In preparation for the upcoming workshop and reading of NOMS DE GUERRE as part of Pasadena Playhouse's HotHouse series, I connected with our company about their careers in the theatre and the relevant themes of the play. HotHouse readings are by invitation only. Click here to learn more and please enjoy this wonderful interview with dramaturg Victoria Moy:
JACQUELINE LAWTON: To begin, why did you decide to get into theater? Was there someone or a particular show that inspired you?
VICTORIA MOY: There was a production of Caryl Churchill’s “Mad Forest” at my high school that moved me in a way that nothing else in my life ever had. Even though I had few (or no) commonalities with the characters and situations in this particular play, I somehow felt understood existentially, and hence comforted. I decided I wanted to write works that could have this kind of affect on audiences. In college, I decided to try some theater classes and ended up majoring in theater.
JL: NOMS DE GUERRE is a socio-political drama that addresses the U.S. military policy and the damaging impact of PTSD on veterans and their family. Why do you feel this play is relevant to today’s audiences?
VM: We’re constantly engaged in war, yet as a society we are for the most part disconnected from what’s going on, and what veterans go through. NOMS DE GUERRE does an amazing job illustrating just how difficult reentry can be for those even in the most loving and supportive of relationships.
JL: NOMS DE GUERRE also addresses women’s rights and recent restrictions placed on health care for women. It’s been 50 years since the Women’s Liberation Movement swept the nation, where do you feel we are in terms of gender relations in the U.S.?
VM: One would think that by 2014, women in America would have rights over their own bodies. Obama’s initiatives on universities taking rape and sexual assault seriously is a step in the right direction. But as a society we still have a long way to go.
JL: What do you hope audiences walk away thinking about after experiencing this play?
VM: A new level of empathy and open-mindedness about what war does to people, and the many levels of grayness to be aware of in our personal interactions and in policy-making.
JL: What’s next for you? Where can we follow your work?
VM: My forthcoming book Fighting For The Dream: Voices of Chinese American Veterans from World War II to Afghanistan will be published in November by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. Please get a copy when it comes out! There will be talks and presentations at Rosemead Library on October 18 and at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in NYC on November 6. Please join if you’re in the area! You can follow me on victoriamoy.net and on twitter @writervickymoy
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I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!