CMU School of Drama

Monday, April 17, 2017

I Am Miss Saigon, and I Hate It

AMERICAN THEATRE: Growing up, my dad always told me, “Every Vietnamese family has a remarkable story.” I was raised in Orange County, Calif., the home of Disneyland, the Angels baseball team, and Little Saigon—the largest population of Vietnamese people outside of Vietnam. It means that we were surrounded by people who were refugees, veterans, war survivors—people who were forced to uproot themselves from their homeland, travel across the Pacific to a country where they did not speak the language, and build a new life. And every one of them, according to my dad, carried a story of how they got there, of the sacrifices they had to make, the family they lost or abandoned.

1 comment:

Mark Ivachtchenko said...

This article hits pretty close to a school-wide issue that happened last year in my high school during our production of Miss Saigon. The Asian population of our school detested the decision to put this show on and, even though our school was very diverse, there were white cast members who played Asian roles. They even sent a letter to the principal but it was too far into production to be canceled. Personally, I see where they're coming from in terms of a "submissive" Asian woman who relies on an American GI to help her and guide her. Furthermore, the need for America to come and help Vietnam. But, I actually thought the opposite and didn't agree on a lot of points with our school's population who were against this show as well as the author of this article. Yeah sure, the playwrights were white men from the European side of the world but I believe Kim is a pure bad ass. She's abused by the men around her but she's a fighter and ends up killing the antagonist. I think her decision to kill herself for her child isn't one of weakness but one that takes extreme courage and strength; she doesn't kill herself for her American savior, but for her son and herself.

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