Race in musical theater;Musical theater;Musicals
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2017.032.011 Oral History Interview with Thomas Kouo, August 12, 2003

Thomas Kouo was part of the original cast of David Henry Hwang’s rewriting of “Flower Drum Song,” which opened at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2001. He is an actor and writer who has been in the Broadway and National Tour productions of “Miss Saigon.” Some of his other credits include “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Chess," and “Brigadoon.” In this interview, Thomas Kouo discusses early workshop readings of "Flower Drum Song,” rehearsals, critics and audience reception, Asian stereotypes, directing, and the impact of 9/11. This interview is one of a series of 18 interviews that author David Lewis Hammarstrom conducted in 2003 as part of research for his book, Flower Drum Songs: The Story of Two Musicals (2006). Please note that this interview was conducted by phone and the audio quality is extremely poor throughout.