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Claire Trevor Theater, UCI

UC Irvine

Building #711

Irvine, CA 92617

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Letters From Home is a multimedia solo performance that is a collaboration between Cambodian-American actress Kalean Ung, her father, celebrated Cambodian composer Chinary Ung, and director Marina McClure. The piece blends Kalean's research on the Cambodian genocide with Chinary's original music and Marina’s visionary direction to explore themes of family, sacrifice, and the hope inherent in immigration and the American dream.

Inspired by the moment Kalean’s father shared with her a trove of letters from family members in Cambodia suffering through the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge, this compelling story pays tribute to refugees, immigrants, and the traumas passed down within families. Supporting this central storyline is an exploration of female Shakespearean characters, as Kalean analyzes how the letters express universal archetypes of mother, wife, and daughter. This special production blurs the lines of performance and incantation with Kalean stepping in and out of classic roles to grapple with the women she encounters in her father's letters.

Letters From Home integrates music and striking visual design, using projection and costume to create a scenic installation. It tells an emotional and compelling story about a Cambodian-American woman and her exploration of her connection to her family, her legacy, and the country of her father.

Please visit the accompanying exhibition at the Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive. [Dates and link TBA]

Co-sponsored by Asian American Studies, Drama, the UCI Libraries, the Humanities Center, and the UCI Shakespeare Center

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Claire Trevor Theater, UCI

UC Irvine

Building #711

Irvine, CA 92617

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