The Commencement of William Tan – Yale Cabaret

Screenshot 2015-09-21 11.06.41

Program Note

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“Nguyen’s play gets the high school dynamic right—in part because the story is based on events from the playwright’s past—especially how insular students can be. In minding his own business, William is typical. But the racial dynamic at his school and the expectations of well-meaning females such as Ms. Chadda and Betsy force him to reconsider his friendship with Dutch and the extent to which he is implicated in slurs against Asians.”
Donald Brown, New Haven Review

Full review:

“But the play ultimately uses the trappings of 1990s teen melodramas to shift into ABC Afterschool Special TV-movie territory (the hot topic being racism), and from there to tense, visceral moments of swearing, anger and violence. The pop culture riffs turn to dramatizations of disillusionment and pain.”

“The Commencement of William Tan creates a fantasy of high school, then busts it up with unattractive intrusions from the real world. ”
New Haven Theater Jerk

Full review:


Also, here’s a playlist I made for the show, which features all of my favorite songs from that time (80s – early 90s):