Cambodian-American Teen Seeks Change in Second Stage Uptown's Year Zero

News   Cambodian-American Teen Seeks Change in Second Stage Uptown's Year Zero
 
Mason Lee stars as a suddenly-motherless child in Michael Golamco's Year Zero, opening Off-Broadway May 26. Louis Ozawa Changchien, Peter Kim and Maureen Sebastian also star in the Second Stage Theatre 2010 Uptown Series presentation.
Year Zero stars Maureen Sebastian and Louis Ozawa Changchien
Year Zero stars Maureen Sebastian and Louis Ozawa Changchien Photo by Joan Marcus

Will Frears directs the New York premiere of the Golamco work that began performances May 18. The show will run through June 13 at the company's uptown home, the McGinn/Cazale Theatre. Year Zero centers on "Vuthy Vichea (Lee), a 16-year-old Cambodian American who wears thick glasses, loves hip hop, and plays Dungeons and Dragons. After his mother's death, Vuthy and his sister Ra (Sebastian) struggle to reinvent themselves in Long Beach, CA, where being different can be deadly."

Lee (who is the son of film director Ang Lee) has also appeared in Zanna Don't, Hair and Guys and Dolls (Play Group Theatre). He is joined on stage by Sebastian (Around the World in Eighty Days, "Gossip Girl"), Changchien ("Law & Order," "Predators") and Kim (Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie, "Hackers").

Golamco — the 2009 Helen Merrill Award winner — has also penned Cowboy versus Samurai and the films "Please Stand By" and "Dragon of Love." Year Zero premiered at the Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago.

Trip Cullman will direct the world premiere of Leslye Headland's Bachelorette (July 12-Aug. 7) for the second presentation of the eighth annual Uptown Series.

The mission of the Uptown Series is "to help develop and provide exposure for the voices of a new generation of theatre artists," according to Second Stage. Each show is allotted a limited rehearsal period and a streamlined budget.

Tickets for both shows at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, located on Broadway (at 76th Street, 3rd floor), can be purchased by calling (212) 246-4422. For more information, visit 2ST.com.

Mason Lee and Peter Kim in <i>Year Zero</i>
Mason Lee and Peter Kim in Year Zero Photo by Joan Marcus
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