Volume 8, Issue 44  |  June 2, 2023Subscribe

Share this story

South Coast Repertory goes on a cross-country, cross-generational trip with world premiere of Coleman ’72 by Charlie Oh

A cross-country journey that covers much more than miles takes the stage next as South Coast Repertory (SCR Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) present Coleman ’72 by Charlie Oh. Directed by Chay Yew, the world premiere production runs April 23-May 14 on the Julianne Argyros Stage, as part of the 25th Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF).

Coleman ’72 wraps up the 2022-23 Julianne Argyros Stage season. It is Oh’s first production at SCR. 

Coleman ’72 takes you back to the summer of 1972 through the eyes of three Korean American siblings: Jenn, Michelle and Joey, who pile into the family Buick for an All-American road trip – spontaneously orchestrated by their father. From Milwaukee to Los Angeles and back again, they hit the open plains, stocked with kimchi, banchan and lemon drops, rickety Coleman camper in tow. But Korean parents and American kids hold conflicting ideas of what they’re looking for and the real purpose of their journey comes to light.

South Coast Repertory Oh and Ivers

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Nicholas Pilapil/SCR

(L-R) “Coleman ‘72” Playwright Charlie Oh with SCR Artistic Director David Ivers

“I’m beyond excited to share the world premiere of Charlie Oh’s beautiful and complex story about his Korean American family. Charlie is an exceptional writer, a terrific human and we are honored to support his work with this production,” Ivers said.

A recent graduate of The Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, Oh started writing Coleman ’72 sitting in his parents’ basement in Chicago during the depths of the pandemic. He said it gave him a chance to call aunts, grandparents, cousins and other relatives and listen to their stories.

“This is a story about what it means to be American, what it means to grapple with family that you love, but who also may have hurt you. How do you reconcile the really messy things about your family? How do you come to your senses about your family history?” Oh said. 

Oh’s work has been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Lark, Second Stage, Goodman Theatre, the BMI Lehmen Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, NYC Songspace, the American Musical Theater Project, The Brooklyn Generator and Catwalk Writer’s Residency. His play LONG won the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, placed second for the Mark Twain Prize for Comedic Playwriting and was a 2019 Honorable Mention selection for the American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award.

Coleman ’72 received the Kennedy Center’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award.

One of the most accomplished theater directors in the country, Yew returns to SCR to direct Coleman ‘72 eight years after helming the critically acclaimed Cambodian Rock Band. Yew directed Cambodian Rock Band off-Broadway (Signature Theatre), one of 11 New York credits on his resume. Winner of the 2007 Obie Award for his direction of Durango by Julia Cho, Yew’s regional directing credits include productions at most of America’s major regional theaters, including Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Alley Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Kennedy Center, Alley Theatre, Center Theatre Group and the Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. 

Coleman ’72 features Paul Juhn (James), Jessica Ko (Michelle), Jully Lee (Annie), Tess Lina (Jenn) and Ryun Yu (Joey). Lee and Yu return to SCR after appearing in the 2015 production of tokyo fish story. Lee also appeared in Aubergine (2018). Yu played four characters in last spring’s SCR production of Tiger Style

Coleman ’72 received generous support from The Playwrights Circle, which includes Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Julie and Robert F. Daley and David Emmes and Paula Tomei. 

Tickets are now on sale and range in price from $27-$98, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatergoers ages 25 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling 714.708.5555. 

For more information, visit

Who we are:

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Amy Senk, Duncan Forgey, Len Bose, Nancy Gardner and Sara Hall are our writers and/or columnists.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.


*The content and ads in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the publisher.

© 2023 Stu News Newport, LLC  |  All Rights Reserved.