Culture Show ’15 Synopsis & Characters


During the 1920s, classes were divided as a result of French colonial administration in Vietnam. This period comprises of many interracial dynamics that produced a new generation of French-influenced elements on Vietnamese culture such as language, education, food, fashion and social structure. The French gained majority of their economic success and profit by owning rice and rubber plantations and partitioning the Vietnamese. This social separation caused an intense struggle between the working class and elite in Vietnam. Through a historical lens, our story conveys the lives of two women: one from the “lowly” working class, another from the “traitorous” elite. Through the combined narratives of Lan and Chi, Culture Show 2015 explores family hardship, cultural clashes, and the true meaning of womanhood.


Characters marked (*) are Caucasians or half-Caucasian.

Main characters:

Chi A young and educated French-influenced Vietnamese woman, Chi marries Laurent to strengthen her father’s political ties with the French. Chi is Ong Quy’s only daughter.
Lan A widow and mother of Quang, Lan works on a French-owned rubber plantation alongside her son and brother. Resilient and hard-working, Lan goes to drastic measures to protect her family.


Supporting characters:

Quang Lan’s son, who also works on the rubber plantation even though he is just a little kid.
Laurent* Chi’s husband and General Dubois’ son. A handsome and charismatic Frenchman, Laurent takes advantage of his looks to seduce multiple Vietnamese women.
Tuấn Lan’s younger brother and fellow worker on the French-run Michelin rubber plantation. Tuấn often speaks his mind and would do anything to protect his family.
Ông Quý Co-owner of the French-run Michelin rubber plantation and father of Chi, Ong Quy is a man of politics, business, and socio-economic connections. Despite his initial stern and unrelenting demeanor, Ông Quý is highly protective of his daughter.
General Dubois* A Frenchman of power and Laurent’s father, the General is a composed yet uncompromising man. He forms a strictly economic partnership with Ông Quý through the arranged marriage between Chi and Laurent.
Dominic* The financial advisor of the General, Dominic is an honest Frenchman who displays his opposition to the objectification of Vietnamese women.
Charlotte Laurent’s second wife. Young and materialistic, Charlotte marries Laurent to move up the social ladder.
Hân Lan’s best friend on the French-run Michelin rubber plantation. Hân is caring and supportive of her friend; Lan turns to her for advice every time she runs into trouble.
Manager Ông Quý’s right hand man; his job is to oversee the Michelin plantation. Harsh and abusive, he finds delight in exerting his power over the workers.
Đức Notorious for being the leader of a no-good gang of womanizers.



Guard* A French guard hired by General Dubois to monitor the workers
Minh Lan’s deceased husband
Workers (2) all work on Michelin plantation
Nurse She works at the local hospital
Female Server She works at a cafe where Laurent often comes for a drink.
Men (2) Đức’s vulgar cronies.
Women (2) Escorts
Ông Quý’s servant He serves wine at Ong Quy’s party
Old woman Is physically assaulted by the manager on the Michelin rubber plantation.


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