MINNEAPOLIS — Co-presented by Intermedia Arts and TeAda Productions Refugee Nation will enjoy another run the weekends of April 10-13 and 17-20, 2014. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Thursday to Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis.
Refugee Nation features special local guest artists Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Ibé Kaba, Robert Farid Karimi, Tou SaiKo Lee, Abdi Phenomenal, Fres Thao, May Lee-Yang and others.
A mother lives alone in the darkness. A father struggles to forget a lost war. A son battles in the streets of urban America. A daughter searches for answers in her community.
Refugee Nation is about a young generation seeking to understand their history and a community healing from the traumas of war. Based on the stories of Laotian refugees in the U.S. the play eloquently touches upon the refugee experience.
Highlighting the hidden stories of Laotian Americans, who celebrate their rich culture and look forward to a hopeful future. Refugee Nation unites people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and histories relating the ideas of change, loss, struggle, healing, and the unrelenting strength of the human spirit.
Leilani Chan is an award winning performance artist, actor, playwright, director, cultural worker, Founding Artistic Director of TeAda Productions. TeAda Productions exists to enrich the repertoire of contemporary works created and performed by people of color.
Leilani and her partner, Ova Saopeng, are currently traveling the country developing Refugee Nation a multi-disciplinary performance based on the stories of Laotian refugees and their descendants from around the country. This project received a Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund and a NPN Creation Fund in partnership with OUTNORTH, Highways Performance Space and Legacies of War – and education and advocacy group around the removal of UXOs form Laos (legaciesofwar.org).
Leilani is a Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence and has toured natitionally with her solo work “E Nana I ke Kumu.” Her performance installation “Life as a Dashboard Hula Dancer” has been presented as part of Guillermo Gomez-Peña’s La Pocha Nostra at LACMA in 2005 and FITLA 2004. Ms. Chan has worked with Hawaiian and multi-racial communities to develop community-based performances and has she been presented at Borderlands Theater, Highways Performance Space, JACCC, Grand Performances, the Getty Center Museum, and at many other college campuses and performance venues across the country.
Leilani has directed new works by Robert Karimi at Out North in Anchorage, Alaska and Kristina Wong at REDCAT, [INSIDE] the Ford, and at La Peña Cultural Center. Ms. Chan has also worked with numerous arts organizations throughout the country including Center Theatre Group, New WORLD Theater, Great Leap, Highways Performance Space and many others. Leilani obtained her M.F.A. from U.C. Irvine in 2004. Ms. Chan is on the national steering committee for the National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival and for Legacies of War.
Ova Saopeng is an actor and writer from Los Angeles, he was born in Savannahket, Laos and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received his B.A. in Theater from the University of Southern California and since then has worked nationally with many theater companies from the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis on the production of “Dragonwings” based on the Newberry Award winning book by Laurence Yep, Mark Taper Forum/P.L.A.Y. production of “Wondrous Tales of Old Japan”, a kabuki American adaptation of Japanese folk tales written and directed by David Furumoto, and East West Players the premiere Asian American Theater Company in the nation.
He has toured colleges and universities with the Asian American Theater troupe hereandnow and is an active member of We Tell Stories and Water’s Edge Theater, children’s theater companies based in southern California. He is also a roster artist with TeAda Productions led by founding artistic director Leilani Chan, who is also his wife.
TeAda is a company dedicated to supporting, developing and incubating artist of color to create innovative theatrical performances to empower under-served communities. Refugee Nation, a play written and performed by Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng about the Lao-American experience, based on interviews and workshops in Lao communities throughout the U.S., is currently touring.
The mission of TeAda Productions is to expand the awareness of issues affecting underserved communities through the development and presentation of performances by people of color. TeAda’s cross-disciplinary performances incorporate theater, performance art, and dance. TeAda embraces a fearless commitment to provide artists a space to explore cultural and political issues most relevant to their communities. TeAda serves as a bridge between the health, education, and social justice issues of these underserved communities.
Intermedia Arts’ Catalyst Series is dedicated to collaborating with and providing support for artists, arts groups, and organizations working as catalysts for change in their communities. The Catalyst Series is designed to engage audiences by provoking new performing, visual, literary, multimedia and film presentations that spark dialogue and inspire social change. Our goal is to provide artists, arts groups, and arts organizations with the resources necessary to focus on their creative process, connect with their communities, advance their career, market their work, and develop new audiences.
A multidisciplinary, multicultural arts center, Intermedia Arts builds understanding among people by catalyzing and inspiring artists and audiences to make changes in their lives and communities. Intermedia Arts is a nationally recognized leader in empowering artists and community leaders to use arts-based approaches to solve community issues.
From graffiti art to digital technology to performance art to spoken word, Intermedia Arts works from the community up to unearth and enliven new and emerging artists and art forms while challenging and exploring the role of art in our lives. By stimulating civic dialogue and giving voice to the issues and experiences of underrepresented communities locally, nationally and internationally, Intermedia Arts contributes to a stronger, healthier society.
Intermedia Arts is a catalyst that builds understanding among people through art.