Logo Design by Melissa Nigro.

Logo Design by Melissa Nigro.

Inside Out & Back Again

Based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Thanhha Lai
Stage Adaptation by Min Kahng

World Premiere to be produced by Bay Area Children's Theatre Mar 30-May 27, 2018!

Ten-year-old Hà and her family flee from Vietnam to Alabama, where she dreams of her beloved papaya tree and struggles to adjust in a strange new land. Thanhha Lai's award-winning book of poetry comes to life in this on-stage retelling of a young refugee girl and her family. For my adaptation, I am only using Lai's original poetic text as the dialogue (save for a few verb tense or pronoun changes) in a sort of playwright-as-arranger role.

In a time when asylum-seekers are portrayed as unwanted pests,Hà's journey helps put a human face to the label "refugee." By looking at a story from our past, I hope Bay Area young audiences and their families will be able to gain insight and understanding for those facing similar hardships today.

Inside Out & Back Again is in its early stages of development. For updates on the next phase of progress for this project, please sign up for my monthly newsletter.


  • Aug 2017, Developmental Reading: Bay Area Children's Theatre in Berkeley, CA