San Diego Repertory Theatre presents VIETGONE

San Diego Repertory Theatre presents VIETGONE

San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) has announced details for the fifth production of its 42nd season, "Vietgone," which will be making its San Diego premiere after a successful Off-Broadway run. A love story like no other from playwright Qui Nguyen ("She Kills Monsters"), "Vietgone," will feature innovative artists new to the San Diego REP, including director Jesca Prudencio (Ping Chong + Company) and starring Ben Levin ("Allegiant" and "Ugly Betty") and Katherine Ko ("Hollywood" and "Angels in America"). This moving comedy begins on Thursday, January 25, 2018 and plays through Sunday, February 18, 2018 with an opening night on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Lyceum Space Theatre at San Diego REP in Horton Plaza.

"Where else can you get a new perspective on America fighting the Vietnam War mixed with ninjas, rap, motorcycles, sex, profanities and lots and lots of love?" asks San Diego REP Associate Producer, Kim Heil. "Vietgone is a blast and is a perfect antidote to today's anti-other rhetoric."

Nguyen's new comedy stars San Diego REP newcomers Ben Levin (Film "Allegiant" and TV "Ugly Betty") as "Quang" and Katherine Ko as "Tong," who is known to San Diego audiences from her work onstage at La Jolla Playhouse ("Hollywood") and UC San Diego ("Angels in America"). The cast boasts additional newcomers Lawrence Kao (East West Players & South Coast Repertory) as "Nhan/Khue/Asian Guy/American Guy," Emy Coligado ("Miss Saigon" on Broadway and National Tour) as "Huong/Flower Girl/Thu/American Girl/Translator," and Shaun Tuazon, another face familiar to San Diego audiences ("#SUPERSHINYSARA" at La Jolla Playhouse), as "Playwright/Bobby/Hippie Dude/Redneck Biker/Giai."

"Vietgone" tells the story of how Quang meets Tong, how they flee from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, fall in love in a refugee camp in Arkansas, take a life changing road trip across 1970's America and eventually give birth to a playwright named Qui Nguyen (who happens to have written the play).

Told through the eyes of a very contemporary young American who loves pop culture, "Vietgone" offers a mash-up of comic book aesthetics, martial arts and hip-hop, all while recounting a family's real history of fleeing Vietnam and immigrating to America. Acclaimed as one of the most innovative playwrights in the country, playwright Nguyen embraces two cultures and two time periods using a uniquely infectious style that The New York Times calls "culturally savvy comedy."

The creative team includes Justin Humphres (Set/Projection Design), Bo Tindell (Lighting Design), Anastasia Pautova (Costume Design), Melanie Chen (Sound Design), Jim Short (Dramaturg), Christine Nathanson (Assistant Director), and Heather Brose (Stage Manager).

Qui Nguyen (Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter, and co-founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company of NYC. His plays include "Vietgone" (2016 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, 2016 LADCC Tim Schmitt Award, 2016 Edward M.Kennedy Prize finalist); "War is F**king Awesome" (Frederick Loewe Award); "She Kills Monsters" (2014 AATE Distinguished Play Award, 2012 GLAAD Media Award nom); "Soul Samurai" (2009 GLAAD Media Award nom), and the critically acclaimed "Vampire Cowboys." TV shows include "The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G," "Alice in Slasherland," "Fight Girl Battle World," "Men of Steel," "Six Rounds of Vengeance," and "Living Dead in Denmark." Recent awards include a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program ("Peg+Cat") and a 2015 New York Community Trust Helen Merrill Playwriting Award. He is proud member of the WGA, The Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights Center, Ensemble StudioTheatre, and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He's an alumni of New Dramatists and Youngblood. For television, he's written for PBS's "Peg+Cat" and SYFY's "Incorporated." Currently, he's a screenwriter for Marvel Studios.

Jesca Prudencio (Director) is a theater director focused on creating highly physical productions of new plays, musicals, and documentary theater in New York, regionally, and internationally. Favorite credits include Will Snider's "How To Use a Knife" (Mixed Blood & UCSD), David Henry Hwang's "Bondage" (The Drama League's Directorfest), Ben Fisher's "Mobile Happiness Bazaar" (La Jolla Playhouse's WoW Festival), and "FAN: stories From the Brothels of Bangkok" (Thailand). She holds a BFA from NYU Tisch, and received her MFA in Directing from UC San Diego, where she directed "VENUS," "The Venetian Twins," "Campo Maldito," and "Borealis." Assistant directing credits include Ping Chong's "Throne of Blood" at BAM and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at La Jolla Playhouse, and "Plenty" at The Public Theater. She is the recipient of The Drama League Fall Fellowship, The Old Vic's US/UK Exchange, and the inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship, which supports her travels through Thailand, Japan, and The Philippines as she explores traditional art forms and develops new work with local artists. She is founder and Artistic Director of People Of Interest, which creates new theatrical events that address community specific issues. She just finished a project in Manila directing "A&Q," docu-theater piece on the war on drugs in the Philippines from the people who are living it.

By Qui Nguyen
Directed by Jesca Prudencio

Previews: Thursday, January 25 - Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Opening Night: Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Closing: Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ben Levin as "Quang"
Katherine Ko as "Tong"
Lawrence Kao as "Nhan/Khue/Asian Guy/American Guy"
Shaun Tuazon as "Playwright/Bobby/Hippie Dude/Redneck Biker/Giai"
Emy Coligado as "Huong/Flower Girl/Thu/American Girl/Translator"

Production Team
Jesca Prudencio, Director
Justin Humphres, Set/Projection Design
Bo Tindell, Lighting Design
Anastasia Pautova, Costume Design
Melanie Chen, Sound Design
Jim Short, Dramaturg
Christine Nathanson , Assistant Director
Heather Brose, Stage Manager

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, January 25 at 8 p.m.
Friday, January 26 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 27 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 28 at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, January 30 at 7 p.m.

Opening Night
Wednesday, January 31 at 7 p.m.

Regular Performances
Thursday, February 1 at 8 p.m.
Friday, February 2 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 3 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 4 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, February 7 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 8 at 8 p.m.
Friday, February 9 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 10 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, February 10 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 11 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, February 11 at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 13 at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 14 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 15 at 8 p.m.
Friday, February 16 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 17 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, February 17 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, February 18 at 2 p.m.

Ticket Information
Tickets range from $20 to $65 and can be purchased in-person at the San Diego REP Box Office, by calling 619.544.1000 or online at Active military, teacher and senior discounts are available. Student tickets are available for all performances for just $20 each. Prices and dates subject to change.
Lyceum Space
San Diego Repertory Theatre
79 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101-6144

Parking is available in the Horton Plaza parking garage for $8 with validation. Enter the garage from 4th Ave just South of the Balboa Theatre. Follow entrance lanes, then turn right & continue to the 3rd level to park. Horton Plaza Parking Tickets (issued from machines at entry) may be validated in the Lyceum Theatres Lobby during your show. Validation will allow patrons to pay flat $8 rate.

Please note: if you do not validate your ticket at the theatre, the current rate charged at exit is $2.00 for every 15 minutes (daily maximum charge = $48.00). Westfield Horton Plaza Parking Garage rates are subject to change at any time. For any additional ABM Parking information, contact ABM Parking at 619.233.1491

About San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego's resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrates the multiple voices of our region. the company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 40 world premieres. the company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award "For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity." San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit Join us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).

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