Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam: Post-Show Conversations

Join us for the ‘Second Act’ of PRC².
Come for the stunning performance – stay for insightful conversation.

PRC² is a venue for stimulating artistic presentations and a gathering place to talk about the themes they raise pertaining to topical issues.

Expert panelists joining artist Trieu Tran and co-author/director Robert Egan following performances Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam include:

Wednesday, Aug 26
We begin concentrating on the artists, performer/playwright Trieu Tran and his collaborator, co-author/director Robert Egan.

Thursday, Aug 27
Professor Christian Lentz
Christian C. Lentz is Assistant Professor of Geography at UNC. He holds a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell and a Master’s of Enviromental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Specializing in Southeast Asia, his interests include agrarian studies, development, state formation, nationalism, and nature-society relations. His publications have appeared in Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Political Geography and Journal of Peasant Studies. His book manuscript Bounded Revolutions: Dien Bien Phu and the Making of Northwest Vietnam explores hidden histories and local politics during and after the battle that toppled French Indochina in 1954.

Friday, Aug 28
Henry Nguyen, President, Vietnamese American Association of Raleigh
Henry Nguyễn is the president of the Vietnamese American Association of Raleigh. Born and raised in Vietnam, he has been a resident of Raleigh for over 20 years. A graduate of NC State University, Henry works as a software engineer in the telecommunications industry in Research Triangle Park. He served on the Board of Directors of VeNguon Foundation, which organized VeNguon Camp, one of the largest Vietnamese cultural camps in the US. Locally, he is active working with the community and other charitable organizations.

Saturday, Aug 29
Pearl Nguyen & Vimy Dang, Executive Board Members, UNC Vietnamese Student Association

Sunday, Aug 30 (7:30pm)
Brittany Darst, Program Associate, Carolina Asia Center

Brittany Darst provides administrative and logistical support to Carolina Asia Center programs, including event planning, student group coordination and community outreach. She is a UNC-Chapel Hill alumna with a double major in Public Relations and Asian Studies.

All are welcome for these discussions - join us!

These post-show conversations are free and open to the public (beginning 5 minutes after the end of each 90-minute performance of Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam), however, space is limited.

Call the Box Office at 919.962.7529 to reserve your seat!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Creating Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam - Part 2: Taking the Story Onstage

Trieu Tran shares some thoughts on taking his autobiographical play from "page to stage."

Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam is Trieu’s first solo play, written with co-author Robert Egan. They developed the piece in 2011 at the Ojai Playwrights Conference, where Robert is Artistic Director/Producer. Then they took it to Seattle where ACT/A Contemporary Theatre mounted the world premiere production in Fall 2012. It has gone on to play for Center Theatre Group at Los Angeles' Kirk Douglas Theatre and at Shakespeare Orange County.

Click below for a look behind the scenes as they readied the play to for the premiere at ACT:

Trieu says, "The audiences taught us immensely, particularly in Seattle, where we premiered the play."

"Robert and I would go out after each preview performance and have a glass of wine and read the audience response sheets. They give out these sheets at each preview with specific questions and we would be given them after each of our first ten previews prior to official opening.

"We discovered out of 400 people a night that huge numbers were writing to us. It was overwhelming, the response and impact the play was having on them. Second, we discovered they were having an issue with the end of the play where I perform a ritual of healing. We did not have it right yet. There was some exquisite balance between understanding and forgiveness; between looking back and moving forward; between my journey and the audience’s journey being linked. We found it as a result of the audience questions and restlessness. There were many ways the audience helped shape Robert’s and my perception of the finished work."

For a look at "a moment from" the world premiere performance, click below:

Join us when Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam opens this season's PRC2 stage August 26-30.

Click here or call 919-962-7529 for tickets or more information.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Creating Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam - Part 1: Inspiration and Conception

In this season's PRC2 opener, Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam, creator/performer Trieu Tran shares an intense autobiographical journey. How did he and collaborator/director Robert Egan turn his true story into a riveting theatrical performance?
"Robert and I were doing a play together in New York about the aftermath of the Viet Nam War on a group of American veterans. I played a character who was a memory figure from a GI’s time in Viet Nam. Robert was my director on that play. We used to spend most of our break time together talking about sports and Los Angeles and, of course, the Viet Nam War. I have a very personal history in relation to that war and so does Robert. I lost family and friends and a country. Robert lost friends and parts of his country. Robert and I talked long and hard and in a most complicated way about both of our experiences. He suggested I had a real story to tell.

"We went back to LA and had a 6-hour lunch where I told him much of my story. A play was born that day. We began a writing process where Robert essentially sent me topics/prompts/feelings to write about, riff about, meditate about. I wrote fully and wildly and emotionally. Robert would shape the material and send it back to me.

"We found we were writing as one, in my voice, in my sound. It was thrilling. We did this for months. We amassed about 300 pages of writing and responses. And then Robert and I kept shaping and pounding out the dramatic sculpture that is now Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam. So I guess Robert got me to believe that a play was worthy and possible.

"The deep inspiration for the play was what happened to my father, my mother, my family and me as a result of losing our country and trying desperately to find our identity and soul in a series of new worlds.

"Essentially this is the story of my journey to America from Viet Nam in the immediate aftermath of the war there. Then it is my journey through refugee camps, Canada and the United States in an attempt for my family and me to find a home that is free and fair. It's also a family drama about my father’s attempt to adjust to a world where he had lost a country; my mother’s attempts to raise a family with love and safety in foreign lands; and my attempts to find wholeness and love and a voice in a new world."

Next: Creating Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam - Part 2: Taking the Story Onstage

Join us when PlayMakers kicks off the 2015/16 Season with Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam August 26-30.

Click here or call 919-962-7529 for tickets or more information.