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Surf's Not Up 

Wednesday, Jun 30 2010
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"We don't think that being American is a cultural value. We think that's all economically based." Look at the mouth on Duy Nguyen! The director of Beijing, California has 'tude, maybe because his life has been extremely dramatic: He was one of the boat people fleeing Vietnam when he was small, and now he's a middle-class local dramaturge -- he has a sort of dual perspective on prosperity. The play, written by Paul Heller, describes a future world in which the U.S. has just surrendered unconditionally to China, and is now occupied – invaded. Among other things, Nguyen and the Asian American Theater Company aim to put Americans in the place of Iraqis or Afghans, and see how they like it. They don't like it, of course -- the not-impossible scenario and local setting make the play "upsetting to some people," according to Nguyen. One can't imagine he's especially sorry.
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Hiya Swanhuyser

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