Photo Flash: YEAR ZERO at Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre

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YEAR ZERO by Michael Golamco and directed by Andrea J. Dymond is playing at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre from September 11 - October 25, 2009.

Vuthy Vichea is a 16-year-old Cambodian American. He loves hip-hop and Dungeons and Dragons. He is a weird kid in a place where weirdness can be fatal: Long Beach, California. And since his best friend moved and his mother died, the only person he can talk to is a human skull he keeps hidden in a cookie jar.

Sharp, funny, and packing an emotional wallop, Year Zero is a touching family drama about being chased across an ocean by death, standing firm, and confronting it head on. An Ignition Festival standout last spring, Year Zero also won the Grand Prize of Chicago Dramatists' Many Voices Project, subsequently won the Pacific Century Playwriting Competition at East-West Players, and was a finalist at the 2009 Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference.

Michael Golamco, who writes for stage and screen, has also seen his play Cowboy Versus Samurai produced eight times after its New York premiere, including in Canada and Hong Kong. It was published in the Smith and Kraus anthology New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006. His short play Heartbreaker was recently named a finalist for the Actors Theater of Louisville's National 2009 Ten Minute Play Contest/ Heideman Award. In addition, Golamco has just been awarded a new playwriting commission by South Coast Rep, and has been selected to become a new member of New Dramatists. For more information, visit michaelgolamco.com.

Year Zero will be directed by Victory Gardens Resident Director Andrea J. Dymond. Dymond's recent VGT productions include Gloria Bond Clunie's Living Green, Jeffrey Sweet's Court Martial at Fort Devens, and Sonja Linden's I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda.

Year Zero stars Joyee Lin (Vuthy), Jennifer Shin (Ra), Tim Chiou (Han) and Allan Aquino (Glenn). Designers include Richard and Jacqueline Penrod, set; Mary Badger, lights; Frances Maggio, costumes; Kyle Irwin, sound; and Grant Sabin, props. Rachel Robinson is production stage manager.

This touching family drama promises to be wonderful pick for Victory Gardens' first world premiere in its intimate new Studio Theater. Previews of Year Zero are September 11-20: Tuesday through Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sunday at 3:30 pm. Previews are $30 - $37. Press opening is Monday, September 21 at 7:30 pm. Regular performances are September 23-October 18: Tuesday through Thursday at 7 pm; Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 4 pm and 7:30 pm; Sunday at 3:30 pm. Performances are $37-$48. Added matinees are Wednesday, October 7 and 14 at 2 pm. No evening performance Tuesday, September 22 or September 29. Ask the box office about student, senior, Access, rush and "10 @ $20" discount offers.

Photo credit: Lola Farragut

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