we the same is a new play, livestreaming until November 7th from The Cultch Historic Theatre. The world premiere Ruby Slippers Theatre production is inspired by the true story of a refugee Vietnamese family’s ordeal to flee Saigon, finally making their way to Canada.
Told in flashbacks, the audience learns the incredible story of the family’s journey as the now grown daughter asks her mother about their history. For those old enough to remember news stories of ‘boat people’ arriving, we the same, helps to personalize and connect the dots between what happened ‘over there’ and their arrival here.
Written by Sangeeta Wylie and directed by Diane Brown and Patricia Trinh, the dramatic true tale of survival, family perseverance, and reconciliation plays out through animations, silhouettes, dance and song.
“It’s an oral tradition in our family, about how we were attacked [by pirates] five times…” said Actress Elizabeth Thai, who plays the mother, in a recent interview with the Vancouver Sun. “It’s like life imitating art imitating life. I’ll do the play then come home and have conversations with my mom that are like conversations from the play. We’ll argue about something and it will be the exact same dynamic as the mother and daughter in we the same.”
we the same features Elizabeth Thai as the mother, and Grace Le as daughter, with Chris Lam, Brandy Le, Quynh Mi and Khaira Ledeyo playing other family members and people who helped or hindered their journey.
Playwright Sangeeta Wylie first heard the story of the Truong family’s flight to Canada from her new neighbour, who spoke of her mother’s experiences. Soon after, Wylie met with both mother and daughter. “She told me this story over three days…And I watched as her and her daughter were both present. I watched their relationship grow… We don’t always ask our parents our stories… And so that became really the spine of it for me,” said Playwright Sangeeta Wylie in conversation with The Georgia Straight.
we the same livestreams November 4, 5 & 6, 2021 at 7:30pm, with matinee performances November 6 at 2pm and November 7 at noon (don’t forget your clocks change Saturday night). Tickets for the livestream are available online at thecultch.com