Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Beyond Kung Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals

Kung Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals will have only a short run in Minneapolis, although I think the evidence suggests it can be a real smash. Minneapolis is home to the world's largest Zombie Pub Crawl. Minnesota is also host to numerous acclaimed science fiction conventions including CONvergence, Marscon, Minicon, Diversicon, Arcana, and Crypticon. Amina Harper just did a new interview with Saymoukda Vongsay for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

But after that, the good question becomes: "Now what?" for Lao American writers.

At the moment, the major Lao American candidates to present live theater performances would be Ova Saopeng, who is working with Leilani Chan on Global Taxi Driver. K.P. Phagnasay has his Secret Asian Man one-man show, but has been quiet about his latest projects in development. Souphine Phathsoungneune and Phayvanh Luekhamhan worked together in Vermont on a Lao-American poetry-opera work entitled  I Think of This Every Time I Think of Mountains. It would be interesting to see that performance or something similar brought to other parts of the US. The Kinnaly Dance Troupe may also have some projects cooking in the works. Many of our other writers are focusing on develop feature-length and short films at the moment.

San Diego recently gave 10 Lao Americans a chance to try their hand at playwriting and the majority of the results were coherent and demonstrated promise. I hope they'll find the resources to continue developing their works into stronger full-length works.

One of these days I'd consider getting back to using what I learned during the Many Voices Fellowship with MN Playwrights' Center. But that's a few years off.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before someone brings "Our Laotown" or "Death of a Padaek Salesman" to stage. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw "Uncle Vinya," or some other staid Lao drama. But for now, I'd like to think the offbeat, spunky vision of our playwrights that's previously brought us works like "Lao as a Second Language" will carry the day, and that we see more forays into live Lao horror theater. Especially in light of the recent viral video that demonstrated how one can create the effect of psychic powers gone wrong in a live setting.

But what are key productions you think we should be keeping an eye out for?

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