Approximately 60 Cambodian-Americans from Long Beach will take a trip to Burbank on Saturday, July 13, to the West Coast Premiere Sweet Karma, a new play by Henry Ong (directed by GTC Artistic Director Kevin Cochran), playing now through July 20. It’s a riveting exploration of the tragic life and death of an Oscar-winning actor who survived the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in war-torn Cambodia, only to be fatally gunned down in the streets of Los Angeles. Based on a true story. Organizers hope that the play exploring the real life story of a murdered Cambodian Oscar-winner and holocaust survivor will prove not only entertaining but also therapeutic
Henry Ong is an internationally-produced playwright whose credits include Madame Mao’s Memories, Fabric, Rachel Ray, The Legend of the White Snake and People Like Me. He is a 15-time recipient of Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence grants, and has conducted many workshops in various communities, including at the Braille Institute and the Program for Torture Victims. Ong is an active member of the Dramatists Guild.Following the performance that evening, there will be a Q&A with a panel that includes the playwright, director and cast of Sweet Karma.
The cast of Sweet Karma includes Jon Jon Briones (Miss Saigon, in the original London production, as well as internationally, and Allegiance at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego); Rainbow Dickerson (Broadway company of August: Osage County); Pauline Yasuda (first place, World Series of Comedy Wildcard Round); Kennedy Kabasares (Pull: Tales of Obsession; Flash Theater, LA); and Jully Lee (Fabric, Chinese Massacre [Annotated]). At some performances, Constance Parng alternates in one of the roles in place of Rainbow Dickerson.
Tony Te of Doing The Most Entertainment, one of the organizers of the bus trip for the group, said that although they do not normally attend theater productions, they are excited “to participate in something new, not a movie or a party, but live theater.” Added Remy Hou of Engineered By Remy, the co-organizer, “Sweet Karma is a play that we fully support; we feel that our community in Long Beach should have an opportunity to see it. We hope everyone will find the play entertaining, educational and, most of all, therapeutic." Hou and Te have been involved with the Cambodian community since 2009, with Hou serving as the Vice-Chair for the Cambodian New Year Parade 2010/2011 and Te as the Event Director in 2013.
Sweet Karma performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. For more information go to www.gtc.org