Flora Le’s Sadedc 1965: A Love Story to play 2023 FRIGID Fringe Festival

Written & Performed by Flora Le
Part of the 2023 FRIGID Fringe Festival
February 15-March 5 at The Kraine Theater
SADEC 1965: A LOVE STORY, a solo show written and performed by Washington, DC-based storyteller Flora Le, is part of the 2023 FRIGID Fringe Festival. This powerful storytelling piece is best described as “Motorcycle Diaries” meets “Eat, Pray, Love” set in Vietnam. 
In 2013, Flora rode a motorcycle across Vietnam for six weeks, solo, in an attempt to make sense of her difficult relationship with her estranged Vietnamese father. Flora was on a quest to understand why her father, who left Vietnam with a scholarship to study in Canada in the mid-1960s, never spoke about Vietnam. Since the answers she was looking for would never come from him, Flora decided to go on a road trip across the country, riding a total of 2100 miles in six weeks, from the Chinese border in the North to the village of Sadec, her father’s hometown in the Mekong Delta, to reclaim the story of her origins and make sense of the difficult man that her father was. 

Flora has been wanting to tell this story on a stage ever since she completed her motorcycle journey in 2014. But one piece was missing: her father’s old love letters. After her father passed away, Flora found the love correspondence he exchanged with his high school sweetheart, a woman named Hien, whom he left behind in Vietnam during the war. This woman turned out to be an important piece of the mystery her father was, and reading their correspondence promised to provide many answers. 

There was one problem: Flora couldn’t read Vietnamese, since her father never spoke his language with her growing up. It took her five years and a team of thirteen Vietnamese to translate the voluminous correspondence the couple exchanged between 1965 and 1971. Flora was able to complete this translation project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is an poignant excerpts from those love letters she shares in the show: 

Letter dated May 15, 1968 
My love, today is our anniversary. If it were not for the Viet Cong making chaos in Saigon, I would have received your letter by now. I don’t believe you didn’t write to me. The road to Saigon is difficult to travel so mail delivery is interrupted. The situation hasn’t died down here since the Tet offensive. We hear gunshots and bombshells day and night, and it’s the same everywhere so there’s nowhere to escape. One can only live for today and accept what will come tomorrow. 
Flora Le is a storyteller based in Washington DC. She is a lawyer by day, though she has always had the soul of an artist. Flora discovered storytelling in 2017 while attending a Snap Judgment show in Washington, DC and she felt at home instantly. The combination of writing and public speaking was exactly the medium she wanted for self-expression. In March 2019, Flora was selected to perform at Story District’s Tuesday Show in Washington DC, a popular storytelling show attended by 400 people. The performance of her #metoo story, an emotional and vulnerable experience, received a standing ovation, a rare occurrence at such shows. 

Sadec 1965 is Flora’s first full-length solo storytelling show. One theme is common to Flora’s work: the transformation of pain into beauty. Flora uses her own painful life experiences to create beautiful stories of resilience, forgiveness, personal transcendence, and love. She is touring the US and Canada with her show.  
What people are saying: 
“Flora’s story is powerful and exhilarating, and she is so honest and vulnerable throughout that you can’t help but be totally swept away.” Diana B. 
“A breathtaking, heartbreaking, awe-inspiring, deeply thoughtful piece of art. I cannot get this story out of my head.” Dani H.
“The visual and gestural echoes between childhood and young adulthood in Canada and her motorcycle journey across Vietnam are masterful, bringing worlds with decades and oceans between them side-by-side. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s poetic.” Nicolas S. 
Sadec 1965: A Love Story, a part of the 2023 FRIGID Fringe Festival
WHAT: Sadec 1965: A Love Story, written and performed by Flora Le 
WHERE: The Kraine Theater, 85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
● February 16 @ 7:10 pm 
● February 18 @ 3:20 pm 
● February 24 @ 6:50 pm 
● February 26 @ 1:40 pm 
● February 27 @ 8:50 pm 

TICKETS: $20, available at the door or at www.frigid.nyc (http://www.frigid.nyc)  
For more information about this show, visit www.sadec1965.com (http://www.sadec1965.com)  

FRIGID Fringe Festival is an open and unjuried theatre festival that gives artists an opportunity to let their ingenuity thrive in a venue that values freedom of expression and artistic determination. In true support of the Indie Theater Community, 100% of box office proceeds go directly to the artists whose work is being presented. FRIGID is here to chill out the New York independent theatre scene’s ideas of what a theatre festival can be! www.frigid.nyc (http://www.frigid.nyc)  

Published by malinism

Malini is a native New Yorker who has been involved in the arts for her entire life. She's served the theatre in many aspects of which she's very proud – actress, director, producer, stage manager, costume designer, prop designer, theatre reviewer, publicist and most recently writer/monologist. She received her BA in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Baruch College and her MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School. In 2003, Malini and her husband, Ian, created Black Henna Productions with a handful of innovative artists. Every member of the company collaborates on every piece, either writing, acting, directing, designing, or filling any other role that fit their own personal skills with a commitment to bring new, exciting, and challenging theatre to the world. She is an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. Malini received the Woman of Distinction Award for her contribution to Media, Arts and Culture from the City of New York in 2008. She is also a Person of Godspell which ran at Circle in the Square on Broadway from 2011-2012.

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