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Colonialism Is Terrible, But Phở Is Delicious

Colonialism Is Terrible, But Phở Is Delicious

[Eugene, OR] Oregon Contemporary Theatre presents the world premiere of “Colonialism Is Terrible, But Phở Is Delicious,” written by Dustin Chinn.

A comedy spanning centuries, continents and cultures, the play has a three-part vignette structure:

  • Beginning in 1880s French Indochina, a headstrong Vietnamese cook finds herself in the kitchen of aristocratic French settlers.
  • Then in 1999 Vietnam, American tourists get their first taste of the local cuisine.
  • Finally, in present-day gentrifying Brooklyn, the simmering clash around culture, ownership and authenticity comes to a roaring boil.

Playwright Chinn took inspiration for “Colonialism Is Terrible, But Phở Is Delicious” from two viral incidents around cultural appropriation and food. Chinn says he “followed the rabbit hole” and wrote the play as what he dubs “a triptych about the ownership and authorship of food following the journey of Vietnamese noodle soup.”

OCT’s production is the third in a rolling world premiere, following productions at Aurora Theatre (Berkeley, CA) and Chance Theater (Anaheim, CA). A review of Berkeley’s production review proclaimed the Edgerton Award-winning script as “a biting and scrumptious three-part treat of a play.”

Directed by Oánh Nguyễn, Dustin Chinn’s satire, “Colonialism Is Terrible, But Phở Is Delicious,” runs May 19 – Jun 4, 2023, at Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene, OR.


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