The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) presents ACCENTED: Dialogues in Diaspora, a virtual series of programs that will feature a variety of writers, poets, artists, actors, filmmakers, scholars, and other cultural producers from the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora.
Hosted by Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer. This event is in partnership with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, who is hosting a virtual screening of Susan Lieu’s 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother the next day.
This installation of ACCENTED will be Friday, November 13th at 7:00 pm PST / 10:00 pm EST, hosted by Pulitzer-prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, and will feature actor Marc dela Cruz, playwright Qui Nguyen, journalist/editor/critic Diep Tran, and playwright/producer/performer Susan Lieu.
Amidst the current political theatre of the 2020 US Elections, the conversation will center the hopes and struggles of Asian American performers and writers, the roles they have (or don’t have), the guests’ bodies of work, and journeys in the performing arts, and the narrative production of the Southeast Asian diaspora.
About the Guests
Marc dela Cruz got his start in theater in Seattle with the Northwest Asian American Theatre, ReAct and the series Sex in Seattle, while a student at the University of Washington. After finishing his degree in International Studies with a minor in Japanese he continued training and performing around the Seattle area with Village Theatre and the 5th Avenue Theatre. In 2006, he moved to New York and began auditioning for everything he was remotely right for. Credits since then have included the national tour of Disney’s High School Musical, the world premiere of Where Elephants Weep in Cambodia, his Broadway debut in the original cast of If/Then and subsequent national tour and his current post in the Broadway cast of Hamilton where he is in the ensemble and understudies Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Laurens/Philip and King George. Off-Broadway he appeared in Keen Company’s revival of Ordinary Days and Transport Group’s Three Days to See. Regional highlights include Quang in Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone at Studio Theatre in D.C., Dan in Next to Normal with Tantrum Theatre and the world premiere of Allegiance at the Old Globe. He currently lives in Harlem with his cat, Eddie.
Qui Nguyen is a Co-Founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company of New York City, the “pioneers of geek theatre.” His best-known plays include Vietgone, Poor Yella Rednecks, She Kills Monsters, Revenge Song, Alice in Slasherland, and Living Dead in Denmark. For TV, he most recently wrote on AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere and Netflix’s The Society. His upcoming film, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, co-written with Adele Lim, premieres this March 12, 2021. He’s also a recipient of a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for his writing on PBS’s Peg+Cat.
Diep Tran is a journalist and editor based in NYC. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, NBC Asian America, Hello Giggles, Playbill, Time Out New York, Backstage, CNN, Salon, and other publications. Her day jobs include being features editor of Broadway.com and senior editor of American Theatre magazine. She is a judge for the 2020 Obie Awards and is a 2020 Drama Desk Award voter. During quarantine, she co-founded a media company called Token Theatre Friends (you can subscribe to their podcast) and helped launch VietFactCheck.org, where she’s the managing editor.
Susan Lieu is a Vietnamese-American activist, playwright, and performer who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. With a vision for individual and community healing—made possible through the interplay of comedy and drama—her work delves deeply into the lived realities of body insecurity, grieving, and trauma. Her first theatrical solo show, 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother, is the true story of how her mother died from plastic surgery malpractice when Lieu was 11 years old and her search to find her mother’s killer. Susan self-produced a nearly sold-out 10-city National Tour with press from L.A. Times, NPR, The Washington Post (The Lily), NBC News, American Theatre, and The Seattle Times. Lieu has performed her show and its sequel 51 times to 6000 people in the past year. Her work has been showcased with The Wing Luke Museum, The Moth at Benaroya Hall, On The Boards, and Bumbershoot. Susan has a BA from Harvard, an MBA from Yale, and is the co-founder of Socola Chocolatier, an artisanal chocolate company in San Francisco.
Titi Nguyen is the Program Coordinator at the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network.