Cambodian Rock Band has come to our Kreeger Theater after a long journey interrupted by a number of unforeseen circumstances. I don’t think I’m speaking only for myself when I say it’s been a proud moment to share this production with you—and a bit of a relief. This is a fabulous story and an authentic production that deserves to be seen, heard and felt.

You may be asking the natural question, Edgar, what was that journey? Lauren Yee wrote this compelling story, and the play was expertly produced by Signature Theatre in New York. So expertly produced that other producers were inspired to option the rights for a national tour a couple of years ago.

Arena was part of that tour during our 2021/22 Season, but due to the complexities of tours, and then the COVID-19 pandemic, had to be canceled out of our season. But we promised it would be back… and back it is!

I like to have themes when I reflect on our productions, and this season seems like a good one to dive into how we manage the delicacy of producing theater. Every piece is handcrafted, and what we produce is perishable. It is there for a few hours in a performance and then it is gone, to be made fresh again.

The pandemic taught us a lot about that delicacy and our ephemeral nature. Most importantly, the lack of live theater emphasized to me the beauty and the need for it. We are ever so grateful to be able to finally share Cambodian Rock Band with you and hope that if you haven’t already, you will come see, hear, and feel it for yourself.