Artistic Director Chris Coleman announcing ‘Vietgone’ to open the DCPA Theatre Company’s 2018-19 season. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
Theatre Company will open 40th anniversary with a wild and most unlikely ride through a different kind of America
Chris Coleman today announced the cast and creative team for Vietgone, which will open not only his tenure as the DCPA Theatre Company’s new Artistic Director but also the company’s milestone 40th season in late August.
Vietgone is an ode to the real-life courtship of playwright Qui Nguyen’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 and hot dogs. This rap- and pop culture-infused dramedy hops across time and around the globe through the highs and lows of love.
“The Denver Center has done a fantastic job of introducing new voices and new storytelling styles to this community. What Qui is on to with Vietgone is a beautiful continuation of that thread and I’m thrilled that it will kick off our 40th anniversary season,” said Coleman. “Qui Nguyen is undeniably a fresh, irreverent voice in the American theatre and the exploration of his parent’s 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.”
DCPA Theatre Company cast:
- Melody Butiu (Broadway’s Doctor Zhivago) as Ensemble
- Jordan De Leon (Drury Lane’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Ensemble
- Brian Lee Huynh (Broadway’s War Horse) as Ensemble
- Lisa Helmi Johanson (National tour, Avenue Q) as Tong
- Glenn Morizio (L.A. Theatre Ensemble’s Romeo and Juliet) as Quang
- Seema Sueko (Deputy Artistic Director, Arena Stage): Director
- Jason Sherwood (DCPA’s The Who’s Tommy): Scenic Designer
- Valérie Thérèse Bart (DCPA’s The Great Leap): Costume Designer
- Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (DCPA’s Smart People): Lighting Designer
- Andre Pluess: Sound Designer
- Douglas Langworthy: Dramaturg
- Bianca Mikahn: Rap Consultant
- Harriet Bass, CSA: Casting
- Christopher C. Ewing: Stage manager
- Rick Mireles: Assistant Stage Manager
“Qui has written an origin story that is highly imaginative and unique, while also being universal,” said Sueko. “It’s explosive and exuberant and then switches quickly to intimate and heartfelt. In Vietgone, Qui gives us a perspective on the Vietnam War that the majority of Americans are unfamiliar with.
“I am so honored to be part of Chris Coleman’s first season in Denver can’t wait to dive into this eye-opening and heart-expanding love story.”
Tickets for Vietgone will be available at denvercenter.org, 303-893-4100 or in person at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex (14th and Curtis streets), starting July 18. Tickets for the majority of other Denver Center productions will go on sale Aug. 3.
Vietgone: At a glance
- By Qui Nguyen
- Original music by Shane Rettig
- Directed by Seema Sueko
- Aug. 24-Sept. 30 (Opens Aug. 31)
- Ricketson Theatre
- Fun fact: Qui Nguyen is the self-described geeky playwright behindShe Kills Monsters, which addressed stereotypes and social issues through the game “Dungeons and Dragons.”
- Take a deeper dive into Vietgone
(Pictured: Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 production of ‘Vietgone,’ courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival.)