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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Boston Red Sox or Refugee Nation???

So, we are back in Los Angeles after a long yet successful stay in the Common Wealth known as Boston. Our performances on October 12 and 13 went extremely well considering the incredible competition we had that weekend with other events. Needless to say...audience attendance was dreary. How can one predict that the Boston Red Sox would be in the playoffs during the same time that we were performing Refugee Nation IN BOSTON!!!! And look right now they are down 2 games to 1 about to be ousted from the World Series by the Cleveland Indians. Why couldn't it have happened BEFORE our show! I appreciate the fervor of the fans but come on...get some culture people! I'm sure we could have had more attendance in CMAC, if the Red Sox were not in the playoffs. One less competition for us. This just goes to show; when it comes to sports entertainment or live theater...no questions it's very one sided. I wish we could have a fan base like that of the Red Sox...imagine seeing packed houses whereever we go and Refugee Nation fans shouting and screaming. Ahhhh...one battle at a time.

Nonetheless, all is not lost. Theater is alive and kickin'. Though we had a grim turn out what is important is the impact on our audiences. Refugee Nation is getting better and better as Leilani and I improve the show. We've added fight choreography, a new scene and video elements to the piece making it more rich with stories of struggle, survival and triumph. Truly we enlighten people about the Lao American experience. History, Healing and Hope. Drama and comedy interwoven in solid characters based on real people, real stories and full of life. Nothing beats talking and engaging with people after an amazing and engaging performance

Impact comes in many forms. 1. A Dorchester 7th grader from Harbor School commented that she related to Leilani's portrayal of a mother character crying after the state of the affairs of her son on the brink of being deported. "My uncle was deported back to Haiti and my mother would cry and cry." Would you believe it, here is a play about the Lao experience. yet it has universal connections to other cultures of America. 2. A discussion on the opinion of a Lowell Lao attendee who was disappointed at the negative role of the gangster character. She felt it was not a good view of the Lao community and expected more positive models...yet, if you see our show all the stories we share are positive. They tell of struggle and courage to survive the circumstances of war, assimilation, poverty and preservation of a lost Laos. That heated conversation simply brought us more legitimacy because it shows that theater provokes. I can't wait to share Refugee Nation with more Lao American audiences of all ages and hear those opinions. 3. Legacies of War exhibition in tandem with Refugee Nation is powerful to the core. Many people commented that after viewing the exhibition and seeing our performance they were educated, entertained and empathetic.

We are important. Our work is important. It is as important as the Red Sox are to Bostonians. As artists we are proud to have a role to make people wonder, think, reflect on life, on personal issues that relate to national issues that connect to global issues. Through our characters we challenge ourselves and the audience to hope, dream and overcome the odds. Performing art is alive.

We are tired. In our short time in Boston and Cambridge, we've done excerpts of our show at the opening reception for Legacies of War and Haggerty School, we've offered workshops at UMASS-Boston to students and 80 Harbor Middle School 7th graders, we've performed 2 full shows to very attentive and intellectual audiences and gave a dress rehearsal for 50 very lively, vocal and engaging 7th graders, AND in btw all of that find ways to outreach, drop post cards, connect with Boston Progress etc.etc.etc...people this is HARD WORK! We are immigrants with the heart of a citizen!

In our quest to bring this show to the Lao community and beyond. I still ask...where are the Lao? Where is the love? I want to see more Lao Americans coming out in droves to see more theater, to support spoken word, to lift our spirits in this country. We are no longer refugees! We are no longer silenced. Step up. Speak out. Recognize your worth and be proud of who you are...kon LAO. Make people KNOW who you are. Our stories and experiences are so rich and amazing. Let's share that with others. Let's share that with each other. Let's celebrate together as a community.