Local playwright set to debut new play

Local playwright and filmmaker Philip Kan Gotanda ’s new play, “Angry Red Drum,” opens Sept. 28 at the Asian American Theater Company.

What is the new play about? It’s a story of two refugees from a dying democracy, who also suffer from amnesia, who find themselves in a topsy-turvy world and struggle to survive — and also struggle to remember who they are and how they want to live. The structure is based loosely on “Waiting for Godot.”

Where did you get your inspiration for this play? It’s written and inspired by my frustration over the latter-day Bush and Cheney administration. The title comes from a hamburger joint in Davis. There is a hamburger joint that’s called Murder Burger, but there were complaints so they called it Redrum Burger, reversing the letters in murder to make it, and I liked that name.

What do you hope people leave the play thinking about? A good sense and reflection back on what is going on in the country right now and what is happening in the world right now — like what is happening in terms of health care.

What would you compare your play to? It’s Beckett meets Burning Man. It’s a play that has a kind of postmodern vaudevillian, where it is both serious and clownish at the same time. It plays with language, and they are ultimately very funny characters. It’s a fun play — that’s one of the things I am excited about.

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