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Livestreamed on this page on Tuesday 23 August 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7)/5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5)/6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

United States
Tuesday 23 August 2022

It's a Mystery!

Using an Old Story Form to Ask New Questions in the Theater

Tuesday 23 August 2022

E. M. Lewis (Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Artists Repertory Theatre) and Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay (Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Theater Mu) presented the conversation It's a Mystery! livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 23 August 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7)/5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5)/6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

It's a Mystery! Using an Old Story Form to Ask New Questions in the Theater
Join Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay (Mekong Murder Mystery at Theatre Mu in St. Paul, Minnesota) and E. M. (Ellen) Lewis (True Story at Artists Rep in Portland, Oregon) for a conversation about writing mysteries for the stage. What drew them to writing plays in this genre? What are the challenges and gifts of this story form? Are they leaning into the “history of the mystery” in their work or disrupting it? What worlds are they building or exploring in their stories?

Ellen's mystery play True Story is going to be produced at Artists Rep in the upcoming season, and Saymoukda is currently working on a play called Mekong Murder Mystery.


About the Speakers
E. M. (Ellen) Lewis is an award-winning playwright and opera librettist. Her work has been produced around the world and published by Samuel French. She received the Steinberg Award from the American Theater Critics Association for How the Light Gets In and Song of Extinction. Other plays include The Gun Show, Dorothy’s Dictionary, Apple Season, and You Can See All the Stars. She lives on her family’s farm in Oregon. Visit her website.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a Lao American playwright who creates speculative/sci-fi/horror stage work that centers the experiences of the Laotian and Southeast Asian Diaspora. She’s best known for her plays KUNG FU ZOMBIES VS CANNIBALS (Theater Mu, 2013), HMONG-LAO FRIENDSHIP PLAY (Lazy Hmong Woman Prod., 2015), and KUNG FU ZOMBIES VS SHAMAN WARRIOR (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, 2016). Visit her website.

This event is a collaboration between E. M. Lewis (Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Artists Repertory Theatre) and Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay (Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Theater Mu) with support from HowlRound Theatre Commons.

Theater Mu (est. 1994) is Minnesota’s leading Asian American theatre arts organization that produces great performances born of arts, equity, and justice from the heart of the Asian American experience. Mu’s primary artistic values include: to give voice and cultural profile to the Asian American community; to offer opportunities for mainstream audiences to gain insight into and empathy for Asian American culture and heritage; to provide professional development opportunities for emerging Asian American artists; to promote awareness of and progressive action on issues of social justice and gender equality in society; and to move, provoke, and challenge our audiences to understand, embrace, and celebrate diversity. Website.

Artists Repertory Theatre (est. 1982) is Portland’s oldest professional theatre company and has become a significant presence in the United States regional theatre with a legacy of world, national, and regional premieres of provocative new work with the highest standards of stagecraft. Their mission is to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for a diverse community of artists and audiences to take creative risks. Website.

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing-arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and develop our knowledge commons collectively. Anyone can participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email tv@howlround.com or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal. View the video archive of past events.

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