Drama. Southeast Asia Studies. SNAKES OF KAMPUCHEA is a symbolic trilogy of plays about Cambodia. In the first play, Snakes of Kampuchea, a forest near a farming village teems with nature spirits, retaining a harmony, until the vicious Khmer Rouge take over, "the crocodile cannot control the waters of the lake," and refugees from the genocide flee to the West. In Tual Kan's Journey a single Cambodian mother in San Francisco's Tenderloin wrestles with flashbacks, her rebellious daughter, and the magical nature of her pre-refugee village life in this symbolic play of grief, goddesses, birds and a magic fish. In Return to Angkor a young Cambodian American woman returns to her ancestral village to search for her long separated sister, and makes a vow about the individual responsibility of shared history and collective memory, capping the trilogy.
Mark Knego is a San Francisco based sculptor, film maker and playwright. In the late 1980s he was an artist-in- residence in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood working primarily with older Cambodian women who had recently fled the Khmer Rouge. Working with him over several years they shared their laughter, their language, their culture, their food and their experiences. From this he wrote a trilogy of symbolic dramas using masks, sculptural pieces, and expressionistic soundscapes that were commissioned and produced by EXIT Theatre and presented in Khmer and English from 1991 through 1994. Author City: SAN FRANCISCO, CA USA