april, 2019

This is a repeating event

30apr(apr 30)7:30 pm26may(may 26)2:00 pmTHE BROTHERS PARANORMAL


Event Details

This first-time coproduction between two theaters with deep cultural legacies will not only join audiences, but diverse communities.

Penumbra Theatre and Theater Mu announce the regional premiere of The Brothers Paranormal, by Thai-American playwright Prince Gomolvilas.

The Brothers Paranormal is scintillating thriller that follows two Thai brothers who launch a business to investigate paranormal activities. When they investigate the home of an African-American couple displaced by Hurricane Katrina, their notions of reality and fantasy clash against the shocking truth.

Directed by Lou Bellamy with Sun Mee Chomet assisting, Penumbra Theatre and Theater Mu combine their commitment to artistic excellence to tell a story that is both entertaining and rich in cultural authenticity. Witty and haunting, the play explores the intersection of migration, displacement, and mental health. Says playwright Prince Gomolvilas, “The play’s intersection of genre and race, as well as the exploration of the spirit realm in a country that’s doing some deep soul-searching, is what drives my passion for this project. All of my research explores the play’s disparate themes: the trauma of displacement (from one’s country of origin, from post-Katrina New Orleans, from the corporeal world); the high incidence of mental health issues among Asian immigrants; and the different ways in which people cope with incredible loss.”

As part of their partnership, Penumbra and Mu are hosting Ghost Stories in the Park on May 12th and 19th from 6 to 8pm at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center Park at 271 Mackubin St in St. Paul. Neighbors of all ages are invited to hear ghost stories from Asian and African traditions. Sebastian Joe’s will be giving away free ice cream, including a special flavor called The Brothers Paranormal in honor of this special partnership between Penumbra Theatre and Theater Mu.

“I’m so happy to bring together two esteemed, legacy organizations of color with deep, trusted, and authentic connections to our respective communities. Penumbra and Theater Mu have invested years in building our partnership and we are proud to see the efforts of that work shared publicly with The Brothers Paranormal. And, we are honored to welcome a phenomenal creative team to enliven this thrilling, dark comedy by Prince Gomolvilas. This one is not to be missed!” – Sarah Bellamy, Artistic Director Penumbra Theatre

“Noting the increased collaboration between individual artists from our respective companies we at Theater Mu are thrilled to be collaborating with Penumbra on a full production of Prince’s exciting intercultural piece. It’s been said that ‘art is the highest form of hope.’ Just as the characters in THE BROTHERS PARANORMAL discover, our hope at Mu is that communities and companies of color can look to this production as a sterling example of just how much our journeys are enriched by one another’s presence.” – Eric Sharp, Theater Mu Artistic Advisory Committee


Lou Bellamy – Director, Sun Mee Chomet – Assistant Director, Saymoukda Vongsay – Dramaturg, Vicki Smith – Scenic Designer, Karin Olson – Lighting Designer, Mathew LeFebvre – Costume Designer, Scott Edwards – Sound Designer, Abbee Warmboe – Props Designer


Regina Marie Williams (Delia), James Craven (Felix), Kurt Kwan (Visarut), Michelle De Joya (Jai), Sherwin Resurreccion (Max), Leslie Ishii (Tasanee)


Prince Gomolvilas, Playwright

Prince Gomolvilas is best known as the world’s only Thai-American playwright. (He challenges you to find another!) He frequently writes comedies with a supernatural twist, along with the occasional drama to shake things up a bit. Recurring themes include the contemporary Asian-American (and, specifically, Thai-American) experience, the tension between immigrants and their offspring, the intersection of ethnicity and sexual identity, race relations in the United States, the trauma of displacement, the nature of loss and grief, and, in the words of Erasure, “the infinite complexities of love. His work has been produced around the United States, as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Singapore. Companies and venues include Singapore Repertory Theatre, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, East West Players, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, INTAR Theatre, International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, King’s Head Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, and more.

Lou Bellamy, Director

Lou Bellamy is the Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Penumbra Theatre, an Obie Award-winning stage director, and taught for 35 years as an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. Select Penumbra credits: Two Trains Running, I Wish You Love (The Kennedy Center), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking (National Black Theatre Festival), A Raisin in the Sun and Gem of the Ocean. Other: Radio Golf (Indiana Repertory Theatre and Cleveland Play House); Two Trains Running (Signature Theatre Company and Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Jitney (Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Arizona Theatre Company); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (The Kennedy Center).

Sun Mee Chomet, Assistant Director

Sun Mee Chomet is a St. Paul-based actor, dancer and playwright. As an actor, Sun Mee has worked with the Guthrie Theater (Burial at Thebes, Macbeth, Tony Kushner’s world premiere: The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Naomi Iizuka’s world premiere: After 100 Years); Mu Performing Arts (WTF, Cowboy vs. Samurai, Asiamnesia, Circle Around the Island, Mask Dance); History Theater (100 Men’s Wife); Penumbra Theater (for colored girls…) and many other theaters locally and nationally. As a playwright, Sun Mee’s first play, Asiamnesia, was voted Best New Script of 2008 by Minneapolis Star Tribune. Her most recent one-woman show, How to Be a Korean Woman, will begin touring in 2013-2014. Sun Mee received her M.F.A. in Acting from New York Univeristy’s Tisch School of the Arts and her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Earlham College.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Dramaturg

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is a Lao American writer. She was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand and immigrated to Minnesota in 1984. Because of her unique background, her work is focused on creating tools and spaces for the amplification of refugee voices through poetry, theater, and experimental cultural production. Her plays have been presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Theater Mu, Consortium of Asian American Theater Artists, and Theater Unbound. She is a Playwright’s Center and Theater Mu fellow in playwriting, a Loft Literary Center fellow in poetry, a Loft Literary Center fellow in children’s and young adult literature, a Twin Cities Media Alliance fellow in public art, and an Aspen Ideas Bush Foundation scholar. Her poetry, essays, plays, and short stories can be found in the Asian American Literary Review, Massachusetts Review, Jungle Azn Magazine, Rubin Museums’ Spiral Magazine, Journal for Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, Saint Paul Almanac, as well as on coffee sleeves (Coffee House Press) and on metro transit (Saint Paul Almanac).


A Penumbra Theatre and Theater Mu co-production

Prince Gomolvilas’
Directed by Lou Bellamy

In response to a nationwide increase in sightings of “Asian- looking ghosts,” two entrepreneurial Thai-American brothers launch a ghost-hunting business. When the siblings investigate the home of an African American couple displaced by Hurricane Katrina, what’s real and what’s fantasy clash against a shocking truth. This witty and haunting story is brought to you in partnership by Theater Mu and Penumbra Theatre.


A Penumbra Theatre and Theater Mu co-production

Prince Gomolvilas’
Directed by Lou Bellamy

Performance Dates:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 // 7:30PM (Preview)

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 // 7:30PM (Preview)

Thursday, May 2, 2019 // 7:30PM (Opening Night)

Friday, May 3, 2019 // 7:30PM

Saturday, May 4, 2019 // 2:00PM

Saturday, May 4, 2019 // 7:30PM

Sunday, May 5, 2019 // 2:00PM

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 // 10:00AM

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 // 7:30PM

Thursday, May 9, 2019 // 7:30PM*

Friday, May 10, 2019 // 7:30PM

Saturday, May 11, 2019 // 2:00PM

Saturday, May 11, 2019 // 7:30PM

Sunday, May 12, 2019 // 2:00PM

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 // 10:00AM

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 // 7:30PM

Thursday, May 16, 2019 // 7:30PM*

Friday, May 17, 2019 // 7:30PM

Saturday, May 18, 2019 // 2:00PM

Saturday, May 18, 2019 // 7:30PM

Sunday, May 19, 2019 // 2:00PM

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 // 10:00AM

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 // 7:30PM

Thursday, May 23, 2019 // 7:30PM*

Friday, May 24, 2019 // 7:30PM

Saturday, May 25, 2019 // 2:00PM

Saturday, May 25, 2019 // 7:30PM (ASL Performance)

Sunday, May 26, 2019 // 2:00PM (Closing Matinee)


April 30 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm - May 26 (Sunday) 2:00 pm CST


Penumbra Theatre

270 North Kent Street, St. Paul, MN 55102


Theater Muinfo@theatermu.org 755 Prior Ave North, Suite 107 St. Paul, MN 55104