I have been hard concentrating and focusing on making our piece better and better. Rehearsals have been up and down, it's amazing how the weather can affect your rehearsal process. We had a few days of heat in New York City and our loft felt like an oven which in turn makes us all cranky. On those days we don't get as much done. On cooler days we definitely get a better run of our lines, our moments and characters in the scenes we've created. I can't wait to show what we have to an audience and get a few good runs. I'm excited to have my family from Hawaii joining us and supporting Refugee Nation. I'm excited to hear of new Lao audience members joining the Refugee Nation. This is an exciting time.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sleep or Never

New York City maybe the city that never sleeps...but we NEED our sleep. A trek into the city can be an exhausting one. Consider last night. The festival has begun and it seems the performances are going well. Leilani and Marie-Reine went to see Regie Cabico and Aileen Cho's show. They had a great time at LaMaMa with other festival participants like D'Lo and Kristina Wong rooting and supporting each other. There is a strong sense of camaraderie amongst the participants because it's important and we need each other. We need each other as audience, we need each other as colleagues and we need each other to better ourselves. There is so much activity as part of the festival and New York City itself that time is valuable. Choices can be difficult to make depending upon location, time frame and distance. Going from one place to another takes a lot of walking. So by the time you are subway setting to one place you exhaust yourself. When you get home...sleep is important. So sleep in when you can.

I went to the Asian American Legal Defense Fund event around Chelsea. There were many NYC professionals in attendance numbering close to 500 or so. I did my best to promote Refugee Nation. Most who I spoke too seem interested and I hope they come. It was great to connect with friends I had made at a BBQ earlier in the week. They were instrumental in helping me spread the word and give out postcards. I also met new friends who in the future could help us out. Hsindy from Boston. We'll definitely connect with you when we arrive in Boston during the fall. Progress takes time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pirate or Refugee?

Leilani has been bugging me to write about the difference in the work I did on Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and the work I do with Refugee Nation. The two experiences have such a wide gap that it's incredibly ludicrous to think about. One is backed by a multi-billion dollar business under the name of Disney, while the other is supported by a tiny, non-profit organization called TeAda Productions.

Being a pirate on the film made me realize the truth behind the business. It's all about the dollars in the end. The creative forces that control the film must and have a strong arm on the outcome of the final product. I was a very teeny tiny part of that giant machine. In the end I was fortunate enough to have screen time. I was lucky. It can be done with a lack of soul.

Being a refugee performing with my wife Leilani AND sharing about the Lao experience is rewarding in so many levels. It is the truth of who I am. It is the essence of what I am. The struggle to make the performance powerful and alive. The passion and courage to deal with relevant issues that plague our society today. War. Oppression. Healing. I am proud to be creating a work so personal and yet global.

So if you were me would you rather be Pirate or a Refugee?


Welcome to the First Ever National Asian American Theater Festival. Fresh and familiar faces of the Asian American theater circle gathered at the Public Theater last night to witness this monumental event. Companies from around the nation are being represented in theaters throughout New York City. Check out the array of companies and artist at www.naatf.org

We are the only company sharing specifically about the Lao American diaspora. It's a monumental and historical time as Asian American theatre embraces new refugee and immigrant voices. Slowly, we are getting our material out there and rising to the occasion. It's nice to have the support of each other to continue to create more work that shows our Asian diversity.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Searching for Lao in New York City while Vang Pao is being arrested in Cali!

So haven't we been saying, it is time for the Laotian story to be heard? Yet all over the news is this story about the arrest Vang Pao. We're not sure what to say. Is it real? Did the general really buy guns? Or is it a US conspiracy? There are strong opinions on both sides.

We don't know, but all we know is that this a community that's story needs to be told and heard, not just by the media that always focuses on the worst. Gang violence, rapes and military coups.

It would be much better to tell the world about our show! A show that is about a community in need of healing. The sensational news does little to help us get the elders to speak about their experiences and begin to heal the wounds of the past. Here a leader is being arrested. Right or wrong, the other stories about this community are not being heard. The stories about struggle, survival and overcoming amazing odds. Instead these stories make elders wonder, who is watching, which side is the government on? And why in the world would anyone one care to talk to me? Can we blame them for remaining silent?

And yet...

We care! We care! We care! We want to hear your story. Share your story with us!

Come out and see our show so you will know what we are all about!

On another note from the artists end trying to get the word out while struggling to find the time and space to rehearse in this over-stimulating city... we got an email blast together... YIPEEE! Thanks to the amazing Gabriela Lopez for the design and Marie-Reine for sending out the blast, we can tell everybody about the show with this fabulous e-post!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Making Friends and Building an Audience

We had to take it easy today because the last two days were exhausting. Leilani and I slept in today and finally got ourselves out to the city in the late afternoon. One thing about trekking in New York...you've got to plan out your day because once you leave the house...it's difficult to return. You've got to plan out the walking and station to station stops. Public transport can be fun but also challenging. Today, to continue our exciting plan to build audience we went to connect with the staff for NAATF. Jeff, Kelly and John are all wonderfully working hard but we are finding press and marketing to be the biggest challenge. So, we've harnessed any contacts in New York that we know and are telling them about the festival and our show Refugee Nation. It was a great visit to the office because all the other theater offices are there on the 2nd floor of one building...Ma-Yi Theater, NAATCO and Pan-Asian Rep, not to mention many other theater organizations. The visit made the reality of this festival current! There was a feeling of "We are here! This festival is really happening! How exciting!"

Our next leg of the day we went to celebrate the birthday of Kristina Wong. She gathered some people together and we had a wonderful time at Lan Cafe in the Lower East Side. It was an all vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant which was pretty good. Not all the people attending...more new friends of Kristina and now us, are vegetarian but we all were there to enjoy the company and of course realize KWong's birthday in New York!! All of them now know about the festival and will come out to see Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest AND Refugee Nation! Yahhh....

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Reigning in New York

We hooked up with our fabulous friend Channapha once again and broke into a Brooklyn bbq! Awesome people were there...thank you Anu & Rosalyn best dynamic hostess of the night. With heavy rain and whipping winds coming at us all over the city we could not be stopped as we walked along Brooklyn streets to share our Refugee Nation upcoming performance. The people we met at that party are way cool and supportive. They all want to come and see us perform. June 22nd is the designated benefit night with Legacies of War. It will be exciting to open and dine for a cause we all wish for...to educate and advocate for removal of UXOs in Laos.

Leilani and I will now get into rehearsal mode and for the week fine tune our performance to ready itself to shine at the Abingdon Theatre.

I am in search of the Lao and South East Asian community to make noise! You are a part of the Refugee Nation. Come join us. We also visited the naatf table at a fair on 2nd Avenue which stretched for miles. So many people passing by but we did get an opportunity to speak some words of wisdom...The First Asian American Theater Festival is here in NEW YORK and WE are a part of it! See our show.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

1st Full day in New York

Our first full day in New York City can only be described as learning how to walk! We started off in our neighborhood of Greenpoint at the Greenpoint Cafe for brunch. After a long flight the night before (we arrived at 1:30am at JFK) and getting into our sublet, we were itching to explore and not to mention supply ourselves with some homely goods. The sublet is furnished but bare. We got out into the neighborhood and shopped around off of Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn...it's a busy street. Got some groceries and bathroom supplies. We then hooked up with Channapha and Islanda, our Legacies of War fellows at Prospect Park. The day began to feel a little bit easier yet also harder...because we have a lot to do in getting an audience for the festival and our show Refugee Nation. Nonetheless, it was great to meet with a New Yorker like Channapha and visit her place. We then spent our late afternoon and evening in Brooklyn learning to take the G line and F line. Walked around other neighborhoods of Brooklyn and even went to 1st Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum. It's once a month and free entry to the museum plus there is entertainment and fun. Leilani and I visited the Global Feminist exhibition and got to see Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party" piece. Pretty grand. Now, we are back at our place and just ready to plan out the rest of our work week. We need to schedule rehearsals, writing, and getting more press about our portion of the National Asian American Theatre Festival. Learning to navigate away around the city via the subway is particularly fun. Our next destination tomorrow will be Manhattan.