Saturday, November 10, 2007

Refugee Nation

Wow - another story telling show. This time three main story tellers presenting some of the stories of Lao Refugees to the US. They aren't always easy as we hear about the difficulties of adjusting to a new land after surviving war and refugee camps in Thailand. Although the two main actors are from LA, this is not a slick Hollywood production. Rather it is a well acted, genuine performance by people who want to entertain and educate about their people - the Lao refugees in the US. This is still a work in progress and I expect that the transitions from scene to scene will get a little tighter and the film will be better integrated into the rest of the performance. But these are my picky points and they really don't detract from the power of the show. This is a chance to see behind the news images people might have (or as the show points out, not have) of Lao and Hmong people.

The ADN did a great job of covering this show on the front page this morning. Below is a brief video of the question and answer period after the performance with Leilani Chan, Ova Saopeng, and May Lee-Yang.

And according to their blog, they've been having a busy but great time in Anchorage. They've been to various schools, to the Senior Center, met with Alaska Native kids, and tried out several of the Thai/Lao restaurants. Here's what they say about their welcome in Anchorage.

It's been two days in Anchorage and already we feel like part of the family. We've been welcome with warm smiles, hugs and hospitality unmatched beyond any expectation. In these two days so far, we have met more people, been filled with excitement and enthusiasm and gone to several happenin' events in Anchorage that it's like we never left home.

Also check out the website.

I know that Mike Huelsman, the Executive Director or Out North Theater, is responsible for much of the hospitality.

Anchorage is blessed to have such cultural riches and if you don't already have tickets to something Sunday, you should go to see Jack Dalton at Cyrano's and then Refugee Nation at Out North. You can get your tickets online there.

Refugee Nation has a 7pm performance Sunday and 4pm on Monday afternoon.
Dalton's My Heart Runs in Two Directions at Once has a Sunday 3pm show, then Monday - Thursday at 7pm. Cyrano's is on D Street between 4th and 5th Avenues downtown.

Yes, this is less a review and more a shameless plug. But I wouldn't be pushing this if I didn't think it was really worthwhile.


  1. ditto to your comments, we went last night (Saturday) and it was great.

  2. thanks for the blog on us. we've felt such warmth here in's just hard to explain. our gift is our art and i'm very satisfied to know that we've touched people through our performance.

    you seem to be doing well blogging. keep it up. so far...what have you learned?


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