Here are some of our previous shows from past years. Each year has featured a different story and theme.
2015: Con Gái – The Other Side
Through a historical lens, our story conveys the struggles of two women: Lan, a rubber plantation worker and Chi, the middle-class daughter of the plantation owner. While honest Lan works day and night to provide for her family, the extravagant Chi lives in the lap of luxury due to her arranged marriage into a French family. However, things are not what they seem. Through the combined narratives of Chi and Lan, Culture Show 2015 explores family hardship, cultural clashes, and the true meaning of womanhood.
2014: Ảo Ảnh – Between The Lines
Mental illness is a difficult topic to discuss in many families and communities, causing it to be downplayed and ignored. However, ignoring it does not make it go away. Ảo Ảnh: Between the Lines opens the book on a woman named Jennifer and her story of mental illness. For years, Jennifer has kept her mental health a secret from everyone besides her father, her sister, and her husband. Now her secret is affecting her relationship with her daughter Kasey. She wants to tell Kasey, but her father is against it.
2013: VERTIGO – Giữa Hai Dòng Nước
VERTIGO describes the feeling of losing balance below your feet and sensing the world spinning around you. Such is the case for the Vietnamese children of Operation Babylift, an event during the Fall of Saigon in 1975 that sent over 2,000 Vietnamese orphans to the United States for adoption by White families. These transracial adoptees experience a life much different than ours, one filled with more vertigo than we could possibly imagine.
2012: Stolen – Nụ Sen Trắng
STOLEN deals with the issue of human trafficking, an issue that is hard to discuss, to accept, and to understand, but it is an issue that exists not only in Vietnamese culture, but in all cultures.
The story begins with Tuyết, a young girl living in the countryside of Vietnam with her parents, who is just beginning to see the world around her and shape it into a place in which she belongs. But before she can even start to decide for herself, to define her own character, she is sold by her gambler father, trafficked into an entirely different place: slavery at a cityscape brothel.
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2011: Echo | Âm Vang
For the 2011 UC Berkeley Vietnamese Student Association Culture Show, we meet three Vietnamese youths living in the community of Versailles in New Orleans at the time leading up to and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. All three are at a crossroads of sorts, facing the greatest challenges of their still adolescent lives.
Echo is about the reverberations, resonances, and the rebirths found within characters that challenge the essence of who a people are and what they stand for, individually, and as a Vietnamese community.
2010: Our Life After | Sóng Gió Cuộc Đời
Our Life After pays tribute to the Vietnamese refugees of the past 35 years. Given that 2010 marks the 35th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, Cal VSA wanted to take this year’s show to honor the spirit, perseverance, and hope of this Vietnamese diaspora.
Culture Show 2010 tells three unique yet also universal stories of Vietnamese families following the Vietnam War. Each interconnected story possesses its own values in terms of the issues and themes that are addressed.
2009: Monsoon | Gió Mùa
Monsoon is a modern allegorical folktale, produced by the Vietnamese Student Association for Culture Show’s 30th Anniversary. Infused with both traditional and modern performances, such as lantern dancing and hip-hop, this original production combines the heritage, procession, and perseverance of Vietnamese culture.
2008: Petals in the Wind | Cánh Hồng Trong Gió
Petals in the Wind explores the story of four Vietnamese women during the period of the Vietnam War. Through elaborate set design, costume and dance, the audience will be transported back to the 1970s and experience the interweaving of these four women’s lives during this time of national conflict. This historical showcase elicits a nostalgia that radiates through the Vietnamese audience who experienced it, while educating and inspiring others, especially the youth who are unaware of this part of history and the crucial role women played during this time period.