Letters From Home
Written and performed by Kalean Ung


Written and performed by Kalean Ung
Music by Chinary Ung
Directed by Marina McClure
Video Projections by Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh
Costumes by Amanda Wing Yee Lee
Sound Design by Chris Porter
Stage Manager by Jenny Jihee Park


November 10 - 18
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
$25 General Admission
$35 generous admission

ISC Studio
3191 Casitas Avenue, Suite #168
Los Angeles, 90039



The genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge regime was one of the worst mass killings in the 20th century. Up to two million Cambodian people were killed: roughly 20% of the country’s population. Kalean's family story reflects the story of many Cambodians during this unimaginable (but all too real) part of our shared human history. Learn more here.


 PhoTO: Marina MClure

PhoTO: Marina MClure


"The letters lived in a drawer in my father's closet and I did not know they existed until 2016. He hadn't looked at them since the 1980s. He had burned many others after he had read them decades ago. I knew that my father revealing this to me was a tremendous gift, and that these letters were gold. As he translated and transcribed them, we both realized just how beautiful and important these letters were to pay tribute to the family's suffering, as well as all other people who have faced genocide...."  Read the whole article here.

  Video Projection Designer  Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh and Costume designer Amanda Wing Yee Lee

Video Projection Designer  Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh and Costume designer Amanda Wing Yee Lee

ARTIST ROUNDTABLE The artistic team for Letters From Home is extraordinary for several reasons. They are a very gifted group of next-generation theater artists. And they are also a group that is primarily Asian and Asian-American women, something that happens all too rarely in American theater. On October 19, this group of powerful female artists got together for a wide ranging conversation about their work on Letters From Home and how their diverse backgrounds and identities informs their artistry...Read more from the artist roundtable.


Kalean Ung (Playwright and Performer) is an award winning actress, singer, and interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. She has performed at The Kirk Douglas Theatre, Theatre @ Boston Court, REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, The Actors’ Gang, The Getty Villa among others. She has worked with critically acclaimed theatre companies such as Critical Mass Performance Group, Independent Shakespeare Company, Four Larks Theatre and CalArts Center for New Performance. Her recent acting LA credits include: MEASURE FOR MEASURE (Isabella), THE SNOW GEESE (Viktorya), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Titania), THE TEMPEST (Ariel), RICHARD III (Margaret), OTHELLO (Desdemona) with Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC),PAUL SAND PRESENTS: KURT WEILL AT THE CUDDLEFISH HOTEL at the Actors’ Gang, PERICLES (Marina) with ISC, THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTONY (Queen Sheba) with Four Larks Theatre (Ovation Award Winner), PURPLE ELECTRIC PLAY! (The Vital Organ) at Machine Project, TWELFTH NIGHT (Viola) with ISC, PROMETHEUS BOUND (Chorus) directed by Travis Preston with CalArts Center for New Performance/ Getty Villa, and the title role of ALCESTIS directed by Nancy Keystone with Critical Mass Performance Group/ Theatre @ Boston Court. Other LA favorites include: CAMINO REAL (Esmeralda) directed by Jessica Kubzansky at the Theatre @ Boston Court and JOMAMA JONES: RADIATE!  (Sweet Peach) at The Kirk Douglas Theatre Pillsbury House Theatre. Recent opera roles include: GALILEO (Andrea) with The Industry, BOTH EYES OPEN (Catherine) with First Look Sonoma, LIGHT AND POWER (Tesla) with wildUp at the Hammer Museum, THE MORTAL THOUGHTS OF LADY MACBETH (Witch) directed by Yuval Sharon, as well as FAIRY QUEEN (Hermia), THE MAGIC FLUTE (Second Lady), WINTER'S TALE/ MOTH (Bird), and DICE THROWN a chance operations opera by John King at CalArts. LETTERS FROM HOME is Kalean's first solo show. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of California at Santa Cruz. As a teacher, Kalean currently teaches acting at CSUN. She has also taught at CalArts, CalState LA and NYFA. More news at www.kaleanung.com

Chinary Ung (Composer) was the first American composer to win the highly coveted and international Grawemeyer Award (1989), sometimes called the Nobel prize for music composition. Among other honors, Ung has received awards from The Kennedy Center (Friedheim award), The American Academy of Arts and Letters, Asia Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

His SPIRAL XII: "Space Between Heaven and Earth" was recently premiered by The Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall in November, 2008. Ung has been a featured composer/master composer at prominent festivals/conferences, including: Asia Society, The World Music Institute's Interpretations Series- Four Generations of Asian Composers; 2007 Asian Composers League in Seoul, Korea: The 3Oth ACL Forum in Seoul, Korea; 2008 AURORA Festival, Sidney, Australia; Panel/Concert at The Library of Congress; Thailand International Composition Festival at Burapha University, Thailand; and in 2009, Other Minds: OM 14 Festival, San Francisco. He has received many commissions including those from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Meet the Composer, Koussevitzky Foundation, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and La Jolla Summerfest and Santa Fe Summer Music Festivals. Ung's music is published by C. F. Peters Corporation and is a member of Broadcast Music Incorporated.

In August 2010, Mr. Ung's new chamber piece for Real Quiet will premiere at the Santa Fe and Summerfest La Jolla festivals. Afer that, he will go to work on two more new commissions: a chamber work for Zeitgeist funded by Meet the Composer and Chamber Music America, and a viola concerto for S.M.E. Ensemble funded by Jebediah Foundation New Music Commission. His music is recorded on New World Records, Bridge Records, Cambria, London Records, Other Minds, Oodiscs, Nami Records, Kojima Records, Albany Records, Norton Recordings, Composers Recording Incorporated, Folkways Records, and Koch International.

Marina McClure (Director) helms the multidisciplinary art lab The New Wild and is a resident director at The Flea Theater. Her work has been seen throughout the US, Canada and South Africa. Recent: Tear a Root from the Earth, a new musical for Afghanistan in collaboration with Qais Essar and Gramophonic (New Ohio's Ice Factory; Kennedy Center); CasablancaBox (2017 Drama Desk Nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience); Wing It! a giant puppet parade and large-scale community performance for the Tony-winning Handspring Puppet Company in celebration of South Africa's National Day of Reconciliation; an episodic adaptation of Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics as a part of The Flea's new initiative for young audiences, Cereals. Upcoming: Kalean Ung's Letters from Home (ISC in Los Angeles; UC San Diego), Steph del Rosso's Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill (The Flea), the premiere of Sara Farrington's Leisure, Labor, Lust (The Tank). Marina teaches directing at The National Theater Institute at the O’Neill and frequently directs at Dartmouth College and NYU-Tisch. MFA: CalArts. . www.marinamcclure.com

Amanda Wing Yee Lee (Costume Design) is a costume designer for dance, theatre, film, art installation and everything in between. Born in Hong Kong, Amanda spent her formative years studying in England where she had her first taste of a culture much different from her own; now, after a decade in Los Angeles, she has found a second home.

Fascinated by the intricacies of human behavior, Amanda seeks out work that generates community and dialogue through movement, collaboration and experimentation; and strives to be a visual storyteller who speaks to the depths and breaths of humanity, suffering, heartaches and all the laughable moments in between.

She holds a BFA in Theatre from Occidental College and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. www.amandawingyeelee.com

Chris Porter (Sound Design) is an award-winning, Los Angeles-based composer of concert works, film scores, theater music, and other performance events. Often working or collaborating as a sound designer and/or writer, his projects have been seen and heard both across the country and around the globe. www.chrisportercomposer.com

Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh (Video Projection Design) is a multidisciplinary artist, born and raised in Taiwan, currently living and working in Los Angeles. This dislocation from her homeland deeply influences the narrative of her work. While rediscovering her roots in Taiwanese heritage and history, her work explores the complexity of multicultural identity from a contemporary perspective, with particular attention to landscape as a source of identity. By juxtaposing these landscapes with personal objects, performance, and archival text and images, her work frames the metaphor of the human condition within the mirage of memory, media and reality.

Drawing from a background in photography and theatrical performance, her practice highlights the audience’s experience by framing the act of viewing as an action. She integrates emerging media, performance, installation, film, puppetry and hybrid forms of photo sculpture and text to create live, time-based experiences for her viewers.

Hsuan-Kuang's work has been shown in both national and international venues, ranging from theatres and festivals to galleries and museums. www.hsuankuang.com

Jenny Jihee Park (Stage Manager) Is ISC's resident Stage Manager. In the Studio, she acted as Stage Manager for Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Snow Geese, as well as Measure for Measure at the Griffith Pare Free Shakespeare Festival. She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a BA in Theater.