“Red Earth, Gold Gate, Shadow Sky” is inspired by interviews with young Cambodian American men deported to Cambodia. These “returnees” survived a long journey between two cultures, only to lose their place once again. Drama professor Mark Jenkins and artist Don Fels conceived the project in 2004; envisioning a dramatic work that would speak to the human universals in the young men’s tragic trajectory while evoking Cambodian art, culture and community. In 2008, they traveled to Phnom Penh to interview returnees, where they also met Sopheap Pich, now a prominent Cambodian sculptor. Pich’s interest in the project widened a collaboration that now includes Seattle’s Cambodian-American community as well. The debut performance is a workshop production of part one of the play.
Red Earth, Gold Gate, Shadow Sky, written by drama professor Mark Jenkins, is the story of a young Cambodian whose family is displaced by war. After enduring the terror of the Khmer Rouge, the family escapes to Thailand where they struggle to survive in refugee camps before being allowed to emigrate to the U.S. In America, the young man and his family continue to struggle against a different set of challenges: gangs, crime and prison. Now, after thirty years of living as an American, the son faces deportation to Cambodia.
Community Workshop Performances:
Neighborhood House, High Point Center
November 18-19, 7:00 p.m.
Suggested donation for all performances is $5
Read more about this event here:
“Stories of Cambodian returnees form basis of play by drama school prof.”