Deeper dive: Your first look at 'Vietgone'

by John Moore | Apr 02, 2018

Vietgone. Oregon Shakespeare Festival
James Ryen and Will Dao in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2016 production of 'Vietgone,' which is not a story about war. It’s a story about falling in love. Photo courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival.)

Note: In this daily series, we will take a deeper dive into the eight titles recently announced on the DCPA Theatre Company's 2018-19 season. First: Vietgone.


  • Playwright: Qui Nguyen
  • Original music by Shane Rettig
  • Director: Seema Sueko, Deputy Artistic Director at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
  • Dates: Aug. 24-Sept. 30 (Opens Aug. 31)
  • Where: Ricketson Theatre
  • Genre: Irreverent 1970s road-trip comedy
  • At a glance: This rap-spitting, pop culture-crusted dramedy is an ode to the real-life (and somewhat made-up) courtship of the playwright's parents. Forced to leave their country during the height of the Vietnam War, two refugees find themselves at the same relocation camp in Arkansas – the land of Harleys, hot dogs and “howdy!” Before they find their way into each other’s arms, they’ll have to blaze a trail in their weird new world and leave behind the baggage they didn’t pack. This stage adventure hops across time and around the globe through the highs and lows of love.
  • About the playwright: Arkansas native Qui Nguyen is one of the American theater’s most innovative and lauded young playwrights. He describes himself as "Playwright. Screenwriter. Geek."  His savvy comedy is known for its innovative use of pop-culture, stage violence, puppetry and multimedia.
  • Says Artistic Director Chris Coleman: "The Denver Center has done a fantastic job of introducing new voices and new storytelling styles to this community. What Qui Nguyen is on to with Vietgone is a beautiful continuation of that thread, and I’m thrilled that it will kick off our 40th anniversary seaShe Kills Monsters. Aurora Fox. A&J Photographyson. Qui is undeniably a fresh, irreverent voice in the American theatre and the exploration of his parents' saucy romance through rap music and hilarious dialogue takes us on a journey through a very different America than most of us grew up with.”
  • What the critics have said: "The raucous comedy Vietgone is proof-positive that in certain realms of theater, we have moved firmly beyond political correctness." — Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
  • Fun facts: Nguyen is also the playwright behind She Kills Monsters, which addressed stereotypes and social issues through the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, which had a playful staging at the Aurora Fox in 2015. Vampire Cowboys, the New York  theatre company Nguyen co-founded, is often credited for being the pioneers of "geek theatre." It holds the unique distinction of being the first and currently only professional theatre company to be officially sponsored by the New York Comic Con.

(Pictured above: Jenna Moll Reyes in 'She Kills Monsters' at the Aurora Fox. A&J Photography.)

Qui Nguyen.

2018-19 DCPA Theatre Company season at a glance:

  • Aug. 24-Sept. 30: Vietgone (Ricketson Theatre) READ MORE
  • Sept. 7-Oct. 14: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (Stage Theatre) READ MORE
  • Sept. 21-Oct. 21: The Constant Wife (Space Theatre) READ MORE
  • Nov. 21-Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol (Stage Theatre) READ MORE
  • Jan. 18-Feb. 24, 2019: Last Night and the Night Before (Ricketson Theatre) READ MORE
  • Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2019: Anna Karenina (Stage Theatre) READ MORE
  • Feb. 8-March 10, 2019: The Whistleblower (Space Theatre) READ MORE
  • April 26-May 26, 2019: Sweat (Space Theatre) READ MORE
  • DCPA Theatre Company tickets and subscriptions:
    New and renewing subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve tickets. Subscription packages are now available online at or by calling 303-893-4100. Subscribers enjoy 30 percent off savings, free ticket exchanges, payment plans, priority offers to added attractions, discounted extra tickets, a dedicated VIP hotline, free events including talkbacks and receptions, and the best seats at the best prices, guaranteed. Single ticket on-sale date will be announced at a later time. BUY ONLINE

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    1 comment

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    1. p.t. | Apr 02, 2018
      VIETGONE premiered at South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, CA.  They co-commissioned it with Manhattan Theatre Club. The OSF production happened after that.

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      John Moore
      John Moore
      Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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