MediaRites originally recorded oral history interviews more than 10 years ago with 15 former refugees from Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Mien and Hmong communities who arrived in Portland in the 80s and 90s, as part of the "Crossing East" Asian American documentary series. "Crossing East"—a Peabody-Award-winning radio documentary series that ran on 230 NPR stations—turns 10 in 2016-2017. To commemorate that legacy, MediaRites is excited to breathe new life into these recordings, connecting contemporary audiences with refugee stories that are still rarely heard today.
"Refugee Dreams Revisited" will be showcased in a series of free staged readings directed by professional directors Samson Syharath and Lidet Vivarong. Each public performance will be accompanied with a post-show panel discussion with the original interviewees such as Kilong Ung, Lee Po Cha and Sokhaum Touch to name a few of the community leader elders. We plan this as a youth training project with performances on May 21, June 11, 17, and 24th in partnership with IRCO's Asian Family Center and Multnomah County Library where all rehearsals and performances will take place.