First Look: Geva Theatre Center Presents Qui Nguyen’s VIETGONE Starring Melody Butiu, Andrew Cristi, Geena Quintos, Hansel Tan and Kurt Uy; Opening Night is set for Oct. 2

Geva Theater Center is presenting Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone on the Wilson Stage at Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Boulevard in Rochester, New York 14607, September 28 – October 24.

(L to R): Andrew Cristi (Nahn) and Kurt Uy (Quang). Photo by Ron Heerkens Jr.

Known for his eclectic style, Nguyen co-founded a self-declared “geek theatre” company called Vampire Cowboys that draws inspiration from comic books and adventure stories. Vietgone is among his most critically-acclaimed shows and tells the true story of his parents’ journey in the United States after leaving Vietnam in 1975. The romantic comedy includes rapping, direct addresses to the audiences, and a perhaps soon-to-be-rare opportunity to see local work directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, who is leaving her position at Geva to become the producing artistic director of the Fine Arts Center Theatre in Denver.

(L to R): Geena Quintos (Tong) and Kurt Uy (Quang). Photo by Ron Heerkens Jr.

The cast features Melody Butiu, Andrew Cristi, Geena Quintos, Hansel Tan and Kurt Uy.

(L to R): Melody Butiu (Huong) and Geena Quintos (Tong). Photo by Ron Heerkens Jr.

The creative includes Movement/Fight/Intimacy Coordinator ROCÍO MENDEZ, Scenic Designer MIKIKO SUZUKI MACADAMS, Costume Designer NICOLE WEE, Lighting Designer , SETH REISER, Sound Designer, Composer & Musical Director CHRISTIE CHILES TWILLIE, Projection Designer KATHERINE FREER, Dramaturg JENNI WERNER, Stage Manager DARLENE MIYAKAWA, Assistant Stage Manager NOLAN TODD, with cast by KARIE KOPPEL of KOPPEL CASTING. 

(L to R): Geena Quintos (Ninja), Hansel Tan (Redneck Biker), Andrew Cristi (Nhan), Kurt Uy (Quang), and Melody Butiu (Ninja). Photo by Ron Heerkens Jr.

Performances run Sept. 28 through Oct. 24 on the Wilson Stage at Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Boulevard. $25-$59. Opening night is set for October 2. Tickets are available at or by calling 232-4382.

(L to R): Hansel Tan (Hippie Dude), Melody Butiu (Flower Girl), Kurt Uy (Quang), and Andrew Cristi (Nhan). Photo by Ron Heerkens Jr.
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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