Berkeley Repertory Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, which will begin performances February 25 at the California venue.
The Signature Theatre production will continue at Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theatre through April 2. Opening night is set for March 1.
Directed by Chay Yew, the cast will include Francis Jue as Duch, Abraham Kim as Rom/Journalist, Jane Lui as Pou/S21 Guard, Obie winner Joe Ngo as Chum, Geena Quintos as Neary/Sothea, and Moses Villarama as Ted/Cadre/Leng with understudies Kelsey Angel Baehrens, Alex Lydon, and Vi Tran.
The play with music tells the story of a Khmer Rouge survivor returning to Cambodia for the first time in 30 years, as his daughter prepares to prosecute one of Cambodia’s most infamous war criminals.
The artists will be backed by a live band playing contemporary Dengue Fever hits and classic Cambodian oldies.
Cambodian Rock Band launched Steinberg Award-winning playwright Yee’s Residency 5 at New York's Signature Theatre. Look back at photos from that production, featuring several of the stars from the upcoming engagement, below:
“Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band is a work of incredible theatrical deftness, brutal honesty, pure heart, and wit,” says director Yew. “Her play breathes life into the timely issues in our divided nation: immigration, race, genocide, and human rights abuses; the rights of refugees and emigres; the consequences of apathy when a country shifts under a brutal regime; and the destruction of freedom of expression in the midst of political transitions and upheavals. In Lauren’s astute eyes, one thing remains consistent throughout our temperamental world: the constancy, the resilience, and enduring power of art and artists. Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band celebrates the indomitable legacy of art and music; how artists capture our individual and national spirit and hopes; and the uncanny ability of art to inspire, to affirm our humanity, and to bring us together.”
The Berkeley production will also have scenic design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design by Mikhail Fiksel, projection design by Five Ohm Productions with Luke Norby, wig design by Tom Watson, music supervision and co-music direction by Matt MacNelly, music supervision and co-music direction by Jane Lui, and associate direction by Graham Schmidt. Merrick A.B. Williams is the stage manager, and Caroline Duffin is the assistant stage manager.
Cambodian Rock Band was developed in The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work in 2016. This production is presented in association with Alley Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, and Center Theatre Group.