In the Camps: A Refugee Musical
Book and Lyrics by Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay
Music and Lyrics by Ketsana Vilaylack
Directed by Ova Saopeng
C. “Meaks” Meaker as dramaturg
Featuring Soudavone Khamvongsa, Lidet Viravong, Chufue Yang, Tri Vo, and Phouthavone 'Kat' Chanthalone
Using songs and humor, IN THE CAMPS will take place in a refugee camp and tell the story of Laotians who’ve escaped communist Laos. While in the camps, refugees built makeshift past lives to remind them of who they were before the disruption of war. An older woman turns a storage hut into a beauty parlor. She offers hair washing, scalp massages, and haircuts to remind herself that there is still beauty in the world. A former monk erects a martial arts gym behind one of the food distribution tents. He trains young Laotians on how to regain their strength, confidence, and power. An ex-communist soldier tries to blend in. He fears violent retaliation from victims and their families if he is found out. He is also hopeful that in a camp full of Buddhists, he will be forgiven. A young newly-wed must decide on the length that she will go and the boundaries she will cross to reunite with her husband who is missing.
Bonus: The project will train new Laotians as theater artists and cultivate Laotians as theater audiences.